Churros meet cheesecake! Using my classic NY style cheesecake as the base, this recipe is topped with butter and cinnamon sugar for that classic churro crunch and flavor.
I know, I know. It's almost summer... don't remind me. (unless you're reading this later in the year which means I'm technically on par with the season).
But for anyone missing fall vibes as much as me (which is A LOT), this one goes out to you!
A perfect, creamy, rich cheesecake is enough to make me happy on my grumpiest days, but add a topping of melted butter and sparkly cinnamon sugar? This is officially my new favorite dessert. And that's saying something!
- what is churro cheesecake?
- what makes this cheesecake so good?
- churros cheesecake ingredients
- how to make churros cheesecake
- Why does cheesecake crack and how do I keep my cheesecake from cracking?
- tips to get a flawless cheesecake top
- is it bad if cheesecake cracks?
- how do you know cheesecake is done baking?
- Check out these other recipes!
- Churros Cheesecake Recipe
what is churro cheesecake?
Churro-ifying cheesecake leaves a lot up to the imagination and interpretation - so there's no right or wrong answer for what exactly counts as a churros cheesecake.
p.s. churro-ifying is officially a word imo...
Either way, I'd say for anything to count as a churros cheesecake, you'd at least need the basics: cream cheese, cinnamon, and sugar.
This recipe is my personal interpretation of churros cheesecake. When you Google "churros cheesecake" a lot of recipes use crescent roll dough as the crust - but I wanted to go a different route for my recipe.
Partially because I didn't have any crescent roll dough, but mainly because I'm in LOVE with graham cracker crusts and I was NOT going to give that up.
what makes this cheesecake so good?
This recipe features a classic graham cracker crust with the addition of cinnamon for that added churros warm flavor. The filling is a classic vanilla cheesecake, and then the top is brushed with melted butter followed by a GENEROUS sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top.
The result is a crisp and toasty bottom crust, creamy and rich center, and some more crunch, sparkle, and flavor with the top coating!
churros cheesecake ingredients
• graham cracker crumbs
• ground cinnamon
• cream cheese
• sour cream
• vanilla extract
Simple enough, right?
how to make churros cheesecake
1. Mix together graham cracker crust ingredients to combine.
2. Pack graham cracker crust into springform pan.
3. Bake the graham cracker crust to crisp it slightly. The crust won't look super different (maybe a slightly warmer color, but that's about it). Set aside to cool while you prep the cheesecake filling.
4. Cream together cream cheese and sugar.
5. Whisk in remaining filling ingredients (minus the eggs) to combine.
6. Whisk eggs in one at a time. Make sure to combine well, but take care not to over mix! The mixture may separate a bit, but keep whisking until it's smooth before adding the next egg.
7. Pour cheesecake filling over slightly cooled crust. It's fine if the crust is still a bit warm!
8. Bake until puffed and set along the edges. The center will still be jiggly while it's still hot.
It's best to bake cheesecake in a water bath, but you can do this with a tradition option or a cheat version!
Traditional water bath involves placing your cheesecake pan in a larger baking dish and filling with water until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. It's a good idea to wrap the bottom of your springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent leaking for this option!
The cheat version (which is just as good) is to just bake your cheesecake on the center rack of your oven with another baking dish filled with water on the rack underneath it to create steam. I kind of even prefer this method because it's way easier to transfer the cheesecake.
9. Cool the cheesecake. Start by cooling in the oven with the door slightly ajar until it reaches room temperature. I like to run a paring knife around the edges after about 30 minutes to make sure it's not stuck to the pan and won't crack as it cools and shrinks.
Once it's room temperature, cover and chill the cheesecake in the fridge until fully cold and set.
10. Prep the cinnamon sugar topping by melting butter and mixing together cinnamon and sugar.
11. Brush melted butter over the cooled cheesecake. Try to work a bit quickly because the cold cheesecake will start to harden the butter pretty quickly.
12. Sprinkle over cinnamon sugar.
Slice, serve, and enjoy your homemade churros cheesecake!!
Why does cheesecake crack and how do I keep my cheesecake from cracking?
I personally LOVE this base cheesecake recipe because it has never, and I mean never cracked on me. But when cheesecake cracks, it's usually due to a few common mistakes.
The most common reasons that cheesecake cracks are because of a sudden shifts in temperature, overmixing, overbaking, or the sides sticking to the pan.
tips to get a flawless cheesecake top
These are a few simple but valuable tips for getting that perfectly smooth top on your cheesecake:
1. room temperature, room temperature, room temperature!!
I hate those 2 words more than anyone, but room temperature ingredients are vital for a perfect cheesecake.
Not only are they easier to mix and incorporate together into a smooth batter, but room temperature ingredients bake up more gradually in the oven. Cold ingredients will get "shocked" when they hit the heat of the oven and cause the cheesecake to expand and shrink unpredictably.
2. don't overmix the cheesecake filling!
a) it's more work, and who likes that? b) it incorporates air into the batter (which is a big no no for something that's supposed to be dense).
Air in the batter will rise up while the cheesecake is baking and pop, which then causes cracks and deformations on the surface of the cheesecake.
3. cooling the cheesecake
How you cool down the cheesecake goes hand in hand with keeping the top smooth! The cheesecake could look perfect once it's done baking, but still crack if it's cooled down too quickly.
The best way to cool cheesecake is in the oven with the door just slightly ajar until it reaches room temperature or just slightly warm. That prevents any shock of cold air from cracking the hot cheesecake after the bake.
4. run a pairing knife around the edges
Another bonus tip I love is, about 30 minutes after cooling in the oven, I carefully run a thin knife along the edges of the cheesecake to make sure it isn't stuck to the sides, then continue cooling in the oven with the door ajar.
The cheesecake shrinks as it cools, and if it's clinging onto the sides, it can rip and tear as it shrinks.
is it bad if cheesecake cracks?
After all those tips and explanations I just went over, you'd think "yes" right? Wrong.
Do cracks in cheesecake affect taste? If your cheesecake cracked due to a sudden shift in temperature, overmixed batter, or because the sides got stuck, then cracks will NOT affect the taste at all! The flavor, deliciousness, and overall enjoyability of eating a honking piece of cheesecake is the exact same.
The ONLY thing that cracking does in those situations is create a less than perfect look.
Which isn't even a huge deal here because the top is going to be mostly covered with cinnamon sugar - although if there are major cracks, you'd still be able to kind of see them.
Buuuuuut keep in mind, that if your cheesecake cracked because it was overbaked, then the texture of your cheesecake will be drier, crumblier, and less creamy.
how do you know cheesecake is done baking?
Gently shake your cheesecake. The center should jiggle slightly but the outer edges should not.
The edges will be ever so slightly golden brown, but overall, the cheesecake should be a pale yellowish color. It'll look slightly puffed but will fall as it cools!
Keep cheesecake covered and stored in the fridge. I like to cover my cheesecake with a thin layer of paper towels (to catch any condensation so it doesn't drip back onto the cake) followed by a tightly wrapped piece of aluminum foil or plastic wrap to seal in the freshness!
Check out these other recipes!
Churros Cheesecake Recipe
For the cheesecake crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
For the cheesecake filling:
- 4 (8 ounce) bricks cream cheese (32 ounces total) at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup sour cream at room temperature
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
For the cinnamon sugar coating:
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Make the graham cracker crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together until all of the graham cracker crumbs are moistened with the butter.2 cups graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Pour the crust mixture into a 9 inch springform pan. Using the bottom of a cup, or any flat surface, pack the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about ½ an inch up the sides.
- Bake the crust in the center of your preheated 325°F oven for 8 minutes. The crust won't look significantly different. This is just to help set it and keep it crisp! Take the pan out of the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you work on the cheesecake filling.
- Make the cheesecake filling: In a large bowl, combine your blocks of cream cheese and sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat together the cheese and sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved into the cheese (about 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed). You can do this by hand as well with a wooden spoon, but it'll take some elbow grease.4 (8 ounce) bricks cream cheese (32 ounces total), 1 cup granulated sugar
- Add your sour cream, flour, salt, and vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture. Mix together until combined.½ cup sour cream, ¼ cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Add your eggs in one at a time, mixing after each addition to incorporate the egg into the batter before adding the next egg. Take care not to over mix! Just mix until the egg disappears into the batter.4 large eggs
- Pour your cheesecake filling over your slightly cooled crust. It's fine if the crust is still warm. Wrap the bottom of your pan with aluminum foil (to prevent leaks), and place the pan into a large roasting pan or baking dish with high sides. Fill the baking dish with boiled water until it reaches halfway up the side of the springform pan to create a water bath.* If you don't have a pan large enough to fit the cheesecake in, you can simply fill a high sided pan with 2 cups of water and place it on the rack below your cheesecake to get the same steam effect!
- Bake the cheesecake in the center of your preheated 325°F oven for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the surface is slightly puffed up and lost its shine, and the edges are very lightly browned. If you gently shake the pan, the center of the cheesecake should still jiggle but the edges should be stiff.
- Leave the cheesecake in the oven and cool for 1 hour with the door slightly ajar. After about 30 minutes, carefully run a knife along the edges of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan (to prevent sticking and cracking). Cool the cheesecake completely to room temperature, and then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until fully cooled and set.
- Make the cinnamon sugar coating: In a medium bowl, whisk together cinnamon and sugar to combine. Set aside.⅓ cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Brush the melted butter over your cooled cheesecake. Try to work a bit quickly so the butter doesn't harden and set on the cold cheesecake.3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the melted butter layer. Slice and serve!