Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

I first came across this cake – although, perhaps monster would be a better description? – at the Cheesecake Factory in Kansas City, Missouri.

Three of my closest girlfriends and I had spent the day driving (okay, I napped) to Kansas City, screaming our lungs out at Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and doing some pre-dinner shopping at the plaza. Basically, we were four really hungry girls on a mission: dessert first. As we started to peruse the cheesecake section of the menu, we came across a picture of this cake. I think I may have screamed.

The Cheesecake Factory’s version of this cake consists of two layers of their original cheesecake on top of two layers of red velvet cake . . . so I guess my cake is short one cheesecake layer. I would say sorry, but I can’t bring myself to apologize for this level of genius. Although, really, the genius belongs to Recipe Girl, who came up with a brilliant recipe for the cake.

I only modified this a tiny bit, substituting greek yogurt for sour cream (still delicious), and unsweetened applesauce for almost half of the oil. Props to my excellent baking buddy Lauren for noticing the monstrous amount of oil, prompting me to run to the fridge for my unsweetened applesauce stockpile.

Oh, also, if you happen to accidentally leave the eggs out of the cheesecake (not that this happened to me)? I have it on pretty good authority that it will still be delicious. But don’t try that at home!

Lauren and I actually made this cake for our friend Allen’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Allen!), and I think it was pretty well received. Not that it really mattered to us. We decided early on that birthdays are just an excuse to bake our favorite cakes, so . . . I didn’t even check if Allen liked red velvet cake. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Speaking of happy occasions, though, my friend Kat – the same one who toured Paris with me, and was on the Kansas City Cheesecake Factory trip – just got engaged yesterday! Congratulations!!!! So I think this cake is pretty much the best luck in the world. And who can say no to that?

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake (Basically all RecipeGirl’s genius, only slight modifications)


  • If you don’t have buttermilk at home (I didn’t), simply add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to a cup of milk and let stand 5 minutes before using. Yes, it should look curdled.
  • I also didn’t have 2 bottles of red food coloring, so I used most of one bottle, and then squeezed a few droplets of gel food coloring in. The gel works just as well as the completely liquid coloring, and you don’t have to use as much.
  • If you want to move the cake after frosting (i.e., onto a cake platter), put the cake on a cake round slightly larger than its diameter. This makes it incredibly easy to move the cake.
  • Be sure to follow the “crumb coat” instructions for frosting the cake. This layer seals in the loose crumbs so they don’t make an appearance on the beautiful exterior of your cake!



  1. Two (8-oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  2. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  6. 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Red Velvet Cake:

  1. 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  3. 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  7. 1 cup vegetable oil
  8. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  9. 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
  10. 1/4 cup (two 1- ounce bottles) red food coloring
  11. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  12. 2 teaspoons white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  2. Two (8-oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  3. 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temp
  4. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Set aside a large roasting pan large enough to hold a 9-inch springform pan. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan).
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Add in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in greek yogurt, whipping cream and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake). Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan.
  4. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours, or overnight.

Red Velvet Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Add the dry mixture to the wet, and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy.

Cake Assembly:

  1. Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment.
  2. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.

Frost the Cake:

  1. Apply an initial crumb coat layer to the cake to seal in the loose crumbs: Use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won’t be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don’t worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake; the second layer of frosting will take care of this. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting.
  2. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn’t have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer. Decorate, as desired.

One thought on “Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

  1. Yum YUM!!! This looks suuuper delicious and LOVE that cake stand! Where’s it from?

    This cake reminds me of that crazy cake we made for your bday junior year I think…ahh so long ago!! ❤

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