Cheesecake: it's the king of desserts. This delicious confection can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, who are credited with inventing the recipe for cheesecake by combining fresh cheese with honey and flour and baking it on a griddle. Their creation was so calorically dense that it was reputedly served to fuel athletes during the first-ever Olympic Games. However, it wasn't until the 1930s that the recipe started taking on characteristics of the cheesecake we know and love today, including substituting fresh curd cheese with cream cheese.
There are many versions of cheesecake, including traditional New York-style, mini cheesecakes, and even cheesecake dips infused with chocolate and fruit. Here are some of our favorite ways to transform cheesecake into a unique dessert fit for Olympians ... or maybe just the guests at your next fall-season dinner party.
Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained
Baked Ricotta Cheesecake
Cream cheese isn't the only type of dairy you can use in your cheesecake. This recipe elicits help from creamy, tangy ricotta to help bolster its flavor. Our favorite part about this cheesecake, though, is the crust. It's made with crumbled Lotus Biscoff cookies, which have a mild ginger flavor to curb the creaminess of the cake. Top your cooled, finished cake with a layer of berry jam or sweet fresh raspberries or blueberries for a perfectly sweet end to a meal.
Recipe: Baked Ricotta Cheesecake
This recipe is a variation on the classic New York-style cheesecake. It's adorned with a beautiful swirl of fresh raspberries mixed with sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to give it a punchy flavor. The process of making this recipe is relatively hands-off, but the cheesecake should be prepared the day before you serve it to ensure that it has enough time to solidify in the fridge overnight. Serve each slice with additional fresh raspberries for a fruit-forward dessert.
Recipe: Raspberry Cheesecake
Fig And Caramel Mini Cheesecakes
If you're looking for a complex rendition of a classic dessert, try making these mini cheesecakes. You can finish one off in a single bite, which is great for serving on a dessert buffet. Plus, not only are these pint-sized treats absolutely delicious, but they don't require baking in a pesky water bath, and they can be made with minimal equipment. You can also take the easy way out and use store-bought caramel to adorn your cheesecakes — but the fresh fig pieces are a must.
Recipe: Fig and Caramel Mini Cheesecakes
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
No-bake cheesecakes are for the impatient dessert lovers among us. All you have to do is pop hulled strawberries, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract into a blender and pulse it until smooth. After adding whipped topping and jam, cover your graham cracker crust (store-bought or homemade) and place the dish in the freezer for a few hours. This dessert is berry-forward and full of delicious fruity flavors. It will even last for a month covered in the freezer, so you can pull it out whenever you have a hankering for a slice.
Recipe: No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
Classic New York-Style Cheesecake
Every baker should have a New York-style cheesecake recipe in their repertoire. Like other types of cheesecake, making this classic is a relatively hands-off process, but you will need to allocate an hour to bake the cheesecake and five hours for it to sit in the oven after the heat is turned off. Although this might seem a bit extreme, this interval will allow the cheesecake to set properly, so that each slice will come out like it's from a metropolitan bake shop.
No-Bake Salted Chocolate Cheesecake
If you love everything cocoa, this one is for you. This no-bake chocolate cheesecake is made with both cream cheese and sour cream to give it a unique tang. The chocolatey elements of this dessert come with the inclusion of both melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and cocoa powder. We especially love the sprinkle of flaked sea salt that wraps the entire dessert together, added on top right before serving for optimal crunch.
Have you ever tried sopapilla cheesecake? This dessert is a simpler version of the Latin American flatbread; instead of fried pastry, it's made with crescent roll dough layered on the top and bottom of the cake. The middle filling is stuffed with traditional cheesecake ingredients before the top sheet of dough is slathered in butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Once the dessert has been adequately cooled at room temperature, you can store it in the fridge for up to five days, or freeze it for even longer.
Recipe: Sopapilla Cheesecake
If you want a kid- and adult-friendly cheesecake, try adding "milk's favorite cookie" to the mix. This recipe includes sweetened condensed milk to add an even richer texture to the cake, along with classic Oreo cookies. However, there is room for experimentation with other kinds of Oreo cookies.
This recipe has a double dose of the cookie; it comprises the crumb crust, and it stars in the filling. To finish this cake out, top it with a decadent layer of chocolate ganache, and garnish it with whipped cream and — you guessed it — more Oreo cookies.
Recipe: Oreo Cheesecake
If you can't decide between Italian tiramisu or cheesecake, make the best of both worlds with this Franken-cake. It's made with a chocolate graham cracker crust layered with Kahlúa-and-espresso-spiked filling and coffee-soaked ladyfingers. Luckily, the hardest part of making this dessert (other than not stealing too many spoonfuls while you're making it) is assembly; the recipe doesn't require any additional baking or prep. Serve your hybrid dessert with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, and you'll be well on your way to dessert nirvana.
Recipe: Tiramisu Cheesecake
Whiskey-Caramel Cheesecake Bars
It's time for your cheesecake to get boozy with these whiskey- and caramel-infused bars. Not only is the alcohol added to the caramel sauce, but there are also a couple tablespoons swirled into the cream cheese batter. Once you have the whiskey caramel sauce prepared, swirl it into the cheesecake batter and bake the tray until it's solid. This recipe is a must-have for your next gathering, because you can easily slice and serve it.
Recipe: Whiskey-Caramel Cheesecake Bars
Classic Pumpkin Cheesecake
The chilly fall months are the perfect time of year to make a classic pumpkin cheesecake. Not only is this recipe made with canned pumpkin puree, but it also has familiar fall spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg (aka pumpkin pie spice). You can also make pumpkin cheesecake with crumbled ginger snaps instead of graham crackers, as well as topping it with a hefty dose of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Recipe: Classic Pumpkin Cheesecake
The holiday season isn't just about giving gifts and spreading cheer — it's also about enjoying beloved glasses of eggnog. This nutmeg-spiced beverage is the key component in our recipe for eggnog cheesecake. Combined with a splash of rum extract, this cheesecake base is filled with Christmas magic. You'll also taste eggnog in the whipped topping, while the nutmeg comes through clearly in the spiced graham cracker crust. Even if your holiday dinner attendees aren't fans of eggnog, they might think twice once they try a taste of this dessert.
Recipe: Eggnog Cheesecake
Gingerbread is a quintessential winter flavor, and it's especially remarkable when it's combined with the creamy consistency of a cheesecake. This holiday-inspired dessert is made with a gingerbread-cookie crust and a filling that features molasses, brown sugar, and a mixture of cinnamon and ginger. Decorate your gingerbread cheesecake with homemade gingerbread men and dollops of whipped cream for a nostalgic dessert your taste buds won't forget.
Recipe: Gingerbread Cheesecake
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Truffles
If you're set on bringing cheesecake to a party, skip the mess and make cheesecake truffles instead. These small treats are filled with a chocolate cream cheese filling and raspberries in the center. Once the balls have been adequately frozen, dip them into chocolate and decorate them with crushed graham crackers. You can also swap out the chocolate for other flavor boosters like espresso, pumpkin, or candy pieces.
Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake
Sopapilla cheesecake is a recipe you're going to want to bring to all of your gatherings and events — and if you're running late to any of them, this version can be made in only about a half hour. It's made with rolls of crescent dough and can be easily vegan-ized by substituting the cream cheese and butter with plant-based substitutes. You can also replace the crescent roll dough with frozen pie crust or puff pastry sheets. As long as you cover it in allspice and cinnamon, no one will know the difference.
Recipe: Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake
Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
These strawberry cheesecake bars are an elegant, no-bake dessert option for your summertime meals. Once you've pressed the strawberry-infused filling into the graham cracker crust, just pop the tray in the refrigerator overnight, or in the freezer for a few hours. It's super hard to mess up this recipe, and this is an easy dish to make in advance and chill until needed. When it's time to serve, top your bars with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries.
Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Berries aren't the only ingredient that deserves a starring spot in your cheesecake bars. These lemon cheesecake bars are made with lemon juice and zest, which packs a light and bright flavor into an otherwise heavy dessert. You can also slice these bars into small squares or mini bites for easy serving. Garnish your treats with an extra sprinkle of lemon zest and powdered sugar right before serving.
Recipe: Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Fruit Dip
If you oppose the use of a fork for eating dessert, try whipping up this party-friendly sweet dip. Its base is primarily made with just a few ingredients — cream cheese, marshmallow fluff, and vanilla yogurt — and adorned with store-bought caramel sauce and chopped pecans. However, you could also customize it with other tasty additions like chocolate chips. Serve your cheesecake fruit dip with graham crackers, pretzels, strawberries, and sliced apples.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars
If you're a fan of all things Reese's, you have to try these chocolate-peanut butter cheesecake bars. Not only are they made with a chocolate cookie base instead of graham cracker crumbs, but they're also layered with peanut butter-infused cheesecake and topped with chopped Reese's Pieces, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and a drizzle of melted peanut butter. These bars are rich, no doubt, and perfect for eaters of all ages.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.