Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

For those of you who don’t know, my birthday was this week and to celebrate, I had a game night party and cake. The party was a blast and the red velvet cheesecake cake was de-licious and 100% not made by me.
Game of Life Red Velvet Cake

Confession time. Even though I consider myself a baker, I absolutely refuse to make my own birthday cake. That means that the task of making my birthday cake usually falls to someone else. Last year, it was Haydel’s Bakery just outside of New Orleans, a.k.a. the place that makes my absolute favorite petit fours and king cakes. This year, however, it was a job for Emily, who has become something of an expert at making my favorite red velvet cake. Complete with Game of Life themed decorations.

Game of Life Red Velvet Cake

No joke, the girl’s made more themed/fondant covered cakes than me and she’s pretty good at it, with minimal direction and suggestions from me. She’s a rock star and, as usual, she did a great job on my cake. Seriously, it turned out wonderfully.

Instead of my usual red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, I asked Emily to make a cheesecake layer. I had two reasons for asking for the cheesecake layer. First, I adore cheesecake/cream cheese flavor with red velvet cake and second, because I knew Emily would be covering the cake in fondant and cream cheese icing does not mix well with fondant icing.

Pro tip: If you’re coving a cake with fondant, do not use cream cheese icing as your crumb coat. That’s advice straight from Haydel’s Bakery. You can use it in the middle as a filling, if you like, but cream cheese frosting is way too wet/finicky to use under fondant. Chances are, if you’re not careful, your fondant would sag off the cake or melt. Buttercream is way safer to keep yourself from a headache and frustration. Yes, yes, I know, “But red velvet goes so well with cream cheese frosting.” Don’t do it. You’ll thank me later.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Anyway, this red velvet cake was perfect and exactly what I was hoping for. The party was great, too! I was even gifted with two pretty awesome, blog and GBBO presents, namely Baking with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood’s Bread. I’ve already made Mary’s tarte au citron (twice) and have started Paul’s baguettes and sourdough starter. Overeager? Maybe. But I couldn’t wait to try out their recipes.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

I will definitely be sharing a lot of Mary and Paul’s recipes with you all in the future, now that I have those two books, but for now I will leave you with the recipe for my delicious red velvet birthday cake (minus the fondant and plus some cream cheese icing), so you can see just what all the fuss is about. Just be sure to have some friends around to share with because it is pretty rich.

Before I give you the recipe, don’t forget to check out Baker at Law’s new Pinterest Page! I’ll be pinning lots of recipes that I find interesting and already have a few boards set up so you can check out some tasty treats on other blogs!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Creamy cheesecake sandwiched between layers of delightfully soft red velvet cake. Adapted from Bakerella's Red Velvet Cake and Shugary Sweets' Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake.  The basic red velvet cake has been my birthday cake for several years now and I highly recommend it with cream cheese icing. It also tastes delightful with buttercream frosting.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 12 servings


Special Equipment

  • 1 8-in round springform pan
  • 1 large cake or roasting pan (for water bath)
  • 2 8-in round cake pans

Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 8 ounce packages full fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Red Velvet Cake Layers

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 arge eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk or equivalent amount of powdered buttermilk and water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp milk or water


Cheesecake Layer

  1. Place a large cake or roasting pan in lower 2/3 of your oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees farenheit. 

    Prepare the springform pan by spraying with nonstick spray and lining with parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil to prevent water from the water bath from leaking into the cheesecake during baking. 

  2. While the oven preheats, boil water to use for the water bath. 

  3. Cream the cream cheese and sugar using either a hand mixer and medium bowl or a stand mixer. 

    Incorporate the salt, then the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg. 

    Once the eggs are incorporated, add in the sour cream, whipping cream, and vanilla. Mix well. 

  4. Pour the cream cheese mixture into your prepared springform pan. Carefully place the pan in the preheated cake/roasting pan. 

    Pour the boiling water into the cake pan until there is an inch of water surrounding the springform pan. Be careful not to burn yourself or spill water into the cheesecake mixture. 

  5. Bake the cheesecake for approximately 45 minutes, or until it barely jiggles in the center. 

    When the cake is finished, turn off the oven, but do not remove the cheesecake. Let cool in the oven for another 30 minutes. 

  6. Remove the cake and cool completely on the counter. When completely cooled, chill in the refrigerator in the springform pan. 

Red Velvet Layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    While the oven is heating, grease and flour the two 8-inch cake pans. 

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, buttercream, vinegar, vanilla, and food coloring. Set aside while you prepare the dry ingredients. 

  3. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, if using a hand mixer. 

  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix on medium-high speed until fully combined, approximately 1 minute. 

  5. Divide evenly between the two cake pans, then tap on the counter or table several times. This helps remove large air bobbles. 

  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Remove the baked cakes from the oven and cool them in the cake pans for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove from the pans to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Cream together the softened butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. 

  2. Stir in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. When the sugar is completely incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding in the vanilla extract. 

  3. Mix in the milk or water one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Make sure the frosting isn't too loose and gloopy. It should be thinner than room temperature peanut butter, but thicker than pancake batter. 


  1. If your red velvet cakes are domed, use a long serrated knife or a cake leveler to level the layers. 

    Place a dollop of frosting onto a cake plate or cake board. This helps prevent the cake from moving around as you assemble and, eventually, cut it. 

  2. Position one of your cake layers, cut side down, onto the cake board. 

    Stack the cheesecake layer top of the first cake layer, being careful not to break or squish the cheesecake as you flip it. Place the second cake layer on top of the cheesecake, again placing it cut side down. 

  3. Use a very thin layer of frosting to secure crumbs to the cake. This is just a crumb cake, so it doesn't need to be perfect. Chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to harden. 

  4. Remove the cake from the fridge and frost with the remaining cream cheese frosting. 


Recipe Notes

This cake will keep for a few days, covered, in the refrigerator, if you're able to make it last that long. 

Copyright © 2017 Baker at Law




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