Vanilla and White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Ever have a recipe bookmarked for ages that you’re just itching to try but don’t have the time to tackle?

Such was the case with this particular cheesecake. But let me backtrack a little, only to tell you how much I love cheesecake. Whether it’s the rich and dense kind or the type that’s light and airy, put it in front of me and I’ll be sure to devour it. And then go get myself another piece. And maybe a third one after that. Yes, I like cheesecake that much. And if there’s one flavor profile I also happen to adore, it’s the vanilla and white chocolate combo. Talk about heavenly. So when I found a cheesecake recipe that incorporated several of my favorite elements into one rich, indulgent dessert, I just had to give it a try…about six months later. That’s how long this recipe has been swirling around in my mind, just begging my stomach to give in and make it. But it finally happened. And it was well worth the wait.

Now I’ll warn you: This recipe is not a quick one. There are four separate steps, though two of them are fairly simple. Usually I don’t have the luxury of making multi-layered cakes, but between my son’s birthday and the holidays, I was in such a celebratory mood that I forced myself to make the time.

What you’ve got here is a classic, simple graham cracker crust topped with a rich layer of vanilla-flavored cheesecake. On top of that is a nice helping of white chocolate mousse, followed by a generous layer of vanilla whipped cream. In other words, pure and utter deliciousness on a plate, and well worth the multi-hour investment.


Vanilla and White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Recipe very slightly adapted from The Inner Gourmet


For the crust:

1 and 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

For the cheesecake layer:

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 stick salted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla

For the white chocolate mousse:

1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 ounces white chocolate baking squares, melted and cooled to room temperature

For the vanilla whipped cream topping:

1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla


To make the crust:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the graham crackers, brown sugar, butter, egg yolk, and vanilla until well-combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges start to turn brown.
  4. Let the crust cool completely while you make the cheesecake layer.

To make the cheesecake:

  1. Lower your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth.
  3. Add in sugar and beat until well-combined.
  4. Add in the sour cream, corn starch, and vanilla; mix on low until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture on top of the crust, doing your best to spread it evenly.
  6. Bake the cheesecake for one hour. After an hour, it will probably still look jiggly, but don’t worry – this is normal.
  7. Turn off the oven, open the oven door, and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for one hour.
  8. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature, at least one hour.
  9. Place the cheesecake in the fridge to set, at least 4-5 hours or overnight.

To make the mousse (you can do this in advance and keep it in the fridge, or do it right before you’re ready to spread it and just chill it for a few minutes before applying to the cake):

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream on high until soft peaks form.
  2. Gradually add in your confectioners sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Place the whipped cream in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the melted white chocolate (which, by the way, should be completely cooled before you use it – make sure of this) and cream cheese and beat until smooth and fluffy.
  4. Remove the whipped cream from the fridge, fold it into the white chocolate mixture, and place the mousse back in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Once the mousse is nice and cold, use an offset spatula to spread it on top of the cheesecake layer.
  6. Return the cheesecake to the fridge until you’re ready to top it with the whipped cream (which I recommend doing right before you serve it).

To make the whipped cream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream on high until soft peaks form.
  2. Gradually stir in the confectioners sugar and vanilla, and beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Chill the whipped cream for at least 20-30 minutes (or overnight) before topping off the cheesecake.

Store your leftovers, if any remain, covered in the fridge. The cheesecake will keep for 2-3 days.





Tres Leches Cake

It was my husband’s birthday this past weekend. And while I’m not really a birthday person, he usually enjoys a bit of extra attention when his birthday rolls around. So I did what any good wife who couldn’t find a babysitter would do: cooked up his favorite dinner and made not one, but two birthday cakes. Now since it’s just us plus a 16-month-old at home, that may seem a bit excessive. And it was. But it was also oh so delicious.

The first cake I made was a classic tres leches cake, partly because I know my husband likes it, and partly because his birthday is right before Cinco de Mayo, and, well, I thought it would be both cute and appropriate.

This cake is really easy to make if you have a stand mixer. If you don’t, it’ll take some effort to whip up your eggs and your cream. But it’s so worth it, because this cake is amazing. It’s fluffy, moist, and light—which actually makes it kind of dangerous if you lack self-control, which we all know I do. Even my husband couldn’t help but go back for seconds. And although I’m usually the world’s biggest hypocrite when it comes to letting my son eat sweets (as in, I can stuff my face with cake but he can’t have any), I decided to let him have some of this cake to celebrate the occasion. I tried to get a picture of him enjoying Daddy’s birthday cake, but my child is a vulture when it comes to food, and by the time I was able to bust out the camera, his cake was long gone.


Tres Leches Cake
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman


For the cake:
1 cup AP flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup whole milk

For the milk mixture:
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

For the frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar


For the cake:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
3. Separate your eggs.
4. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until the yolks turn pale yellow.
5. Stir in milk and vanilla.
6. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
7. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
8. Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined.
9. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
10. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and let cool.

For the milk mixture:
1. Combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher.
2. Once your cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture over the cake (you can discard the rest, or get creative and save it for a future recipe). Try to get as much around the edges as you can. Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes.

For the frosting:
1. Whip the heavy cream and sugar until the mixture thickens.
2. Spread over the surface of the cake.