Red Velvet Cheesecake Factory Style

Two of my favorite desserts are red velvet cupcakes and cheesecake.  Fortunately the Cheesecake Factory makes a fabulous cheesecake the combines both of these flavors, and for Christmas I decided to recreate this famous dessert. Fortunately several other bloggers had already tried to create the Cheesecake Factory's dish, so I had some good guidelines to follow.  

So, how did it come out?  Not only did it look beautiful and festive but it tasted incredible!  The red velvet with the cheesecake and cream cheese frosting came together perfectly.  The NY Style cheesecake recipe I used is the best I have ever made.  I will definitely be adapting for other cheesecakes.  
Besides taking a while to make, because you need to make a cheesecake and a red velvet cake, this was actually not a very hard dessert.  You just need to make sure you give yourself enough time to bake and assemble.  I recommend baking the cakes and cheesecake the night before serving then assembling several hours before serving. This will give you plenty of time to allow the cheesecake to chill together before being served to guests.

I had leftover royal icing from all the Christmas cookies, so I topped the cake the white and red trees make it extra festive for Christmas.   And you might want to start working out before making this.  The cake weighted almost ten pounds when assembled.  All the layers of cake, cheesecake and frosting added up.  

If you are looking for a dessert to wow your guests, this is the cake.  It may be time consuming, but it is well worth it. The red color, juxtaposed with the white cheesecake is very dramatic and your friends and family will be very impressed that your cheesecake came from your kitchen and not the restaurant.  

I have divided the recipe into how to make the red velvet cake, cheesecake, and frosting separately, followed by how to assemble the cake.  At the very end is how to make the royal icing trees.  Read the entire recipe through first.  

Because you putting together the cake and cheesecake you will need pans that are the same size.  I made the red velvet cake first, then used my two cake pans for the cheesecake.  The cheesecake needs to sit overnight to firm up, which works out well since the red velvet cake is frosted best when cold.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Factory Style 
Red Velvet Cake
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons dark Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon red food coloring, or 1/8 teaspoon red gel cake color

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray or butter one 9 inch square baking pan, In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and vanilla, and set aside. Blend flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda and salt together in another bowl, and set aside. Cream the sugar and oil together on medium - high speed in a large bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. Add one egg at a time and whisk. Add vinegar and food coloring or gel, and beat the batter well. With mixer on low - medium speed, add half the flour and cocoa mixture to the batter, alternating with the buttermilk, and scraping as needed between additions. Mix until batter is nice and smooth with no lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake cake for 40 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean.  Cool cake for 10 - 15 minutes before loosening, then remove them from the pans, and cool completely. Wrapped cake and refrigerate until ready to assemble cheesecake. 

NY Style Cheesecake 
4 packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9 inch cake pans or springform pans. (To keep the cake uniform you will want to use pans the same size as the red velvet cake.)  If using cake pans, layer the pan with foil, so that the edges come over the pan.  This will make it easier to lift the cheesecake out of the pan when cool.

In a mixing bowl on medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, about 3 minute, scrape down sides as needed. Add sugar and cornstarch and beat again, scraping a few times. The mixture should be smooth. Add vanilla, eggs and egg whites 2 at a time. Beat until creamy. Slowly add the cream and beat only enough so there are no lumps and the filling is nice and fluffy. Scrape as needed. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Assembling Cheesecake
Carefully remove chilled cheesecake layers from pans. Place one cheesecake layer on a serving plate, and spread with a very small dab of frosting for the "glue". Top with frosting. Place the Red Velvet Cake layer, on top of frosting.  Frost the Red Velvet Cake. Top with the last cheesecake layer and frost the top.  Frost the Red Velvet Cheesecake with an offset spatula, smoothing top and sides. Using the filled pastry bag, pipe a border of frosting all around the edge of the cake top. Chill Red Velvet Cheesecake until time to plate and serve.

Adapted from Donna Diegel; Frosting from Paula Dean

How To Make Royal Icing Trees
Royal Icing
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups confectioners' sugar sifted 
6 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms a peak (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).  
Source: Wilton
Fit a pastry bag with a #2 tip and fill with icing.   On a piece of parchment paper, outline a tree. (Basically a long narrow triangle).  Change to a larger tip, #4 or #5.  Fill triangles with icing.

Sprinkle triangles with sanding sugar.
Add red sugar pearls. Distribute randomly on triangles. 
Let dry for 24 hours.  Gently peel trees from parchment paper and place on cake.


Julie said...

The royal icing trees really set it off too!

Lizzy Do said...

This looks amazing!!! And I had to giggle at you making a cheesecake filled with cake and I made a cake filled with cheesecake...and both posted today!!! I think I've found a soul mate :)

Happy New Year!

Mama F said...

Pardon me while I mop up my drool off the floor. This looks amazing. I think I will try this out for our next girls night in. And I might even think about sharing it with the other girls! haha

Amy said...

This sounds so increadibly delicious! So beautiful as well, and perfect for the Holidays! I am sure it was 10x better than the Cheesecake Factory's version. I am loving the trees on top!

Stephanie @Eat. Drink. Love. said...

I love the factory version, but yours looks even better!! And it's so beautifully decorated!

Ruth Reynoso-Sance said...

I know for sure that cake tasted amazing! Wonderful post! said...

Wow, this cake looks incredible! We must be twins because I also made red velvet this christmas. Well, I made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting... that's basically the same thing, right? They turned out absolutely delicious. Here's the link if you're interested!


I hope you had a great holiday... I'm sure your guests did after eating this!

Katie @

Baker Street said...

Looks sinfully delicious! Happy New Year! xx

healthyfoodietravels said...

Oh man, that looks like a to die for sinful desert. Wonderfully festive looking!

alana said...

Talk about labor intensive!! but well worth it!

Maika said...

"monumental + momentous = monumentous - means "very significant" is all I have to say :)

Megan said...

This cake looks gorgeous and I love the trees on top!

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