This colorful vanilla cheesecake has a Golden Oreo crust and is topped with whipped cream swirls. It’s the perfect treat for Easter, birthdays or any occasion and you can choose your own food colorings to match any theme!
All you need to do to turn this vanilla cheesecake into a colorful unicorn cheesecake is divide the batter into four equal parts, then add food coloring to each bowl. You will then use a scoop to alternate adding the colored batters into your prepared pan. Then use a fork or butter knife to make 5-6 figure-eights in the batter to swirl. Bake, let set, then enjoy!
Here are a few of my cheesecake tips:
- Use room temperature cream cheese & beat it well. Cold cream cheese will be harder to beat, which will leave lumps in your cheesecake. Make sure to take your cream cheese out of the fridge at least 2-3 hours before beginning baking, or heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds prior to baking.
- Bake using a water bath. A water bath is simply a pan of hot water that is placed in the oven while baking. It adds moisture to the oven and helps to keep your cheesecake from cracking. A water bath also provides a more even bake. TIP: you don’t even need to place the cheesecake IN the water. The water can be on the rack below the cheesecake.
- Wrap the outside of your spring-form pan in aluminum foil. These pans are notorious for leaking. So avoid the smoky house and thoroughly cover the bottom and sides of your pan with aluminum foil.
- Make sure that the cheesecake cools slowly. This will also help prevent cracking. I recommend turning the oven off when there is still a 3-inch jiggle in the middle of your cheesecake and then leaving the cheesecake in the oven until it reaches room temperature (at least an additional hour).
Additional tips for making this recipe:
- If you are using a food processor to crush the Oreos, you can easily leave the filling in. If you are using a rolling pin to crush them, I recommend removing the filling, then adding it back in. This helps ensure that the Oreos are crushed finely enough.
- If you do not have instant vanilla pudding on hand for the whipped cream topping, feel free to omit it! I use it to add a little extra density to the swirls.
- Top with additional sprinkles or crushed candies if desired
For the crust
- 32 Golden Oreos crushed
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
For the cheesecake
- 32 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4-5 drops purple, pink, yellow and green food coloring
For the whipped cream topping
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant vanilla pudding mix
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the Golden Oreo crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Thoroughly grease a 9-inch spring form pan and cover the outside bottom of the pan with aluminum foil (in case of leaks). Set aside.
- Finely crush the Oreos using a food processor or a gallon bag and rolling pin.
- Place the crushed Oreos in a medium bowl and add melted butter. Mix well.
- Use a measuring cup or your fingertips to lightly press mixture evenly throughout the pan.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To make the cheesecake
- Lower oven temp to 325 degrees.
- Add 1-2 inches of warm water to a roasting pan or large rimmed cookie sheet and place on the bottom oven rack. Allow it to heat up for 5-10 minutes before baking your cheesecake.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down the bowl once complete.
- Add sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract, flour and salt. Beat on high until smooth. Scrape down the bowl once complete.
- Add in eggs, one at a time, beating on low after each addition until combined. Do not over beat.
- Equally separate the batter into four separate bowls.
- Add 3-4 drops of different colored dye to each bowl and stir well. Add additional drops if needed to reach desired color. For this cheesecake I used green, yellow, pink and purple dye.
- Use a spoon or a cookie dough scoop to alternate adding each color to the pan (see photos above). Once all of the batter has been added, use a butter knife to swirl the batter. Make 5-6 figure-eights in the batter, ensuring that the knife is gliding all the way along the crust (without breaking the crust).
- Bake for 60-90 minutes, or until there is a 3 inch jiggle in the center. Then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 1-2 hours or until the oven has cooled to room temperature.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely to room temperature (another 1-2 hours), then place it in the refrigerator overnight to set.
- Remove the spring form once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature or after chilling overnight. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen it first.
To make the whipped cream topping
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Place in a piping bag fitted with a star attachment and pipe rosettes around the edge of the cheesecake.
- Top with additional sprinkles or colored candies, if desired.