Red Velvet Cheesecake

I don’t know about you, but I find any trip to The Cheesecake Factory to be completely and utterly overwhelming. Their food is delicious, but the length of their menu never ceases to both amaze and befuddle me. Even though I’ve eaten there countless times, I always spend copious amounts of time poring over each and every item while my stomach grumbles, begging me to make a quick decision. (Have I mentioned how indecisive I can be at times? It’s awful!) The real test comes after the meal, when you’re confronted with the cheesecake menu. I should make it my business to try each and every piece on that list. Not a bad hobby, right? For a long time Oreo reigned supreme for me, then I tried some different varieties which I wasn’t too fond of, and now the Snickers cheesecake is my current favorite. My Chief Culinary Consultant has an old standby favorite as well – the red velvet cheesecake. It is a four-layered dessert, with two layers each of red velvet cake and creamy cheesecake, all covered in cream cheese icing. It’s decadent, drool-worthy, and delicious. And I was totally determined to recreate that baby at home. What better time than in preparation for Valentine’s Day?

Not only am I getting ready for Valentine’s Day, but today is my Chief Culinary Consultant’s birthday! So it seems fitting that I share his favorite cheesecake selection with you on his birthday :)  (If you’re wondering what his all-time favorite BEB dessert is, it’s the Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte, and we spent last weekend indulging!)

Now on to the cheesecake… this really isn’t terribly difficult, just a little time consuming. It helps to spread the work out over a couple of days, and then it’s easy breezy. I started with a very basic cheesecake recipe (no crust) – baked that and got it into the fridge. Then I went ahead and doubled the recipe for my Red Velvet Cupcakes and used the batter to make two 9-inch cake rounds. To assemble, you’ll need to slice the cheesecake in half horizontally to create two layers, which you can do with a very sturdy hand and long serrated knife, or you can use a cake leveler (they’re super cheap and so easy to use – great for evening off any domed tops of cakes too). Then stack the four layers on top of one another, alternating red velvet cake and cheesecake, and then frost the whole thing with cream cheese icing. Absolutely divine!

Do you have a favorite type of cheesecake?

One year ago: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Two years ago: Icebox Cake
Four years ago: Homemade Granola

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour (active) + 8 hours (inactive)

Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours


For the Cheesecake:
32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1¼ cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Red Velvet Cake:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons red food coloring (liquid)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract


1. Make the Cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and then tightly wrap the outside with heavy duty foil. (I find that double-wrapping helps prevent leaks in a water bath.) Put a pot of water (or a tea kettle) on to boil.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute or so after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract, and beat until completely incorporated.

3. Pour the batter into the springform pan; place the springform pan into a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until the water comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan.

4. Bake until the cheesecake edges are set but the middle still jiggles a bit, about 45 to 55 minutes. Turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 1 hour. At this point, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place the springform pan on a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator until well-chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

5. Make the Red Velvet Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with a parchment round, butter the parchment paper, and then flour the pans.

6. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about a minute after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

7. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

8. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining buttermilk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

9. Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

10. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cakes from the pans and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

11. Make the Frosting: Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

12. Assemble the Cheesecake: If needed, level the tops of the red velvet cake layers with a serrated knife or cake leveler so that the tops are level and not domed. Next, slice the cheesecake in half horizontally to create two layers. Place one layer of the red velvet cake on your serving plate. Spread a very thin layer of the cream cheese frosting over it (it creates a type of glue so that the layers stick together and don't slide around). Top that with one layer of the cheesecake, and again top with a very thin layer of frosting. Repeat, adding the second red velvet layer, and then placing the second cheesecake layer on top, with a layer of frosting between them. Using the remaining frosting, cover the cake in frosting and decorate as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and refrigerate any leftovers.


193 Responses to “Red Velvet Cheesecake”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Mary @ Bake Break on February 8, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Yum! I feel the same way about the Cheesecake Factory – it’s so overwhelming that I usually DO order the same thing every time! Oh well. Luckily we now live where I don’t have to face that problem!

    Thanks for the recipe – it’s beautiful!


    • Tami on February 8th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      I get the same thing too, I don’t even look at the meni…Parmesan crusted chicken


    • Boxerbaby423 on February 12th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      I want to make this for weds. night. I was wondering if I could make the cheesecake in advance as well as the red velvet cake? And how many days? Is today too soon? I would assemble and make icing the day of.
      Thanks so much and I can’t wait to try this! Looks amazing!


      • Michelle on February 12th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        Yes, you can definitely make both in advance. I would store both in the refrigerator, wrapped with plastic wrap. I would probably do them two days in advance, at the most.


        • Julie on April 17th, 2013 at 9:36 pm

          Excuse me, for the cheesecake layer, am I supposed to create one and then cut it into half, or make two layers, as in the assemble section it states to use 2 cheesecake layers but the recipe makes one?


          • Michelle on April 18th, 2013 at 11:28 am

            Hi Julie, Yes, bake 1 cheesecake and then split it horizontally so you have two layers.


            • Diane on May 3rd, 2013 at 12:04 pm

              I did not split layer, but sandwiched it whole
              between the 2 cake layers – yum!

    • pam on August 20th, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks so much for this recipe. I have tasted this at the cheese cake factory and wanted to make it for the longest time and had no idea what to do. Thanks again. Can’t wait to try it


    • Michelle on August 11th, 2013 at 2:59 am

      I was wondering if you used a conventional or convection oven with the degrees?


      • Michelle on August 19th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

        Hi Michelle, I used a conventional oven.


  2. Jessica on February 8, 2012 at 1:00 am

    I still have this idea bookmarked from Erin’s Food Files! Need to make it soon…looks so good!


  3. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on February 8, 2012 at 2:27 am

    The red velvet craze that’s been sweeping so many blogs the past week has been…awesome. This is no exception. Love it!


  4. Shana McLean on February 8, 2012 at 3:56 am

    This looks incredible! I’ve bookmarked another red velvet cheesecake recipe from the latest Food Network magazine, but it’s a normal cheescake with a red swirl from the look of it. This one, however, combines two of my loves and must be made! Thanks!


  5. Choc Chip Uru on February 8, 2012 at 4:00 am

    This is heaven on a plate – everything I love encompassed into one stunning dish :)

    Choc Chip Uru


  6. Blog is the New Black on February 8, 2012 at 5:11 am

    I don’t love cream cheese but I ADORE red velvet! This looks terrific!


  7. Kiri W. on February 8, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I love the Cheesecake factory, but I’ve never had their red velvet cheesecake. I am a sucker for their Godiva chocolate cheesecake though!
    This looks gorgeous, the colors are stunning! I bet it juts melts in your mouth, too.


  8. Vera on February 8, 2012 at 6:29 am

    the pumpkin pie cheese cake, only offered seasonly, rocks my world


  9. Katrina on February 8, 2012 at 6:45 am

    This is absolutely beautiful!!


  10. Christina @ This Woman Cooks! on February 8, 2012 at 7:49 am

    What a beautiful cake. I’d dive right in.


  11. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables on February 8, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Snickers is my personal favorite as well :)


  12. Linda F, on February 8, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I made this over the holidays. It not only looked great but tasted amazing! My whole family was very impressed. I love to bake and try new things and this turned out perfectly. I am even thinking of making it for my daughters graduation from college using her school colors. How do you think a purple velvet cheesecake cake sounds?


  13. The Doll Baker on February 8, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I totally understand about The Cheesecake Factory- too many choices! The Red Velvet Cheesecake is one of my favorites. I was trying to decided what type of cake to make for my Dad’s 80th birthday. I think I just figured it out. Thanks! ♥


  14. Lauren on February 8, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Oh delicious! Today is my main squeeze’s birthday, as well. But unfortunately red velvet is not his thing. I know I’m going to save this for a debut at some point. It looks too good to pass up.


  15. Rodzilla on February 8, 2012 at 9:04 am

    That looks great, Michelle!

    This might help you narrow your choices the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. A few people have already taken on the task of trying each of Cheesecake factory varieties.


    • Michelle on February 9th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Ooh, awesome resource, thank you!


  16. Cookbook Queen on February 8, 2012 at 9:12 am

    So so pretty!! We don’t have a Cheesecake Factory around here (siiiiiigh) but I’ve bought the Red Velvet Cheesecake from Sams Club and it was amazing. I just know that yours is even better!!


  17. Lori @ RecipeGirl on February 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I loved this cake when I made it too. My absolute favorite.


  18. Heather @ Bake, Run, Live on February 8, 2012 at 9:42 am

    What a beautiful birthday dessert!
    I have only been to the Cheesecake Factory once, and sadly, did not order a piece of cheesecake :(


  19. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on February 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Amazing! If I make thischeesecake I am bound to eat the whole thing. I have yet to have red velevt cake, so I thought your cupcakes would be good to try for the first time. I am sure I will love it!!


  20. Life of a Modern Housewife on February 8, 2012 at 10:08 am

    When I clicked on your post title via email, I literally thought cheesecake, but when I saw that it was a cake and cheesecake combined you won me over. I don’t like cheesecake, but the combo I think I could handle!! I will definitely give this cake a try!! My husband loves red velvet cake.


  21. Becky on February 8, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Oh my goodness gracious…this looks heavenly! I’ve been meaning to order this at the Cheesecake Factory, but we haven’t been there in a while…but a make-at-home recipe? Yes, please!


  22. Erin on February 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I don’t have a Cheesecake Factory here, but I have eaten there before and always have a hard time picking something to eat. I am so indecisive when it comes to food I just want everything! As for my favorite cheesecake it would have to be either white choc raspberry or peanut butter & choc.


  23. CouponClippingCook on February 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

    What a beautiful cake. Would love to sink my teeth in it right now for breakfast. I think I see my finger print in your cake sneaking some frosting.


  24. Heather on February 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Oh my, red velvet and cheesecake. How lovely and decadent!


  25. Lindsay on February 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    That is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. This needs to be done.


  26. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on February 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I would much rather sit down with a giant slice of this baby than go to the Cheesecake Factory any day!


  27. Christi's Chirps on February 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Your recipe looks oh so delicious and your photos are outstanding! What a perfect Valentine’s Day dessert this would be!

    Thanks for sharing!



  28. Jamie on February 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Love the colors! I love Chessecake factory and Red Velvet! I will have to try this! Thanks for sharing!


  29. Tracy on February 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    As someone who sadly cannot eat cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory (all are processed w/peanuts and nuts), I am over the moon excited about trying this at home!!


  30. Lisa Maria on February 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! My husband would flip for this…I think I’ll try it for our anniversary next week. Thank you so much for sharing this!


  31. Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife on February 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Oh dear Cupid, this looks sinfully delicious! This may just have to be my sweet treat for my hubby this Valentine’s Day!


    • Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife on February 8th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Oh, and I totally know what you mean about the Cheesecake Factory. I’m the Queen of Indecisiveness and that + their loooong menu and long list of cheesecake options makes for a very hard decision making process!


  32. Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes on February 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    What a beautiful and delicious cake! My husband would love this! Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe for valentines day!


  33. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on February 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Please don’t let my hubby see this… It looks so fabulous, and I know that he will demand that I make it once a week for the next 3 months. :) Though, I may have to risk it and make it for him for Valentine’s Day!


  34. Jacquelyn on February 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I’ve had this at CF and it’s to-die-for, so glad to have a recipe to try at home! Quick and silly question, but as I’ve never cut a cheesecake in half horizontally I’m imaging that it’s a mess! How do you keep it from crumbling or getting misshapen? Any tricks/tips?


  35. Tammy on February 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    OMG! My 2 favorite desserts in ONE! Be still my heart!


  36. Tracey on February 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    That looks SO fantastic! I’ve only eaten at the Cheesecake Factory once, but I’ve seen so many of their recipes recreated that I now know I need to get there more often :)


  37. Chris on February 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Can you believe I have never ordered cheesecake from the Factory!? I didn’t realize the RVC I posted about recently was so similar. The two layers makes this extra special! looks irresistible.


  38. Tiffany on February 8, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    I never buy pre-made cheesecake no matter where I go, not when I can easily make it at home. I am excited to try this for Valentine’s. My fav cheesecake (I have cheesecake only once a year or less) is chocolate cheesecake with a classic sour cream layer on top!

    I do love red velvet and this is going to be fun!!


  39. Ginny on February 8, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    This looks amazing! I have a question about the assembly though. How exactly did you get the cheesecake out of the pan/base without it falling apart? Maybe it’s easy and obvious, but I’m not sure how I would do it. I haven’t made very many cheesecakes though, so I’m sure there are tricks that I’m not familiar with! Thanks!


    • Michelle on February 9th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      Hi Ginny, I have a large cake spatula like this one: It definitely helps to lift and move cake layers, including the cheesecake. If you find it’s a little too difficult, you could always leave the cheesecake in tact and do three layers – red velvet, the whole cheesecake layer, then red velvet.


      • Andrea on December 21st, 2015 at 10:59 am

        Is it best to remove the cheese from springform base after it has cooled on rack and before putting in the refrigerator? Do you remove from base at same time you remove the springform sides. I have made this cake several times but have not mastered the best way to get the cheese cake from the springform pan. Can I flip it out of the pan like other layer cakes?


        • Michelle on December 22nd, 2015 at 10:04 pm

          Hi Andrea, I wait until it has cooled completely, you don’t want to move it before it’s completely set. No, I do not recommend flipping it out as the cheesecake will likely crack and break.


  40. Kathryn Baldwin on February 9, 2012 at 12:49 am

    The Cheesecake Factory is only held alive by their massive stone pillars and their glowing case of mystery cakes. I’m with you on the intense menu. I just ask what the soup of the day is and order that. It’s not worth stressing over 30 pages of American food. Plus, that way I save room for dessert :)


  41. Amber, RD on February 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Beautiful cake! I love red velvet! I made some red velvet cheesecake cookies this weekend and love them. This looks great!
    I love what you said about the Cheesecake Factory. I am the same way! I love the options, but find it so hard to pick only one thing to order. They need samplers!


  42. April @ The 21st Century Housewife on February 9, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I agree, the Cheesecake Factory menu can definitely be overwhelming – and I often am too full to have cheesecake after their very generous main courses! We had the red velvet cheesecake one of those times, and shared a piece between three of us. It was amazing. I really like the look of your version – it looks every bit as good as theirs and I’m sure it tastes just as wonderful too!


  43. Chandra@the plaid and paisley kitchen on February 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    OMG! I love that cheesecake there! I never thought to try it at home! Thanks for Sharing!


  44. kita on February 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I am so glad to hear I’m not the only one who loathes the menu at cheesecake factory. Too many choices just bogs me down. This cheesecakes though… there would be no other options in my mind. It looks outstanding.


  45. Lacy @ NYCityEats on February 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Oh my, look at those layers of cheesecake & red velvet!! I’m not a big fan of cheesecake but I’m sure I could get it down with all of that red velvet cake, yum!


  46. RisaG on February 9, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I adore any cheesecake but especially NY Style. I have only had Cheesecake Factory 2x – once at the actual restaurant in Providence, RI and once in the frozen food aisle at Costco where I had a chocolate cheesecake of some kind. I think the first time I went to the restaurant we all shared a slice of something. It has been a few years and don’t remember what it was.

    Anyway, NY Style Cheesecake is my favorite.


  47. Eloisa on February 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I’m from Brazil, and I never saw a red velvet cake here. It is so beautiful and looks so delicious.
    I realy want try to prepare, but I never find here a red food coloring liquid (a good one), and buttermilk.


    • Karen on September 7th, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Did you know you can make your own Buttermilk!

      One cup of regular milk and add one tablespoon of vinegar and mix it togheter. It is the exact same thing as buttermilk. I use it as a substitute all the time!



      • Michelle on October 5th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

        Yes, thank you for sharing!


  48. Monika on February 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    This is perfect for my husband’s birthday dinner party next weekend! Thanks!


  49. Chrissy Hyatt on February 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I made this…it was…..AWESOME!! Thanks.


  50. gal.s on February 15, 2012 at 8:59 am

    The result was the same as the picture! this is amazing!
    i worked more then 7 hours on this cake but it was really amazing!
    the cake tastes so good, but i must say it’s a little heavy.
    after cutting the cheese cake ( i was veryyy sleepy ), it broke but i managed to put in on the cake as a “puzzle” but it doesn’t matter and no one could see it after putting all the cream! this will go to my secret recipe book =P. thank you!


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