I recently saw that they have a Cinnabon cheesecake, I LOVE CINNAMON it makes my soul feel warm. So I wanted to try making it.
We don’t have Cheesecake Factory in the UK so I don’t know how similar this is to the actual one. But I don’t think it matters, this cheesecake tasted amazing. I know I say this about everything, but this has become my favourite desserts I’ve made in a while!
Breakdown of the process
I don’t want to scare anyone away from this recipe, but there is a lot of different parts to it, and also you need to make it over 2 days.
IT IS WORTH IT but it might feel like a lot. But in my personal opinion I feel like this is sometimes a good thing. When you eat the cheesecake you will feel like you deserve it, it will be like an achievement you know.
Anyway, here is a quick overview of what you are going to need to do:
- Make the cake layers.
- Make a cinnamon milk.
- Pour the cinnamon milk over the warm cake layers.
- Let the cake layers cool, then wrap them and leave in your fridge.
- Make the cheesecake layers.
- Let these cool, then leave in the fridge overnight.
- Make a cream cheese frosting.
- Stack all your layers together.
- Decorate the cake, and then finally you can dig in.
The cake layers
So the first thing we are making is the cake layers, here are the ingredients you are going to need for this:
- Unsalted butter – we’re using self-raising flour for these cake layers, a lot of self-raising flours already have salt in them. So make sure to use unsalted butter, otherwise the cake could end up too salty.
- Oil – for moisture. I used vegetable oil, but any flavourless oil works.
- Brown sugar – I used brown sugar instead of white. This added a lot of moisture but also a slight caramely flavour, which paired well with the cinnamon flavour. I used soft light brown sugar.
- Vanilla extract – for flavour.
- Self-raising flour – I find it easier to use self-raising flour, but I will talk about how to use plain/all purpose flour in the next section.
- Milk – it’s always best to use whole milk.
The self-raising flour
The cinnamon milk
After the cake layers had baked, I poured a cinnamon milk over them.
I did this for 2 reasons, one was for flavour. But the second reason was for moisture.
Since this cake has cheesecake in it, it is going to be kept in the fridge.
When cakes are going to be left in the fridge, I like to add something to them, to keep them moist.
So today we’re adding a cinnamon milk.
Making the cinnamon milk
To make this you just need to heat together some milk, cinnamon and some sugar together. You don’t need the milk to come to a boil, we’re just heating it so that the ground cinnamon and brown sugar can dissolve.
Then once the cakes have baked and are still warm, pour this milk over them.
Now just leave the cake layers to cool down and soak the milk.
Then after about 30 minutes, take them out of the tins, cover in cling film and leave them in the fridge.
The cheesecake layers
For the cheesecake layers, I made a vanilla cheesecake batter then swirled a cinnamon sugar butter mixture into it.
Just like the cake layers, if you wanted a stronger cinnamon flavour, you can add some ground cinnamon into the batter. Just add it in when you add the corn flour.
Here are the ingredients you will need for the cheesecake batter:
- Cream cheese – make sure to use full fat cream cheese.
- Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
- Corn flour – also known as corn starch.
- Vanilla extract – for flavour.
- Double cream – also known as heavy cream.
- White chocolate – this will not make your cheesecake taste like white chocolate, it is just going to help with the texture of it. So don’t leave it out.
For the cinnamon swirl, you just need melted butter, brown sugar (white sugar works too but brown sugar adds more flavour) and ground cinnamon.
A few tips when making the cheesecake layers
Use warm double cream
You want to use warm cream in the batter, just because after we have mixed in the cream, we are going to mix in the melted white chocolate.
If the cream is too cold, it’s going to make the batter cold too. So once you add the white chocolate, it will set up. We don’t want this.
So warm the cream in your microwave for 30-60 seconds. You don’t want it to be hot, just warm to the touch.
Heat the cinnamon sugar butter mixture
When it comes to swirling the cinnamon butter mixture into the cheesecake batter, if your mixture has thickened, heat it in your microwave.
You want it to be runny, if it’s too thick, it will be difficult to swirl into the cheesecake batter.
Let your cheesecake layers cool in the oven
Cheesecakes don’t like drastic changes in temperature, they end up cracking is there is a sudden change.
So once your cheesecake layers have baked, turn your oven off, open the door slightly, then leave them in there to cool down for about 30 minutes.
Then after 30 minutes, take them out, leave them to cool down completely, then leave in the fridge.
Leave them to set in the fridge overnight
It is important to let the cheesecake layers set in the fridge overnight. This is the main reason why this recipe is being made over 2 days.
The cheesecake layers need time to set up, so don’t try speeding up the process!
Decorating the cheesecake
The next day, I made a cream cheese frosting.
I’ve included the recipe in the recipe card below, but once that’s made, you can stack the layers and decorate the cheesecake.
Decorate this however you want, I tried decorating mine the same way Cheesecake Factory does theres. So I covered the cheesecake with cream cheese frosting, then poured some caramel on top and added a swirl.
You don’t have to add the caramel but if you are going too, you don’t need a lot so I say just buy it. But if you wanted to make it, I’ve got a recipe for it in my Twix cake blog post.
I don’t know what Cheesecake Factory adds on the outside of their cheesecake. I watched a video and someone said it was crunchy, but I have no idea what it is exactly.
So instead, I just chopped pecans. My favourite Cinnabon cinnamon roll is the caramel and pecan one, so I thought pecans would be great on the cake. They added a nice crunch.
You can use whatever you want, or just leave the sides plain, that works too!
- For the cake layers:
125g unsalted butter, softened
125ml vegetable oil
250g brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour
60ml whole milk
- For the cinnamon milk:
300ml whole milk
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
- For the cheesecake layer:
800g full fat cream cheese
200g granulated sugar
60g corn flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
300ml double cream, warm (just heat it in your microwave for 30-60 seconds)
160g white chocolate, melted
50g unsalted butter, melted
100g brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- For the cream cheese frosting:
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar, sieved
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
400g full fat cream cheese
Some caramel, to add on top of the cake (optional)
Some chopped pecans, to add to the side of the cake (also optional)
- DAY 1
- Making the cake layers:
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
- In a large bowl, add the softened butter, oil, sugar and vanilla. Beat these together on high speed for 5 minutes. If you're making this by hand, just aggressively whisk for as long as you can.
- Add 2 of the eggs into this, mix these in, then mix in the remaining 2 eggs.
- Now add the flour and milk, mix just until you get a smooth batter.
- Pour this into your cake tins and bake at 180c/350f, for around 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Making the cinnamon milk:
- Whiles you cakes are baking, make the cinnamon milk.
- Add the milk, cinnamon and sugar into a pot. Heat these together until the cinnamon has dissolved in the milk. You don't want this mixture to come to a boil, you just want it to be warm.
- Take this off the heat and pour it through a sieve to get out any lumps that the cinnamon might have formed. Leave this aside.
- Once your cakes have baked, whiles they're still warm, pour this milk over them. You will notice that some of the ground cinnamon has sunk to the bottom of the milk, try not to get this onto the cake layers when you pour the milk over them.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the tins, then take them out, cover them in cling film and leave in the fridge.
- Making the cheesecake layers:
- Pre-heat your oven to 170c/325f. Also grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
- In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, corn flour and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- Pour half of the cream into this, mix, then mix in the remaining cream. Now mix in the melted white chocolate.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon.
- Add your cheesecake batter into your cake tins, smooth this out, then add dollops of the cinnamon butter mixture. Swirl this around, using a small knife or skewer.
- Bake these at 170c/325f for around 35-45 minutes. They're done once the edges of the cheesecake look set, but the centre is still jiggly. Once baked, turn your oven off, open the door slightly, then leave the cheesecake to cool in there for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, take them out of the oven and leave to cool completely. Then place them in the fridge, whiles still in the tins, to set overnight.
- DAY 2
- Making the cream cheese frosting:
- In a large bowl, beat the softened butter for 1 minute. Then add half of the icing sugar and the vanilla, mix until combined, then mix in the remaining icing sugar. Once all the icing sugar has been incorporated, beat this mixture on high speed for 5 minutes.
- Add the cream cheese into this and beat until you get a smooth frosting.
- Assembling the cheesecake:
- To assemble, I cut the tops off my cake layers off, just to get even layers. Then I took the cheesecake layers out of the tins. To do this, just run a knife around the edge of the tins, then flip them over and shake until the cheesecakes come out.
- Place one of the cake layers down onto a cake board or plate, then add a layer of cheesecake. Spread some cream cheese frosting over this cheesecake layer, then place the other cake layer on top. Now add the final layer of cheesecake. If you wanted too, you could add the cream cheese frosting between each layer, I didn't do this because I didn't want my cheesecake to be too sweet.
- Now you can decorate however you want. I just covered the cake with the cream cheese frosting, added a swirl of caramel on top, then pressed some chopped pecans onto the side.
- After it has been decorated, you can cut into it and enjoy!