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Thursday 5 April 2012

Baking for Beginners: Hot Cross Baked Cheesecake

This is by far my most awesome baking experiment EVER!
I love a good hot cross bun and I really love cheesecake so I figured why not combine the two? Now I've never baked a cheesecake before, I've only made ones that you just leave to set in the fridge, so I really was winging it on this one.

I wanted quite a light cheesecake, despite it being really indulgent and containing eggs, cream cheese and more cream, so decided to whip 2 of the egg whites and use whipping cream. I used jumbo sultanas and raisins as they are really plump and juicy as you don't want a hard raisin in your lovely soft cheesecake. Ideally you should use a 24cm springform cake tin but if you have one which has a base that can be pushed up and out of the tin (like mine) then thats fine too.

You'll need:
  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • 150g melted unsalted butter (plus a bit extra to grease the tin)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 big heaped tablespoons cornflour
  • 600g full fat cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla pod)
  • 3 heaped teaspoons mixed spice
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 200g jumbo sultanas and raisins
  • zest of 1 orange

Make it!
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C. Butter the inside and bottom of your cake tin then put the biscuits inside a bag and bash them with a rolling pin. Mix the crushed biscuits with your melted butter then tip into the tin and push down firmly. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to cool whilst you make your filling.
  2. Separate 2 of the eggs and whisk the whites until soft peak stage and set aside. Sift together the caster sugar and cornflour into a big bowl then add your cream cheese and beat together until smooth (with an electric mixer if you have one) then add the vanilla extract, mixed spice and remaining whole egg and 2 egg yolks and mix again. Whilst still beating, slowly add your whipping cream until it stiffens slightly then stop (only takes about 10 seconds).
  3. Add your orange zest and stir in your sultanas and raisins. Spoon a bit of your egg whites into the creamy mix and stir then add the rest and fold in gently so you don't knock all the air out.  Pour into your cake tin and smooth the top. Give the tin a couple of hard taps on the worktop to help it settle then bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour. You will know it's done when the centre still has a bit of wobble to it but a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
  4. Once cooked leave it to cool for about 2 hours before removing it from the cake tin (it will retract slightly and so release easier and also firm up a bit more) and giving a final sprinkle of mixed spice over the top.

For an even naughtier version soak your fruit in rum the night before you make the cake. You could also use ginger biscuits instead of the digestives and if the top of the cake is brown but the cake is not yet cooked then place some foil over the top. Oh and for a REALLY naughty version serve drizzled with salted caramel sauce!


  1. Hazel, can you come and live with me, please?

  2. i keep thinking you can't possibly create a more amazing desert every time, and then you go and do it! this looks TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS!

  3. very much like the cheesecake at family gatherings when i go back to poland ...gorgeous

    1. I've never tried Polish cheesecake, all the deserts look amazing in the Polish Deli near me, will definitely try their cheesecake

  4. I am making this on Sunday! Going to soak my sultanas (and myself) in Amaretto. Looks amazing!

    1. Yes Amaretto would be amazing! Don't forget to post a pic on our Facebook page!

  5. How did I miss this last year?! Clearly making this for Easter Day!

  6. Mine's in the oven - after having to go to three different supermarkets to buy ingredients (you wouldn't think cornflour and whipping cream were scarce unless you shop in Bromley).


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