This cheesecake makes me smile. The sprinkles remind me of summer pool parties and sunny weather. That’s why I think it’s a great recipe for a Monday morning. Sprinkles are perfect for brightening up the start of a week.
The sprinkles disintegrate during baking, so the entire cheesecake is super-creamy and smooth. Topped with a light, whipped vanilla icing, this cheesecake is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Even on a Monday morning.
This funfetti cheesecake is baked in a water bath, which helps keep it from cracking. To make a water bath, cover the bottom and outer sides of a springform pan with a couple of sheets of aluminum foil in a criss-cross pattern. This will prevent any water from leaking through the gaps in the springform pan. After filling the pan with the crust and cheesecake filling, place the aluminum-covered pan into a dry roasting pan, then into the preheated oven.
After the pans are in the oven, add the hot water. By adding the hot water last, you don’t have to worry about the water sloshing around as you place the pans into the oven. Getting water in the cheesecake isn’t good. Or even worse, you could end up spilling hot water all over yourself.
As a bit of a klutz in the kitchen, I always avoid taking those risks.
Cheesecake has always been my favorite dessert. I’ve made Pumpkin Cheesecakes for the holidays, Reese’s Stuffed Cheesecakes using leftover Halloween candy, or Peanut Butter Cheesecakes topped with a chocolate ganache for an ultimate sweet-tooth.
By making so many cheesecakes over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks that help ensure that the cheesecakes are always creamy and beautiful:
- Use softened cream cheese. Cold cream cheese will give you a lumpy cheesecake, so make sure that yours is room-temperature. Either leave the cream cheese on the counter for an hour before use or you can place an unwrapped block of cream cheese into a zip-top bag and into a warm water bath for about 10 to 15 minutes. Alternatively, place an unwrapped block of cheesecake into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 15 second increments. I usually avoid using the microwave since it can unevenly cook the cream cheese.
- Use a water bath. Cheesecakes tend to crack without moist heat (and custards can become rubbery), so a water bath will add moisture while also providing a constant heat source for steady cooking.
- Don’t peek. Avoid opening the oven while the cheesecake is baking. Drafts can cause the cheesecake to fall or crack.
- Avoid overcooking the cheesecake. Once the cheesecake reaches a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it will almost always crack. If you’re worried about overcooking the cheesecake, use an instant-read thermometer and turn off the oven once it reaches 150 degrees.
- Cool the cheesecake slowly and completely before chilling. Since cheesecakes are sensitive to sudden temperature changes, turn off the oven when the cheesecake is done baking. Crack the oven door slightly and let it rest and cool in the water bath. After an hour, transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack and cool for a few minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan. After removing the sides, let it cool completely before chilling. For the best consistency, I like to chill mine overnight.
If yours does crack, just cover it with a bit of icing and no one will know. I won’t tell!
Funfetti Cheesecake with a Whipped Vanilla Icing
For the Crust:
- 1½ cups graham crackers, finely crushed
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp sprinkles (not nonpareils)
For the Whipped Vanilla Icing:
- 2 cups heavy cream, cold
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom and two inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Place the springform pan onto two sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bring the edges of the foil up around the springform pan to make sure no water leaks into the pan. Set aside.
- To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, and milk using a stand mixer. Once combined, gently stir in the eggs and sprinkles.
- Carefully pour the cheesecake filling over the graham cracker crust in the springform pan. Place the springform pan into a roasting pan and place into the preheated oven. To create the water bath, pour hot water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the springform pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until the edges are set, but the center jiggles when the pan is lightly shaken. Turn off the oven. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour, then cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
- Remove the sides of the pan and let the cheesecake cool completely before chilling in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
- Once the cheesecake has been fully chilled, prepare the whipped vanilla icing. Place the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk attachment into the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Once cold, add the heavy cream and whip until soft peaks form. Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract and whip until the icing is thick and creamy. Add the icing to a piping bag and frost the chilled cheesecake. Slice and serve immediately.