This orange creamsicle cheesecake gives you the taste you loved as a kid in a decadent grown up dessert. It looks and tastes like it takes a lot of effort to make, but it's not difficult. Just follow the tips and instructions for a taste of childhood summer.
When I was a kid, orange creamsicle pops were a huge treat. Their sweet creamy flavor was a summertime favorite. I’d happily chase the ice cream truck. I knew what I wanted. I could taste it on my tongue the moment I heard the calliope music. Occasionally I’d get that same craving as an adult, but I was always disappointed. It didn’t taste as good as I remembered. Something was missing.
Our tastebuds change as we age. Children crave simple sweet flavors. Adults enjoy a more varied palette, with different tastes providing flavor and contrast. To truly satisfy our nostalgia, we have to update those flavors we loved so much as a child. It also makes it possible to share the nostalgia with friends.
As a child, nothing was better than sharing your favorite ice cream with your friends. You would probably get some strange looks if you served creamsicles at your next party, but a creamsicle cake is sure to be a hit with family and friends.
- Prep time: 20-30 minutes
- Baking: 45-55 minutes
- Cooling: 2 hours
- Chilling: 6-8 hours
This orange creamsicle cake combines the rich orange flavor you loved as a child with cream cheese and a graham cracker crust. It’s easy to make, so you can enjoy this summertime flavor anytime. Best of all, it will look like you’ve spent hours slaving in the kitchen. I won’t tell if you won’t!
You aren’t a child anymore, so why use childish flavors for your cake? Some creamsicle cake recipes call for Jello or Kool-Aid mix to provide the orange flavor. This defeats the purpose of taking the taste of childhood and creating a mature dessert. This cake uses real grown-up ingredients, including orange juice concentrate.
Aren’t Cheesecakes Hard to Make?
Bakers are often intimidated by the thought of making a cheesecake. There’s a misconception that cheesecake is hard to make. This recipe is family-friendly in more ways than one. The taste is one the entire family is sure to love, but you can also let children join in when you are making the cake.
As long as you can follow directions and operate basic kitchen equipment, you have what it takes to make this decadent dessert. If you’ve steered clear of cheesecake recipes due to their difficulty, it’s time to face your fear and create a cake.
Before you begin, you’ll need to know the keys to making a great cheesecake.
Cheesecake Making Tips
If you start on the wrong foot, your cheesecake will not have the rich creamy texture you are looking for. This is one of the reasons why cheesecake is perceived as difficult to make, but it’s as easy as allowing your cream cheese to warm to room temperature before you begin. Cut the cream cheese into 1-inch squares and let it sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes before you begin.
When you are adding the eggs, add one egg at a time. Beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes, then add another. When the egg has disappeared into the batter, it’s time for the next one.
When you make a cheesecake, allowing it to chill for at least 6 hours before serving will enhance its flavor and texture. You can serve it as soon as it cools from the oven, but you’ll be missing that special something that comes from allowing it to chill and rest properly. It’s best to make the cheesecake the day before you plan to serve it.
Orange Creamsicle Cake Recipe
- 9 whole graham crackers, 18 square graham crackers, or 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 eight-ounce blocks of cream cheese
- 3 whole eggs
- ¾ cup orange juice concentrate
- 1 cup of sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
Crush the graham crackers into crumbs using a rolling pin or mallet. If you want to save time, you can buy crushed graham crackers. You can also use a food processor. If you have children helping, this is a great time to let them lend a hand!
Place the graham cracker crumbs into your pan. Add the sugar, and mix with a fork. Slowly drizzle the melted butter over the mixture, continuing to stir with the fork to moisten the graham crackers. Press the mixture into the pan.
Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy. Continue mixing as you add sugar slowly. Then add the eggs, one at a time. Add the salt, vanilla, and orange juice concentrate, continuing to mix until it’s well blended.
Pour the batter into the graham cracker pan. Use a rubber spatula or a large spoon to scrape the bowl and smooth the batter. Bake it on the center oven rack for 45-55 minutes. When it’s done, the edges will be slightly brown and set. The middle will be jiggly but solid. Don’t peek before time is up. The cold air can cause cracks in your cheesecake.
You might be tempted to pull it out of the oven immediately to admire your work. Don’t! Turn the oven off, leave the door open slightly to allow the hot air to escape, and wait 30 minutes before you remove the cheesecake. The cheesecake is in a fragile state due to the heat, and the movement of taking it out of the oven can cause it to crack. As it begins to cool, it will get firmer.
After 30 minutes, remove it and sit it on the counter for two hours. Once that’s complete, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours. Covering it will help keep the cheesecake from drying out in the fridge. For best results, allow it to sit in the fridge for 24 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator when you are ready to serve. Slice it into wedges and enjoy a grown-up version of your favorite childhood treat.