Day 21 of my “25 Days of Baking” is the ultimate showstopper—a centerpiece-worthy dessert for your Christmas table. This five-layer cake, alternating between red velvet cake and cheesecake and enrobed in white-chocolate buttercream, is the most elegant Christmas cake I’ve ever made. This dazzling cake will leave you and your dinner guests in awe.
Day 21: Red Velvet-White Chocolate Cheesecake
Difficulty: Impressive Challenge!
This special cake is certainly a “project,” but I enjoy challenging myself with creative, beautiful dishes. Plus, the cheesecake is a natural pair to red velvet cake, and the white-chocolate buttercream ties everything together. A dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream is an absolute must to accompany this intense cake. The whipped cream adds a light and airy texture to contrast the dense cheesecake and red velvet cake layers. The red velvet cake layers are denser than typical cake, because they have to be heavy enough to support the weighty cheesecake layers.
I made this cake over the course of two days. The first day, I baked the cheesecake layers, which was relatively simple. The second day, I baked the red velvet cake layers, made the white chocolate buttercream, and assembled the cake. This recipe is adapted from SL Mag.
- CHEESECAKE LAYERS
- 2 (8-inch) round cake pans (disposable OK)
- 12 ounces white chocolate
- 5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- RED VELVET LAYERS
- 3 (8-inch) round cake pans (disposable OK)
- 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 3 c. all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 (1-ounce) bottles red liquid food coloring
- WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
- 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 c. boiling water
- 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 32 ounces powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/8 teaspoon dash of salt
- Prepare Cheesecake Layers: Preheat oven to 300 F. Line bottom and sides of 2 cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.
- Microwave white chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl according to package directions; cool 10 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese and melted chocolate at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in 1 Tbsp. vanilla. Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake at 300 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecakes stand in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes. Remove from oven to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours). Cover and chill 8 hours, or freeze 24 hours to 2 days.
- Prepare Red Velvet Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat 1 cup butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add 6 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
- Stir together flour and next 2 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla; stir in food coloring. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch disposable cake pans.
- Bake at 350° for 20 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 hour).
- Prepare Frosting: Whisk together chocolate and 1/2 cup boiling water until chocolate melts. Cool 20 minutes; chill 30 minutes.
- Beat 1 cup butter and chilled chocolate mixture at low speed until blended. Beat at medium speed 1 minute. Increase speed to high; beat 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.
- Assemble Cake: Place 1 layer Red Velvet on a serving platter. Top with 1 layer Cheesecake. Repeat with remaining layers of Red Velvet and Cheesecake, alternating and ending with Red Velvet on top. Spread top and sides of cake with White Chocolate Frosting. Store in refrigerator.