There are few things in life that epitomize decadence more than a slice of homemade Red Velvet Cheesecake. The vibrant red color and the dreamy texture of this cheesecake are guaranteed to turn any occasion into something special.
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Red velvet desserts are almost a religion in the South. Whether it's a cream cheese frosted red velvet layer cake, red velvet brownies, red velvet ice box pie or a stunning red velvet trifle, it's always met with genuine appreciation. While the red hue makes it a flavor that's typically associated with Valentine's Day and Christmas, it's far too delicious to limit to just those times of year. It is a spectacular way to say, "I love you" year-round.
Tips for Making Creamy Cheesecake
- To be successful, a 9 inch springform pan is a must to make this cheesecake.
- For the creamiest filling, take time to allow the cream cheese to fully soften so that, it will blend more evenly with the sugar. Likewise, the eggs should be room temperature.
- For the sour cream and buttermilk, 30 minutes on the counter prior to making the filling should be ample time.
- Some cheesecake recipes use flour to stabilize the filling. I prefer using cornstarch which lends a soft and delicate texture to the cheesecake.
- If you have an aversion to using liquid food coloring, you may use red gel food coloring which is available wherever cake decorating supplies are sold. Dip a toothpick into the gel and swirl through the batter. Repeat until you reach the desired color. Should you choose to do so, increase the buttermilk to ½ cup.
- After baking, the cheesecake needs to chill thoroughly before attempting to cut. At least 12 hours, but, 24 is ideal.
- To cut clean slices, use a sharp knife dipped in warm water, drying thoroughly, and cleaning the blade between each cut.
- This cheesecake will keep up to one week in an airtight container in the fridge. It must be stored chilled.
- You may also enjoy these red velvet chocolate chip muffins recipe from Lemons for Lulu.
Why It's Necessary to use a Bain-Marie when Making Cheesecake
A bain-marie is a fancy name for a hot water bath. It provides a gentle and moist cooking environment for slow cooking custards and cheesecakes and helps prevent cracking. They work wonderfully but, I choose to utilize a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven instead. This gives me flexibility in using whatever pan size I need. A classic hot water bath, you would place the springform pan into a deeper pan then fill it halfway with boiling water. It works like a dream if you have a deeper pan that will fit any size pan. Otherwise, pan on the bottom rack works.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Red Velvet Cheesecake
- 2 cups finely ground chocolate graham crackers crumbs
- ½ cup butter melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 4 8 oz blocks cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup dutch process or Special Dark cocoa powder
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 1 oz bottles red food coloring
- 1 cup sour cream room temperature
- ¼ cup buttermilk (Not fat free) room temperature
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 Tbsp butter softened
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 oz white baking chocolate grated
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Place an 8 x 8 pan on bottom rack and fill halfway with boiling water.
- Spray a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap bottom of pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl toss together graham cracker crumbs with sugar and butter until fully moistened. Press onto bottom and halfway up sides of pan. Place pan into freezer while you make filing.
- Using an electric mixer, whip together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until completely smooth. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
- Add cocoa, cornstarch and food coloring, mixing well. Lastly, on low speed add sour cream and buttermilk. Beat on low just until combined. Avoid beating too much air into the filling.
- Pour evenly into crust. Bake on middle rack of oven for 1 hr 30 - 1 hr 40 minutes or until the center is still slightly loose when gently shaken. It won't be completely set. Turn off oven, leave door slightly ajar, and leave cheesecake in oven for 1 hour longer to gently finish baking.
- Remove to a cooling rack, and allow to cool for 30 minutes then run a knife gently around top edge. Cool completely to room temperature. Leave ring in place, wrap and chill for at least 12 preferably, 24 hours.
- To make the topping: In a medium-size mixing bowl use an electric mixer to cream together cream cheese, butter, cream and vanilla. Beat until fully combined, lower the speed of the mixer and gradually add powdered sugar. Whip until fluffy.
- Spread evenly on chilled cheesecake and decorate as desired. Garnish the top with grated white chocolate. Return to fridge for 1-2 hours to set.
- Store leftovers chilled.
- If you have an aversion to using liquid food coloring, you may use red gel coloring, available wherever cake decorating supplies are sold. To use, dip a toothpick into the gel and swirl through the batter. Repeat until you reach the desired color. Should you choose to do so, increase the buttermilk called for to ½ cup.
- Shortcut topping: Using an electric mixer whip together 4 oz softened cream cheese and one 8 oz frozen whipped topping thawed. Taste, and sweeten with powdered sugar to your taste, if needed.
- You may dust with cocoa powder in place of grated white chocolate.