Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Red Velvet Cheesecake

My husband's office Thanksgiving party is this Thursday and I wanted to contribute. Mostly because my work isn't doing a Thanksgiving party this year and I really want to cook!!!

I came across a recipe for a red velvet cheesecake in my "Southern Living: 1001 Ways to Cook Southern" Cookbook and was intrigued. I know that a lot of my husband's coworkers really like red velvet cake so this twist seemed like a natural choice.

This cheesecake starts with a chocolate graham cracker crust, then the red velvet cheesecake and is topped with a fluffy white sweetened cream cheese topping. I made the crust and cheesecake last night and it chilled overnight. Tonight I will add the topping and take pictures.

This cheesecake is easy enough. The only snag I ran into was with the graham cracker crust. I went to my trusty volume to weight conversion sheet and weighed out the graham cracker crumbs rather than trying to stuff them into measuring cups. Either I looked at the wrong conversion or their conversion was WAAAAAY off. Like three times the amount of crumbs than I needed. I poured them into the springform pan and it practically took up the bottom 1/3 of the entire pan. I immediately knew something was wrong. So I went back and measured out the proper amount and needed to add a little more butter to hold the crumbs together. But the problem was fixed easy enough.

The cheesecake batter is very much a deep red. That is what two 1 ounce bottles of red food color will do. I can't wait to add the topping tonight and take pictures, the dark crust with the red filling and white top should have a beautifully dramatic look to it. I just hope it tastes as good as it looks!

UPDATE: Evidently the cheesecake was a big hit, my husband didn't even get a chance to try it. He said it was gone before lunch even started because some people grabbed their desserts first, hid them in their offices and then went for lunch. Not a bad strategy in my opinion!

Courtesy of Southern Living, here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Cheesecake


  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs


  • Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  • Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
  • Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
  • Beat 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.

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