Orange Vanilla Dream Cheesecake
A creamy cheesecake with orange and vanilla swirls, full of flavor!
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter
3 packages (24 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
8 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon orange extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 drops red food coloring
12 drops yellow food coloring
1. To prepare crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Melt butter and stir thoroughly into crumb mixture.
2. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Press crumbs into bottom of the springform pan, working them up the sides if desired (the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup works well for this).
3. Bake crust at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.*
4. Begin making the cheesecake filling by placing softened cream cheese into a large bowl. Mix sugar and corn starch in a bowl and then add to cream cheese; stir until smooth. (You can also use an electric mixer on the lowest speed, but doing so will add extra air into the cheesecake and increase the chance of cracking during baking.)
5. Crack 4 eggs into a bowl; add eggs one at a time to the filling mixture and stir, scaping down the sides after adding each egg.
6. Mix in sour cream.
7. Place two cups of cream cheese mixture into a second bowl.
8. In the original bowl, stir in vanilla and set aside.**
9. In the second bowl, add 2 egg yolks, orange extract, orange zest, and the food colorings, and stir.
10. Using a 1-cup measure, pour mixtures into the center of the springform pan by alternating white and orange filling. (To create a "perfect" swirl, pour batter directly into the middle of the pan. Each additional pouring will form a new circle inside the last.)
11. If desired: When finished pouring fillings into the pan, very slightly swirl the top of the cake with a knife to achieve a gentle marbling effect.
12. Place into preheated oven (325 degrees) and bake for 80-90 minutes or until almost set. Sides should be set with a slight rippling effect at the center of the cake (the cake will completely set as it cools and is refrigerated).
13. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. After about 30-60 minutes you can remove the outside of the springform; you may need to run a knife around the edge of the cheese cake to loosen the sides before removing the springform.
14. After cooled, place uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight before serving. Slice into 12-16 slices.
*If you are using a waterbath, you can wrap the springform in foil after baking the crust. The extra wide/heavy-duty foil works best, especially in tight layers. (Place a couple peices down and then wrap the springform). To prevent punctures at the latch of the pan, we have found a small peice of cardboard can be useful to prevent the sharp edges from damaging the foil.
**In a couple of the photos, you will notice vanilla bean specks in the vanilla swirl of the cheesecake. To add vanilla bean specks to your cheesecake, scrape the seeds from one vanilla bean. Mix seeds with some granulated sugar (to separate the seeds; otherwise they will lump together in your batter!) before adding to the vanilla portion of the cheesecake batter.
60 minutes + cooling and chilling time
Joshua created this creamy orange-vanilla cheesecake recipe, and it has been a favorite of all who have tried it! Numerous people have told us that it is one of the best cheesecakes they have ever eaten. The texture is perfect -- dense, but creamy. And the orange-vanilla flavor is just heavenly!!
The food coloring isn't necessary for taste-purposes, but we have found in our experimentations that orange-flavored cheesecake without any food coloring just doesn't have the same effect as oragne-flavored AND orange-colored cheesecake. There are very few things we add food coloring to, but this is one of them.
This is a great cheesecake recipe, and if you love gourmet cheesecake or creamsicles, this is one you should try!! My rating: 10/10