King Cake Cheesecake
No I’ve never been to Mardi Gras, or had the pleasure of stumbling around drunk in New Orleans in search of beads…. but I have driven down bourbon street….with my kids in the backseat. But that doesn’t mean I can’t tell you about the best dang dessert for Mardi Gras! This idea started through a simple instagram tag from my cousin. “Learn how to make this and ship it to me” she said. It was a picture of the King Cake Cheesecake from Copelands of New Orleans. “OOO…Intriguing” was my only response, but the image stuck with me. This cake has a cinnamon roll bottom, layered with cheesecake then topped with another thin layer of cinnamon roll pastry and frosting. The idea of this was starting to really get to me. I imagined a sweet cream cheese icing giving way to a thick, tangy cheesecake layer which breaks to a chewy soft bready layer of cinnamon roll. Uhhh… yum. I dreamed about it last night and so I thought this was something I had to make. A pastry that combined me love of cinnamon rolls and cheesecake… how bad can that be!?
I studied the picture and read some recipes. I think I’m going to be washing a lot of dishes today is my initial thought. But it’ll be worth it right? And the answer is YES… yes it’s totally worth it! Just thinking about it makes me want to make another one. It’s absolutely dreamy! Now I’m not going to sugar coat and say that making this is easy peasy… if you want that you’d be whipping out a box mix right about now. No, this recipe is not complicated, but does involve quite a few steps and can look daunting. Basically… it’s not a one bowl recipe! This is for the love of cinnamon sugar and cheesecake.
It starts by making the cinnamon roll batter. Simple enough, everything gets mixed together then spread half of it onto the bottom of a 9” springform pan. Then it’s time to dollop. A buttery sweet cinnamon sugar paste is swirled on top of this batter then left to sit as you make the cheesecake layer.
Make sure you’re using clean bowls (yes, this requires washing your bowl out multiple times, but it’s so worth it!) Cream the cream cheese and sugar together. Then add the eggs, vanilla and flour. Once smooth, pour this velvety liquid on top of that cinnamon swirled batter in your pan. Dollop again with both the cinnamon sugar paste and the rest of the cinnamon roll batter. Do the best you can swirling these two things together while floating on too of the cheesecake batter. It’s not easy and it’ll look a bit of a mess, but its ok! Throw this baby in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Now here’s the hardest part…. the cooling process. Cool for 20 minutes then place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. I know… crazy! But 4 hours should do it, because thats as long as I was able to hold out for!
Make the icing by creaming together the cream cheese and butter. Then add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Spread the icing onto the cooled cake and top with colored sugar.
This is seriously one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. I honestly could eat the whole cake if my waistline would allow it!
King Cake Cheesecake
*Adapted from Om and Nom
Cinnamon Roll Batter:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temp
1 egg, room temp
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, room temp
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs flour
3 eggs, room temp
Cinnamon sugar swirl:
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 oz cream cheese, room temp
2 Tbs butter, room temp
1 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
Make the cinnamon sugar: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix until smooth.
Make the cinnamon roll batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix to combine.
Turn the mixer to low and gradually mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.
Grease your hands or a rubber spatula with cooking spray and spread half of the batter evenly onto the bottom of the springform pan.
Using about half of the cinnamon sugar mixture, drop dollops of the mixture onto the batter and swirl using a butter knife or your fingers ensuring that it’s still one even layer.
Make the Cheesecake filling. In a clean the bowl and cream together the cream cheese and sugar.
Add the eggs, vanilla, and flour and mix for a minute or so, scraping down the sides to ensure it is all well mixed.
Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the cinnamon roll batter in the springform pan.
Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon swirl over the top of the cheesecake.
Drop spoonfuls of the remaining cinnamon roll batter onto the top of the cheesecake. Use a knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar and batter together. It will look a bit like a gloopy mess but don’t worry!! It will bake together nicely!
Bake for 45 minutes or until top of cheesecake is set and slightly browned. Let cool for 20 minutes and then move to the refrigerator for four hours or overnight. I could only wait 4 hours before I had to dig in!!
For the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of a stand nixer, cream together the softened cream cheese and butter. Add in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Spread frosting on top of cheesecake. Decorate with colored decorating sugar. Get Festive!