Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

I know what you’re thinking. Red Velvet Cake? For Valentine’s day? How original… But wait! This cake is so much more than that. Would I lie to you?

Moist red velvet cake with a smooth and creamy cheesecake filling. Top it all with a delicious cream cheese frosting and you have a dessert that is too good for words. They have a version of this particular cake at the Cheesecake Factory, and I always wondered how they got such perfect layers of cake and cheesecake together. The secret is freezing the cheesecake so it’s easy to handle. Who would have thunk it?

I have a few boys in my family who are die hard cheesecake fans… And I wish that I could somehow teleport a slice to each one of them. It was that good! I made it for my boy toy as a Valentine’s Day gift, and as you can see by the significant amount that is already missing, it was a hit. I’m afraid these pictures don’t do it justice… (I need a serious lesson in food photography, or photography in general, if anyone has any tips.)

I tried to lighten up the recipe in some areas, except for the cheesecake itself. There’s just really no getting around the calories in cheesecake. But I used light cream cheese and light sour cream in the rest of the cake, because I honestly can’t tell the difference between the real and light versions. But if you’re one of those with a more discernible (or picky) palettes, ignore my suggestion and go for the real thing! I won’t judge.

If you’re looking for something to make for your special someone (or just for yourself), try this fabulous cake! It won’t disappoint. Here’s the recipe!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake slightly adapted from RecipeGirl

For the cheesecake: 
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides as need. Pour the batter into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper. Place on a pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. The cake should be firm and not jiggly. Let cool and then place in freezer over night or until completely firm.

For the red velvet cake:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 oz. bottle red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch baking pans. In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. With a mixer, blend the ingredients on medium-speed until all is incorporated, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. The color should be a rich red, if not add more food coloring. Beat for a couple of minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally (I use measuring cups, each was about 2 1/2 cups each.) Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t over bake! Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes then insert the pans onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

For the frosting:

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Two (8-ounce) packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cupbutter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Don’t over beat! If too soft, let the icing firm up in the fridge.

To assemble the cake:

Place on layer of the red velvet cake on large patter. Take the cheesecake out of the freezer and undo the latches on the sides of the pan. Carefully remove the cheesecake and place the exposed side atop the cake layer. With a knife, remove the metal bottom of the pan and carefully remove the parchment paper as well. Shave off some of the sides of the cheesecake with a knife if larger than the cake. Place the last cake layer atop the cheesecake. Generously frost with the icing. Keep the cake refrigerated  until eaten. Enjoy!

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