Forget looking for that elusive pot of gold…go for the sure thing! Grab a slice of this delicious Rainbow Cheesecake, and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style!
I’ve always loved holidays. We have buckets and buckets of different holiday decorations stashed in our basement, and I dutifully bring them out for each holiday. However, I realized this year that I don’t have much in the way of St. Patrick’s Day decorations. I mean I have a whole bag of beads from Baton Rouge’s St. Patrick’s Day parades. St. Patrick’s Day in Baton Rouge (and New Orleans) is basically Mardi Gras, part 2. The main difference is the beads are green, white and gold instead of green, purple and gold.
Other than those beads, there’s not a whole lot in the decoration bucket. Well, I mean there is my costume when a bunch of guys dressed as a troupe of leprechauns for the parade one year. That was almost 15 years ago, though. (With that said, I’d totally still pull that costume out if I had the opportunity. Too bad upstate New York doesn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like they do in Baton Rouge!)
Instead of going out and buying a bunch of holiday decorations, I decided to make something festive this year. We all know how leprechauns guard their pot of gold at the end of rainbows, right? And we also know that it’s darn near impossible to find the end of the rainbow, right? Well it turns out the leprechauns’ gold is safe because rainbows actually have no end. It’s true. Rainbows are full circles – we just only see the top half because we can’t see below the horizon. Airplane pilots have reported seeing full-circle rainbows because they’re high enough up to see over the horizon. Fascinating, huh?
While a pot of gold would be nice to find, it seems like the chances are pretty slim. Instead, let’s make this Rainbow Cheesecake and celebrate with a slice for dessert! As a kid, I didn’t eat cheesecake because it just didn’t seem right to have a cake made out of cheese. Plus, my little sister liked cheesecake, and if she liked it? Well that meant it had to be gross! However, once I hit adulthood, I’ve been making up for lost cheesecake time. Whether it’s a classic cheesecake or one with all sorts of mix-ins, it’s hard to beat an after-dinner slice of cheesecake.
For this Rainbow Cheesecake, I went with my go-to cheesecake recipe, but I pulled out the food coloring. Actually, I pulled out the color gels. If you bake a lot, then you’re probably already aware of the advantages of gel-based food colorings. Instead of dropping several liquid drops of food coloring into a recipe, you swipe some of the gel into the recipe using a toothpick. (Make sure to use a clean toothpick if you want to add more gel – a container of food gel will last a long time as long as you keep it clean!) Food gels offer more vivid colors, and the colors tend to hold a lot better after baking. Traditional food coloring tends to fade in the oven. (Wilton makes great food gels, and this 12-pack is a good choice – aff. link.)
I apologize in advance for the number of dishes you’ll need to do in order to make this Rainbow Cheesecake. I opted to use one bowl, and I just kept cleaning it after each color. However, you could spread out 6 bowls on the counter for each of the different colors in this cake. On a side note, we were always taught in school that rainbows have 7 colors – remember Roy G. Biv? It turns out scientists say that indigo and violet are nearly indistinguishable to the human eye – so there’s no indigo in this cheesecake. But if you want to exercise your right to include indigo, then go for it. I support you.
No matter how many colors you include in your Rainbow Cheesecake, I promise it’ll be a delicious and fun dessert! Sure, finding that pot of gold would be more exciting, but I say go with the sure thing. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (or any day really) with a slice of Rainbow Cheesecake. Cheers!
Did you make this Rainbow Cheesecake at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
For the Crust
- 2¼ cups graham cracker crumbs ~11 full-sized graham crackers
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
For the Cheesecake
- 32 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- colored food gel red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple
For the Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour a 9” springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; set pan aside.
- Using a medium mixing bowl, add graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter; stir until well combined.
- Transfer mixture into prepared pan; press crumbs into bottom and sides of pan. (Tip: A flat bottomed glass is helpful for this step.)
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and let cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
For the Cheesecake
- Using a countertop mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth (~3 minutes).
- Add sugar and flour; mix on medium speed until well combined.
- Using a separate bowl, whisk eggs and additional egg yolks together. Add this egg mixture to the mixing bowl in 2 additions, mixing fully after each addition.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla; mix on medium speed until well combined. (Tip: Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the filling is fully mixed.)
- Divide cheesecake mixture evenly into 6 bowls. Add food gel into each bowl and stir until well combined.
- Pour each of the colored mixtures on top of the cooled crust.
- Wrap the bottom of the pan with a piece of aluminum foil and place in a large baking pan. Fill pan with ~½” of water. Bake at 325° until center of cake is just barely set (~80-85 minutes). (Tip: Pull the cheesecake out of the oven when there is about 1" ring of "looser" filling left in the center of the cake.)
- Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan for 1 hour.
- Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, release pan and slice cheesecake.
Looking for more fun St. Patrick’s Day recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: