This birthday cake cheesecake is the ultimate dessert for the birthday girl (or boy) in your life. Sweet, creamy, rich, and full of sprinkles, it’s absolutely delicious!
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What do you make for a cheesecake lover on her birthday? Birthday cake cheesecake!
I have a Very Big Birthday coming up in a couple months and all I want to eat on my special day is a slice of this rich and creamy, sprinkle-filled, graham-cracker-crusted dessert heaven.
One bite and I think you’ll be as smitten as I am. And here’s how to make it right in your very own kitchen!
Recipe step by step
Start by making your crust
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl
- Stir until combined
- Press firmly into the bottom and about an inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan
Set the pan aside and work on the filling
- Beat room temperature cream cheese with sugar until smooth
- Mix in eggs, heavy cream, and a few other ingredients
- Fold in sprinkles
- Pour into your springform pan and bake for about 90 minutes
- When your cheesecake is done it should look like the second photo above
Then you’ll cool your cheesecake to room temperature, cover it, and chill it in the fridge overnight. (Don’t cover your cheesecake while it’s still warm or it could sweat.)
When you’re ready to serve, make the whipped cream topping
- Beat cold heavy cream until it starts to thicken
- Add powdered sugar and beat until the cream holds stiff peaks, then mix in vanilla
- Pipe or spread on top of the cheesecake and decorate with more sprinkles
Recipe notes and tips
• I used Duncan Hines Classic White cake mix; you only need a 1/2 cup of the powder but you can store the leftover in your pantry for more cheesecake (or try it in these birthday cake brownies!)
• When I do a water bath for my cheesecakes, I like to leave the water bath in the oven until it’s completely cooled because it’s heavy and easy to spill when the pan is hot.
• The cheesecake needs to chill overnight so be sure to plan ahead.
• Make sure that you beat your cream cheese thoroughly so your filling isn’t lumpy; be sure your cream cheese is fully at room temperature as well, so it’s easier to eliminate the lumps.
• The heavy cream you use for the whipped cream topping should be cold when you start beating it; if it’s at room temperature it will not whip up as well.
How to store your cake
Uneaten cheesecake can be stored, covered, in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
Slices can also be frozen, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing slices on a foil-lined baking sheet for about an hour so the whipped cream on top sets up. Then you can wrap each slice tightly and the whipped cream will remain intact.
How do I know when cheesecake is done?
Most cheesecakes are done when the very center of the cheesecake has a little jiggle if you tap the side of the pan. The edges should be set—if the edges still jiggle then your cheesecake needs to stay in the oven longer.
But always consult your recipe; if the recipe gives you an indication that the filling shouldn’t jiggle at all or that the edges should jiggle too then go by that.
What kind of sprinkles should I use?
I don’t recommend using nonpareils (the little balls) because they bleed a lot. I used nonpareils to decorate the top of my cheesecake, but inside I used rainbow jimmies.
Best cream cheese for cheesecake
This post is NOT sponsored but I always recommend using full fat Philadelphia cream cheese in cheesecakes.
Some brands of cream cheese just don’t set up as nicely after your cheesecake has baked and the final result is kind of mushy rather than dense and creamy. I’ve never had that problem using Philadelphia.
Don’t use non-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese and be sure you use the bricks of cream cheese, not the stuff in tubs.
- This is the springform pan I use
- I used this piping tip and this piping bag to pipe the whipped cream around my cheesecake
- These are the rainbow jimmies I used inside the cake
- These are the nonpareils I used on top of the cake
Did you make this recipe? That’s great! Leave me a comment and rating below! And post a pic on Instagram. Tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see!
Birthday cake cheesecake is the ultimate dessert mash-up for birthday celebrations. It's rich, creamy, full of sprinkles, and completely delicious!
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Additional sprinkles optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Wrap a 9-inch springform pan with three layers of aluminum foil. Spray the pan with cooking spray and set pan aside.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Set pan aside.
- Combine the white chocolate and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat the mixture in 15-second intervals with microwave set to 50% power. Stir after each interval until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Set aside to cool slightly while you proceed with the filling.
- Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sugar and beat well.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the cake mix powder, vanilla, and salt.
- Slowly beat in the white chocolate-cream mixture until fully combined. Use a rubber spatula to stir up from the bottom of the bowl several times, making sure everything is properly mixed, then fold in the rainbow jimmies.
- Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top.
- Pour a half-inch of water into a roasting pan (or any large rimmed baking pan) and carefully place the pan in the oven.
- Set the cheesecake in the middle of the pan. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, until just the center of the cheesecake jiggles when you tap the pan.
- Remove cheesecake from the oven and cool to room temperature. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve, make the topping.
Beat the heavy cream until it begins to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and beat to stiff peaks, then mix in the vanilla. (The cream is at stiff peaks if you can pull the beaters out and the cream holds its shape rather than collapsing on itself.)
- Spread or pipe over the cheesecake and top with more sprinkles. Slice and serve.
- Uneaten cheesecake can be stored, covered, in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. Slices can also be frozen, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.
- *I used Duncan Hines Classic White cake mix
- **Jimmies are the oblong sprinkles and they don’t bleed into the cheesecake as much as other sprinkles. I don’t recommend using nonpareils (the little balls) because they bleed a lot.
- When I do a water bath for my cheesecakes, I like to leave the water bath in the oven until it’s completely cooled because it’s heavy and easy to spill when the pan is hot.
- The cheesecake needs to chill overnight so be sure to plan ahead.
- Make sure that you beat your cream cheese thoroughly so your filling isn’t lumpy; be sure your cream cheese is fully at room temperature as well, so it’s easier to eliminate the lumps.