Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Have you ever had a cake that is just downright amazing? So good that you instantly want another piece even though you really shouldn't? This cake is one of those cakes.

How could it not be? It's got two layers of tangy moist red velvet cake. Sandwiched between those vibrant red layers is a layer of creamy fluffy cheesecake. And of course the entire thing is enrobed in a layer of frosting.

I set out to make this cake because my sister B and her boyfriend Z were coming to visit. Turns out that Z really really likes cheesecake. Since I always like to bake something special for out of town guests, I wanted to make something with cheesecake. (And, today just happens to be Z's birthday. So Happy Birthday Z!)

I had been eying this cake ever since I saw it in my Google Reader. The effort was well worth it. This cake is everything you could ever imagine. Z even had a piece around 4am before heading to the airport to head back home!

I love the festive colors of the slice of cake. The red and white makes me think of peppermint even though there isn't any peppermint in the recipe. You could definitely add peppermint to the cheesecake recipe and the frosting if you wanted to.

I did have an issue with my cheesecake being a little bit wider than the cake layers. I just let the cheesecake layer warm up a bit and then used a sarated knife to even it out.

And while I didn't frost between the layers of cake and cheesecake, I did pipe an edge just to make the sides flush.

I left the decorating pretty simple. I just topped the cake with some shaved white and bittersweet chocolate.

If you're looking for an impressive dessert to make for the holidays, look no further!

One Year Ago: Pecan Pie and Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Two Years Ago: Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Three Years Ago: Butternut Squash Bisque

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Ingredients (Serves 12-15)

    For The Cheesecake
    • 1 1/4 pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature
    • 3/4 cups sugar
    • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    For The Cake
    • 2 1/2 cup cake flour
    • 1 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 2 Tbsp (1 oz.) red food coloring
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
    For The Frosting
    • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 12 oz. butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1 bar white or dark chocolate (Optional for decoration)


    Make the cheesecake

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a kettle of water to boil. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

    Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight, then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

    Make the cake

    Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.

    Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

    Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9" round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely, then level.

    Make the Frosting

    Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5–7 minutes.


    Place bottom layer on cake stand. Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom, then peel off parchment paper. Place cheesecake layer on top of the bottom layer of the red velvet cake.

    If the cheesecake is wider than the cake, and it is necessary to to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, then trim it with a knife. Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting to act as the crumb coat. Be careful not to get any red velvet crumbs in the bowl of frosting!

    Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary.

    Top with shaved white chocolate and/or shaved dark chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (This cake doesn't have to stay in the fridge until IMMEDIATELY before serving, so don't worry if you have a 30 minute lapse between the refrigerator and serving.)

    Recipe from Erin's Food Files, cake and frosting adapted from Apple A Day, cheesecake adapted from Martha Stewart
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    I'm using this cake as my monthly What's Baking challenge. The theme this month is Holiday Colors! Be sure to check out Brownies and Blondies (what a cute name for a blog!) for the roundup later this month.

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    Lindsay @ Peace, Love and French Fries said...

    that cake is so beautiful, and sounds delicious!

    Kim said...

    Wow! Your pictures are amazing! I would love to sink my teeth into that cake right now!

    SimplySweeter said...

    Well.... you've done it again! Now, I simply have to add this to my Christmas Eve repetoire. It is fabulous! So many recipes....not enough time!

    Meesh said...

    wow! this look unbelievable. I might have to conquer my fear of baking just for this.

    Shannon said...

    Wow, that is stunning! Nice job!

    Boston Food Diary said...

    Whoa..this looks beyond incredible...I dont think my sweet tooth will be satisfied ever without this!

    Karin said...

    I have to do this for Christmas dessert! Thanks for sharing!

    ErinsFoodFiles said...

    C'est magnifique! Great job!!

    Krystal said...

    Seriously, that looks downright sinful and gorgeous!!! Just amazing Jen!

    Shannon said...

    wow, this is over the top :) but totally worth it!! looks awesome!

    Cupcake Activist said...

    What a great combination of flavors! I can almost smell the cake. Yum!!

    Sinful Sundays said...

    STUNNING! Good job on this, I want a piece!

    EliFla said...

    ...great cake!!! and happy bday to Z!!! Hugs, ciao Flavia

    Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen said...

    What am amazing cake! I love the bright red and contrasting white, simmply beautiful!

    Rhondi said...

    What a beautiful cake! My family would love this. Cheesecake and red velvet are my hubby's favorites. Maybe I will make it for his birthday!

    Sherry G said...

    Talk about impressive! You go!

    The Small Boston Kitchen said...

    And just when I think you can't keep coming up with brilliant ideas and delicious photos...this looks/sounds utterly amazing!

    Megan said...

    Cheesecake in between the cake layers... OMG. You so outdid yourself. That is amazing!

    MaryMary said...

    Wow. I saw a similar cheesecake but couldn't fint a recipe so resolved to just make "plain ole red velvet cupcakes." This looks so much better!

    Susan said...

    Oh My - this looks so amazing!

    KV said...

    that looks awesome! I saw something similar in the Sam's club add that I've been wanting to try but homemade would be even better

    Vickii said...

    This cake looks so beautiful and I bet it tastes INCREDIBLE! I couldn't print it out fast enough - I'm definitely trying it in the new year! Wow!

    Caroline said...

    this has been on my 'want to try' list for a while! Maybe this will be the push i need to give it a try!

    Katrina said...

    That cake looks gorgeous and delicious!

    Elizabeth said...

    This is so cool! The only reason I like red velvet is the cream cheese frosting and this just takes it to a whole new level!

    Pretty. Good. Food. said...

    Wow, where to begin?! That bright red is gorgeous! The cheesecake hiding in the center sounds ridiculously delicious! Gorgeous photos too:)

    Dina said...

    this is a perfect holiday cake! great idea.

    Cakebrain said...

    What a great idea! I love how the cheesecake layer looks so impressive sandwiched between the shockingly red red velvet layers!

    Nutmeg Nanny said...

    Ok this looks amazing!

    Joanne said...

    Hey girl, I am 100% sure I am going to make this for looks amazing! Just used a 9" springform pan for the cheesecake, right?

    Jen said...

    Joanne, Sorry for the delay, but yet, I used a springform pan for the cheesecake. I think that's why it came out a tad bigger than the cake layers. Did you make it for Christmas? How did it turn out?

    Anonymous said...

    I made this for Christmas and it was absolutely AMAZING! My family really enjoyed it and I already have thoughts of the other cakes that would be incredible with a layer of cheesecake inbetween. What a great idea!


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