If you’re wondering what classifies a New York style cheesecake as “Birthday Cake” flavor, I’ll let you in on two little secrets…cake batter extract and colorful sprinkles. Yep, that’s it. Technically, you could spruce this up a little more by making the crust out of Nilla Wafers or Golden Oreos, which would also be fantastic. In fact, the cupcake size tart recipe for this cheesecake uses a whole Golden Oreo as the crust. Score!
When my brother’s birthday rolled around last year and my sister-in-law texted me the day of his birthday dinner, asking if I had any extra slices of cheesecake hanging around in the freezer…this was it. So, I packed up some slices and took it along with me. We all dug in to our own piece of cheesecake, and my brother was beyond happy with the flavor that showed up for his birthday (especially since he loves cheesecake).
What’s also great about this flavor is that it’s not just a boring ole vanilla flavored dessert, that slightly different flavor of the cake batter and the visual effect of the color sprinkles makes MUCH more of a difference than you could ever imagine.
Birthday Cake Cheesecake
For the Crust
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup cornstarch
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon cake batter extract
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup heavy cream
For the Topping
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Double-wrap the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, place inside a 12 inch cake pan. Place graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small mixing bowl, toss together. Add the melted butter and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Rub butter all along the bottom of the springform pan, then press graham cracker mixture evenly along the bottom. Place pans in the oven to bake for 7 minutes, remove pans from oven and set aside.
In a standing mixer (or mixing bowl and using electric mixer), add 8 oz. cream cheese, cornstarch, and 2/3 cup sugar. Beat at medium speed with the paddle attachment until mixture is smooth. Add another 8 oz. cream cheese, along with 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until smooth. Add remaining cream cheese and granulated sugar, one at a time, until smooth. Slow mixer to stirring speed, add extracts and one egg at a time, scraping down the sides. Turn on to stirring speed and slowly add heavy cream, beat just until mixed in (do not overmix). Spoon batter into springform pan on top of graham cracker crust and spread into an even layer.
Pour warm water into the larger cake pan, creating a water bath (this prevents cracks). The water should come up at least 1 inch around the springform pan. Carefully place pans in oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Remove pans from oven, pull the springform pan out of the larger pan and place on a cooling rack for about 4 hours to cool completely. Remove aluminum foil from around pan.
Cover springform pan with plastic wrap and place in freezer to set for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Remove plastic wrap from springform pan, release and remove sides of springform. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on top of cheesecake, turn upside down onto a flat surface. Carefully remove bottom of pan, turn back over onto a serving plate.
Cut into slices with a sharp, straight edged knife, wiping knife between each cut. Store cheesecake in refrigerator until ready to serve for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for 1 month. Combine butter and cream cheese and beat at medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla, continue mixing for another 1-2 minutes. Pipe on top of cheesecake slices, garnish with sprinkles.