April 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge – Cheesecake Centerpiece

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.  I was really happy when I discovered this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge was cheesecake.  I love cheesecake, and I haven’t made one in a while.  We were encouraged to be creative and play with the recipe.  While I would’ve liked to have made this with a crapload of chocolate, caramel, or something else of the sort, my husband is more of a purist when it comes to cheesecake…nothing fancy or outrageous.  The bottom line was I couldn’t eat a whole cheesecake on my own (I could have, but my ass which would’ve been sure to expand wouldn’t have been thanking me), so I had to concede and go rather basic.  Ultimately, it turned out delicious!  The texture was very creamy and light.  This was a great recipe.  It was a winner with the hubby as well, so I plan to use it again and will experiment with other flavors/combinations.  Thanks to Jenny for hosting this month’s Challenge!  Please also visit other Daring Bakers’ blogs to view their delicious creations.










I didn’t use a water bath as the recipe directed and opted to place a shallow container of water on a rack beneath the cheesecake.  Here it is after cooling in the oven.  Not one crack on this baby!  I was happy about that :). 


I served it with sliced strawberries with a bit of sugar added to them.

Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake



  • 2 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract


  • 3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • the innards of a vanilla bean
  • 1 T vanilla-flavored vodka


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Place one rack in the middle of the oven and the other rack under it.  Fill a shallow bowl with water and place on the lower rack.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom and up the sides of a greased springform pan.  Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, vanilla bean innards, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface.

5. Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm  Comments (28)  

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28 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful! The cheesecake looks fantastic with those strawberries. 🙂

    • Thanks, Sara!

  2. You know…sometimes, a simple cheesecake with strawberries is the best! Looks wonderful…and you gotta please the hubby, right?!

    • Thanks a lot, Claire! Yep, sometimes you have to cave to make the hubby happy 🙂

  3. Your cheesecake is so lovely. Great job on this month’s challenge.

    • Thanks, Paula!

  4. What a beautiful cheesecake!

    • Thank you, Selby!

  5. Mmm, your cheesecake looks amazing!! Beautiful job on this challenge =D.

    • Thanks, Lauren! Yours look fantastic as well 🙂

  6. Textbook perfect cheesecake..Kudos to simplicity always being the best 🙂

    • Thanks, Lisa!

  7. Your cheesecake looks just great! love the strawberries on them…

    • Thanks, Dharm!

  8. Oh, those strawberries look so tempting! Nice job on the challenge.

    • Thanks, Libby! I’m really glad strawberries are finally in season 🙂

  9. Looks perfect! So smooth. I love the strawberries on top, they would add just the right hit of tartness.

    • Thanks, Natashya!

  10. Oh, how I LOVE cheesecake! This looks really good! I haven’t had cheesecake in ages and ages…

    • Thanks! Neither had I, so believe me I stuffed my face with plenty of it!

  11. Simple and beautiful! Very appetizing.

    • Thanks a lot!

  12. Looks like a successful challenge! Strawberries go so well with cheese cake.

    • Thanks, Shelly! I agree with you 🙂

  13. Thanks for the comments on my blog! and Oooolala! Your cheesecake looks divine! I love the classic elegance of the red strawberries on the pure white cheesecake! Beautiful!

    • Thanks, Joanna, and you’re welcome! You did a great job as well with yours…tiramisu, yum!

  14. It looks beautiful and creamy. Maybe next time you can do it your way. 🙂 Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker’s Challenge!

    Jenny of JennyBakes

    • Thanks for your comment, Jenny, and thanks for hosting! Great challenge!

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