A creamy delicious cheesecake with some fun colors added!
Wait, there's more! Read the blog post about this recipe.
- 2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 large eggs
- 1 each of liquid food colors (blue, yellow, green, red)
- Preheat oven 350 degrees. Before you get started with the crust, make sure your 9 inch springform pan is water tight. I do this by carefully wrapping a few layers of foil on the outside of the pan, so water cannot get into the pan. Be careful not to rip the foil or water will get into your cake and ruin it!
- Mix crushed crackers, 2 tablespoons sugar, the cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Then mix in butter with your clean fingers, until crumbs are pea sized.
- Press all of the graham cracker mixture into the prepared springform pan. Press it down firmly in the pan. I like to use a measuring cup for this, which makes it easy to get around the edges. You should have an even, flat crust.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes on a low oven rack. Remove from the oven, and cool completely before continuing. Turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees.
- To make filling, cut cream cheese into pieces and add to a mixing bowl. Whip until smooth, maybe 4 minutes. Then add 1-1/3 cups sugar, and continue to beat until smooth again, another 4-5 minutes. Next, add vanilla, salt, sour cream and heavy cream; beat until smooth. Add in 1 egg at a time, beating briefly between each egg.
- Once the mixture is well combined and very smooth, divide evenly into 6 dishes. Add food color to each dish to get the desired colors. (Red = 25 drops of red, Orange = 18 drops yellow + 6 drops red, Yellow = 18 drops yellow, Green = 18 drops green, Blue = 18 drops blue, Violet = 18 drops red + 12 drops blue)
- Pour colored mixtures into cooled crust. Start with red filling, and slowly pour it right in the center of the crust. Continue to build the rainbow by pouring the fillings directly in the center. This will create layers so that each slice has some of each color.
- Place cheesecake into a baking dish on oven rack, and fill baking dish with boiling water about 1 inch up the side of the springform pan.
- Bake at 325 degrees in the water bath for 1 hour and 40 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes or until set but still jiggles slightly 2 inches from the edge. If cheesecake begins to brown on top, cover loosely with foil during last 5 minutes of baking.
- Turn off the oven, open the oven door a crack, and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour. The slow cooling will help it not crack.
- Then loosely wrap the dish in foil so the foil isn't touching the top of the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to remove cake, run a clean narrow knife around the edge of the dish, remove the foil, unlock the spring, and carefully lift off the outer ring.
- Serve either alone or with a cherry/raspberry sauce. It's so rich and creamy that it really doesn't need a topping.
There’s a hidden secret to this Rainbow Cheesecake recipe. A surprise. And no, the surprise isn’t the awesome rainbow layers that appear on each slice of cake.
The surprise is that it’s the best cheesecake you’ll ever eat.
Beyond being beautiful, it’s silky, smooth, light, and tasty all at the same time. It’s the kind of cheesecake that needs no topping.
The downside of making cheesecake from scratch, however, is that it takes roughly 8 hours to make. So plan accordingly!
Now, of course, you don’t have to do the whole rainbow thing. If you leave it out you’ll still be left with a very awesome, standard colored, cheesecake that will wow your guests.
You’ll need a Springform pan, which is the only way to get the cake to mold correctly. You also need to make sure your Springform pan is waterproof because you need to actually bake this cake in a water bath.
Have no fear though. This isn’t hard. Just take a few layers of foil and carefully wrap it around the pan in both directions. Fold it carefully all around the edges until it fits snugly against the pan. Be careful not to rip the foil!
This was my pan ready to go.
This is a very standard graham cracker crust, although I do like to add a bit of cinnamon to mine. To make it, grind up your crackers really finely and mix it with your salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Then mash in the butter with your fingers.
Press this firmly into your prepared dish.
Bake the crust at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Be sure to let it cool completely before adding the filling.
To make the filling, start by whipping the cream cheese until it’s nice and smooth – about 4-5 minutes. Then add in the sugar, salt, and vanilla and mix it again until smooth. Then beat in one egg at a time followed by the sour cream and heavy cream. You should end up with a silky smooth mixture.
Now for the fun part. The colors!
Just divide your mixture into 6 different bowls and add the appropriate colors to each bowl.
And yes, I realize that the rainbow actually has seven colors, but for this dish it’s pretty impossible to tell the difference between violet and indigo. So six will do!
Once you have your colors mixed, pour them into the prepared pan with the crust in a logical order, which for me was: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.
The trick is to pour each color right in the center of the dish. This will cause them to spread out evenly so each slice has all the layers!
Bake this at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 45 minutes in a water bath. To make the water bath, just set your Springform pan in a larger baking dish and then pour boiling water in the larger pan until it comes about 1 inch up the side of the dish.
An hour and 45 minutes will give you plenty of time to do all the dishes!
When it’s done baking, the goal is to cool it down as slowly as possible so the cake doesn’t crack a lot. The best way to do this is to turn off the oven, crack the door a bit, and let it cool in the water bath inside the oven for about an hour.
When it comes out, remove it from the water bath, cover it loosely with foil and store it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
When you’re ready to remove the cake, slide a narrow knife around the edge of the pan. Then release the spring and carefully slide off the outside.
There’s no doubt this take some time. But it’s a really fun project and one that’ll reward your work with a perfect cheesecake.