I realized something horrible the other day when I was looking through all of the recipes on the site. It dawned on me that I don’t have nearly enough cheesecakes on here as I should. As is necessary. I’ve clearly lost my mind because that’s something only a crazy person would do, or in this case, wouldn’t do. So I’m sitting there, pulling out my hair, asking myself, “Self, why do you only have two cheesecake recipes on this entire site?” I’ve been running my blog for almost three years now and I think it’s pretty silly of me to not have this place overflowing with cheesecake recipes by now. After all, cheesecake is the way of life. Cheesecake makes people do some crazy things. Cheesecake is the answer to all of our problems. And that’s the real truth of it all.
I like to think that I blew up the internets when I unveiled my Bourbon Banana Pudding Cheesecake last year. I sometimes believe that recipe in particular is what’s making me famous (not that Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich everyone is talking about). Even if I’m the only one who thinks that. I mean, what’s not to fall in love with? Bourbon and bananas and crushed Nilla wafers all mushed together into one delicious silky smooth cheesecake?! It’s a match made in heaven. Perhaps it’s taken me a while to come up with a new cheesecake recipe because that one was so hard to beat. I knew bourbon banana pudding cheesecake was kind of a big deal and I didn’t want to give you another one until I thought up something bigger and better. After all, I am my own biggest competition. I need to constantly one up myself, for you guys. Everything I do, I do it for you. Don’t you forget that. (Okay so I took a little help from Bryan Adams just there, sue me).
If you’ve been following my crazy antics on this blog for a while now, you’ll know that my all-time favorite spice/flavor is cinnamon. I’m kind of obsessed, but in the best possible way—probably not though, it might be bordering on an addiction. Anyhow, like I was saying, I love cinnamon, which is why there are so many cinnamon recipes on this blog. Do you remember this Cinnamon Sugar Coffee Cake? I do, and I never want to forget it. Don’t even get me started on these fun-to-make homemade Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pop Tarts. It was always my favorite pop-tart flavor growing up. It still is. And of course for all those brave and adventurous followers, we mustn’t forget about the ultimate Cinnamon Raisin Bagels. Not only was have I been severely lacking in the cheesecake recipe department but it’s about time for another cinnamon recipe. (Yes I did just post those Cinnamon Horchata Popsicles recently, but who’s asking?!) So without further ado, I bring to you, the world’s GREATEST cheesecake (you can quote me on that). It tastes just like a cinnamon roll and with all the great flavors of an oatmeal cookie at the bottom. I’m not complaining. I just never want it to end is all.
We’re going to begin by making the crust. I like to think that we’re starting off with the best part of the cheesecake, but maybe that’s just me. To me, the crust is sort of the most important factor of any dessert. Crust to a pie or tart, or in this case, to a cheesecake, is something magical. Most cheesecakes either have a graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust. I’m all for either of those, I don’t discriminate, but for this cheesecake I wanted something different. I started brainstorming what goes well with cinnamon and oatmeal sort of just made sense. I’ve had this vision for a while now that I wanted to do a oatmeal cookie crust for a pie or tart or something. This sort of just works together so perfectly
Combine the flour and oats in a medium bowl.
To that, add in the sugar, salt and spices.
**Note: The spices are a mixture of ground cinnamon, ginger, all-spice, cloves, coriander and freshly ground nutmeg. If you don’t have one or more of these spices, don’t worry about. You don’t have to run out and buy a whole container, especially if you don’t normally use those on a daily basis to begin with. They just enhance the flavor of the crust and aren’t that crucial. You can omit them.**
Also add in the chopped walnuts. (Those are completely optional if you happen to be allergic to nuts).
Toss everything together to evenly coat, and then make a well in the center. Pour in the melted butter, which should be cooled to room temperature. It makes handling the crust a lot easier.
Stir until the flour is well incorporated and the crust comes together. It won’t be completely “wet” but you’ll know it’s good if you can grab a bit of the crust with your hands and clump it together with your fingers. If it sticks together, you’re good.
Dump the oatmeal cookie crust into a 9-inch springform pan, and press it down onto the bottom with your hands.
**Tip: Make sure you press down firmly so that it forms a tight crust without any holes. I like to push it up the sides just slightly, this ensures that the filling doesn’t seep through that bottom seam of the pan.**
Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.
**Note: It is crucial for the crust to be completely cool before adding in the creamy cheesecake filling. So if you’re in a hurry and want to cool the crust faster, stick it in the freezer for a bit.**
Time was on my side, so I decided to wait the old fashioned way. In the meantime, I did make the cinnamon swirl filling. That’s super easy to put together so you should get that going while you wait for the crust to cool down. Just saying…
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. It’ll look like a thick paste, that’s okay. We’re going to mix in some of the cheesecake filling later on, to make it smoother and more pourable.
Set that cinnamon filling off to the side. Let’s move on to the cheesecake filling itself.
Grab a large bowl, and add four blocks of cream cheese. Yes, four. Make sure it’s full-fat regular cream cheese. Don’t be busting out that fat-free or low fat stuff. It’s not welcome here.
**Note: I’m all for generic store brand products, because they’re cheaper and because their packaging is kind of awesome. But for something like this, where you need the star ingredient to really shine, I prefer getting a good quality brand. So make sure you splurge a little and reach for the more expensive cream cheese, not the store brand. It really makes a difference.**
Add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.
**Note: I’m only adding a little bit of granulated sugar at this point because of all the brown sugar in the cinnamon filling. I don’t want this cheesecake to be a diabetes attack, so I’m scaling it back a bit, or at least…I’m trying to.**
Add the milk to the creamed cream cheese mixture, and mix again until smooth.
**Tip: I just used whole milk because that’s what I had on hand, but you can definitely use skim milk if that’s what you have, or if you just want to. It doesn’t really change anything in the cheesecake itself.**
Add in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. If you need to stop mixing to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, go ahead and do that. You want to make sure everything is well incorporated before moving on.
Add in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and flour. Mix until just combined, making sure to get all the lumps out of the filling, as much as possible.
Scoop out a couple spoonfuls of the cream cheese batter into the cinnamon brown sugar filling. Stir until smooth. Pour the remaining cheesecake filling into the pan with the cooled crust. Dollop the cinnamon filling on top of the cheesecake.
Using a long wooden skewer or a thin popsicle stick or even one of those wooden coffee stirrers or a butter knife, swirl the cinnamon filling into the cheesecake. It doesn’t have to be perfect or precise, just swirl like you mean it. Like your life depends on it.
Place the cheesecake on top of a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 1 hour. You got that? One whole hour. Then turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit in there (without opening the oven door) for about 4 hours. WHAT?!!? I know I know. I sound like a mad man right now, but trust me.
**Tip: Once the cheesecake has baked for an hour, and you’ve turned off the oven, without opening that door, just let the cheesecake sit there until it has completely cooled down. This crazy trick prevents the cheesecake from cracking on top. It might sound a bit crazy but it works. No water baths necessary!**
After it has cooled down, wrap it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for several hours, or overnight. Lots of waiting…I know, but it’s worth it. Trust me, it’s worth it.
I like my cheesecake extremely cold so I like to let it sit overnight. I know that sounds like a lot of work, to just ignore an entire cheesecake for that long, but it’s totally worth it. That chilling time allows it to firm up and get cold, making it the best cheesecake ever.
**Note: BTW, make sure you move your oven rack to the center or one notch below center because I had mine a little too close to the top and my cheesecake ended up getting darker on the top than I wanted. But no worries, it still tasted out of this world!**
Remove the springform edge from the cheesecake and cut it into wedges. Big or small. I like to cut everyone else’s piece into small tiny slivers, and mine into a large wedge. Of course.
I dolloped the cheesecake slices with a bit of fresh whipped cream and a light dusting of ground cinnamon, why? Do you even have to ask anymore? Plus I think it gives the cheesecake that little extra something. That little oompffth. Like, “Hey look at me! I’m a fancy cheesecake! Do you want to eat me?!” You know?
You can make this cheesecake a couple days in advance. I know it’s a lot of work, making the crust and the cinnamon filling and then the cheesecake filling itself. Cooking it and allowing to cool down for a long time and then chilling it for a longer time yet. It’s not the simplest of recipes but believe me, it’s worth all of the waiting around. If you love cinnamon rolls as much as I do, then you’ve just met your new favorite dessert.
I want to take a moment to talk about this crust though. Is that okay? Will you let me do that? As I’ve mentioned on several occasions now, crust is my favorite part to any dessert with a crust. I’m always stealing everyone else’s when they’re not looking. This spiced oatmeal cookie crust is insanely good. “Oatmeal Cookie Meets Cinnamon Cheesecake. Must Try!” That’s what the headline should be.
This is the type of dessert that’s perfect for a dinner party or gathering. It’s really good to bring to someone’s house, like a friend or a relative, when they’re feeling down and out or just under the weather. Cheesecake, I feel, has the power to heal people from all of their ailments or troubles. Do you want to see someone lose it? Just make them this cheesecake as a gift and delivery it to them, personally. They’ll lose their cool and you’ll be a complete and total hero. I’m all for you shining.
If I could I’d eat this cheesecake every day of my life. EVERY DAY. Maybe even make this my new permanent birthday cake. I can do without all of those fancy multi-tiered cakes covered in a ton of fancy fondant or frosting. I could say goodbye to all of that, just as long as you stick a few candles in this cinnamon swirl cheesecake and call it a day. I wouldn’t complain. I’d be the happiest person alive. (Don’t get me wrong, I still love birthday cake, duh. I just happen to really love this cheesecake even more). So if you’re looking for a great weekend dessert to make for your friends or family, guess what!? This cheesecake is completely available and it’s calling out your name. It’s single and it’s ready to mingle. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake with Oatmeal Cookie Crust
For the crust
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ cup old fashioned oats
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup walnuts finely chopped
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the cinnamon swirl filling
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the cheesecake filling
- 4 8oz blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup flour
- fresh whipped cream for topping
- ground cinnamon for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- For the crust, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, salt, spices and chopped walnuts. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and pour in the cooled melted butter. Stir until the dough comes together, slightly. Pour the crust into a 9-inch springform pan. Using your hands and fingers, press the oatmeal cookie crust down firmly to ensure all holes or cracks are covered. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before proceeding.
- To make the cinnamon swirl filling, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. This will be chunky, don't worry about it, we'll fix it later. Set it off to the side.
- To make the cheesecake filling, in a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and the granulated sugar, until smooth. Add the milk and stir until combined. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to blend completely after each addition. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and flour and mix once again. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and stir until the filling is completely smooth and lump free.
- Spoon about a ¼ cup of the batter into the cinnamon swirl filling, and stir until smooth.
- Pour the remainder of the cheesecake filling into the springform pan over the cooled crust. Dollop the cinnamon swirl filling on top and swirl with a wooden skewer or butter knife. It doesn't have to be perfect or precise, just swirl the cinnamon filling into the cheesecake batter.
- Place the cheesecake onto a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit in there until it's completely cooled down. About 4 hours. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR! This will prevent the cheesecake from cracking on the top. Do not even peek inside. Keep the door closed.
- Once the cheesecake has cooled down, cover it with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill overnight (or at least 3 hours). I like my cheesecake super cold, so I leave it there overnight. But if you make it early on in the morning, you should be fine by dinner time! Run a knife along the edge of the pan, and remove the sides of the pan. Cut the cheesecake into wedges and serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a dusting of ground cinnamon. Enjoy!
Note: Allow enough time for cooling and chilling the cheesecake!
That cookie crust has me swooning! Loving this flavour 🙂
I am in love with this!! Thank you so much for the recipe. I have blocks of cream cheese I need to use!
Yes. That is all.
Wednesday (30 July) is National Cheesecake Day. Everyone should observe the festivities with this cheesecake.
i think every cheesecake should look as stunning as this.. i am so craving a slice right now. i can imagine how GOOD it would have tasted!
It’s like you took a peek into my brain and found something I didn’t even know was there. Sending this recipe to my sister (who happens to be the cheesecake champion) and have her perfect this for my coming home party. (I’m allowed to choose the cake at my own party, right?)
I want this so hard. So. Freaking. Hard.
Such a gorgeous cheesecake! Great tip about how to skip the water bath!
Hello from Singapore! 🙂
Your post was such an inspiration!
Whipped up a cinnamon swirl cheesecake with gooey apple topping to complement autumn, and your banana one looks soo sinful too.
What type of knife did you use to slice this cheesecake.
I used a sharp chef’s knife!
This cake is in my oven right now and my apartment smells like I’ve died and gone to heaven. I’m taking it to work tomorrow. I’ll reort back. This was a lot of fun to do and the recipe was really easy to follow. Your photos are really beautiful and helpful.
Hello John! Thank you for writing! This cheesecakes is one of my favorites, and I guarantee you you’ll become addicted! I hope everyone at the office goes nuts. Let me know what you think!
Everyone did go nuts indeed! Thank you!
Hi! I just found your blog and am really enjoying it. This cheesecake looks awesome! I want to serve this on Sunday but need to make it today or tomorrow – should I just leave it in the fridge until Sunday or put it in the freezer? What would you suggest?
Hello Chana! Thank you so much for following along! This is one of my favorite cheesecakes, you’re going to love it! I suggest placing it in the freezer (well wrapped) and then thawing it overnight (on Saturday night) for Sunday!
Thank you so much for your prompt reply! I followed your suggestion and it came out absolutely amazing!!! Everyone was raving about how pretty it looked and how amazingly delicious it was!! From the texture to the taste, it was perfection! Thank you!
I followed the recipe and left my cheesecake in the oven for four hours and still I ended up with a big ol’ crack right down the middle. Of course the cheesecake was still delicious, but I don’t know what went wrong that made my cheesecake crack like that.
I was wondering if you’ve ever baked this cheesecake at a much lower temp for longer. My oven tends to cause cracks at higher temps. I’ve done one at 275 for 2+ hours. Do you think I could do that with this one?