Churro Cheesecake with Cinnamon Toast Crunch crust and creamy lemon lime cheesecake filling is delicious with blackberry sauce topping.
A luscious and creamy cheesecake recipe that’s not too rich with citrus cheesecake filling and two ingredient cinnamon cereal crust.
How to make churro cheesecake
Both sopapillas and churros are a traditional Mexican desserts. Churros are a Mexican street food. Made from pressing a choux pastry like dough through a mold and cutting it directly into bubbling hot vats of oil. After frying the long winding fried pastries are coated in cinnamon sugar and served to anxiously awaiting customers. Churros are an amazing delicacy when enjoyed fresh out of the oil. And nothing can compare to traditional churros.
Churros cheesecake, also known as a sopapilla cheesecake, is an americanized take on the actual Mexican dessert. Typically churros cheesecake recipes refer to churro cheesecake bars layered with crescent rolls, cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk.
But this churro cheesecake is made without crescent rolls. Instead it’s a cheesecake made with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal whose cinnamon flavor nods to the cinnamon coated fried Mexican pastries.
A churro flavored crust complements the lime-heavy citrus cheesecake so well.
The two ingredient cereal crust is the perfect mix of sweet and cinnamon that holds up to the cheesecake without being soggy or overly stiff. It’s sturdy but also very tender.
Based on a decadent lemon cheesecake recipe from America’s Test Kitchen cheesecake the cheesecake filling is simply cream cheese, citrus zest, sugar and a dollop of greek yogurt.
- Cream cheese – softened
- Granulated sugar
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Lemon and lime – zested and juiced. Or add your own mix of citrus zest and juice. Clementine or blood orange juice, or all lemon are easy choices. But, get creative. Just keep it to around 1 tablespoon total zest and ¼ cup juice.
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal – or substitute graham crackers to make a graham cracker crust or use your favorite crumb crust recipe
- Unsalted butter – melted and cooled
Step by step instructions
- Make two ingredient churro crumb crust by simply pulsing Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal with melted butter.Sprinkle mixture into springform pan and press tightly. Then bake at 325 until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
- Once cool prepare springform pan for water bath by wrapping the outside with aluminum foil. Then place wrapped pan into a larger baking pan.
- Meanwhile zest and juice citrus fruit and pulse zest with sugar. Combine citrus sugar, with cream cheese, citrus juice, eggs and Greek yogurt to make citrus cheesecake filling and pour into partially baked crust.
- Carefully pour boiling water around springform pan and bake cheesecake in a water bath to ensure it’s perfectly cooked and creamy without cracking, drying or burning.
- Once cheesecake is finished remove from oven and cool slowly at room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator. This slow cool down and long chill ensures the cheesecake is luscious and creamy and not too dense.
- After cheesecake is thoroughly chilled remove from springform pan. To remove a cheesecake from the pan simply run a kitchen towel under super hot water to warm it up and wrap it around the outside of the entire pan. After a minute or so the edges should be loosened and remove easily when the sides of the pan are opened up and removed.
- Slice cheesecake and serve as desired.
How to make cheesecake without a springform pan
To make cheesecake without a springform pan simply grease the sides of a tall cake pan and line with parchment paper leaving the sides tall. Then, after baking and chilling, easily remove the chilled cheesecake from the pan by pulling up on the parchment paper.
How to serve
Top Citrus Churro Cheesecake however you wish! It’s great by itself, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, or served with berries.
But a drizzle of fresh citrusy Seedless Blackberry Sauce brings it over the top. Blackberry sauce for cheesecake is delicious and you can also choose other berry coulis recipes like Seedless Raspberry Sauce or even a Coconut Caramel Sauce would be perfect for topping churro cheesecake.
How to store
Wrap cheesecake in plastic wrap and store refrigerated up to three days. Or freeze baked and chilled cheesecake for up to two months either in individually wrapped slices or as a whole cheesecake.
To freeze cheesecake simply pop in the freezer uncovered until frozen. Then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and gently vacuum seal or place into a freezer safe storage bag. When ready to serve defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
- 1 ½ pounds cream cheese softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup greek yogurt plain
- 2 medium limes
- 1 medium lemon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal 5 ounces
- ½ cup unsalted butter 1 stick, melted and cooled
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Zest and juice lemons and limes. Mix together juices and measure out ¼ cup, reserve remaining for another use. Mix zest together and measure 1 tablespoon, again, reserve remaining for another use.
- Pulse ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon zest with ¼ cup sugar until the zest is very fine. Add remaining 1 cup of sugar and pulse to mix. Remove citrus sugar from food processor and set aside.
- Without wiping out the bowl of the food processor, process cinnamon cereal until fine. Then, drizzle in all but 1 tablespoon of the cool melted butter and pulse until combined. Sprinkle the mixture into a 9 inch springform pan. Press into an even layer using the bottom of a measuring cup. Reserve the 1 tablespoon butter to brush the inside of the pan later. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown, 12-15 minutes. Then remove and let cool at room temperature, about 30 minutes. Once cool, wrap the outside of the pan with 2 sheets of aluminum foil and set in a large pan with a dish towel on the bottom to prevent the cake from sliding around when baking. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth, 1 to 3 minutes. Scraping down sides as needed. Mix salt with the lemon sugar mixture and beat into the cream cheese until fully incorporated. Once again scraping down when needed. Add the ¼ of mixed citrus juice and beat until incorporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time until fully incorporated. Lastly add greek yogurt and again beat 1 to 3 minutes.
- Being careful not to disturb the baked and cooled crust, brush the inside of the springform pan with reserved 1 tablespoon butter. Then carefully pour the filling into the pan. Set the pan, with the cheesecake, on the oven rack and pour the boiling water halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is no longer jiggly and is lightly browned on the top, 1 ½ hours.
- Remove and let the cheesecake cool undisturbed in the roasting pan for 45 minutes. Then, remove from water bath and transfer to a wire rack. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and cool until barely warm, about 3 hours. Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.
- To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a wet hot kitchen towel around the cake pan and let it sit for 1 minute. Unlatch the sides of the pan and carefully slide the cake onto a cake platter. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
- Wipe down knife after each slice and serve with a drizzle of blackberry sauce.
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