It’s My Birthday! Time for Cheesecake!

It may come as precisely zero surprise that I was a food blogger. (Still am, I guess.) I even created a subdomain on urbanbohemian.com for it. Called it “dine like a pauper” because I was clearly feeling very pretentious at the time. And it was mostly recipes, the occasional restaurant review, some soft openings or new menu launches. Nothing major.

And this was all before the flood of food blogging hit. You know the type of site, it’s all pale colors, pastels, gorgeous shots of impossibly spacious kitchens covered in gingham linens, and full of prose about travel, life, their ancestors’ stories before the nice and convenient “jump to recipe” link we were all looking for.

So back in the day I had an idea that I might try to make a bunch of cheesecakes. So ambitious was I, that clearly I would make one a week! Researching different recipes, I’d call the series “52 Cheesecakes”! I was way ahead of the “300 Sandwiches” trend.

As you might imagine, this idea and project went absolutely nowhere. Mostly because I pulled back from the flood of inspiration and reality set in that I would be dooming myself to a near impossible schedule, potentially buying cream cheese in bulk, and throwing away desserts because there was no way I’d be able to eat them all, even if I could share them with friends, neighbors and co-workers. No.

But ever since I started making cheesecake, I have been doomed. I love cheesecake, and I’m a purist. I prefer plain cheesecake, no toppings, no fillings, no fruit on the top. The main difference in my recipe now is that I use ginger snap cookies for the crust instead of graham crackers. That’s it. And I can whip one up in no time at all, practically with my eyes closed. The only variant that I’ll make often is my sweet potato cheesecake around the holidays to fight back against the onslaught of pumpkin. I’m Southern. We do things properly. I won’t apologize for it.

In the cake pan, ready to be served.

So when it was my birthday this month and I realized that I didn’t order a cake, cupcakes, anything at all… I thought, “Why don’t I just make myself a cake?” I had tried to make “confetti/sprinkles cheesecake” before without much success so I went to the internet to see what I should do. Apparently the Cheesecake Factory beat me to the punch and I am never one to reinvent the wheel if I don’t have to!

If you’ve skipped the above nonsense, clicked the “jump to recipe” link and just wanted to find out the method, here it is: use Funfetti cake mix for the base and then cheesecake on top. Add sprinkles. Done. Here are the recipes I followed:

That’s it!

The suggested method is to use half the Funfetti box mix as the base/crust, bake it, let it cool, pour the cheesecake batter right on top and bake according to cheesecake directions. And for the most part, it worked like a charm. Next time I think I would use a little less cake batter, or better measure between the recipes because I had both leftover cake and cheesecake batters.

After it had time to cool overnight in the fridge, I topped it with Duncan Hines/Dolly Parton buttercream frosting and threw even more sprinkles at it. I’ve added all the photos to a gallery so you can see it start to finish, but if you aren’t afraid of a bit of baking, this is a really simple one to throw together. And it makes for a wonderful birthday cake or a dessert for any occasion where there’s a celebration happening!

And I’ll be honest. The idea for a few posts about cheesecake hasn’t completely gone away, but I’ll at least keep it much more modest. Perhaps once a month, or every other month? Though Halloween is right around the corner. Oh, and Thanksgiving after that. Ok maybe once a month. Maybe.

If you’re a baker–or just good friends with one, I hope you’ll consider adding this to your repertoire. I know I’ll make use of it again in the future, hopefully at a time when I don’t have to eat it all myself! 😅

2 Responses

  1. Lindsay Harris-Friel says:

    What if you made smaller cheesecakes, like in a 4” pan?

    • Brian Gray says:

      It starts to get harder to scale recipes down to size. I end up with odd measurements, and things like needing 1/2 or 1/3 of an egg. And I end up buying way more than I need in cookies or ingredients if I plan to scale down the recipe.

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