Prep 1 hr
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
The oooh's and ahhhh's that you'll hear when you set this gorgeous cake on the table make all the extra effort worth it. Once you taste it, you'll be hooked. Red velvet cake with a smooth creamy cheesecake layer tucked in the center?!? YUM! It's such a special dessert. There are multiple steps here because basically, you'll be making a cake AND a cheesecake. Set aside a good part of the day if you plan to make this entire recipe in one day. I usually make the cheesecake layer at least a day ahead and freeze it. The cheesecake layer and the entire, finished cake freeze very well and thaw rather quickly, too. Cooling times are not included in the prep times. This is supposed to be a copycat recipe for the cheesecake factory's cake. I've tried several of these so called copy-cat recipes and my recipe is by far the best. The recipe is adapted from several recipes I've made over the years that needed a little tweeking because they just weren't up top snuff as they were. Enjoy!
For the cheesecake
- 1 1⁄4 lbs bar cream cheese, room temperature (20 oz)
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream, room temperature
For the cake
- 2 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1⁄2 cups vegetable oil (I always use melted coconut oil)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons red food coloring
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
For the frosting
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 12 ounces butter, softened
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- For cheesecake:.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a kettle of water on to boil.
- Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl.
- Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy.
- Beat in lemon juice and salt.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each.
- Beat in the sour cream.
- Spray the pan with non-stick spray like Baker's Secret.
- Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Spray the parchment.
- Wrap bottom half of pan in foil.
- Pour in filling and place in a large, oven safe pan.
- Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of the springform pan.
- Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes.
- Remove pan from water. Let cool for approximately 20 minutes.
- Run a knife around edge and continue to cool completely.
- Carefully place a plate on top of cooled cheesecake layer and flip it over onto plate. Remove parchment paper.
- Cover in plastic wrap and freeze.
- For the cake:.
- Preheat oven to 350°. I always use cake strips on all the cakes I bake because the cakes turn out perfectly flat on top. So soak your cake strips and attach them to your pans now if you're using them.
- Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.
- Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9" round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely.
- If you didn't use cake strips, level the layers now.
- Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined.
- Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5–7 minutes.
- Place bottom layer on cake stand.
- Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap and place cheesecake layer on top of the bottom layer of the red velvet cake.
- If the cheesecake is wider than the cake, and it is necessary to to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, then trim it with a knife.
- Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting to act as the crumb coat.
- Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I hate to say it, but I just wasn't overwhelmed by this at all. I really wanted to like it because hey - it sounds AMAZING. I followed the instructions exactly as written and each individual component tasted yummy, but when it was all put together, I found it just to be OK.<br/><br/>I think it was just too much....too many flavors, too big, too overwhelming, too over the top. Nobody in my family even went for leftovers later in the evening or the following day. <br/><br/>Thanks for sharing it - the writeup is very clear and detailed, but I won't be making this again.
This cake, while easily the best frickin' cake I have EVER made, takes a LOT longer to bake than specified. The cheesecake probably takes almost double the amount of time. Completely worth it though. Just a forewarning!