Red Velvet Cheesecake

If you’re undecided about what sort of delicious dessert to make for Christmas this year, look no further. I found one for you… Red Velvet Cheesecake.

I don’t gush about recipes all that often, and I’m a horrible critic of my own creations. I usually have to ask others what they think in order to get decent feedback to share. With this recipe, however, I sampled a piece. I wish I had committed every single decadent bite to my taste memory. I wish I had another piece. I will tell you with great confidence that this cheesecake was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Using a recipe from Southern Living, I made a few changes. Here’s my how-to:

Into a springform pan, I pressed an Oreo cookie crust.

The batter is a classic cheesecake batter with a small amount of added cocoa, buttermilk and vinegar (which are typical in a red velvet cake).

Of course you must add red food coloring to get that wonderful red hue.  Some people are frightened by the use of red food coloring.  You can always try using a concentrated red gel paste instead- you’ll be able to use a smaller amount and still achieve a vibrant red hue.

The key to baking a perfect cheesecake with no cracks is to bake it in a water bath. Protected by two layers of heavy-duty foil, the pan is lowered into a ‘bath’ and baked at a low temperature.

See how perfect? Not a single crack.

Just as a Red Velvet Cake is topped with a cream cheese frosting, this Red Velvet Cheesecake is also topped with a cream cheese frosting. You might be thinking that’s a little overboard. It is, but it’s perfect. I might just put frosting on all of my cheesecakes now :)

Mint leaves were the perfect garnish… green with the red and the white… so holiday!

I piped on some melted red chocolate to create little “holly” leaves from the mint.

I was very pleased with how the color turned out in this cheesecake- just a fabulous shade of red and a very festive addition to a Christmas dinner menu.

Incredibly moist, I can honestly say that this cheesecake is a new favorite of mine. I just loved the flavor… reminiscent of the same red velvet flavor that you get in the cake- especially with the cream cheese addition on top.

I really had only meant to take a bite to sample and somehow save the rest for my son, but I just couldn’t help myself. The kid didn’t get any.

I ate every single bite myself. And it was so worth that extra 30 minutes at the gym.

I brought the rest of this cheesecake (yes, with one little sliver taken out!) to the teachers at my son’s school for a luncheon. Let’s just say that one of the teachers literally bowed to me as I picked up my dish after their feast. It really was that good!

Recipe can be printed out here: Red Velvet Cheesecake.

Leave a Comment

69 Responses to “Red Velvet Cheesecake”

  1. 1

    Robin Sue — December 20, 2008 @ 2:30 PM

    What a perfect Cheese Cake, so beautiful! And not a crack at all! Wow! I have had red velvet disasters all week but then it all turned out ok in the end. I love how you made the holly leaves and berries, very clever!

  2. 2

    Elle — December 20, 2008 @ 3:01 PM

    Drop dead gorgeous! This, I think, will be Christmas dessert. Do you think it would be ok made smaller, like in cupcake pans? Of course I’d use liners…

  3. 3

    Simply...Gluten-free — December 20, 2008 @ 4:21 PM

    Beautiful! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  4. 4

    Judy@nofearentertaining — December 20, 2008 @ 5:31 PM

    How wonderful and festive looking is that? Love it!!!

  5. 5

    Ari (Baking and Books) — December 20, 2008 @ 5:35 PM

    I love this! It sounds so delicious and the colors are just perfect for the holiday season.

  6. 6

    Lore — December 20, 2008 @ 5:37 PM

    The most festive cheesecake I’ve ever seen!! Had to say it before I’m off to see the recipe :)

  7. 7

    the italian dish — December 20, 2008 @ 6:23 PM

    Wow, now that looks like a Christmas dessert if I ever saw one. Beautiful!

  8. 8

    Karen — December 20, 2008 @ 8:15 PM

    Whoa! This is one gorgeous cheesecake – and perfect for Christmastime!

  9. 9

    Sarah — December 20, 2008 @ 8:23 PM

    wow…that is gorgeous! i love red velvet, so i am sure i would be a fan of this recipe.

  10. 10

    Snooky doodle — December 20, 2008 @ 8:41 PM

    wow this looks super festive :) great idea. looks awesome

  11. 11

    Melanie — December 20, 2008 @ 9:04 PM

    Bowing is a GOOD thing – the cheesecake must have been amazing. I can’t believe how stunning it looks so deep red and your mint “holly” leaves are adorable.

  12. 12

    CookiePie — December 20, 2008 @ 9:28 PM

    What a beautiful cake, and a fabulous idea! Such a perfect Christmas treat :)

  13. 13

    Culinarywannabe — December 20, 2008 @ 10:18 PM

    So beautiful! And what a combo! This would be a fantastic flavor for one of those little cheesecake pops that I keep seeing.

  14. 14

    Pamela — December 20, 2008 @ 10:34 PM

    It is truly stunning and would be a great addition to any holiday table, that’s for sure.

  15. 15

    MyKitchenInHalfCups — December 20, 2008 @ 11:19 PM

    That would be a show stopper for a holiday dessert! Excellent!

  16. 16

    nicole — December 20, 2008 @ 11:33 PM

    Oh my gracious. This looks out-of-this-world DELICIOUS!!!! Wow. Thanks for sharing!

  17. 17

    Katrina — December 20, 2008 @ 11:50 PM

    Totally festive, gorgeous and I’ll be delicious!

  18. 18

    Elle — December 21, 2008 @ 12:22 AM

    I can’t wait to make this. It looks incredible and it combines two of my favorite things in the entire world. What a fantastic recipe!

  19. 19

    Girl Japan — December 21, 2008 @ 2:11 AM

    Well… wow I have never seen such a beautiful creation. Again Recipe Girl.. thank you for the recipe on the Bun Cookies = ) You are fabulous at all that you do!!!

  20. 20

    Reeni — December 21, 2008 @ 3:21 AM

    What a gorgeous color! Perfect for Christmas, yum!

  21. 21

    PaniniKathy — December 21, 2008 @ 4:29 AM

    That has to be the reddest cheesecake I’ve ever seen! Really wish I could taste a slice of that, it came out just perfectly. Little red berries were an extra nice touch :-)

  22. 22

    The Food Librarian — December 21, 2008 @ 5:02 AM

    This is so pretty and perfect for the season!! Happy holidays to you!

  23. 23

    kim — December 21, 2008 @ 5:58 AM

    so stunning and festive :) definitely bookmarking this one!

  24. 24

    Ingrid — December 21, 2008 @ 6:18 AM

    That does look so festive. It turned out perfect and then to be so tasty!

    I wish I was a teacher at your school!

  25. 25

    Gretchen Noelle — December 21, 2008 @ 12:22 PM

    This looks so festive. Surely could be used for a Valentines treat as well!

  26. 26

    VeggieGirl — December 21, 2008 @ 1:14 PM

    Beyond. freaking. amazing. period.

  27. 27

    Tina at Mommy's Kitchen — December 21, 2008 @ 2:27 PM

    That is beautiful Lori another omygoodnes moment.

  28. 28

    Veronica — December 21, 2008 @ 2:44 PM

    How incredibly perfect looking!! I would absolutely love that cake…I love red velvet cake. I can’t believe how smooth the top of the cake is…my cheesecakes never seem to come out that smooth on top! I have to have a topping on them just to hide the cracks or uneven edges!!

  29. 29

    Stephanie — December 21, 2008 @ 3:04 PM

    That looks absolutely wonderful! I love cheesecake and red velvet cake too, that is the perfect combination! I really like how the color came out, it’s so vibrant.

  30. 30

    Anonymous — December 21, 2008 @ 3:33 PM

    Is there a way of avoiding food colouring? I am really not keen on all the E numbers they contain.

  31. 31

    RecipeGirl — December 21, 2008 @ 3:35 PM

    Anonymous- I know that some people aren’t too keen on food coloring. I’ve heard of people trying to use ‘beet juice’ in place of red food color, but I have no experience with it. You might also try googling your question to see what suggestions might come up. Good luck!

  32. 32

    noble pig — December 21, 2008 @ 4:57 PM

    Oh red velvet is my favorite. I’m going to try your method of the water bath. I’m telling you without a crack it seems almost terrible to cover it with frosting with that perfect top! It’s beautiful and congrats on your win.

  33. 33

    Dawn — December 21, 2008 @ 5:32 PM

    Well I’m not surprised that you’ve won cooking contests as you are very talented.
    Of course I love this cheesecake, but what it really awesome is the decoration on top…just beautiful.

  34. 34

    Grace — December 21, 2008 @ 6:24 PM

    it’s perfect. perfectly baked, perfect for christmas, and the perfect texture. nicely done. :)

  35. 35

    Shari@Whisk: a food blog — December 21, 2008 @ 9:34 PM

    What a festive cheesecake! Sounds delicious!

  36. 36

    Peter M — December 21, 2008 @ 11:14 PM

    Oooh, hot red always excites my palate. I’d like a phat wedge and I’ll be off.

  37. 37

    Peabody — December 22, 2008 @ 12:01 AM

    It was a good one. Yours turned out so festive.

  38. 38

    Cakespy — December 22, 2008 @ 1:16 AM

    This is awesome. Are you bringing some with you to the Seattle area? ;-)

  39. 39

    Cherie — December 22, 2008 @ 1:37 AM

    Super festive and I’m sure very delicious!

  40. 40

    Janna — December 22, 2008 @ 4:57 PM

    Gorgeous! Merry Christmassy Cheesecake sounds great!

  41. 41

    Adam — December 22, 2008 @ 6:13 PM

    Haha for some reason I can picture a bunch of teachers bowing to you :) This is a perfect holiday look to it, with such a crazy warm color. I agree with you at the extra time in the gym :)

  42. 42

    Deborah — December 22, 2008 @ 8:07 PM

    I’ve been wanting to make this since I saw it on peabody’s blog – now I want it even more!

  43. 43

    Marysol — December 22, 2008 @ 10:26 PM

    Never have I heard of Red Velvet Cheesecake. Learned something today. Btw, it looks deliciously festive.

  44. 44

    Court — December 23, 2008 @ 12:38 AM

    Nice! I have never tried red velvet cake before, but I do love cheesecake, so maybe this is the way to do it.

  45. 45

    Clumbsy Cookie — December 23, 2008 @ 12:47 AM

    Oh wow look at that color and creaminess! You go girl!

  46. 46

    Stephanie — December 25, 2008 @ 5:55 AM

    I have sat here and looked up many red velvet cheesecakes recipes and photos. I must say this one is hands-down the prettiest one (and most detailed recipe) I have seen. It makes me want to make it right now, even though it’s midnight!

  47. 47

    That Girl — December 25, 2008 @ 7:39 PM

    I saw a red velvet cheesecake on Peabody’s blog and have been hooked ever since.

  48. 48

    Ana — December 27, 2008 @ 3:32 PM

    Wow, beautiful color on the cheesecake!! Love the decoration too!
    I also made cheesecake for Christmas dessert but I made mine plain. Had I seen this before I would have had a pretty red cheesecake just like yours… oh well, there is always next year! :o)

  49. 49

    Judy — December 27, 2008 @ 6:53 PM

    What a beautiful Christmas dessert! Very creative of you.

  50. 50

    Sue — December 13, 2010 @ 11:16 PM

    It’s gorgeous! I MUST make one!

  51. 51

    Ken Topham — May 16, 2011 @ 3:49 PM

    I was so happy when I ran across this recipe since my group is huge Red Velvet Cake fans. I made this over the weekend and it turned out beautiful exactly like the photos here. It is delicious and will definitely be a “go to” for the next function where you want to please with a different kind of cheesecake. This is a real head turner and one that will have them talking! Thanks for a great recipe.

  52. 52

    Lori Lange — May 16, 2011 @ 10:32 PM

    Glad to hear!

  53. 53

    Sheila Marsh — December 14, 2011 @ 8:48 AM

    My mother and I both have made this cake. Both turned out wonderful and it has an amazing flavor. If you follow the directions then you should have a winner. Love it!!! Beautiful at Christmas and Valentines. I thought it was pretty easy to make.

  54. 54

    uodcg — December 24, 2011 @ 10:58 AM

    i didnt even notice the pan ><" i see the difference now

  55. 55

    Sarah — January 28, 2012 @ 11:17 AM

    How do you take a cheesecake off the bottom part of the spring-form pan? Do you put the crust on wax paper or spray the pan?

  56. 56

    Lori Lange — January 28, 2012 @ 11:56 AM

    You can spray it with nonstick spray if you’d like, but if it’s a nonstick springform pan, you probably don’t need to. Once the cheesecake has firmed up, it’s fairly easy to slide a knife or a large scraper under the crust and slide it carefully onto a serving platter.

  57. 57

    Kristin Tyndell — March 1, 2012 @ 8:31 AM

    The Best CheeseCake Ever!!!!

  58. 58

    Kim — September 22, 2012 @ 6:25 PM

    Wow! What a decadent looking dessert. It would be a beautiful dessert for valentines day. Bye-bye chocolate covered strawberries. :) Thanks for the recipe. I’ll have to make this.

  59. 59

    Bailee — December 4, 2012 @ 10:43 PM

    Hi. I’m in my early 20s and trying to build up my recipe
    Box :) I love the both of these I’m sure the two combined is delicious. I haven’t mastered the art of adding a little here and there so I am
    Curious if there is any way you could pass along the recipe to a new baker? I’d
    Really appreciate it! I’d love to try this!!

  60. 60

    Lori Lange — December 5, 2012 @ 5:58 AM

  61. 61

    ATasteOfMadness — December 9, 2012 @ 7:41 AM

    Wow, this certainly is very festive!! I think this is perfect treat to make around Christmas!

  62. 62

    Jenni K — October 5, 2013 @ 4:45 AM

    What a delicious looking cake!

  63. 63

    Elaine — October 21, 2013 @ 3:57 PM

    Oh YUMMY in my tummy! This is absolute heaven! Thank you for sharing….this would be a perfect treat for a red themed babyshower or just good at ANY time really…thanks for the idea!

  64. 64

    Ksenia — December 26, 2013 @ 11:16 PM

    I tried this recipe on Christmas. The guests loved it! The frosting turned out really tasty. The cake’s texture was so soft so it melted in the mouth. And it looked very delightful and festive. So the overall impression is rather positive.
    However I would not say that the cheese cream mixture tasted any special to me. The red velvet batter tasted pretty plain even though I used the color with some slight flavor to it.
    I didn’t use a water bath because I didn’t have heavy duty foil and I didn’t want to risk getting water into the cake. Instead I put a dish full of water on the lowest rack in the oven. And unfortunetely, it did its job a little and It didn’t prevent cracking. Besides that, it gave the cake too much moisture and made the outside of the cake a little wet.
    Anyway, thank you for the recipe, I’ll keep it in my kitchen! :)

  65. 65

    rehana — February 16, 2014 @ 1:49 PM

    I made this cheesecake yesterday and it was amazing. I topped mine with chocolate covered strawberries..everyone loved it

  66. 66

    Meagan — August 12, 2014 @ 1:54 PM

    This may be a stupid question but, can a cake like this be stacked and covered in fondant? I do fondant cakes but, my mom’s 50th birthday is coming up and she really likes cheesecake and her favorite color is red. So, why not do a red velvet cheesecake? I would just love to be able to stack and cover it in fondant and decorate a beautiful cake for her. Please send some advice over my way :)

  67. 67

    Lori Lange — August 12, 2014 @ 3:51 PM

    This cheesecake is actually quite soft. Not firm enough for stacking, I’m afraid!

  68. 68

    Linda — December 19, 2014 @ 8:45 AM

    I made this a few years ago and took to a party but if memory serves me correct I left before it was cut. However, I don’t have any special “notes” that I made on the recipe but now I have one in the oven going on 2 hrs and 10 minutes. I believe I’ll turn off the oven off soon. Can this be baked at a higher temp in water bath – which I am doing. Hope this turns out as its going to a house party.

  69. 69

    Lori Lange — December 19, 2014 @ 9:40 AM

    It’s been a long time since I’ve made it too… I’m not sure about the temperature changes as I was just following Southern Living’s instructions. Make sure you chill it for a long time before serving as it tends to be a softer cheesecake than normal.