This red velvet cheesecake recipe has an Oreo cookie crust. It can be enjoyed as is or topped with homemade whipped cream. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or Christmas!
In case you didn’t get the memo, I have a thing for cheesecakes. There are already quite a few cheesecake recipes on my blog; classic, mini, no-bake — you name it, I’ve got a recipe for it.
The one cheesecake recipe that was missing from my repertoire? That’s right, a red velvet cheesecake! After much trial and error, I’ve created the best red velvet cheesecake recipe. It’s made with fewer than 10 ingredients, ultra creamy, and made with an Oreo crust!
Baked cheesecakes have a reputation for being tough to make, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Yes, they take a long time to make due to the prolonged cooling period, but actually assembling the crust and filling is so simple.
In this post, I’m breaking down how to make a red velvet cheesecake step by step so you feel 100% confident when making this recipe.
Ingredients in This Recipe
This red velvet Oreo cheesecake requires just nine ingredients to make. Before getting started, it’s crucial that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. This will ensure that your cheesecake filling is super smooth and creamy!
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Oreos: No need to remove the filling! You can leave the filling in and just grind the whole cookies in a blender or food processor.
- Butter: Always use unsalted butter in baked goods, because the amount of salt in salted butters varies between brands.
- Cream cheese: I recommend using full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Cream cheese spread in a tub is much too thin for making cheesecake.
- Sour cream: This helps break up the heaviness of the cream cheese and creates a smoother filling.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the cheesecake filling and balances out the tangy cream cheese.
- Cocoa powder: Sift the cocoa powder to ensure there are no lumps.
- Red food coloring: I used an entire 1-ounce bottle of liquid red food coloring.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract will deliver the strongest flavor.
- Eggs: Room temperature eggs are best here. If you forget to set your eggs out ahead of time, simply place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes to bring them to room temperature.
How to Make a Red Velvet Cheesecake
Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil before you start the cheesecake; this will be used for the water bath later.
Then, make the crust. For this red velvet cheesecake recipe, I used my homemade Oreo pie crust recipe. I reduced the butter in my recipe by 1 tablespoon to ensure that it will hold up to the moist cheesecake filling.
Making an Oreo crust is as simple as crushing the Oreos into fine crumbs, mixing them with melted butter, and pressing the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. I like to use the bottom of a measuring cup to firmly pack the crust into the pan.
Bake the Oreo crust for 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the red velvet filling.
To make the filling, add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until smooth, then mix in the sour cream. The sugar, cocoa powder, food coloring, and vanilla are added in next. Make sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl after each step to ensure that everything is well combined.
The eggs go in last. This is to prevent them from being mixed too much in the filling. I recommend lightly beating them in a bowl first, then mixing them into the cheesecake filling on low speed. If you over mix the eggs into the batter, it can incorporate more air, which can cause the cheesecake to crack.
Before spooning the cheesecake filling into the Oreo crust, you need to prep the pan for baking. I suggest wrapping the pan in foil, then placing it in an oven bag. This provides extra reassurance that the water from the water bath won’t leak into the pan.
Once the pan is ready, pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and smooth out the top with a spatula. I prefer to tap the pan a few times to bring any air bubbles to the top, then place it in a roasting pan with the boiling water. The water bath will ensure that the cheesecake bakes evenly and prevents it from cracking.
Then, just bake the cheesecake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is still slightly jiggly. Then, turn off the oven, crack the door, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for another hour. This allows the cheesecake to fully set up and you avoid any sudden temperature changes, which can cause cracks in your cheesecake.
For the ultimate red velvet cheesecake, I suggest piping some homemade whipped cream on top once it’s cooled completely. However, the cheesecake is just as delicious plain!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can You Tell When Cheesecake Is Done?
You’ll know a cheesecake is done baking when the edges are set and the center has just a slight jiggle to it. The cheesecake will finish setting up as it cools.
Why Does Cheesecake Crack?
If your cheesecake has a crack on top, there are a few reasons that could have happened:
- Over mixing the eggs into the filling can incorporate too much air and cause cracks later on.
- If you skipped the water bath or didn’t fill it high enough, that can cause cracks.
- Not letting the cheesecake first cool down in the warm oven can lead to cracks.
How Long Does It Last in the Fridge?
This red velvet Oreo cheesecake will last up to four days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.
Can You Freeze It?
Yes! Cheesecake may be wrapped tightly and stored in a large freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Set all of the ingredients out on the counter about an hour before you plan on making the recipe. You want everything to be room temperature to ensure your cheesecake comes out smooth and creamy.
- I also recommend using full-fat ingredients for a richer and thicker cheesecake. Low-fat or non-fat ingredients are often too thin for making cheesecake.
- This is a great recipe to prepare a day or two before you plan on serving it!
More Homemade Cheesecake Recipes to Try!
- Classic Baked Cheesecake
- Mini Lemon Blueberry Cheesecakes
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Classic No-Bake Cheesecake
- Mini Oreo Cheesecakes
Red Velvet Cheesecake
For the crust:
- 24 Oreos
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled
For the cheesecake filling:
- 24 ounces (680 grams) brick-style cream cheese , softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (240 grams) sour cream , room temperature
- 1 ⅓ cups (270 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (16 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa powder , sifted
- 1 (1-ounce) bottle red liquid food coloring
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs , room temperature
To make the Oreo crust:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Add the Oreos to a blender or food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Scoop the crumbs into a mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Mix together until all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Scoop the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and firmly press it down into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
- Bake at 325°F (163°C) for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you make the filling.
To make the cheesecake filling:
- Set a large pot of water to boil for the water bath before getting started with the filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on low-medium speed until smooth. Add the sour cream and mix until fully combined. Add the granulated sugar and cocoa powder and mix until well combined, then mix in the red food coloring and vanilla extract until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the beaten eggs to the mixing bowl with the cheesecake filling and mix on low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to turn the filling a few times to make sure everything is fully mixed together. Set aside.
- Wrap the springform pan with the pre-baked Oreo crust in aluminum foil, then place into a large oven bag. Fold the oven bag down the sides of the springform pan.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan and smooth it out into one even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to bring any air bubbles to the top, then use a toothpick or skewer to remove any large air bubbles and smooth them out.
- Carefully place the wrapped springform pan into a large roasting pan. Slowly add the boiling water you started before the filling into the roasting pan until it is about 1-inch deep.
- Transfer the roasting pan with the cheesecake to the oven and bake at 325°F (163°C) for 60 to 65 minutes or until the edges of the cheesecake are set and the center is still slightly jiggly. Turn the oven off, crack the oven door slightly, and allow the cheesecake to cool in the warm oven for 1 hour.
- After the cheesecake has cooled for 1 hour in the oven, remove it from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, cover tightly and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 5 to 6 hours or overnight.
- Run a thin knife around the outside of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan, carefully release the springform pan, then slice into pieces, serve, and enjoy!