Bursting with sprinkles, this dreamy creamy Funfetti Cheesecake is colorful, festive, and full of delicious birthday cake flavor! All the tips and tricks you need to make a perfect cheesecake every time!
You guys know the drill by now.
Every year, I pick a new type of dessert for the year. Each month, I share a new recipe of that type of dessert.
Past years include:
- 2021: Layer Cake of the Month
- 2020: Brownie of the Month
- 2019: Babka of the Month
- 2018: Pie of the Month
- 2017: Bundt Cake of the Month
- 2016: Quick Bread of the Month
You also know that every year, my first post of the year is filled with sprinkles. Is there a better way to mark the start of a new year than fun, colorful sprinkles?
Past years include:
- Homemade Funfetti Cake
- Frosted Sprinkle Brownies
- Sprinkle Rice Krispie Treats
- Sprinkle Sugar Cookie Bars
- Sugar Sprinkle Cookies
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know 2022 is going to be…
A Year of Cheesecakes
Cheesecakes are (…according to some people…) delicious, but they can be surprisingly hard to get just right.
Some cheesecakes are too dry and the texture feels a little crumbly. Some cheesecakes are almost too creamy and seem to fall apart when you cut them.
And of course, lots of cheesecakes crack in the middle when you bake them.
So grab your springform pans and come along for Cheesecake of the Month, where you’ll learn how to make them juuuuuust right.
Ingredients for the Creamiest Cheesecake
Each month, I’ll tackle a different baking question/problem relating to cheesecakes. First up: what ingredients should you add for the creamiest, dreamiest, not-too-soft-and-runny, cheesecake?
Lots of cheesecake recipes call for adding a little flour or cornstarch to the recipe. The reasoning behind this? It helps prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking, and also allows the cheesecake to be cooked at a higher temperature.
Adding cornstarch or flour, however, results in a denser and grittier texture. No thanks!
I have plenty of other tips to prevent your cheesecakes from cracking – and the extra time to cook at a lower temperature is well worth it, so we don’t need flour or cornstarch.
For the best, creamiest, smoothest texture, we want to make a cheesecake without starch: just sugar, eggs, cream cheese, and sour cream for the base.
This kind of cheesecake relies on the eggs to set to form the structure to hold the cake together. How does this work? It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!
As cheesecake is slowly heated, the egg proteins denature and link together, forming a solid structure. Cheesecakes must be heated gently at a low temperature — if the eggs cook too quickly, the proteins will tighten and curdle, forming clumps.
Cake Batter Cheesecake Flavor
Funfetti cheesecake includes sprinkles, of course!
But I like my funfetti flavor to also have just a little hint of almond – a “cake batter cheesecake” or “birthday cake cheesecake” flavor, if you will.
To achieve this, we’ll add a little almond extract, in addition to the vanilla extract
But if you’re not an almond person (or allergic), skip it and just stick with vanilla extract – this funfetti cheesecake is delicious on its own.
Best Sprinkles for Baking
Obviously, we can’t have a funfetti cheesecake without SPRINKLES – and lots of them!
But not all sprinkles are created equal, especially when it comes to baking and heating them up.
Any standard “rod-style” sprinkles can go into the cheesecake itself. My favorites I buy in bulk are Cake Mate and CK Products. (And of course, these are perfect for decorating the top of the cake, too!)
You can also use candy quins, which are the little circle sprinkles I used to decorate on the outside. These also don’t bleed, but they are crunchy, so they’ll change the texture of the cheesecake a little and aren’t my favorite for this reason.
Just don’t use non-pareils (the tiny little colorful balls) — the coloring bleeds and will dye the batter as it bakes. Also avoid handmade colored sprinkles dyed with alcohol, which will also bleed into the batter.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Funfetti Cheesecake
- Grease the sides of the pan if the crust doesn’t extend the whole way to the top. A cheesecake shrinks as it cools; it should pull away from the edges and shrink inwards, not stick to the sides.
- Use all room temperature ingredients! If the cream cheese is too firm, the batter will not be smooth and lumps are likely to cause cracks.
- Don’t over-mix the batter! The more the batter is mixed, the more air is incorporated, which is more likely to lead to cracks.
- Scrape the bowl frequently while mixing the cheesecake. This ensures there isn’t a pocket of unmixed cream cheese left in the bottom of the bowl – changes in texture in the batter lead to cracks.
- Bake the cheesecake in a water bath. While cheesecakes can be baked without one, a water bath helps ensure the cheesecake doesn’t overcook and maintains the creamiest texture. Either wrap the springform pan with three layers of aluminum foil or place the 9-inch springform pan inside a 10-inch round cake pan, and place this pan inside a larger pan filled with water.
- Bake until the cheesecake reaches an internal temperature of 145°F or until there is roughly a 2-3 inch diameter circle in the center that still jiggles.
- Cool slowly and gently. Abrupt changes in temperature can cause a cheesecake to deflate and crack. One easy way to do this is to turn off the oven, leave the door open partway, and let it cool. Alternatively, take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it cool inside a closed microwave or invert a large bowl overtop the cheesecake.
- Chill overnight before serving. This allows the cheesecake to set and results in the best texture.
Frequently Asked Questions about Funfetti Cheesecake
Yes – there are no gluten-containing ingredients in the cheesecake batter. Use gluten-free graham crackers for the crust and ensure the sprinkles are gluten free.
The outside edge should be set but the center should still have a slight jiggle when you shake the pan. The internal temperature of the cheesecake taken with an instant-read thermometer should be 145 °F
Once the cheesecake fully cools to room temperature, it should be refrigerated for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. The cheesecake will continue to set in the refrigerator.
Cheesecake freezes beautifully! To freeze the whole cheesecake, wrap the chilled cheesecake in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. To freeze individual slices, place the slice on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Then wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Unwrap before thawing in the refrigerator.
More Cheesecake Recipes
- Best Oreo Cheesecake
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake
- Gluten Free Macaroon Crust Cheesecake
- Chocolate Banana Cheesecake
- Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
2022 Cheesecake of the Month Series
For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups (213 grams) graham cracker crumbs (approximately 12 full size sheets, finely crushed)
- 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
- 32 ounces (908 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (151 grams) sour cream, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (198 grams) rainbow sprinkles
- additional sprinkles and whipped cream, for serving
- Make the crust. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Combine all crust ingredients together in a small bowl. Press the crumbs along the bottom and extending partway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan, compacting the crumbs as much as possible. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Reduce the heat to 325 °F.
- Make the cheesecake. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until creamy and well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt, stirring until well combined. Crack the four eggs into a small bowl and mix with a fork to break up the yolks. Slowly pour roughly a quarter of the eggs into the cream cheese mixture, mix to combine, and repeat until all egg has been added. Do not over-mix the cheesecake - this make it more likely to crack. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the sprinkles, scraping down the sides and along the bottom of the bowl.
- Prepare the springform pan. Wrap the springform pan in 3 layers of aluminum foil, or create a pan-in-pan water bath by placing the 9-inch springform pan inside a 10-inch cake pan (both pans together will be placed inside the water bath). Pour the cheesecake batter into the graham cracker crust.
- Bake the cheesecake. Place the springform pan inside a larger pan and add in hot water until the water level comes approximately halfway up the sides of the springform pan (or the outer cake pan). Bake at 325 °F for 70 minutes, or until the edges have set but a 3 to 4-inch diameter circle in the center of the cheesecake still jiggles. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly; cool in warm oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before placing in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Unmold the cheesecake. Once the cheesecake has fully chilled, run a knife along the outside edge and remove the ring of the springform pan. Decorate with whipped cream and additional sprinkles, if desired.
- Use room temperature ingredients to ensure proper mixing with no lumps.
- Mix the batter thoroughly, but do not overmix or mix on high speed which incorporates additional air into the batter.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently while mixing the batter.
- Bake until the center of the cheesecake still jiggles, or reaches a temperature of 145 °F on an instant read thermometer.
Cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.