If you want creamy, smooth, and decadent this holiday season, then look no further than cheesecake. Yes, some recipes can take hours to complete, but the outcome is certainly worth a little extra time and effort on dessert. What I love most is the versatility of cheesecake recipes. You can take almost any basic cheesecake and completely redefine it by getting creative with the toppings. Some recipes even have a few tricks to lessen the bowl to plate wait time. Let’s look at a few cheesecake recipes that are sure to brighten up your winter holidays.
It’s Time For Cheesecake This Winter
Here we have six very different cheesecake recipes ranging in flavor, texture, and how long they take from mixing bowl to plate, but each can certainly add some brightness to even the dullest winter day and most challenging holiday meal.
1. Cranberry White Chocolate Cheesecake
So, this recipe takes a little over 3.5 hours to complete, but it’s the perfect end to your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. It combines the tart holiday meal staple of cranberry with the subtle sweetness of orange for the compote topping. Aesthetically, the red and white presentation is so bright and festive. A pinch of nutmeg in the crust gives a very subtle, “Hmm, what’s that delicious flavor?” The standard filling is kicked up a notch with some white chocolate, and you can do bonus white chocolate shavings atop the cheesecake. Food Network offers an easy to follow recipe in just seven steps. Your tastebuds will be just as amazed as your eyes with this stunning cheesecake.
2. Cheesecake Tart With Winter Berries
If you want the yummy of cheesecake, but you have limited cook and prep time, then try a quicker and easier cheesecake tart. Adding some tart winter berries to the cheesecake tart recipe gives it a fun, colorful, and festive feel to brighten up both the day, your plate, and your palate. The sugared cranberries make it look like you’ve slaved on this dessert all day, but you really haven’t. It bakes up in a water bath for only 30-35 minutes. Chocolate graham crackers offer a deeper, richer flavor for the crust, but you can always substitute vanilla wafers or traditional graham crackers if you’re not a chocolate fan. Be sure to save this winter cheesecake recipe for Valentine’s Day, too.
3. Frozen Hot Chocolate Cheesecake
Kids and adults alike will go wild over this light and fluffy chocolate concoction. What says winter like hot chocolate, right? Take your standard hot cocoa bar to an entirely different level this year with a cheesecake. I really like recipes that get big flavor with few ingredients, and this Delish Frozen Hot Chocolate Cheesecake recipe gets things done with just 10 inexpensive ingredients. Actual prep is less than 20 minutes. Freeze for four hours and serve frozen, or you can freeze just until set for fluffier texture and quicker oven to plate time. I’ve even thrown a handful of nuts and a marshmallow cream and chocolate drizzle on as a topping, and the result is something akin to rocky road ice cream! It’s divine. Santa will never be satisfied with a plate of cookies once he gets a bite of this masterpiece.
4. Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin just screams fall and winter. It’s warm color and deep, earthy spice flavor pairs perfectly with the sweet, rich flavor of standard cheesecake. Kick it up a notch with gingerbread cookies and pecans as your cheesecake crust. In the case of pumpkin, I like to take advantage of canned purées. I haven’t found a big taste difference in the tedious process of making it from scratch vs. the simplicity of opening a can. Of course, if you prefer the slightly sweeter sweet potato to pumpkin, then you can make this same recipe with a can of sweet potato pie filling. Otherwise, a nice salted caramel drizzle may give you the added kick of sweetness to your pumpkin cheesecake. The creamier and airy consistency may offer a nice twist to your standard heavy pumpkin or sweet potato pie.
5. It’s Jamaican-Man Cheesecake
So, not everyone is a pumpkin and sweet potato fan. And, while these are traditional winter holiday flavors, even having them a couple of times a year as the same old pie can get old, right? Yet, that bright orange color adds the perfect touch to your ensemble of food. I have the perfect solution – Jamaican Mango Cheesecake. It feels like summer took a big bite out of winter with warm ingredients like peanuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar paired with brighter orange and mango ingredients. Yes, it all sounds a bit smorgasbord, but trust me when I say your tastebuds will think it’s July 4th, not November/December. If you just make one, you’ll soon wish you’d tripled that decision.
6. Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake
You didn’t think we’d leave the caramel fans hanging? This cheesecake is just as beautifully decorated as your specialty coffee house’s cup of caramel macchiato. Allrecipes shows you how to take your fairly standard cheesecake crust and filling recipe to an entirely different universe – a caramel coffee universe, and it’s so welcoming and simple to brighten up your winter holiday meal lineup. The key is warm espresso in your filling. Whipped topping daises around the perimeter, and then drizzle a checkerboard of caramel. So simple. So fun. So tasty.
Of course, you’ll need to allow the cooked cheesecake to chill for around eight hours before topping it, meaning you’ll still need a day to prep for this recipe.
Ready, Set, Go
Which winter cheesecake recipe are you most excited to try? Hopefully, it will bring a little extra magic to your winter meals and holiday feasts this year. Remember, the great thing about cheesecake is that the standard recipe pairs so well with almost any flavoring and toppings. So, get creative and adventurous as you expand your cheesecake exploration.