Tag Archives: baked cheesecake

Gingerbread Cheesecake Squares

The flavours of gingerbread instantly remind me of the festive season. While gingerbread houses (or even Gingerbread Ovens) might be traditional, why not put a spin on your classic gingerbread by turning it into these Gingerbread Cheesecake Squares?

Funnily enough this recipe was the result of a bit of gingerbread dough that I left too long in the fridge. As I began to knead it between my hands to warm up, it just crumbled away into pieces. It was at this point that I thought it resembled a shortbread mixture rather than gingerbread biscuit dough and immediately I had the idea to crumble it into the base of a tin, bake it and pour over some cheesecake mixture to make little squares.

This recipe is also perfect for making cutout gingerbread biscuits and gingerbread houses. You will only need to chill the dough for 20 – 30 minutes instead of hours in this case. The longer chilling ‘dries’ out the dough, making it crumbly and impossible to roll out but making it ideal for these cheesecake squares. This means you can also make the dough ahead of time!

To add a decorative element, I remove some of the cheesecake mixture and add food colouring to it. This small amount of mixture requires just a single egg yolk. The addition of yellow colouring emphasises the egg yolk colour and helps to create an attractive design. The mixture is too fluid to swirl properly but it doesn’t bleed and run either, allowing you to create a random pattern on the surface.

The backdrops used in these photos was the Farmhouse backdrop from Backdrops By Lucy – read my review of their product by clicking here!

For the Gingerbread Base:

125g margarine

100g granulated sugar

50g golden syrup

300g plain flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Cheesecake mixture:

250g cream cheese

75g granulated sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp mixed spice

1 tbsp plain flour

Pinch of ground nutmeg

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs, 1 egg separated

Yellow food colouring

In a pan over a medium heat, melt the margarine, sugar and syrup until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is even. Remove the pan from the heat, leave to sit for 1 minute before adding the pre-weighed and measured dried ingredients into the pan and stirring until it forms a dough which is aromatic and fragrant, soft but not sticky and a deep brown colour.

On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc and wrap well in clingfilm. Freeze for 2 hours until very firm and then leave in the fridge overnight or up to 2 days.

When you are ready to make the cheesecake squares, preheat the oven to 190°C. Take a square of baking parchment larger than a 20cm square tin. Grease the tin and flip it over. Fold the parchment into 4 and place the point of the square at the centre of the bottom of the pan and cut from the corner inwards until you feel the pan. Open up, push into the tin and it should line the tin perfectly.

Take the dough from the fridge and crumble it up into a mixing bowl. The pieces should all be various sizes, ranging from large chunks to small pieces to fine crumbs. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and use your hand to press the gingerbread into a single layer, pressing right into the corners until even.

Prick the surface of the gingerbread with a fork and bake for around 20 – 30 minutes or until the base is set on the surface and golden around the edges. Leave to cool completely.

Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C.

Prepare the cheesecake by beating together the cream cheese and sugar by hand until smooth. Sift over the dry ingredients and fold to incorporate. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Remove about 50g of the mixture and place into a separate smaller bowl. To the larger bowl, add the whole egg plus 1 egg white and beat to combine until even. To the smaller bowl, add the egg yolk and some food colouring to make it a vibrant yellow colour.

Pour the non-coloured cheesecake mixture over the cooled gingerbread base. It should be fairly liquid and it may run down the sides of the gingerbread base slightly too – this is to be expected. Slowly spoon over the yellow cheesecake mixture randomly so it creates a nice pattern.

Bake the cheesecake for about 25 minutes or until the surface is lightly browned, golden at the edges and wobbles just slightly in the very centre. Leave the cheesecake to cool fully in the tin before slicing into 16 squares.

Follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and make sure to check out my most recent recipe post for Chocolate Popcorn Cake!!


Day 10 of 12: Baked Mini Irish Cream Cheesecakes

Cheesecakes are often made in 2 ways; the refrigerated variety is quick, simple and perfect for any beginner wanting to make a dessert to impress and usually has whipped double cream folded through the cream cheese mixture which both helps the mixture to set and lightens it too. Alternatively you have the albeit slightly more tricky baked cheesecakes which have a tendency to crack but the key ingredients are eggs; the protein in the egg white help the mixture to thicken when baked and the eggs act as an emulsifier giving you a smooth texture.


I decided to go for a hunt for a baked cheesecake recipe that doesn’t use eggs (simply because I didn’t have any in the flat). In my research, I found that starch (i.e. flours) could be used in replacement for eggs, since the starch in flour thickens up the mixture when heated, but it did state that the cheesecake wouldn’t be as smooth or as silky as a cheesecake with egg would be.

I eventually came across Amy in the Kitchen’s (great minds with the blog name!!) recipe for a Simple Cheesecake which doesn’t use eggs. Her recipe uses double cream and sour cream to achieve the creamy texture associated with cheesecake but reading through some of the comments, I saw Amy suggest using Greek yoghurt, milk and melted butter to replace these ingredients.

So, adapting her recipe, as well as switching up the flavours, I present to you my Baked Mini Irish Cream Cheesecakes! The addition of Irish cream gives these cheesecakes a distinctly adult flavour as well as extra creaminess, which is just what you need this Christmas!


The major brand of Irish cream liqueur is Baileys but it can be expensive at nearly triple the price of lesser known brand equivalents, which, tastewise, are very similar. If you aren’t familiar with Irish cream liqueur, it’s (rather obviously) a creamy whisky-based liqueur which is very sweet and because of the cream, a smooth drink which is perfect drunk over ice or in a coffee!

It has a rather familiar taste, at least that’s what I think, because of its thick creamy richness and the vanilla, coffee and chocolate flavour profiles. For this reason, it’s very palatable on its own but also goes fantastically in a cheesecake. Make sure to check out these brilliant cheesecake recipes too:

Jane’s Patisserie’s No-bake Mint Aero Cheesecake

Becky’s Biscuit Bases’ Maltesers and Baileys Cheesecake

Andrew in the Kitchen’s No-bake Individual Strawberry Cheesecake

Andrew in the Kitchen’s Chilli Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

Andrew in the Kitchen’s Baked Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

8 digestive biscuits

50g margarine, melted

240g cream cheese

100g full fat Greek yoghurt

60g granulated sugar

3 tbsp cornflour, sifted

75ml Irish cream liqueur

1 tsp vanilla extract

125ml milk

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a 6-hole muffin tin with 6 paper muffin cases.

Either in a food processor or in a sandwich bag with a rolling pin, bash up the biscuits to form fine biscuit crumbs. Pour them into a bowl and add the melted margarine and stir until it forms a buttery biscuit base. You can check if it is done by pressing it against the side of the bowl and if It clumps together, it’s ready.

Divide the biscuit base between the 6 muffin cases and press the bases down firmly. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until they are set and then cool for 10 minutes. Turn down the oven to 170˚C.


For the cheesecake mixture, mix together the cream cheese and the Greek yoghurt with the sugar until it is smooth and aerated slightly. Fold through the cornflour and the filling should feel thicker when you mix it. Gently incorporate the Irish cream liqueur and the vanilla extract through the cheesecake mix and it should look light in colour as well as light in texture. Now fold through the milk and give it a good beat to ensure it is thoroughly mixed in.

Divide the mixture between the 6 cases and give the tin a shake to remove large air bubbles and to level out the mixture. Bake the cheesecake for 25 – 35 minutes, or until the cheesecakes are lightly golden at the edges and have the tiniest wobble in the centre when you shake the tin. Leave the cheesecakes to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes before lifting out to a wire rack to cool fully.

img_4988 img_4994

Make sure to also check out the first 9 Days of Christmas too! We’re almost at Christmas Day and the end of this series, how time flies!

Day 1: Dairy Milk Caramel Cupcakes

Day 2: Melted Snowman Chocolate Chip Cookies

Day 3: Lidl’s Favorina Spiced Biscuit Spread Review

Day 4: White Chocolate and Cranberry Crunch Biscuits

Day 5: Red Velvet Hazelnut Biscotti

Day 6: Melted Snowman Chocolate Cupcakes

Day 7: Essential Cuisine Turkey Gravy Review

Day 8: Gingerbread Hazelnut Latte Biscotti

Day 9: Christmas Present Cake

Bonfire Chilli Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

It’s Bonfire Night and it would be criminal not to do a Bonfire Night themed bake and I decided to create a Bonfire Chilli Chocolate Cheesecake using Beech’s Chocolate’s Lime and Chilli Dark Chocolate with a bonfire chocolate topping.


Beech’s Chocolate is a UK-based company which uses all natural ingredients to produce chocolates which are suitable for vegans as well as being gluten-free. Traditional and quality chocolates are being produced by a British chocolatier in Lancashire and have been since 1920.  You can find their full range here on their website and why not check out my Spiced Chocolate Welsh Cakes using Beech’s Ginger Chocolate here!


Chilli chocolate is a bit of a foreign flavour combination to many however the background warmth that comes from the chocolate means that the cheesecake filling doesn’t need as much sugar as usual, allowing the strong chocolate flavour to come through, especially with added cacao powder which is an intense chocolate hit.

You also don’t need to use branded cream cheese for your cheesecake. Own brand cream cheeses which are significantly cheaper than the brand leader do work in baked cheesecakes as long as you drain off any of the excess liquid in the tub before you use it and that it’s full fat cream cheese. Ideally your cream cheese should be at room temperature so it blends smoothly however this is not a necessary step if you whisk it with the sugar well.

A lot of Bonfire Night themed bakes tend to have edible decorations in the form of Flakes or Matchmakers to create the bonfire but I decided to do a twist on this same effect, coating spaghetti strands in chocolate and placing them around the ‘bonfire’. I suggest that you wouldn’t eat them and remove them before eating. Cacao nibs give the appearance of stones and rocks which add to the overall effect.

Here are some of my other cheesecake recipes:

Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

Individual Strawberry Cheesecake

Baked Blueberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake Buns

IMG_3226 Individual Strawberry Cheesecake

6 digestive biscuits

40g margarine, melted

240g full fat cream cheese, any excess liquid drained away

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp cacao powder

2 large eggs

1 x 60g bar of Beechs’ Chocolate’s Lime and Chilli Dark Chocolate, melted (any other chilli chocolate would also work here if you can’t find Beechs!)

30g cacao nibs

150ml double cream

60g dark chocolate

20 strands of spaghetti, half broken in 3 pieces and half broken into 4 pieces

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a 6-hole muffin tin with 6 paper muffin cases.

Either in a food processor or in a sandwich bag with a rolling pin, bash up the biscuits to form fine biscuit crumbs. Pour them into a bowl and add the melted margarine and stir until it forms a buttery biscuit base. You can check if it is done by pressing it against the side of the bowl and if It clumps together, it’s ready.

Divide the biscuit base between the 6 muffin cases and press the bases down firmly. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until they are set and then cool for 10 minutes. Turn down the oven to 160˚C.


Meanwhile prepare the filling by whisking together the cream cheese, sugar and cacao powder together until well mixed. Add the eggs in one by one, whisking well between each addition; it will take some time for the eggs to emulsify. Whisk in the melted chilli chocolate and switch from a whisk to a spatula and fold the mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Use an ice cream scoop to evenly divide the chocolate cheesecake mixture between the cases. Smooth out the cheesecakes and then finish with a sprinkling of cacao nibs in the centre.


Bake the cheesecakes for around 25 minutes until when you shake the tin, the very centre of the cheesecakes has a slight wobble and they have risen slightly. Once baked, turn off the oven, open the oven door slightly and leave the cheesecakes in there to cool for about an hour.

To prepare the bonfire decoration, melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave. Hold the end of the spaghetti and spoon the chocolate over the broken spaghetti strands so that it is coated evenly. Use a spoon to draw the chocolate down the spaghetti and make sure it’s even. Place them onto a strip of baking parchment and repeat until you have done all of the spaghetti. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Keep the leftover chocolate.


Whip the double cream until it holds soft peaks; I’d recommend using a hand whisk rather than electric or you could overwhip the cream and it will split. Add in the melted chocolate and fold through. Place into a piping bag with a petal attachment or cut off a zigzag pattern at the end as your nozzle.

Pipe a bonfire of the chocolate cream on top of the cheesecake and sprinkle over some of the cacao nibs over. Insert the spaghetti strands diagonally so that they cover the chocolate cream and have the appearance of the bonfire.



Product Review: Nanny Violets Jam

I was contacted by Nanny Violets Jam to try and review their fantastic homemade jams in my cooking and baking. I was excited at the prospect of trying lots of different flavours of jams, chutneys and relishes since you probably wouldn’t find these in your supermarkets.

The 6 flavours that were given to me to sample were Blueberry, Kiwi and Strawberry and Champagne Jam, Orange and Whisky Marmalade, Fig and Basil Chutney and Sweetcorn Relish. Arriving in this fantastically hand decorated box, I was so eager to try the jams out in my baking!

IMG_3103 IMG_3139

Based in Essex and Gloucestershire, Nanny Violets Jam produces an entire selection of luxury preserves, ranging from jams to chutneys to relishes, originating from family recipes passed down through generations. You can find them on Facebook by clicking here.

As with every review, I do receive the products to review and receive no monetary payment to write these reviews. I have not been told to write falsely positive reviews and everything is my own opinion. I keep products after the review.

I was most excited to try the blueberry jam. I have struggled to find blueberry jam in shops and have wanted to use it my baking for a while and so pleased to finally be able to! I decided to use it to create a feathering effect on top of my Blueberry Cheesecake and to accompany a luxurious breakfast of Cinnamon Pancakes with Banana and Blueberry Jam.

Cinnamon Pancakes with Banana and Blueberry Jam


These are a fantastic breakfast or brunch dish perfect for a little treat. The pancakes are sweet with the familiar flavour of cinnamon and pair well with the ripe banana slices, blueberry jam and syrup. And by pancakes, I don’t mean crepes, I mean the thick American style pancakes!

225g self raising flour

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp sugar

300ml milk

2 eggs

30g margarine, melted plus extra for the pan

2 ripe bananas, sliced on the diagonal

Syrup, to drizzle – I used Sweet Freedom, you can use maple

Nanny Violets Jam’s Blueberry Jam

For the pancakes, whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre and beat in the eggs, milk and melted margarine until the pancake mixture has just come together. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and melt your additional margarine. Once the fat has melted, spoon 3 tablespoons of the pancake batter into the pan, repeating until you have filled your frying pan.

The pancakes are ready to flip when bubbles appear all over the surface and the pancake frees itself from the pan. The second side needs less time than the first. I like my pancakes a light golden brown on both sides. Drain the excess fat on some kitchen paper and then keep the pancakes warm under foil. Repeat until you have used all the batter.

Place 2 pancakes on the plate and top with banana slices, drizzle over your choice of syrup and the blueberry jam.

Baked Blueberry Cheesecake


I love cheesecakes and baked cheesecakes get a reputation of being difficult to make but my recipe gives you perfect baked cheesecakes with the right amount of wobble each time. Feel free to experiment a bit with the base by changing up the biscuits and adding flavours if you wish but I love the classic digestive base and it has to be thick! Having a thicker base also can help to reduce the risk of the cheesecake filling leaking during baking!

Cream cheese recipes often call for Philadelphia but I find it’s expensive when cheaper supermarket alternatives do the same job! With my cream cheese, I always find there’s a bit too much liquid in the tubs so I drain that off before using.

This recipe is suited for a deep 20cm loose bottomed tin

240g digestive biscuits

100g margarine, melted

450g cream cheese

150g granulated sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 45ml jar of Nanny Violets Jam’s Blueberry Jam

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line the base of a deep 20cm loose bottomed tin. I like to have a few strips of parchment running up the sides so that it can help to lift the cheesecake of the base.

For the biscuit base, crush up the digestive biscuits either in a food processor (which takes seconds!) or by placing them in a sandwich bag and bashing them with a rolling pin. They don’t need to be a fine crumb, a few larger pieces is okay. Pour into a bowl and add the melted margarine and stir until it comes together with the texture of damp sand. Pour into the tin and use the base of a spoon to level out the base, making sure there are no gaps. Bake for 15 minutes.

For the cream cheese filling, beat together the cream cheese with the icing sugar until it is even. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. It will look curdled to begin with but keep beating until it is worked in, avoiding incorporating too much air which could balloon in the oven and create a crack! Lastly add the vanilla extract.

Carefully pour the mixture into the cooled biscuit base. Take the jam and spoon it over the top of the cheesecake in a spiral pattern. Then take a cocktail stick and create a swirly effect by running it through the spiral randomly, without overdoing it so that it gets mixed in.


Turn the oven down to 160ºC and bake the cheesecake for 40 to 50 minutes until the cheesecake is browned on top and a circle in the centre of the cheesecake around 2 inches in diameter has a good wobble. Bring the cheesecake out to cool, leaving it in the tin to cool completely.


Lift the base out of the tin, and then slide the cheesecake onto its serving plate. Use a palette knife to lift the parchment base away and then place the cheesecake into the fridge to set for a further hour before serving.

Roasted Vegetable Crostata with Sweetcorn Relish


I decided to use the sweetcorn relish as a tangy accompaniment to my Roasted Vegetable Crostata, which consists of vegetables roasted in olive oil on top of a herbed shortcrust pastry, a mustardy and peppery cream cheese layer, sliced green olives and fresh leaves and feta cheese. This is a fantastic meal ideal for a picnic, an al fresco lunch or just for those times when you don’t want meat!

The crostata has the appearance of being underbaked but it’s from the moisture from the roasted vegetables and the cream cheese seeping into the pastry. You can also do individual portions of this, just divide up the pastry into 4 and roll in the same way. I like to crimp the edges which gives a better appearance.

200g plain flour

80g margarine

1/2 tsp chilli flakes, crushed

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

Cracked black pepper

About 2 – 4 tbsp cold water

1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares

1 green pepper, cut into 1 inch squares

1 red onion, cut into 1 inch squares

2 tomatoes, deseeded and cut into 1 inch squares

50ml olive oil

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp mixed herbs

100g cream cheese

1 tsp English mustard

Cracked black pepper

A squeeze of lemon juice

75g olives

100g feta cheese

Handful of leaves, plus extra to serve

Nanny Violets Jam’s Sweetcorn Relish, to serve

Prepare the pastry by rubbing in the margarine into the flour until it resembles a breadcrumb texture. Mix through all of the seasonings and add enough of the cold water to bring it to a ball of dough. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is 5mm thick. Trim the edges so it is a neat square. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Place the chopped up vegetables into a tin and toss through the oil, garlic and mixed herbs. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes until the vegetables have softened and the ends have started to catch. Turn the oven down to 180ºC. Drain away any of the liquid in the tray.

Meanwhile make the cream cheese layer by mixing together the cream cheese, mustard, pepper with the lemon juice until incorporated. Slice your olives into rings and cut up the feta cheese into cubes.

Bring out the pastry and crimp the edge between your thumb and forefinger. Spread over the cream cheese over the pastry evenly so that it fills the crimps up. Place over the roasted vegetables and sprinkle over the sliced olives, diced feta and the salad leaves.


Bake the crostata for around 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese has all melted, the top is golden brown and the pastry is cooked through. Serve warm with the Sweetcorn Relish.

I also played around with the Strawberry and Champagne jam which I used in my mum’s birthday cake, the recipe for which you can find by clicking here.

Strawberry Birthday Cake S&C

I had the Orange and Whisky marmalade on toast too. I don’t usually enjoy marmalade however the whisky added another dimension and made it thoroughly enjoyable!