Celebrating Cheesecake — and a challenge for you!

by Julie Ruble on March 6, 2011 · 82 comments

Taylor from Taylor Takes a Taste tweeted me yesterday with a very, very important message: Today is National Cheesecake Day! Well, okay, it’s actually National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day, but I’ve never made a white chocolate cheesecake, so just ignore that part. I’ll add it to my to-do list.

In order to celebrate, I thought I’d compile Willow Bird Baking’s many cheesecake recipes and issue a challenge for you!

My goal is to inspire kitchen confidence in home cooks by encouraging them to tackle fun, challenging new recipes. So I’m challenging you this month! Here’s what you do:

Choose one of the cheesecake recipes below that feels like a challenge to you and make it for friends, family, or coworkers.

– Take a photo and email it to me at juruble ‘at’ gmail ‘dot’ com with a few comments about how it went and a link to your blog (if you have one — if you don’t, that’s okay too!).

– Do this before April 5, 2011. In exactly a month, I’ll post all of your cheesecake masterpieces here on Willow Bird Baking!

– You can also grab the badge at the bottom of this post if you’d like to let your readers know that you’re participating in the Cheesecake Challenge, but it’s optional.

If you’d like to participate, leave me a comment below and let me know! If you’ve already made one of the recipes below, that counts too! Just send me a photo!


Willow Bird Baking’s Cheesecake Recipes:

1. Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake



2. Red Velvet Cheesecake



3. Caramel Fudge Brownie Cheesecake



4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss Cheesecake



5. Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes



6. Chocolate Cheesecake-Stuffed Cupcakes with Ganache



7. Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Squares with Shortbread Crust



8. Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies



9. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread Pudding

And don’t forget to watch my (slightly embarrassing) cheesecake tutorial for great cheesecake pointers!

Finally, here’s the Cheesecake Challenge badge if you want to grab it:

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne March 6, 2011 at 8:46 pm

You are quite the temptress my dear. All of these look absolutely amazing. Now which one to choose…

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm

HA! I know my temptations, all right! I think my favorite right now is the Caramel Fudge Brownie Cheesecake, with the Coffee Cookie Dough a close second. The Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars are so good though — they feel kind of light and tangy. Perfect for welcoming spring! :)

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Michelle March 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I may have to take you up on that challenge… and find you on twitter. (I’m @naturalbaker)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I hope you will! I followed you on Twitter!

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Mara @ What's For Dinner? March 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Hmmm…. this may need to be on my list for the week :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Yesss! :)

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Sue March 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Now the real challenge is picking the one to make. They all look so yummy.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Thanks, Sue! :)

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Becca March 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Okay, don’t completely hold me to this, but I am seriously considering doing this – the Red Velvet one…seriously considering.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Dooooo it, Becca!!! It’s pretty easy but comes out lookin’ all fancy! And it’s a chance to eat 2 cakes at once :)

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maybelles mom March 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm

I kind of hoped the challenge would be to eat as much cheesecake as you can in a month! sounds like a good idea.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 6, 2011 at 11:32 pm

HA you can do that too!! Maybe we’ll have a parallel contest . . . I’ll have to join in that one!

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Betty @ scrambled hen fruit March 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Oh my…these all look so good it’ll be hard to choose. (The caramel fudge brownie one though is calling my name. How did you get it to do that?)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm

That one is my favorite, Betty! The flavors are so yummy!

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Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen March 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Man those are some fantastic cheesecakes! Cheesecake is my favorite but I don’t make it often because I don’t share it, I eat it all!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Oh, I definitely know what you mean!

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muppy March 7, 2011 at 12:11 am

I love an excuse to bake so I’m in! I really can’t decide which one to choose, think I’ll consult my husband as he will have to eat more so I eat less :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 12:18 am

Hurray! I love your decision making method — makes perfect sense :)

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Penny March 7, 2011 at 12:42 am

I can’t wait to try the two cupcake recipes. I have 4 grandchildren who love cupcakes, so they’ll be my judges.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 12:48 am

That sounds great, Penny! I hope they love them!

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Virginia March 7, 2011 at 10:01 am

For some reason, I don’t think making (and obviously) eating a cheesecake is going to help my fitness regime…

Oh well! Extra Pilates for me! I’m thinking the Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge one sounds like a plan. :) (Also, note to self, follow you on Twitter!)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 10:04 am

I LOVE that one, Virginia! Yay for cheesecake (and, okay, extra pilates :))

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Jenna March 7, 2011 at 10:41 am

OMG! I am totally going to do this! I will most likey do one of the cupcake ones so I can blog about it on my cupcake blog. :) But boyyyy do I love cheesecake! <3

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 10:46 am

So glad to have you on board, Jenna! :)

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Sonia March 7, 2011 at 10:51 am

Amazing…
I was just talking with a friend about your Chocolate Cheesecake-Stuffed Cupcakes with Ganache… and then I saw your post… I’m soooo gonna do them… I’ll blog about it later :o)

And also I’ve done a red velvet cheesecake that is quite different from yours for mother’s day last year… I’ll email you the pictures (taken with my cell phone, sorry) and recipe later.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 11:09 am

Ooh, I can’t wait to see! I’m glad you’re on board! I love those chocolate cheesecake-stuffed cupcakes!

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Sonia April 4, 2011 at 6:39 am

Unfortunatly, I’m not going to be able to bake those amazing cupcakes before the deadline…. buuuuuut I’m gonna make them for sure… maybe this week or the next one… so expect an email by then.

btw, love your blog

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dee March 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Hi Julie – what a lovely idea! All the recipes sound delish but I think I’ll go with red velvet this time. I just can’t wait to share photos and capture the heartmelting look on my friends’ and colleagues’ faces when they try it!! Do you mind if I share the photos on my cheesecake facebook fan page – dee’s delite? Thanks again & smiles..

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Hurray, Glad you’re on board, Dee! Please feel free to share your photos anywhere — I’ll just post them on the blog in addition, if that’s all right :)

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Mollie March 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Genius. I LOVE cheesecake and will definitely participate!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm

So glad you’re joining in the fun, Mollie!!

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The Culinary Enthusiast March 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I would love to participate!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Glad to have you!!

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Maranda March 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I didn’t even know you had all these! I made the coffee cookie dough fudge cheesecake this weekend but think I might do more! That pumpkin cheesecake bread pudding sounds delicious!! You KNOW I’m in!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Hurray!! Your CCDF Cheesecake totally counts, too! I love that pumpkin cheesecake bread pudding — it’s more like a custard, but they named it after cheesecake and WHO am I to argue?! ;)

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Maranda March 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I’m also going to make the peanut butter bliss one in October for my sister’s birthday because that’s her favorite flavor combo. The caramel fudge looks amazing! And the lemon blueberry on shortbread squares??? Yes please!! Maybe it should be a “how many of WBB’s cheesecakes can I make in a month” contest. ;-)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

LOL I love that idea!! YESSS!! :)

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The Poet Herself March 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Definitely going to do this! I really like the sound of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss, so put me down for that. Now to find some people to eat it… :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm

It’s definitely a good one! :D I’m glad you’re in the game! Oh, and if you make it, they will come . . .

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KeishaShippy March 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Oh goodness….after baking for several baby showers in the last few weeks I swore I wasn’t going to bake again for a while! But I’ve never made cheesecake before, and Coffee Cookie Dough one sounds amazing. I’m sure my family and friend’s won’t mind just one more sweet treat…

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Yay, do it, dooo itttt!! Especially having never made one before, I bet you’ll love the process! There are several steps and it takes some time, but it’s really pretty easy and for such a fancy product :)

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet March 7, 2011 at 9:49 pm

This is so fun! I am going to make your Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Squares with Shortbread Crust! You just made my husband very happy:-)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Yay, Lauren, I’m so glad you’re going to do it! Those cheesecake squares are one of my FAVORITES. They taste light and tangy and springy, and the buttery crust is kind of insane. I hope you and hubby love them!

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Anita Menon March 8, 2011 at 2:20 am

Hi Julie,

Those look amazing!! I would like to try the marbled cheese cake brownies.

I have tried the no-bake variety of cheese cake before, so am excited to try the baked ones.

Thanks!!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Yay, Anita!! Thanks for joining in the fun!! I can’t wait to see them.

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Jenny March 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm

This is a great idea! Thanks for allowing for so much time! I hate the time crunchers:) I’m going to try and give it a shot!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I know what you mean, Jenny — I’m always so busy, and I know other people must be trying to pack everything in, too! Thanks for joining in! I can’t wait to see your finished product :)

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Michelle March 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I’m In! I found your site a few weeks ago and I have been thinking about your cheesecakes ever since. Now you’ve given me a reason to tackle one of them, Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake is the one for me:) I do have one question. Do you use a deeper than usual springform pan? The one I own is 3″ deep, yours seem to come out taller than that.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Yay! Thanks for jumping in, Michelle!

No, my cheesecakes are in a 3″ deep springform pan as well — I squish the crumbs as far up the sides as I can, though. Photos also make things look bigger, I’ve noticed, so they might look deeper than they really are :)

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Ella March 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm

So just how true to the recipe do we have to actually get?

Because I am going to do potentially illegal things with that lemon blueberry recipe.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

LOL! Okay, small adaptations are okay — but no, um, murder or larceny or anything. haha.

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Ella March 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I totally freaked out for a minute thinking I was a year late joining the challenge. I think the more likely crimes will be grand theft lemon and malicious assult with lemon curd.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Ha, no, my brain is just a year late. Fixed it!

I kind of want to be your accomplice! :D

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Ella March 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Its pandering to the crowd, often when I bake something rich and chocolatey, the response is that it is missing something. I guess I have a family that just loves tartness in a dessert. I’m already fantasising about just how good this will taste.

I’m the opposite of a planner, so perhaps this is the recipe for me to almost follow.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

It’s a great one to choose! I understand the love of tartness — I’m the same way. Well, but I love chocolate too. I’m, um, unbiased :D

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Amy March 9, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Ive never made cheesecake before, and have been slowly working towards “kitchen confidence” I’m definitely going to give this a try!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm

YESS!! GO AMY! Let me know if you have ANY questions during the process. It takes a little while, but each step is pretty easy! The hardest part, honestly, is packing the crumbs up the side of the pan, and that just takes the patience to stand there until they stay where they’re told ;) Can’t WAIT to see your final product!

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Natalie March 9, 2011 at 11:43 pm

I just made my first successful cheesecake last month, and my second (a repeat of the same recipe) this weekend. As a result, I’m now on a bit of a cheesecake high, so I can’t wait to try this challenge! I’ve been lusting after that peanut butter cheesecake for, well, ever but have been avoiding making it for the sake of my waistline. The challenge is just the excuse I was looking for!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 10, 2011 at 12:05 am

Yay, Natalie! Welcome to the Challenge!!

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Natalie March 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm

This month has gotten completely out of control, so my cheesecake will not be done in time to be submitted for your challenge (sigh). However, I am still dying to make it and shall do so later next month. I’ll let you know how it turns out! :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 29, 2011 at 9:05 am

That’s okay, Natalie! I can’t wait to see it whenever you can get to it. Hope things settle a little! :)

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Ja March 9, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Those cheesecake look awesome, Julie ! I am having a hard time choosing which one I should make. I am in :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

Hurrah! Welcome to the Challenge!! :D

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hungryami March 17, 2011 at 7:36 am

Hi, I’ve been lurking for awhile and figured this would be a great time to finally comment :) I made your chocolate cheesecake filled cupcakes last night and will be sending you the pics soon- they are delicious!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 17, 2011 at 8:25 am

Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed them!! I can’t wait to see the photos!

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Cassie (The Family Jewels) March 21, 2011 at 11:41 am

Okay…So you had me at Cheesecake. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your site. I’m a cheesecake FREAK! I experimented with my own pumpkin caramel cheesecake this past Thanksgiving. Besides my springform pan busting, it came out beautifully.

Although I’m super crunched for time these days, I’m seriously thinking about whipping up your peanut butter chocolate cheesecake…and by seriously, I mean I will be :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Hurray! Thanks for taking the time in your busy schedule, Cassie! So glad to have you on board :)

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Taylor March 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Not sure yet which one I am going to do. So many awesome choices!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I’m glad you’re going to jump in, Taylor!! I can’t wait to see what you decide!

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Meghna March 25, 2011 at 5:11 am

Hey,

Am planning to bake the lemon blueberry cheesecake… I just hope that I find the blueberries here in India…this challenge is damn interesting and I might just improve upon my baking skills….

Thanks

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 25, 2011 at 6:53 am

So glad you’re going to jump in, Meghna! I hope finding blueberries goes okay — feel free to substitute other berries if they’re easier to find.

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The Chocolate Bottle March 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm

WOW, I am going to have to try the Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge recipe. But I can’t possibly eat all of it, so I may have to have a cheesecake party for this one. Looks like an incredible dessert!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

It’s one of my faves!! A cheesecake party sounds like a BALL — one other participant did that as well! I think it’s a great idea! I hope you and your guests love it! I can’t wait to see photos.

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toddlerbaking March 31, 2011 at 6:16 am

I have just started my own baking blog and was going to do something savory for my second post… but now I think it’s going to be Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss Cheesecake. My daughter is peanut butter’s biggest fan!

I will have to make a couple of changes though as some of the ingredients aren’t available here — and I can’t do the gelatine because of being vegetarian :D

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 31, 2011 at 11:49 am

Hurray! I hope your daughter loves it!

I wonder if, for the mousse, you can sweeten and whip cream to stiff peaks and fold a bit of melted, cooled peanut butter mixture into the cream to make a “mousse”? Let me know what you decide!

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Pam April 4, 2011 at 1:02 am

Finished my cake about a week ago (I’m the Pam Gabriel who left a comment on your FB page :P) and I’m about to send you some pictures and the story behind it!

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