Holiday Strawberry Cheesecake

The countdown has begun! There are approximately three days until Christmas!? Okay, it just hit me... Last year I did a wonderful red velvet cheesecake that you all absolutely loved. This year I decided to go with a classic cheesecake and a holiday favorite, strawberry swirl. This simple recipe bakes up a fluffy and rich cheesecake with a perfect balance of tangy and sweet.

I wanted to finish it with a simple design that wouldn't take away from its' beauty but compliment it, so I topped this cake off with chocolate buttercream pine cones. Not to any surprise I ended up falling in love with the combination of the strawberry cheesecake flavor with the chocolate frosting. 

Trust me, you can opt-out the pine cones for fresh strawberries and still have a gorgeous and professional quality cheesecake that will impress. Because Christmas is this coming Sunday, I made one two days ago and stored it in an airtight container to freeze and thaw on Christmas day. 

This is a part of my 12 Days of Christmas on YouTube! So, be sure to view the tutorial below and subscribe to the channel to keep up to date with my other fun and creative Christmas inspired bakes.

2 8oz. cream cheese
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
squeeze of lemon juice
Strawberry sauce:
1/2 c strawberries
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c water
1 tbsp sugar
Graham Cracker Crust:
2 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp butter
6" or 7" springform pan
hot water bath
Standing or handheld mixer

Add all strawberry sauce ingredients (berries, sugar, water, cornstarch) to a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add to a small sauce pot and allow to bring to a boil. When the sauce thickens, remove from the heat and allow to cool.


In a mixing bowl:
Start by creaming both packages of cream cheese (room temperature), beat for about two minutes. Then, scrap down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat the cream cheese until completely smooth. 

Keep doing this for as long as necessary. Add sugar and mix for one minute. Add flavorings (vanilla, lemon) and add one egg. Allow to mix for thirty seconds then add the second egg and beat until the batter is smooth (between 1-2 minutes).

Graham Cracker Crust:
Crush and combine graham cracker crumbs with butter. Add to the bottom of a springform pan and use a cup to pat the crumbs down into a crust.

Fill the pan with the batter halfway. Carefully spoon about half of the strawberry sauce onto the batter and smooth out. Slowly and carefully pour the rest of the batter over the sauce and tap and wiggle the pan to allow the batter to settle.
Spoon dollops of the sauce onto the top of the cheesecake. Drag a toothpick or knife through the sauce to create the swirl. Wrap the bottom of the pan with foil and carefully place the cheesecake into a hot water bath. I used a 9 inch cake pan filled half way with hot water. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-80 minutes or until firmer when wiggled.

STEP 4: Holiday Touch

Put green buttercream in a small sandwich bag and cut off a small bit of the corner to make a piping bag.
Once the cake has fully cooled pipe a long strong around half of the cake. Then, pipe small sprigs stemming from that buttercream strand. This is going to be your pine tree branch. If any of this is confusing please watch the tutorial for a better description.
Buttercream pine cones:
Fill a piping bag up with chocolate frosting and use a leaf tip (I used #67). Start by piping a large mound in the center of a rose nail on a parchment square. Then pipe a small circle at the top of the mound by turning the rose nail. From that circle, pipe short small layers of leaves until you reach the base of the rose nail. These will be the tops of the pine cones.
Make as many as you think you'll want (as well as couple extra) then freeze for fifteen minutes. When ready, add them to the pine tree branch and extend the length of the pine cones by piping more leaves onto the actual cake. By doing this you can make your pine cones as short or as long as you'd like.

I piped bunches of berries in between the pine cones by piping a dot of white frosting then a small dot of red frosting in the center.
This completes the cheesecake! I hope you all enjoy and check out my Youtube channel. Happy Holidays!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

It's the best of both worlds! Rich caramel apples and decadent fluffy spiced cheesecake. This is such an amazing recipe that you have to try. Watch the video tutorial below and subscribe to the channel for great cake and dessert ideas!

Double or triple this recipe for a larger cheesecake. I used a 6" Spring-form pan.

2 lg eggs
8 oz. cream cheesecake
1 C sour cream
1 apple
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Caramel Sauce:
1/2 stick butter
1/3 C whole or 2% milk
1/2 C brown sugar
1 C spiced cookie crumbs
3 graham crackers (into crumbs)
2 tbsp melted butter (for a firmer crust)

Step 1: Cheesecake Batter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a standing mixer: Beat room temperature cream cheese for a couple of minutes until smooth. With a spatula, scrap down the sides of the bowl and beat again. Add the eggs one at a time and mixing for 30 seconds after each egg. Once again scrape down the sides of the bowl, add spices and vanilla extract and mix one last time.


Thinly slice an apple and set aside. I only used half for this recipe but a whole would've been even better. They cooked beautifully and added a great flavor to the cheesecake that I would've enjoyed more of.
Crust: Crush cookie crumbs, and add butter (optional), combine and add to the bottom of a spring-form pan. Use the bottom of a cup to pat cookie crumbs down into a firm crust. Wrap the cheesecake pan in a piece of foil. Add half of the batter then fill with apple slices and finish with the remaining batter and any the last of apple slices.
I put my 6 in. spring-form pan into an 8 in. cake pan and filled it halfway with hot water. Bake at 325 for about 1 hour or until there is no jiggle when wiggled.


 In a small sauce pot add all caramel sauce ingredients. Stir and cook on medium heat until smooth.
When the cheesecake has baked and cooled, spoon the sauce over the cake and allow to drizzle down the sides.
I often have caramel apples in my fridge so I sliced one up then and also stuck the stick in the center. Lastly I topped the cake off with chopped peanuts. 

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

Hey Cakenistas. It's well into the Fall and as usual, we decided to celebrate with a tasty dessert. How about No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Cups? They're so quick to make and can be decorated in a thousand ways. I decided to make a few mini pumpkins out of fondant to top them off with. This was a LIVE video that I did for the Food Lovers Page. This was my first LIVE Facebook video and I had a blast! I enjoyed your feedback and there will definitely be more videos to come. If you missed the LIVE stream you can watch it now by clicking here. So off to the deliciousness!

No-Bake Pumpkin Spiced Cheesecake Cups!

4 oz. cream cheese (softened)
4 oz. whipped topping (or whipped cream) (room temperature)
4 oz. pumpkin puree
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp cinnamon
5 cinnamon graham crackers crushed into crumbs
8 small serving cups


1. In a mixer: Beat softened cream cheese for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Then, add sugar and continue to mix for 1 minute. Next, add pumpkin puree and mix until completely combined. 

2. Gradually fold the whipped topping into the pumpkin mixture until combined. Put the cheesecake mixture into a piping (or a large freezer bag) with a round piping tip. If using a freezer bag, simply cut off a corner to pipe with.

3. Spoon a tablespoon (or enough to cover the bottom) of graham cracker crumbs into a serving cup. Pipe a large dollop of the cheesecake into the cup filling halfway. Again, a layer of graham cracker crumbs then fill with cheesecake to the top. Refrigerate for at least an hour and enjoy!

 Garnish ideas: Caramel, spices, fondant pumpkin, pumpkin candy, cookies, graham cracker crumbs, or whatever your heart desires.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! 

Vampire Cookie Pops & Bloody Milkshakes

I've been in a Vampire kind of mood, so for this Halloween I wanted to make something fun and simple that anyone could do. This is a fun and easy family treat that any vamp would love. I decided to make vampire mouth lollipops and a bloody milkshake to go along with it. The best thing about these lollipop cookies is that you can hold it up as your own vampire mouth before taking a bite! The milkshake may look bloody, but it's oh so delicious and flavored with berries.

Click above to watch the fun video tutorial. Feel free to subscribe to the channel and like the video! I appreciate the love. Let's get into it...

Vampire Cookie Pops & Bloody Milkshake

Milkshake (2 servings):
2 C vanilla or strawberry ice cream
1-2 C milk (I use vanilla soy milk)
2-3 drops of red or maroon food color
1 C frozen raspberries (or strawberries)
Red candy melt + sandwich bag for piping
2 ice cream glasses or cups

Sugar cookie dough
Candy melt (red, black, white)
2 sandwich bags (or piping bags)
Lollipop sticks
Vampire mouth stencil: Create by printing an image from the computer (or tracing). Make sure the stencil is bigger than your own mouth.
Small knife or Xacto knife


In a blender, combine all ingredients (milk, ice cream, gel dye and frozen strawberry or raspberry). Blend until smooth and add more milk for a thinner consistency or more ice cream for a thicker one.
Bloody Rim:
Milk the red candy melts and put in a sandwich bag or piping bag. Cut off a small corner to pipe the chocolate around the rim of the glass. Put the glass in the refrigerator until hard and repeat this process one or two more times to get a thick coating.
You'll send the finished shake in the last step but that was it, simple :)


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I use a simple sugar cookie dough which is 1 box of cake mix, 1 egg and 1/2 c shortening. Chill for 1 hour and roll the dough out.

I traced vampire mouth stencil from my computer (or phone). Make sure that your stencil is a larger than your actual mouth. Cut out the stencil and place onto the cookie dough. Cut out as many mouths as you'd like and bake on a greased or lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.


 Lips: Using the same red candy melt from the milkshake, carefully pipe the candy melt onto the cookie to form lips. Let the candy melt drip onto the cookie while the tip of the bag is bout 1/2 inch above the cookie. This is the best method to make a neat looking cookie.

Teeth: Melt white candy melts and put in a sandwich bag then cut off the corner. Once the red candy melt hardens pipe the fangs onto the cookie. After a couple of minutes pipe the teeth in between the two fangs. Let harden.

Lastly, melt down black candy melt and put in a sandwich bag then cut off the corner. Fill in the remaining uncovered space.
Tip: Keep the candy melt warm to make a smooth surface. After piping each part, I held the cookie under heat to smooth with a toothpick and tap onto a surface.
***Watch the video tutorial to see how this was done***

Finally, once the cookie has hardened turn it over, pipe with a small amount of chocolate and place a lollipop stick on top.

Finish the milkshake with whipped cream and a red straw. There you are vamps! If you enjoyed this post please visit my YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Severed Arm Cake | HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

For a interestingly bothersome yet kinda cool Halloween cake, I decided to create a severed arm. Yup...that's right. It's gory, slightly realistic, a little bothersome and gross but it's all cake after all - and hey, that's Halloween for ya. This is indeed quite simpler than it looks, especially if you have a good hand with rolled cakes (pumpkin roll, etc.)

Click above to watch the full video tutorial and support my YouTube channel by liking and subscribing. I appreciate allof the love. 


You'll Need:
Jelly roll pan (or 9x14 pan)
Cake batter (1/2 the amount)
Maroon or red colored frosting
Strawberry cake filling
Maroon or red food color
Black fondant
Skin tone (any shade) fondant
Brown petal dust
Yellow petal dust
Parchment paper
Spatula or knife


We're going to start off by making a rolled cake for the arm.

To do this, grease a jelly roll pan and line with parchment paper. Pour enough batter to come up about an 1 inch (enough for 1 9 in. pan). Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. When baked, remove from the pan while warm. With the parchment attached to the bottom, lay another piece of parchment on top. Roll the cake up and allow to cool.

Once the cake is cooled, carefully unroll it and remove the top layer of parchment. Smear with red frosting and roll back up, using the bottom parchment to help roll the cake up while peeling it away at the same time. Measure the cake with your own arm to decide where the elbow would be. Cut that piece, bend it and cover the cake with frosting, smooth and refrigerate until cold.


For this you'll need to make a cake dough and a tracing of your own hand.
Make a cake dough by adding a bit of frosting to cake crumbs and combine until the dough can be easily molded (similar to clay). Place a piece of parchment onto the stencil and shape the cake dough to the hand stencil. Watch the video tutorial to get a full grasp of this step. Allow the cake to chill until hardened.

Carefully remove the hand from the parchment and attach to the arm. Use cake dough to shape the arm into the hand, then cut a small gap away from the wrist.


Roll out the fondant and cover the arm and hand separately making sure to keep that gap open. Carefully shape the fondant around the fingers. This is easiest when using a fondant ball tool to get in between fingers. Then cut away the fondant and tuck any extra under the arm.
Cut knuckles into the fingers. I then used brown petal dust to add shadow and bring out muscular features to the arm. This step is crucial to make a realistic arm. Bring the dust between the fingers, around the knuckles and down the arm. Remember to blend out the dust so that there are no harsh lines.

Make the fingernails by indenting with a small tool. I used the back end of a paint brush. Then dust the edge with brown petal dust.
This is when you'd make any small or large cuts into the arm and fingers.


Add a small amount of water or clear extract to yellow petal dust (you can substitute with yellow gel dye) and color the wrist and all large and small cuts that you've created.
Paint the cuts red with burgundy or maroon gel dye.
I then made a huge gash where the arm bends and painted that gash as well.
Roll out a thin piece of black fondant and cut into 1 inch pieces. Place wherever you'd like onto the cake. I placed mine over the wrist gap. Don't forget to splatter some of the blood.


I made realistic blood my mixing maroon gel dye, strawberry cake filling, and water. You can add this anywhere to the cake. I put a large amount at the end of the arm to make it look like it was bleeding out. When placing the cake onto this sheet tray I decided to offset the hand which looked great. So, this is where I put the rest of the gory blood.

I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you did, subscribe to the youtube channel and don't forget to like the fan page.
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