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Red Velvet Cheesecake

Every Christmas celebration needs a show stopper dessert. And that's what I have for you today - Red Velvet Cheesecake!  

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  For some reason, I always associate red velvet-anything with Christmas. Last year, I went on a red velvet kick - red velvet chocolate chip cookies, red velvet brownies, red velvet fudge, and even red velvet rice krispy treats! Something about the red tint to the desserts automatically puts me in the Christmas spirit. (Not to say I would turn down a red velvet dessert in a month other than December...) Red Velvet Cheesecake takes red velvet cake to another level. Red velvet cake layered with real cheesecake, all covered in fluffy cream cheese frosting. It's like two desserts in one!  

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  I first saw the idea on the menu at the Cheesecake Factory, and I've been wanting to give it a try myself ever since. I knew it would be perfect for Christmas - one of the only times of year such an extravagant dessert would be worth it. Don't be intimidated by the long recipe! It does take awhile; but each of the stages are pretty simple. I spread the process out over two days to make it a bit easier. I made the cheesecake and cakes on a Saturday night, and then assembled the cake the following afternoon. Let's get started! First, whip up your cheesecake batter. Cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream, vanilla extract. Pretty simple! Into the spring form pan, and into the oven.   IMG_2596   Then, the red velvet cake batter. It is RED! Don't be alarmed by the 6 tablespoons of red food coloring. :)   IMG_2599   Once everything has baked, let the cakes and cheesecake cool; then pop the cheesecake in the fridge for several hours. (I just let it chill overnight.)   IMG_2601   When you're ready to assemble, whip up the cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar. Can't go wrong there! Once it's all mixed up; whip it on high for 3-4 minutes to make it really fluffy.   IMG_2607   Now for the assembly. Pick your prettiest cake pedestal. (This is a show stopper dessert, after all!) Place one of the red velvet cake layers on the cake stand. Spread it with a very thin layer of cream cheese frosting. This is just to glue the cheesecake down.   IMG_2610   Next, remove the cheesecake from the spring form pan and very carefully place it on top of the bottom cake layer. The good news - if you mess it up, you won't be able to tell once you have it all frosted. Mine completely broke into a few pieces and it still turned out fabulous! (Just don't tell anyone...)   IMG_2614   Top with the last cake layer, and you're ready to frost.   IMG_2615   Cover the top and sides with the cream cheese frosting, and decorate as you wish! I just did a simple swirl around the edge and topped it with some Christmas sprinkles.   IMG_2616   This dessert will most certainly WOW your guests! Each bite has the perfect combination of creamy cheesecake with moist red velvet cake. It's decadent and absolutely delicious.  

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Red Velvet Cheesecake

Servings/Yield: 16 servings
  • For the cheesecake
    • 4 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
    • cups granulated sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • ¾ cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the red velvet cake
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • cups granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 6 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • For the cream cheese frosting
    • 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
    • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 5 cups powdered sugar
    • 2-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  Method For the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray a spring form pan with cooking spray. Beat cream cheese with sugar until completely smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract; beat until fully incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 50-60 minutes until the edges are set but the very middle jiggles a little. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack; refrigerate until firm. For the red velvet cake: Preheat oven to 350*F. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray, and coat with flour. In a mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to high and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrap down the bowl and beat until well incorporated. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, red food coloring, and vanilla extract to form a paste. Add to mixing bowl and beat until smooth, scraping the sides as you go. Reduce the mixer to low and add half the buttermilk, followed by half the flour; mix until combined. Repeat with remaining buttermilk and flour; beat on high until smooth. Add salt, baking soda, and vinegar; turn mixer to high and beat a couple minutes until completely combined and smooth. Spread batter in prepared pans; bake about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack. For the cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar; mix to combine. Add enough of the heavy cream to hold it together. Beat a few minutes on high until light and fluffy. To assemble cake: Place one layer of red velvet cake on cake stand. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top. Remove cheesecake from spring form pan and place on top of cake. Spread with a thin layer of frosting. Top with remaining red velvet cake layer. Frost outside and top with remaining cream cheese frosting. Store in refrigerator. Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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