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Red Velvet Cheesecake

by David Lesniak, David Muniz from Baked in America

Fall in love with this rich red velvet cheesecake. This recipe, from Baked in America, combines a chocolate cookie base and indulgent red velvet cream cheese.

From the book

David Muniz, David Lesniak


There appears to be an incessant fascination with red velvet. To be honest, churning out cupcakes, layers and Red Velvet Whoopies gets tiresome. But we soldier on. OD took it upon himself to devise this glorious recipe in a pre-emptive strike. It was only a matter of time before someone walked in asking for this. So here you go. We’ve had British red velvet ‘experts’ complain this isn’t right, given the orange zest. But OD’s heirloom red-velvet recipes have always included it. The best advice is never to mess with OD’s family.

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For the cookie base:
5½oz / 160g / 1 cup all-purpose or plain flour
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tbsp granulated sugar
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
4oz / 115g / ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
For the batter:
16oz / 450g / about 3 cups white chocolate
4oz / 115g / ½ cup, packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp orange zest, freshly grated
32oz / 900g / about 8 cups cream cheese, softened
4oz / 115g / ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4fl oz / 120ml / ½ cup red food coloring
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the cream cheese mascarpone frosting:
24oz / 675g / about 3 cups cream cheese, softened
12oz / 340g / about 1½ cups mascarpone
10-12oz / 275-340g / 1¼-1½ cups caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Milk, or double cream, as needed

Essential kit

You will need a round cheesecake pan with a removable bottom, 9 x 3in/23 x 8cm, or a 9in/23cm diameter spring form pan. You will also need an electric mixer.

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Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Butter a round cheesecake pan with a removable bottom, 9 x 3in/23 x 8cm. Wrap the bottom of the pan and up the sides with foil. Or use a 9in/23cm diameter spring form pan.

For the base, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter and stir on low speed until crumbly. Stir in the egg yolks until well incorporated – it will still be crumbly. Press into the prepared pan and pat firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides. Pierce the surface with a fork in several places. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is firm. Leave to cool.

For the batter, slowly melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat to cool. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and zest until fragrant. Add the cream cheese, butter and cocoa, then increase the speed and cream until it is light. Stir in the food coloring and mix until the color is evenly distributed. On low speed add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the cooled chocolate, then the vanilla. Remove from the mixer and finish mixing with a rubber spatula, scraping up from the bottom to ensure it is evenly mixed. There should be no streaks of color visible. Pour the batter on the cooled crust and shake the pan gently to even it.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until set. It usually rises evenly and cracks around the edges. Cover loosely with foil if it browns too quickly. If the middle wiggles separately from the perimeter when you shake the pan, it needs 5 to 10 minutes more. All cheesecakes set as they cool, which can take a while. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before refrigerating for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Frost with Cream Cheese Mascarpone Frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until you achieve the desired consistency for spreading on the cake. You may need to add a drop of milk or double cream to loosen it up if it seems too thick.

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