Last year we had a little valentines day bake-off at work. The second I got the email about it I was pumped. I was immediately on the hunt find something fabulous to make – and I knew it had to be delicious and amazing if I wanted to win (btw there was no prize for winning, just the title of bake-off winner – which was fine by me).
And I stumbled upon this beauty. A red velvet cheesecake. Lets start by saying that it IS as delicious as it sounds. It has all the basic flavor components of red velvet cake, but it’s rich and creamy like cheesecake – and to top it all off, its covered in cream cheese frosting! All throughout the day of the bake-off people were coming to my desk left and right to tell me how delicious this cheesecake was. I was told many times that it was better than the cheesecake factory :) I was sure I ‘d have this one in the bag!
Fast forward to the next day: When I asked who won, the lady in charge told me there was no winner and it was just for fun. Shenanigans I tell you. Shenanigans. I’m convinced the bake-off was fixed…the girl who planned it aspires to be an fantastic baker (and did I mention that she and another lady were the judges?). So I like to tell myself that mine was fan favorite :) I went home with no cheesecake left, so I say mission accomplished.
Long story short. You should make this cheesecake, its some kind of fabulous.
- 1 package Oreo cookies (about 30) finely crushed or ground in a food processor
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Pinch of salt
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup whole buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sprinkles for garnish, if desired
- Preheat oven to 325.
- To make the crust, stir the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl with a fork until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom of a 9inch springform pan. (I like to use the bottom a measuring cup to press the crumbs around the pan. I’ve found that they get evenly distributed that way and end up looking neater around the sides.)
- To make the filling, beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1½ 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.
- For the frosting, beat package cream cheese and ¼ 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.