Red velvet cheesecake cake….layers or red velvet cake with a cheesecake in the middle AND cream cheese frosting.
A few years ago, I saw that The Cheesecake Factory sells this. I needed to immediately try it but we don’t have Cheesecake Factory in the UK. So I just made it myself.
It was the best decision I have made. The fluffiness of the cake and the creaminess of the cheesecake works so well together, I love it!
Breakdown of the process
This cake has a lot of different parts to it….and by a lot I mean 3, only 3, so I guess it’s not that many.
But these parts do have quite a few different steps, and you also want to make this cake over 2 days. So the process is a little long.
Trust me though, it is very worth it!
Here is a quick breakdown of what you’re going to need to do to make this red velvet cheesecake cake:
- Make the cheesecake layer: you want to make this first because it needs time to set.
- Leave the cheesecake to set: it’s important to leave the cheesecake layer to set in the fridge overnight. This is the reason why this cake takes 2 days to make.
- Make the cake layers: You could make these the same day you make the cheesecake, or you could also just make it the next day. I like to make them on day 1, I’ll go into how to keep the cake layers fresh later on in this blog post.
- Make the cream cheese icing
- Assemble and decorate the cake: Once everything has been made, baked, and chilled, you can put it all together.
Ingredients for the cheesecake layer
The ingredients for the cheesecake layer are pretty basic. There are just a few I wanted to talk about.
Side note, I get asked about this a lot. I don’t use eggs in my cheesecake, but yes I still bake it. It makes a huge difference because of the corn flour, but there are no eggs!
The corn flour
If you’re not from the UK, this is also known as corn starch.
Corn flour/corn starch is best to use, it will do the best job at thickening the cheesecake.
Sometimes I get asked if regular flour will work. Yes…I think. I’ve never tried it so I don’t recommend it. But I do think it will work.
Once again though, I’ve not tried it, so take my ‘yes’ lightly.
The white chocolate
I add some melted white chocolate into my cheesecakes.
This does not make the cheesecake taste white chocolate flavoured, it is just there to help with the texture/thickness of the cheesecake.
The double cream
Also known as heavy cream.
Make sure to warm this for about 1 minute, before using it.
I don’t wait for my cream cheese to come to room temperature. In this recipe it doesn’t really make a difference.
Therefore, the batter is cold. If we add the melted chocolate to a cold batter, the chocolate will just set up straight away.
Using warm cream will heat up the batter a little, so that it is not too cold when we add the chocolate.
Baking the cheesecake in a water bath
When baking the cheesecake layer, you want to bake it in a water bath.
Water baths are great for cheesecakes because they help regulate the temperature of the cheesecake in the oven. They essentially stop them from getting too hot.
This gives you a much smoother, creamier cheesecake and it also prevent the cheesecake from cracking on top.
To bake the cheesecake in a water bath, here’s what you need to do:
- Place the tin with the cheesecake batter in, into a larger tin or roasting tray.
- Pour some boiling water into this tin, until the water reaches about half way up the sides of the tin with the cheesecake batter in.
- Now just carefully place this into your oven.
- That is it.
Side note, I baked my cheesecake in a regular 8 inch cake tin. If you’re using a loose bottomed/spring form tin, make sure to wrap the outside of it with tin foil a few times, so that no water gets into the cheesecake.
Ingredients for the red velvet cake
Most of the ingredients for the cake are also your basic ingredients. There are just a few I wanted to talk about, just in case anyone want some ideas for substitutions.
Most cakes need some kind of fat, this is typically either butter or oil. Butter gives cakes great flavour, whereas oil gives them a lot of moisture.
For my red velvet cake, I like to use both, just to get some good flavour and moistness.
Any flavourless oil works, I use vegetable oil…rapeseed to be more specific. But any flavourless oil does work!
Pretty much all red velvet cake recipe’s have buttermilk in.
The acidity from the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda, which helps the cake rise and gives it that classic velvety texture. It also gives the cake a lot of moisture.
Buttermilk is best to use. If you don’t have any though, or can’t find any, you could make it.
Just mix 140ml of whole milk with 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Let this sit for about 10 minutes, then it is ready to use.
This is a good substitute but I do still recommend using actual buttermilk, it works much better!
Vinegar is also used in most red velvet cake recipes. Just like the buttermilk, the acidity reacts with the baking soda, which helps the cake rise.
I use white wine vinegar, you could also use apple cider vinegar.
If you don’t have either, lemon juice works too!
Freezing the red velvet cake layers
Like I mentioned, I like to make the cake layers on day 1, the same day I make the cheesecake.
Because of this, after the layers have been baked and cooled for a bit, I wrap them in cling film and then leave them in my freezer overnight.
Every time I make a cake, I always freeze the cake layers. I just think it’s so much easier to decorate a cake when the layers are frozen.
If you’ve never done this, first of all, it doesn’t dry out the cake at all! It actually keeps the layers fresh until you’re ready to use them.
When it comes to using them, I take them out and leave them at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Then I level them and start decorating.
Typically, by the time you are done decorating, the layers will have de-frosted.
You of course don’t need to do this. You could just wrap the layers and leave them at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.
Or you could also just bake them on the day you need them!
Serving this cake
This cake needs to be stored in the fridge because of the cheesecake layer.
I just wanted to say, when it comes to eating it I recommend leaving it at room temperature, or just a slice at room temp, for about 20 minutes.
I think the cake layers taste better once they have come to room temperature a bit.
With that being said, if you don’t want to wait, that’s fine too. It still tastes amazing straight from the fridge.
Here are a few other cake recipes I think you might like:
- For the cheesecake layer:
100g granulated sugar
30g corn flour
400g full fat cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150ml double cream, warm
80g white chocolate, melted
- For the cake layers:
125g unsalted butter, softened
100ml any flavourless oil, I use vegetable oil
250g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
230g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons white vinegar
Plus some red food colouring
- For the cream cheese frosting:
300g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar, sieved
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
600g full fat cream cheese
- Making the cheesecake layer:
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 170c/325f. Also grease and line an 8 inch cake tin.
- In a large bowl, add the sugar, corn flour, cream cheese and vanilla. Mix these together until smooth.
- Pour half of the warm double cream into this, whisk this in, then whisk in the rest of the cream. Now whisk in the melted white chocolate.
- Add this batter into your prepared cake tin and smooth it out. Place this tin into a larger tin or roasting tray. Pour boiling water into this until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the tin with the cheesecake in.
- Carefully place this into your oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes. It is done when the sides of the cheesecake are set but the centre is still a little jiggly.
- Once baked, leave to cool at room temperature. Then place it in your fridge and leave it in there to set overnight.
- Making the cake layers:
- You can either make the cake layers the same day you make the cheesecake layer. Or you can make it the next day, it's up to you. I like to just make them the same day I make the cheesecake.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180c/350f. Also grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
- In a large bowl, add the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla. Beat these together for 5 minutes.
- Add in 2 of the eggs, whisk these in, then whisk in the remaining 2 eggs. Now add the buttermilk and food colouring.
- Add the flour and cocoa powder and mix just until you get a smooth batter.
- In a separate small bowl, add the baking soda and then pour the vinegar over it. This will start bubbling, just give it a quick mix then straight away pour it into your cake batter. Mix until incorporated.
- Pour this batter into your cake tins then bake for around 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Once baked, leave to cool completely.
- Making the cream cheese frosting:
- In a large bowl, add the softened butter, beat this for 1 minute. Now add half of the icing sugar, mix, then add the rest of the icing sugar as well as the vanilla. Once all the icing sugar has been incorporated, beat this for 5 minutes.
- Add the cream cheese into this and beat until you get a smooth frosting.
- Putting the cake together:
- I cut the tops of my cake layers off to make them flatter, but you don't have too.
- Add one of the cake layers onto a board, spread some frosting over this, then add the cheesecake layer on top. Add some more frosting onto this, then add the final layer of cake.
- Now you can just decorate the cake however you want. I just iced it, added a swirl on top and then with the cake that I cut off, I crumbled it and pressed it onto the sides.
- Now cut into it and enjoy!