Add a pretty decoration to the top of a delicious cheesecake for any special occasion. It's easy to make this Daisy Cheesecake using colored cheesecake filling.
Not only is it made with a version of my absolute favorite cheesecake recipe from Tyler Florence, but it also is made using a clever decorating technique.
I colored some of the cheesecake filling and used it to decorate the top of the cheesecake. Everyone who saw this cheesecake in person was amazed and asked how I got the design on top.
I've also created Naturally Colored Conversation Heart Cheesecakes using vegetables and fruits instead of food coloring. For this daisy cheesecake, I've used food coloring. If you prefer to use natural colorings be sure to check out that recipe.
Let's make a decorated cheesecake with a daisy design.
graham cracker crumbs - Crush 15 squares or 7 ½ full rectangle graham crackers to get the crumbs for this recipe.
cinnamon - This is optional, but I think it adds a nice warm spice flavor to the crust.
sugar - Add sugar to the graham cracker crust so it browns better.
butter - You can use salted or unsalted butter for the crust. Either works fine.
cream cheese - Use full-fat cream cheese for the best texture and flavor. Be sure to set it out at room temperature for at least 3 hours before mixing your cheesecake.
sugar - Use granulated sugar to add sweetness to the cheesecake filling.
eggs - They will add richness and structure to your cheesecake.
sour cream - This adds a nice tang to your cheesecake and makes the cheesecake silky smooth.
vanilla extract or vanilla paste - Use pure vanilla for the best flavor.
food coloring - To make the daisy design on top of the cheesecake, you'll need pink, yellow, and black food coloring.
cocoa powder - Getting a true black color is challenging, so adding cocoa powder to the cream cheese helps to darken the off-white filling's color without having to add too much food coloring.
Room Temperature Ingredients
Set your cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream out on the counter for at least 1 hour before you plan to make your cheesecake filling. You want all of your ingredients to be at room temperature.
9-inch springform pan or PushPan*
roasting pan or round pan that is large enough to hold the springform pan
*For years I've baked my cheesecakes in springform pans in a water bath. I always line my springform pan with a few layers of tin foil, but the water always seems to leak into the cheesecake.
I just discovered the PushPan by Kuhn Rikon. The outer ring does not clip open and closed, instead, the bottom plate pushes in and out of the ring. It has a silicone gasket around the bottom which not only holds it in place but miraculously keeps the water out. Another great feature it the plate is flat, and having no lip means it's easier to remove the cheesecake.
UPDATE: Sadly this pan is no longer being manufactured. You might be able to find some on Ebay or other sites.
But, I have found something even better!!!
You can use a traditional springform pan to bake your cheesecake. Just set the pan inside this Easy Bath Cheesecake Wrap Silicone Springform Pan Protector before placing it in your water bath and no water gets in.
Check out my Plain Cheesecake Recipe for detailed information.
Items used to create this project are available on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales).
Make a graham cracker crust.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter, stirring until it looks like sand.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until fragrant and the edges begin to brown. Allow the crust to cool completely.
You will need a water bath to bake your cheesecake.
You can either bring a large pot of water to a boil and pour it in the pan after you add the cheesecake, or you can fill your pan now with enough hot water so that it will come ½ way up the sides of your springform pan. Place that in the hot oven until ready to bake the cheesecake.
I like using a roasting pan with a flat rack inside. When the cheesecake has been baked, I can lift the entire rack out of the pan.
Make the cheesecake filling.
- Beat 3 blocks of cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the beater as needed. You really need to make sure there are no lumps in the cheesecake and now is the time to get rid of them.
- Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.
- Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined.
Color the filling.
- Pour ¼ cup of the cheesecake batter into a small bowl and color it pink.
- Color 2 tablespoons of batter yellow.
- Pour 3 tablespoons batter into a bowl, stir in the cocoa powder, and some black food coloring until you get a deep dark color.
Or use natural colorings instead.
- If you prefer to use natural colors, you can add about a tablespoon of raspberry puree for the pink, a ½ to 1 egg yolk for the yellow, and just use cocoa powder to make the dark brown. The colors won't be as vibrant, but they will be pretty.
- See my Naturally Colored Cheesecake Hearts recipe for more details about using fruit and veggies to color your cheesecake.
- Pour the plain cheesecake batter into the PushPan or a springform pan.
- Pour the colored cheesecake batter into squeeze bottles or zip-top bags.
Pipe on your design.
- Pipe the outline of the daisy using the dark batter.
- I colored way too much batter (I've adjusted the amounts for you.) I didn't want to waste it, so I kept piping over the design. That is why my cut cheesecake slices show the design so far down into the cake.
- Pipe the yellow batter into the center circle and add the pink to the petals.
- Pipe on a smiley face.
- Carefully carry your cheesecake to the oven and set it in your roasting pan. If needed, fill the roasting pan with boiling water being careful to not spill any water into your cheesecake.
Bake the cheesecake in a water bath.
- Bake your cheesecake in a water bath for 45-50 minutes. The top will still jiggle, but look shiny and set.
- Remove from the water bath, set on a cooling rack, and cool at room temperature for an hour.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove from pan and serve.
Store your cheesecake in the refrigerator. I suggest you place the cheesecake in a large airtight container so that it doesn't pick up any odors from the other food in the fridge.
It's also a good idea to lay paper towels on the underside of the container's lid and seal the container so the paper towels hang outside the container. This will keep the paper towels from touching the cheesecake but will allow them to wick up any moisture that forms inside the container.
More Decorated Cheesecake Ideas
This cheesecake recipe was originally posted on May 5, 2014.
Make a creamy cheesecake and decorate the top of it with a pretty pink daisy using colored cheesecake filling. This Daisy Cheesecake makes a wonderful dessert for Mother's Day, Earth Day, a birthday, or any day.
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from15 squares)
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted
- 24 ounces (3 blocks) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- food coloring pink, yellow, and black
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Set your cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream out on the counter for at least 1 hour so they come to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter.
Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until fragrant and the edges begin to brown.
Allow the crust to cool completely.
Fill the roasting pan with about 1 inch of water.
Set it on the middle rack in the oven to get hot.
Beat 3 blocks of cream cheese on low speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the beater as needed.
Add 1 cup of sugar and beat until well combined.
Add three eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.
Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined.
Pour ¼ cup of the cheesecake batter into a small bowl and color it pink.
Color 2 tablespoons of the cheesecake filling yellow.
Pour 3 tablespoons of the filling into a small bowl and stir in the cocoa powder.
Add some black food coloring until you get a deep dark color.
Pour the plain cheesecake batter into your springform pan.
Pour the colored cheesecake batter into squeeze bottles or zip-top bags.
Pipe the outline of the daisy using the chocolate cheesecake filling.
Pipe the yellow cheesecake filling into the center circle and add the pink to the petals.
Pipe on a chocolate smiley face.
Carefully carry your cheesecake to the oven and set it in the water in your roasting pan.
Bake your cheesecake in a water bath for 45-50 minutes. The top will still jiggle, but look shiny and set.
Remove from the water bath, set on a cooling rack, and cool at room temperature for an hour.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove from pan and serve.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.