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Red Velvet Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 (1 oz) bottles red food coloring
  • 1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Directions

  1. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 table spoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Beat 3 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixture 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes.
  4. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
  5. Beat 1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.


(Rhonda Y. Coker, Columbia, S.C.)
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