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.

69 Responses to “Red Velvet Cheesecake”

  1. postedDec 20, 2008 2:30 PM
    Robin Sue

    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. postedDec 20, 2008 3:01 PM
    Elle

    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. postedDec 20, 2008 4:21 PM
    Simply...Gluten-free

    Beautiful! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  4. postedDec 20, 2008 5:31 PM
    Judy@nofearentertaining

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

  5. postedDec 20, 2008 5:35 PM
    Ari (Baking and Books)

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

  6. postedDec 20, 2008 5:37 PM
    Lore

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

  7. postedDec 20, 2008 6:23 PM
    the italian dish

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

  8. postedDec 20, 2008 8:15 PM
    Karen

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

  9. postedDec 20, 2008 8:23 PM
    Sarah

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

  10. postedDec 20, 2008 8:41 PM
    Snooky doodle

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

  11. postedDec 20, 2008 9:04 PM
    Melanie

    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. postedDec 20, 2008 9:28 PM
    CookiePie

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

  13. postedDec 20, 2008 10:18 PM
    Culinarywannabe

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

  14. postedDec 20, 2008 10:34 PM
    Pamela

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

  15. postedDec 20, 2008 11:19 PM
    MyKitchenInHalfCups

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

  16. postedDec 20, 2008 11:33 PM
    nicole

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

  17. postedDec 20, 2008 11:50 PM
    Katrina

    Totally festive, gorgeous and I’ll be delicious!

  18. postedDec 21, 2008 12:22 AM
    Elle

    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. postedDec 21, 2008 2:11 AM
    Girl Japan

    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. postedDec 21, 2008 3:21 AM
    Reeni

    What a gorgeous color! Perfect for Christmas, yum!

  21. postedDec 21, 2008 4:29 AM
    PaniniKathy

    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. postedDec 21, 2008 5:02 AM
    The Food Librarian

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

  23. postedDec 21, 2008 5:58 AM
    kim

    so stunning and festive :) definitely bookmarking this one!

  24. postedDec 21, 2008 6:18 AM
    Ingrid

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

    I wish I was a teacher at your school!
    ~ingrid

  25. postedDec 21, 2008 12:22 PM
    Gretchen Noelle

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

  26. postedDec 21, 2008 1:14 PM
    VeggieGirl

    Beyond. freaking. amazing. period.

  27. postedDec 21, 2008 2:27 PM
    Tina at Mommy's Kitchen

    That is beautiful Lori another omygoodnes moment.

  28. postedDec 21, 2008 2:44 PM
    Veronica

    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. postedDec 21, 2008 3:04 PM
    Stephanie

    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. postedDec 21, 2008 3:33 PM
    Anonymous

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

  31. postedDec 21, 2008 3:35 PM
    RecipeGirl

    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. postedDec 21, 2008 4:57 PM
    noble pig

    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. postedDec 21, 2008 5:32 PM
    Dawn

    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. postedDec 21, 2008 6:24 PM
    Grace

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

  35. postedDec 21, 2008 9:34 PM
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

    What a festive cheesecake! Sounds delicious!

  36. postedDec 21, 2008 11:14 PM
    Peter M

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

  37. postedDec 22, 2008 12:01 AM
    Peabody

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

  38. postedDec 22, 2008 1:16 AM
    Cakespy

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

  39. postedDec 22, 2008 1:37 AM
    Cherie

    Super festive and I’m sure very delicious!

  40. postedDec 22, 2008 4:57 PM
    Janna

    Gorgeous! Merry Christmassy Cheesecake sounds great!

  41. postedDec 22, 2008 6:13 PM
    Adam

    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. postedDec 22, 2008 8:07 PM
    Deborah

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

  43. postedDec 22, 2008 10:26 PM
    Marysol

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

  44. postedDec 23, 2008 12:38 AM
    Court

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

  45. postedDec 23, 2008 12:47 AM
    Clumbsy Cookie

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

  46. postedDec 25, 2008 5:55 AM
    Stephanie

    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. postedDec 25, 2008 7:39 PM
    That Girl

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

  48. postedDec 27, 2008 3:32 PM
    Ana

    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)
    Ana

  49. postedDec 27, 2008 6:53 PM
    Judy

    What a beautiful Christmas dessert! Very creative of you.

  50. postedDec 13, 2010 11:16 PM
    Sue

    It’s gorgeous! I MUST make one!

  51. postedMay 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.

    • May 16th, 2011 @ 10:32 PM

      Glad to hear!

  52. postedDec 14, 2011 8:48 AM
    Sheila Marsh

    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.

  53. postedDec 24, 2011 10:58 AM
    uodcg

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

  54. postedJan 28, 2012 11:17 AM
    Sarah

    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?

    • January 28th, 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.

  55. postedMar 1, 2012 8:31 AM
    Kristin Tyndell

    The Best CheeseCake Ever!!!!

  56. postedSep 22, 2012 6:25 PM
    Kim

    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.

  57. postedDec 4, 2012 10:43 PM
    Bailee

    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!!

  58. postedDec 9, 2012 7:41 AM

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

  59. postedOct 5, 2013 4:45 AM

    What a delicious looking cake!

  60. postedOct 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!

  61. postedDec 26, 2013 11:16 PM
    Ksenia

    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! :)

  62. postedFeb 16, 2014 1:49 PM
    rehana

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

  63. postedAug 12, 2014 1:54 PM
    Meagan

    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 :)

    • August 12th, 2014 @ 3:51 PM

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

  64. postedDec 19, 2014 8:45 AM
    Linda

    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.

    • December 19th, 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.

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