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OK, I know what you’re thinking. Did Santa’s workshop explode all over the IBK test kitchens?
No! Of course not! Santa’s workshop is, as far as I’m aware, intact and humming up at the North Pole. What you’re looking at right now is a cake.
A totally edible, wonderfully delicious, super-Christmas-y Christmas cheesecake cake!
As promised, today I’m sharing the last cheesecake layer cake I’ll be posting this year. But it’s a special one! This Christmas funfetti cheesecake layer cake is ridiculous in so many ways (as I’m sure you can see).
Last week’s eggnog cake is, to me, something you might serve at a Christmas party for very sophisticated people who say tomahto and wear tiaras at the dinner table, while this cake is more suited to a party where everyone is wearing ugly sweaters and the kids’ table is so noisy you can hear it across the street.
From the red frosting to the green drip to the red and green sprinkles in the white cake batter, we have so much Christmas going on here that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to create something more fabulously holiday-esque.
As a bonus, the whole thing tastes pretty darn good and, while time-consuming, nothing you see here is difficult to make.
We use a white cake mix as the cake layers, and mix in red and green jimmies. (Don’t use the little round nonpareils because they’ll bleed in the batter.) If you’d prefer not to track down your own jimmies, you can absolutely substitute a box of Christmas funfetti cake; I didn’t do that because I’m a control freak and want to add the exact number of sprinkles I like.
The frosting gets its vivid red color from a little cocoa powder. If you’ve ever tried dying frosting red you know it’s next to impossible to get a non-pink color.
Adding cocoa powder is something I learned from (I’m almost positive) Cook’s Illustrated. It’s not enough to make the frosting chocolate flavored, it’s just enough to make your frosting deep red when you add the red food coloring.
I like to use red no-taste red gel coloring whenever I need to use a lot of it, but I haven’t done a taste-test to see if the stuff called “Christmas red” is really terrible-tasting. You’ll need 1 to 1.5 ounces of red gel food coloring and I don’t recommend having children help with the frosting; it can get messy.
The drip is just white chocolate, heavy cream, and some green food coloring. Fortunately you don’t need special tricks to make a nice deep green. I use this gel color.
As always, be sure you plan ahead when you’re making this cheesecake cake as the cheesecake layer needs to refrigerate overnight before you assemble your cake. The cake also needs to refrigerate overnight before you add your drip.
Please tell me you’ll include this Christmas funfetti cheesecake layer cake in your holiday celebrations. You know you want a slice! (You’ll need it to tolerate those
screaming enthusiastically loud children.)
If you make this Christmas funfetti cheesecake layer cake–or any of my recipes!–be sure to let me know what you think with a comment and rating below. And post a pic on Insta! Tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see!
This Christmas funfetti cheesecake layer cake is delicious, fun, and full of holiday spirit.
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 15.25-ounce white cake mix
- 1 cup whole milk
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup red and green jimmies
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- green gel food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then generously spray the pan with cooking spray again. Set pan aside.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour together with an electric mixer set to medium speed. Beat in eggs and egg yolks one at a time, mixing until eggs are just incorporated. Turn mixer to low and beat in the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Set pan in a roasting pan (or any large baking pan) and carry over to the oven. Pour a couple inches of water into the pan, then carefully transfer to the oven. Bake 32 to 38 minutes, until the center of the cheesecake barely wobbles. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife between the cake and the edge of the pan. Cool cheesecake to room temperature. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
After the cheesecake has refrigerated, dip the pan in a bowl of hot water for about 15 seconds. Run a knife around the edge of the cake again, then set a large plate or a cake circle on top of the pan. Invert the cake onto the plate. Keep refrigerated until you assemble the cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, then spray paper with cooking spray. Set pans aside.
Combine the cake mix, milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Turn mixer to medium and beat 2 minutes. Fold in the jimmies with a rubber spatula.
Divide batter evenly between cake pans and bake 28 to 38 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the cake layers from the pans and cool completely before frosting.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until very smooth, about 1 minute. With mixer set to low, gradually beat in 6 cups of the powdered sugar. Add 4 tablespoons of the milk and the vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt. Turn mixer to high speed and beat until mixture is very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. If frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar; it it’s too thick add additional milk. Add red gel food coloring and mix to combine.
Place one of the layers on a cake circle or cake stand and spread a thin layer of frosting over the top. Carefully top with the cheesecake layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the cheesecake and top with remaining cake layer. Frost the cake with the remaining red frosting.
Refrigerate cake for at least 8 hours, or overnight. (If you’re going to skip adding the ganache drip you can just serve the cake at this point.)
Place the white chocolate chips in a large heat-proof bowl. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan set over medium heat and warm the cream until it just begins to steam. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 3 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in gel food coloring.
If the ganache is especially runny let it sit for a few minutes on the counter to thicken up; if it thickens too much you can pop it in the microwave for 5 or 6 seconds. Transfer the ganache to a reusable plastic piping bag and snip off the tip (or transfer to a large zip-top plastic bag and snip off one of the corners, or a plastic squeeze bottle).
Take cake out of the fridge and gently squeeze a circle of ganache around the top edge of the cake, applying a little extra pressure at certain points to create drips. Carefully spread the remaining ganache over the top of the cake. Refrigerate to set the ganache, then slice the cake and serve.
Cheesecake layer adapted from The Baker’s Manual
Ganache drip adapted from Chelsweets.com