Peppermint Cheesecake

I can't believe that I have been blogging for so long and have not yet posted one cheesecake!! I do have a red velvet cheesecake cake, but no true cheesecake. Well considered this problem officially fixed today! Here is my first official cheesecake post, and it is a great one. My work had a work Christmas party a few weeks ago which included ugly sweaters, white elephant gifts, all that fun stuff. Obviously my first question is - what's to eat? It was potluck time, it was requested that everyone bring an appetizer or a dessert. This year it was time; Cheesecake time. 

I had stumbled across a cheesecake a few weeks earlier that for whatever reason had just caught my eye. On a whim I decided to just go for it. I went to the store and picked up cream cheese, ricotta, Oreos and candy canes and I am so glad I did. This cheesecake was so simple and turned out delicious. Creamy and light and silky smooth. A winner all around. 

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The original recipe included a graham cracker crust and was topped with fresh strawberries. Since it's December that wasn't quite right. I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but as I was walking through the aisles at the grocery store my eyes caught on a package of peppermint Oreos and I knew what I was going to create - an Oreo peppermint cheesecake. I swapped out the graham crackers for peppermint Oreos, and added a hint of peppermint extract to the filling and voila! The perfect Christmas cheesecake was born! 

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Peppermint Cheesecake
Cheesecake Adapted from Lil cookie
Crust adapted from Crazy for Crust
For the crust:

  • 25 mint creme Oreos
  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 2 8-ounce packages (450 grams) cream cheese
  • 1 16-ounce (450 grams) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs

For coating:

  • 1 8-ounce container sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the crust: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch springform pan with aluminum foil (alternatively, you can use a 9 inch, tall sided cake pan with removable bottom). 
In a food processor with a steel blade, process the Oreos until crushed into small bits. Add melted butter and process until combined and the mixture is damp and cohesive. 

Press the moist crumbs to the bottom and the sides of the pan and bake for about 10 minutes. (I found it easiest to do this with a metal measuring cup.) Cool for a few minutes at room temperature. Turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees. 

Meanwhile, make the cheese filling: Wipe the bowl of the food processor clean. Add the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, peppermint extract, vanilla and salt and process until well combined. Add the eggs one by one, processing between additions until well incorporated. Add the flour and pulse a few times until the flour is incorporated into the filling.

Pour the cheese filling into the baked crust. Place cheesecake in the now 325 degree oven and bake for 60-70 minutes or until the cake is golden, a bit swollen and slightly vibrating in the center. Remove from the oven, turn the oven off, and let the cheesecake cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature.

While the cheesecake is baking prepare the coating: in a small bowl, mix sour cream, sugar and vanilla to a uniform mixture. Once the cheesecake has cooled about 10 minutes, pour the sour cream coating on top of the cake and return to the still-hot (but turned off) oven for 5-6 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating it for at least 7-8 hours (preferably overnight).

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

I've had a wonderful Christmas break, but Monday it's back to school for my final semester of my master's program. While I don't want to go back, I am ready for this semester to be finished. Fortunately I was able to do a lot of cooking and baking this break, especially for Christmas. My grandparents hosted Christmas dinner a couple weeks ago. My grandma made a delicious beef tenderloin roast that was meltingly tender, like butter. She asked me a couple of days before if I would like to make the dessert and of course I jumped at the chance. Last year we had red velvet cake and everyone loved it, so this year I decided to stick with that theme, but bump it up a notch and make a red velvet cheesecake cake.

I'd seen this idea online in a couple of places and it sounded like a winning combination. Bake a thin layer of cheesecake and sandwich it between two layers of moist and delicious red velvet cake. Frost with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting and dig in. It just had to be good, and it was!

I used my favorite red velvet cake and frosting recipes from America's Test Kitchen, and the cheesecake came from 17 and Baking. Although this recipe did take two days and had several different steps, none of it was very difficult. Putting all of the components together the day of our Christmas party was so satisfying. The final product was gorgeous, and more importantly it was delicious. I was surprised to find that I hardly even noticed that the middle layer was cheesecake, it all just melded together seamlessly. Even my dad who says he doesn't like cream cheese or cheesecake loved this cake. So if you're looking for an impressive and delicious dessert for any special occasion, give this idea a try.

The cocoa and food coloring paste

The ingredients all set to go

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy

Add in the flour mixture, and then the 

food coloring paste

Pour into two round cake pans

And bake

Let cool on a wire rack

Meanwhile, whip together the frosting

(my favorite part!)

Ready to assemble

Start with a layer of cake

Place cheesecake on top

(I froze it for a couple of hours so it would be

easy to work with)

The cheesecake was a little bigger than then 

cake so I had to trim off the excess

Then place the final layer of cake on top

Cover the whole cake with a crumb 

coat of frosting

And then frost it up

Dig in! (not the most beautiful photo, but I just wanted to take a bite; trust me, you don't need a big slice of this!)

Red Velvet Cake
From: America's Test Kitchen

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda 
  • Pinch salt 
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder 
  • 2 tablespoons (one 1-ounce bottle) red food coloring 
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar 


  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar 
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened 
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • Pinch salt 

FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs in large measuring cup. Mix cocoa with food coloring in small bowl until a smooth paste forms.

With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add one-third of flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add half of buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl as necessary and repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, remaining buttermilk mixture, and finally remaining flour mixture. Scrape down bowl, add cocoa mixture, and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, give batter final stir. Scrape into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes then turn out onto rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

FOR THE FROSTING: With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in vanilla and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

From: 17 and Baking

  • 20 oz full fat cream cheese, at room temperature 
  • 2/3 cup white sugar (5 1/4 oz) 
  • Zest of half a lemon 
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature 
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 

Grease a 9″ springform pan, and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, and set the pan into a larger pan (for the waterbath.)

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Switch to a wooden spoon and beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Add eggs one at a time, making sure they are combined but not overmixing. Add the sour cream. Stir in flour and gently mix just until combined.

Pour the batter into the greased pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan halfway up the cheesecake. The aluminum foil should protect the cheesecake from seeping water. Bake until the cheesecake is just set in the middle, about 40 minutes at 325 degrees. Run a knife around the sides and let the cheesecake cool completely. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the cheesecake and refrigerate overnight.