Layered Spice Cake and Cheesecake

I have great contention with the traditional Easter dinner of ham- meaning that I refuse to eat it.  But there are so many great things that come along with Easter.  First, our school gets a three day weekend with no school on Monday, my longest/worst day of the week.  I will snooze all morning and enjoy not having to be on campus on that Monday. Second, Easter candy.  Cadbury eggs, Peeps, and Reeses eggs fill my dreams during the spring months.  I love candy and in full disclosure, I have already begun stocking up a stash in my closet for when Easter is over.

If you need an Easter dessert rather than wonderful seasonal candy, this cake would be a perfect way to wow everyone.  This decadent cake has alternating layers of spice cake and New York style cheese cake.  Then it is all topped with cream cheese frosting.  Cream cheese on cream cheese is a wonderful thing.

Everything in my kitchen seemed to come into place with this cake: my cheesecakes didn’t crack (I promise even though you can’t see the tops),there were no cream cheese frosting thickness problems like I have had before, and my cakes came out of the pans easily.  I am extremely proud of my successful layering of this cake, and I did a little kitchen dance of celebration when I cut the first piece.  I spent a good amount of time just admiring and gazing lovingly at the cake.  I assume this is exactly like parenthood, right?  But I had to eat my child, and it was delicious.

This cake does take some time investment, but it is not super challenging as far as layer cakes go.  I suggest making the cheesecake layers the night before and chilling to help develop flavor (this recipe is from the best New York cheesecake I’ve ever made).  If you want to make it even more Easter themed, make the spice cake layer a spice carrot cake.

Hope you all have a great Easter weekend!


LAYERED SPICE CAKE AND CHEESECAKE
Spice cake from Taste of Home & Cheesecake from Cook’s Illustrated
Frosting from Our Best Bites
INGREDIENTS

For the Cheesecake:

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, cut into 1 inch chunks and softened
10 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 egg yolks, room temperature
6 large eggs, room temperature

For the Sour Cream Spice Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons all spice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
DIRECTIONS

For the Cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 500°F. Grease the sides 2 nine inch springform pans.

Transfer cream cheese to the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until pieces are broken up and cheesecake is slightly softened, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add granulated sugar and salt. Beat for 1-2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add egg yolks, beating until combined, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add eggs two at a time, beating after each addition until thoroughly combine, and scraping down bowl between additions.

Make sure your cheesecake mixture is thoroughly mixed by scraping down the bowl one last time. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide cheesecake filling between 2 springform pans.  Bake for 10 minutes. Keeping the oven door closed, reduced temperature to 200°F. Bake for an additional 1 1/2- 1 3/4 hour, until cheesecake is golden brown on top and has an internal temperature of 150°F.

Cool cake on wire wrack for 5 minutes. Run a pairing knife around the border of the cheesecake to loosen cheesecake from pan. Cool at room temperature for 3 hours. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.*

To serve, remove the sides of the springform pan. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

For the Sour Cream Spice Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg yolks one at a time, fully incorporating the yolk before adding another.  Add vanilla extract and combine.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, all spice, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Alternating between sour cream and dry ingredients, mix until just combined.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with hand mixer or whisk until stiff peaks just begin to form.  Carefully fold egg whites into batter.  Divide batter between two cake pans.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes.  Run knife along edge and invert cake pan on wire rack to remove cake from pan.  Let cool to room temperature.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
 
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter.  Beat until light and combined.  Gradually add in vanilla and powdered sugar, beating until combined.  Scrape down bowl and beat to ensure ingredients are fully incorporated.
 
For the Assembly:
 
Carefully removed cooled cheesecake and spice cake from pans.  Place a cheesecake layer on serving plate, top with spice cake, then second layer of cheesecake, and second layer of spice cake.  Frost cake with cream cheese frosting.  Garnish with pecans if desired.  Cut into slices to serve.  Store in refrigerator.


*Cheesecake will keep in fridge. Cheesecake flavor will keep developing the longer you chill, but after one day the crust will significantly soften.

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