Your Holiday cheesecake doesn't have to be boring. Spice up your cheesecake presentation with a couple of simple, quick touches with ingredients that might already in your refrigerator.
When I prepare a cheesecake that will be served after a big meal to a large number of guests, I like to bake the cheesecake in a 13x9 baking pan instead of a regular cheesecake pan. The small squares make it easier for guests and friends to take a smaller pieces than the pie slices. When there are a couple of other desserts on the table and the main course has been enormous, not many people want an enormous piece of cheesecake.
I like the classic recipe that is on the inside of the Philadelphia cream cheese packages, but this time I used this one: Philly Cheesecake recipe. Either recipe is delicious.
To decorate my cheesecake platter, I simply coated blackberries, strawberries or blueberries in melted chocolate. I placed the coated berries onto the already sliced and plated cheesecake squares, then drizzled the rest of the chocolate over the cheesecake. I waited to add the fresh, uncoated berries until right before serving, since they tend to leak a little fruit juice if placed on top of a moist cheesecake.
Remember, people eat with their eyes first. Have fun and add sprinkles, candy, chocolate chips or chocolate emojis if you're fortunate enough to find them :) Enjoy! -Kate Stoltz
This delicious layered almond carrot cake can be altered, but this is my personal favorite version of my carrot cake recipe. If you don't like almonds, you can substitute them for pecans or walnuts, or just eliminate them. You can also serve as a single layer cake to save time, but the layers nicely distribute the frosting between the cake.
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup crushed almonds
3 cups grated carrots
Frosting and topping ingredients:
1 cup sliced almonds
16 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 13x9 inch cake pan. In a medium bowl, mix together all cake ingredients except for the carrots and almonds. After mixture is well blended, fold in grated carrots and crushed almonds. Pour into your prepared cake pan. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
2. Bake cake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Make sure not to over-bake.
3. While cake is baking, prepare frosting. Beat sugar and cream cheese until well blended. Add vanilla and beat a little more.
4. Cool off cake, then cut cake in half vertically, then slice in half horizontally. Frost the first layer with approximately 1/5 of the frosting, then top with another layer. Repeat until you have four layers frosted. Use remaining frosting to frost top and side. Sprinkle sliced walnuts on top and pat on side of cake. TIPS: The cake might crumble a little while you are frosting if your cream cheese isn't warm enough. You can cover up any messy parts with almonds. Refrigerate until eating. Cake is best one day after it is made.
Enjoy!!! XO, Kate Stoltz