In the art of baking, there are few things more rewarding than creating a perfectly baked cheesecake. The decadent texture, the rich flavor, and the impressive presentation make it a true showstopper dessert. And today, I’m excited to introduce you to an irresistible variation of this beloved classic – the Neapolitan Cheesecake.
This cake is not your average cheesecake – it’s a triple-layered beauty with distinct flavors and colors that evoke the classic Neapolitan ice cream. On the bottom, a chocolate wafer crust holds up a rich and creamy chocolate cheesecake layer. In the middle, a velvety vanilla cheesecake is enhanced with a touch of lemon juice to balance its sweetness. And on top, a vibrant strawberry cheesecake layer adds color and freshness to the cake.
This recipe takes inspiration from both the classic New York-style cheesecake and the Basque cheesecake trend with its daring combination of flavors and textures. But what truly sets it apart is how simple and straightforward it is to make – just a few pantry staples, some mixing, pouring, and baking steps, and you’ll have yourself a stunning double-decker dessert that looks like it came from a fancy patisserie.
Whether you have a special occasion coming up or want to surprise your loved ones with something sweet and impressive for no reason at all, this Neapolitan Cheesecake will rise to the occasion. It’s versatile enough to be served at any time of day (yes, even for breakfast – I won’t judge!), and it pairs beautifully with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream.
So without further ado, let’s dive into this neapolitan cheesecake recipe and create some delicious memories!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
My dear dessert enthusiasts, allow me to introduce you to my all-time favorite cheesecake recipe – the Neapolitan cheesecake.
This sweet treat is an absolute delight and will have your taste buds dancing with joy. Why, you ask? Well, let me share with you a few reasons:
Firstly, this heavenly dessert combines three classic flavors – vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate – all in one dish! The smooth and creamy layers of each flavor complement each other perfectly, creating an explosion of flavors in your mouth.
Secondly, unlike a traditional New York-style cheesecake or regular cheesecake recipe that can be quite heavy and dense, this Neapolitan cheesecake is light and airy. You won’t feel bogged down after indulging in a slice (or two…or three) of this luscious dessert.
Thirdly, it’s incredibly versatile! Whether you’re entertaining guests, looking for a decadent dinner party dessert, or just craving something sweet on a lazy afternoon, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings.
Finally, whether you prefer a baked or no-bake option, this recipe has got you covered. It’s easy to make at home and customizable to suit your preferences. You can serve it plain or dress it up with whipped cream, fresh fruit, or even some chocolate sauce!
So go ahead and give this Neapolitan cheesecake recipe a try. Trust me; it will not disappoint!
Ingredients for Crust:
- 1 cup of chocolate wafer crumbs
- 3 tablespoons of white sugar
- 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- Cooking spray
Ingredients for Filling:
- 24 oz (three (8-ounce packages) of cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cups of white sugar
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 oz (90g) vanilla-flavored baking bars, such as white chocolate baking squares, melted
- 3 oz (90g) semi-sweet baking bars, such as chocolate baking squares, melted
- 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
- Lemon juice (optional)
Ingredients for Strawberry Layer:
- 8 oz (one package) of room temperature cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup of granulated white sugar divided into two parts
- ½ tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
- One egg, room temperature
- A pinch of salt
- Red food coloring
- One cup of finely diced fresh or frozen three-quarter inch chunks or slices of ripe and juicy pH balanced natural sweetness strawberries
Ingredients for Vanilla Layer:
- One package, roughly around three cups or two sticks or one pound or sixteen tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
- Eight ounce or one packagе cream cheese also softened
- Four cups or sixteen ounces or little more than four packed cups powdered sugar*
- Two teaspoons pure vanilla extract*
Notes: This recipe is perfect for a double-decker cheesecake with chocolate cheesecake on the bottom and a combination strawberry and vanilla cheesecake on top. You can also make this no-bake neapolitan cheesecake vegan by using vegan cream cheese, butter and heavy cream.
The Recipe How-To
Now, that you know why this Neapolitan Cheesecake Recipe is so special and the list of the ingredients we need, let’s get started with the recipe how-to.
Preparing the crust
First things first, we need to prepare the crust. You have two options here – chocolate wafer crumbs or Oreo crust. If you want a more chocolatey flavor, go with chocolate wafer crumbs. If you want a mixture of chocolate and vanilla-like flavor similar to Neapolitan ice cream, use Oreo crust.
- Take 3 cups of your choice of crumbs (chocolate wafer or Oreo) and mix with 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine melted in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
- Press into a 9-inch springform pan using a flat-bottomed glass until it is an even thickness on the bottom and up onto the sides.
- Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 12 minutes.
- Let it cool in refrigerator while preparing filling.
Making the Filling
Now that our crust is done, let’s make the filling!
The Chocolate Layer
- Melt 3 oz (90g) white chocolate baking squares in a microwave-safe bowl at 30-second intervals, stirring between intervals.
- Beat in one block of (8 ounces) cream cheese softened and 1/4 cup sugar. Add in one egg and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract while continuing to beat.
- Pour mixture over the cooled crust spreading evenly.
The Vanilla Layer
- Beat together one block of (8 ounces) cream cheese softened with 1/4 cup sugar and add 1 egg and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract while continuing to beat.
- Pour mixture over chocolate layer spreading evenly.
The Strawberry layer
- Puree fresh or thawed frozen strawberries in a blender and measure out enough puree to equal 3/4 cups, then pour into another mixing bowl
- Beat another block of (8 ounces) cream cheese softened with 1/4 cup sugar until fluffy.
- Gradually add strawberry puree to cream cheese mix, beating well with each addition
- Add in one egg and 1 tablespoon flour until combined
- Pour mixture over the vanilla layer spreading evenly.
It’s almost time to try our delicious creation! Now that all three layers are perfectly stacked on top of each other, let’s bake it!
- Add water into another baking dish and place cheesecake onto dish then bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 55-60 minutes or until set.
- After it is baked for 50 minutes start checking every few minutes as baking time may vary on oven size/reliability/profile.
- Once baked, remove from oven then run knife around sides of
Substitutions and Variations
If you’re looking to switch things up a bit, there are many substitutions and variations that you can make to this Neapolitan Cheesecake recipe. Here are a few ideas to try:
– Oreo Crust: Instead of using chocolate wafer crumbs for the crust, try using crushed up Oreos instead. This will give the crust a slightly different flavor and texture.
– Double Decker: For a truly indulgent treat, try making a double-decker Neapolitan Cheesecake with alternating layers of each flavor: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.
– No-Bake Neapolitan Cheesecake: If you don’t want to turn on the oven, you can make a no-bake version of this cheesecake. Simply mix together the cream cheese, sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract until smooth, and then divide the mixture into three bowls. Mix strawberry jam into one bowl, melted white chocolate baking squares into another bowl, and melted dark chocolate baking squares into the third bowl. Pour each layer over a graham cracker crust in a springform pan and chill for several hours until firm.
– Vegan Neapolitan Cheesecake: To make this recipe vegan-friendly, use tofu or cashews instead of cream cheese and coconut cream instead of heavy cream. Agar agar powder can be used as a substitute for gelatin to help the cheesecake set.
– Chocolate Cake Layers: For an even richer dessert, you can replace one or more of the cheesecake layers with chocolate cake layers. Simply bake your favorite chocolate cake recipe in two 9-inch round pans, let them cool completely, and then layer them with the cheesecake filling.
No matter which variation you choose, this Neapolitan Cheesecake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any occasion!
Serving and Pairing
Now that you have mastered the art of baking this mouthwatering Neapolitan cheesecake, it’s time to think about how to serve and elevate its flavors. This delectable dessert is a perfect choice for any occasion or celebration. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or enjoying a slice with your family, here are some pairing suggestions for you to explore.
Firstly, you can pair your cheesecake with fresh strawberry slices or a strawberry syrup. The sweet and tart flavors of the strawberries complement the rich creaminess of the cheesecake filling perfectly.
If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you should try drizzling some warm white chocolate ganache over the top of your cheesecake slice. The neutral sweetness of the white chocolate rounds out the sharpness of the cream cheese filling.
Alternatively, a classic caramel sauce can add some extra sweetness to your slices while also adding some depth to its flavors.
If you want to impress your guests, why not serve these decadent double-decker slices with some ice cream on the side? Vanilla ice cream is always a great option because it mellows out and harmonizes with all three layers- chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
For those who prefer vegan desserts, pair your no-bake Neapolitan cheesecake with some fresh fruits like raspberries and blueberries. These tangy berries will bring an exciting contrast of flavors and textures to this creamy delicatessen.
Lastly, when serving Neapolitan cheesecake, presentation matters too- add some flavored crumbs or whipped cream around your slice to create an inviting and visually pleasing plating. Enjoy!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Planning ahead is always a good strategy, especially when it comes to desserts. Fortunately, this neapolitan cheesecake recipe allows you to make it in advance without compromising its flavor and texture.
If you want to make the cheesecake ahead of time, follow all the instructions until the baking step. Instead of baking it, simply cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve, just take out the cheesecake and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing.
When storing leftover slices, wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container. You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up five days or freeze them for up to two months. If you decide to freeze the slices, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
When reheating slices of neapolitan cheesecake, use a microwave or oven. For microwave reheating, warm a slice on low heat for 10-15 seconds at a time until it reaches the desired temperature. To reheat in the oven, preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C and reheat for around 5-7 minutes.
Remember that reheating cheesecake can slightly affect its texture and creaminess, so be careful not to overheat it. When done right, your neapolitan cheesecake will still be as delicious as when it first came out of the oven!
Tips for Perfect Results
Baking the perfect Neapolitan cheesecake can be tricky, but with some tips and tricks, you can achieve a flawless result. As you start preparing the ingredients, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure an exceptional outcome.
One essential tip when baking any cheesecake is to make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. This will prevent lumps in the batter and create a smooth texture. When using cream cheese or butter, it’s best to take them out of the fridge at least an hour before you start baking.
Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid over-mixing the batter. Over-mixing can incorporate too much air, resulting in a cracked or puffy cheesecake. Mix the cream cheese and sugar together until they are just combined, then add eggs one at a time until well mixed.
It’s crucial not to skip the chilling process while making the crust. Refrigerating it for at least 30 minutes before baking will help form a firm base for your cheesecake.
It’s recommended to use a water bath when baking your Neapolitan cheesecake. A water bath helps maintain an even temperature and prevents cracking. Wrap your springform pan with aluminum foil tightly and place it into a larger dish filled with hot water about halfway up.
Before removing your cake from the oven, make sure that it is cooked evenly by giving it a jiggle. If it jiggles slightly in only the center, it’s ready!
Once finished, allow your Neapolitan cheesecake to cool gradually by leaving it in the oven (turned off) with the door slightly open for about 30 minutes. Cooling cheesecake too fast results in cracks.
Finally, store your Neapolitan cheesecake correctly after cooling at room temperature for up to 25 minutes. You can freeze it securely covered for up to one month or refrigerate (wrapped tightly) for up to five days.
Follow these tips, and you’ll get that perfect slice of Neapolitan Cheesecake every time!
As we wrap up this article on the Neapolitan Cheesecake, let me address some frequently asked questions that may be on your mind. These questions are quite diverse but don’t worry, I will provide comprehensive answers to put you at ease. So whether you’re wondering about ingredients, baking techniques, or serving suggestions, stay with me as we explore together in this FAQs section.
What is the difference between New York-style cheesecake and regular cheesecake?
When it comes to cheesecake, there are a few key differences between regular and New York style. While regular cheesecake has a smoother, creamier texture thanks to the use of heavy and sour cream, New York cheesecake is noticeably denser and richer as it relies heavily on cream cheese. However, there are other elements at play that make New York style cheesecake stand out from the crowd.
What are the three types of cheesecake?
Cheesecakes come in all sorts of flavors and styles, but ultimately, the best one is different for everyone. While some may prefer the classic or New York style, others may find no bake cheesecake to be the most delicious option. With so many varieties to choose from, it’s all about finding the flavor that you cannot resist.
What’s the difference between Sicilian cheesecake and regular cheesecake?
When it comes to cheesecake, there are two popular varieties: New York American and Italian. While the former is made using cream cheese, the latter incorporates ricotta cheese instead. Italian cheesecake tends to be lighter and less sweet, with a texture more akin to a cake than a dense and heavy dessert.
What is the difference between Basque cheesecake and normal cheesecake?
Basque cheesecake and regular cheesecake have significant differences in texture, appearance, and baking process. A dense and creamy New York-style cheesecake has a crust, while Basque cheesecake is crustless, has a scorched exterior, and a light, souffle-like interior. Unlike the perfectly smooth New York-style cheesecake, Basque cheesecake favors imperfection as part of its unique flavor profile, and you wouldn’t worry about the cheesecake cracking during the baking process.
In conclusion, the Neapolitan Cheesecake recipe is perfect for any occasion. Its unique combination of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors will leave everybody wanting more. With simple ingredients, easy steps, and variations for customization, this recipe is the perfect choice for any baker, at any level. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert in baking, the Neapolitan Cheesecake recipe is sure to become a favorite in your dessert repertoire.
So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to impress your family and friends with this mouthwatering dessert. Consider using an Oreo crust or adding in layers of ice cream to make it a double-decker delight.
And for those who follow a vegan lifestyle, try substituting cream cheese and eggs with a vegan alternative without compromising on taste. This cheesecake is also perfect as a no-bake option.
No matter how you choose to make it, this recipe is sure to deliver delicious results every time. So go ahead and indulge yourself in this decadent treat that’s guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings!
Neapolitan Cheesecake Recipe
- 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
- 5 tablespoons butter or 5 tablespoons margarine, melted,divided
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, divided
- 2 1/2 ounces white chocolate baking squares, divided
- 1/3 cup mashed sweetened strawberry
- 2 teaspoons shortening, divided
- Combine crumbs and 3 tablespoons of butter; press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in.
- springform pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes; Cool.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Add vanilla.
- Divide into three portions, about 1 2/3 cups each.
- Melt 2 squares semisweet chocolate (I microwave them at 50% power for 1-2 minutes to get them melted); stir into one portion of the batter.
- Melt 2 squares of white chocolate; stir into second portion.
- Stir strawberries into the remaining batter.
- Spread semisweet mixture evenly over crust.
- Carefully spread white chocolate mixture onto chocolate mixture, then strawberry mixture.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300 degrees.
- Bake 50-55 minutes or until center is nearly set.
- Remove from oven; immediately run a knife around edge.
- Cool; remove from pan.
- Melt remaining semisweet chocolate, remaining butter and 1 teaspoon of shortening; cool for 2 minutes.
- Pour over cake.
- Melt remaining white chocolate and shortening then drizzle over glaze.
- Refrigerate until cold before serving.
Your Own Notes
Steven is a chef by heritage, so it’s no wonder why baking is such a big part of who he is. To share his passion for all things sweet, he created cookiesncrepes.com. It’s the perfect platform to indulge in delicious treats, all with a sprinkle of his signature flare.