Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes preparation; Baking 45-55 minutes; Cooling: 2 hours; Chilling: 6-8 hours
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
Have you ever picked up a treat from your childhood, tasted it and then thought, I remembered that as tasting a lot better than it did? Perhaps the taste buds of adults change as they have matured, but it happens all the time. And yet, it’s still disappointing to find out that one of your childhood favorites hasn’t passed the test of time.
This cheesecake recipe brings to mind the flavors of a favorite of all kids, Orange Creamsicle Popsicles, but it does so with a more sophisticated flavor. Whether or not you still love an Orange Creamsicle Popsicle, you are sure to love this recipe for Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake.
Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake gives you a silky smooth texture in the cake and pairs it with a deliciously crunchy graham cracker crust. One awesome thing about this cheesecake is that the orange flavoring is not due to gelatin or Kool-Aid or some other artificial ingredient. The orange flavor comes from orange juice concentrate.
Now, if you are a beginning baker, the idea of cheesecake may give you pause. But, don’t be intimidated by this recipe. While creating a decadent New York-style cheesecake may be a bit more complicated, this kind of cheesecake is a snap. If you can use a mixer and pay attention to the time, you definitely can enjoy making this recipe for family and friends. In fact, even school-aged kids can tackle this cheesecake with ease.
But, here are a few important things to remember for when you’re making a cheesecake: First, always begin with cream cheese at room temperature. No matter how much you beat it, cold cream cheese will not cooperate and smooth into a silky mixture. If you try to use cold cream cheese, the texture of your cheesecake will be more like cottage cheese than cheesecake. Take the time to soften the cream cheese.
To soften cream cheese, the best method is to allow it to sit out at room temperature for about an hour. But, if you forgot or you’re in a rush, take the cream cheese out of all of the packaging, place it on a plate and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Spread the cubes out on the plate and let them sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Alternately, you can pop your plate of cream cheese cubes into the microwave and microwave it in 10-second bursts, flipping the cubes over every time you restart the microwave. After four or five trips through the microwave, your cream cheese should be warmed up to room temperature.
Second, sometimes getting the cream cheese mixture to blend with the eggs can be tricky. This is why you should always add the eggs one at a time. Add an egg, mix it for two or three minutes, or until the egg has vanished into the batter, and then add the next egg, repeating the process until all three eggs are incorporated.
Third, good cheesecake is made the day before you plan to serve it. That’s because something magical happens when you stick it in the refrigerator and chill it. Of course, you can serve it after it has cooled from its initial baking, but the texture won’t be quite right.
When you take the time to chill the cheesecake in the fridge, the texture of the cake itself and the crust transform from eggy custard to silken yumminess. So for best cheesecake texture, either make it early in the morning of the day you want to serve it, allowing it to sit in the refrigerator all day; or, make it the day before and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Now, onto the recipe.
Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake Instructions
- 9 whole graham crackers, 18 square graham crackers, or 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 eight ounce blocks of cream cheese
- 3 whole eggs
- ¾ cup orange juice concentrate
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray and set it aside.
Step 2: Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, crush the graham crackers into crumbs.
You can also use a food processor if you prefer.
Step 3: Place the crumbs in your baking pan, adding the sugar and stirring with a fork.
Slowly drizzle the butter over the crumbs and toss with a fork. Press the crumbs into the pan and set the pan aside.
Step 4: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy.
Slowly drizzle in the sugar and mix until it is thoroughly combined. Add the eggs one at a time and blend after each one. Add the salt, vanilla, and orange juice concentrate, mixing thoroughly.
Step 5: Using a rubber spatula, pour and scrape the batter into the graham cracker crust, smoothing the top.
Place it in the center of the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the edges are lightly browned and mostly set, while the middle is still slightly jiggly. Resist the urge to open the oven to peek in until the time is up. The blasts of cool air from opening the oven can lead to cracking in the surface of the cheesecake.
Step 6: When the cheesecake is done, turn off the oven, crack the oven door, and leave it that way for about 30 minutes.
This will help the cheesecake set up. After a half an hour, remove the cheesecake to the countertop and let it cool there for about 2 hours. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put the cheesecake in the fridge for 6-8 hours. Slice into wedges and serve.
April Freeman enjoys creating all kinds of recipes for her friends and family from her country kitchen in Middle Tennessee. She and her family raise beef cattle, chickens, and all sorts of fruits and veggies on their farm, and she specializes in featuring farm-fresh foods in the recipes that she creates and serves. April says that her slogan is “Are you hungry?” and she feels that one way of showing love and connecting with others is to serve delicious favorite foods to others. Her favorite thing to cook is pies of all kinds.