Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spiced Cheesecake with Vanilla Sour Cream Topping

My family has always considered cheesecake to be part of a holiday meal so we always have a cheesecake on the table next to the pumpkin and fruit pies. This recipe begins like a standard cheesecake but it has a couple of delicious deviations.

The secret ingredient, a light sprinkling of cinnamon, makes all the difference and adds a festive note while not getting all up in your face and screaming CINNAMON!  In fact, I suggest you challenge your friends and loved ones to name the the thin layer of spice between the main body of the cheesecake and the delicious sweet sour cream topping. 

The family member that gave me this recipe claims it is based upon the crustless cheesecake served by the Gondolier Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. For my version, I recommend using a good old-fashioned graham cracker crust. For extra credit, try making a batch of your own graham crackers to smoosh up for the crust. I recommend this one from Smitten Kitchen.

Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp melted butter

Cheesecake Base:

16 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 C sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
dash salt
4 eggs, beaten
cinnamon for sprinkling

Vanilla Sour Cream Topping:

16 oz sour cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Prepare graham cracker crust by combining graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Once all the crumbs are moistened and sticking together, press into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
3. With electric mixer (a stand or a hand mixer will work), beat cream cheese until fluffy.
4. Gradually beat in sugar, lemon juice, salt and vanilla.
5. Add beaten eggs.
6. Pour into crust and bake for 40-50 minutes (check to make sure it isn't runny).
7. While the cheesecake is baking, mix the sour cream, sugar and vanilla together to make topping.
8. Remove cheesecake from the oven and sprinkle the cheesecake with a layer of cinnamon.
9. Drop the sour cream topping on the cake by the spoonful then spread evenly. Return to oven for 10 minutes.
10. Cool completely, then chill.


  1. This turned out great and it's pretty easy. It was fun serving at Christmas with my husband's family in France where a few people had never tried (or even heard of) cheesecake. Sour cream isn't much of a thing here, so I used a mix of crème fraîche and plain greek yogurt--also speculoos cookies for the crust. Excellent!

    1. Oh that is such a brilliant idea for the crust. I'm going to have to try that!