Yogurt Cheesecake with Orange Shortbread Crust and Chambord Honey Drizzle

That might be the longest recipe title ever, but at least you can see IMMEDIATELY that this cheesecake is special. Even special enough to grace your Mothers Day table!

Cheesecake is one of those foods that people tend to get a little fussy over. I can sense the frantic thoughts spinning in your heads… That’s not a true New York Cheesecake! Is it that Philadelphia-style cheesecake? Or the sour cream variety? Or Italian ricotta and mascarpone cheesecake? And what is up with that crust? I see no graham crackers…

Take a deep breath, and let me explain.

The fact is, most countries worldwide have their own rendition of cheesecake (even Southeast Asia) and many have been making them for literally thousands of years. There are hundreds of variations,  so there is no right or wrong way to make cheesecake–it’s your preference. And if you haven’t tasted but one or two varieties…. how would you know?

So let your guard down and allow me to give you my sales pitch on this particular cheesecake. *wink*

Historically the Greeks invented cheesecake, that is until the Romans took over and claimed it as their own, so it would only make sense to add Greek yogurt, right? RIGHT? The ancient Greeks even published a book about their two preferred styles of cheesecake.

Yogurt Cheesecake with Orange Shortbread Crust and Chambord Honey Drizzle is a concept I’ve been playing around with, a find quite delightful.  It’s rich, but not dense, with a slightly airy quality. It has a perky tang from the cream cheese, yogurt and orange juice and it isn’t overly sweet.

I adjusted the crust to be more of a “special feature” than the traditional American graham cracker crust. I used my favorite shortbread recipe and added orange zest to mimic the flavor and aroma of the cheese filling. Did it work? Let me just say, I will probably never make a graham cracker crust for cheesecake again.

Finally to enhance this cake even further, I added a drizzle of Chambord Raspberry Liqueur and honey, then topped it with some fresh raspberries. It’s understated, elegant, comforting and bright. What more could you ask of a dessert that contains no chocolate?

This is just the sort of treat I would make MY mom on Mothers Day, if I lived a little closer. So I wanted to share it with you in time for your Mothers Day brunch or dinner. Cheesecake makes a wonderful party dessert because it’s lovely enough to double as a centerpiece and rich enough to cut into small pieces. It’s also a great make-ahead!

Cook’s Notes:

Contrary to modern opinion, cheesecakes are not hard to make. They just take a little time in the oven, and you need to prepare your pan properly before you start. Don’t be afraid to give this a try!

The water bath:  Most bakers agree, using a water bath is an extremely important step in avoiding cracks on the top of your cheesecake–but it’s not fool-proof. Cracks can form when the cheesecake rises or cools too quickly. Some cheesecakes are simply destined to have a crack, no matter what you do! It doesn’t effect the flavor or texture, only the appearance. So it’s a good idea to have raspberries of some other garnish ready, if needed. To prepare a water bath, place a roasting pan containing 1-2 inches of hot tap water  in the oven while it’s preheating. Carefully wrap the exterior of your spring-form pan with foil. Make sure it comes all the way up the sides. If you don’t have a roasting pan, or are afraid of water leakage,  you may place bread pans filled with hot water on three sides of the spring-form pan while it bakes. The cheesecake isn’t insulated by the hot water, but it is still providing the steaming effect of a water bath.

Another step you may take to avoid cracks is to allow your cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven for 1 -2 hours after the required baking time. The slower it cools the better.

Following these two steps will provide a crack-free cheesecake over 90% of the time. Those are pretty good odds as far as cheesecakes go!

To Prepare:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-10 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and attach the ring over the rim. Trim the excess paper. Grease the sides of the pan and wrap the exterior with foil.

Using an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the salt, flour and orange zest; beat until combined. Press the dough into the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 5 minutes, then cool.

Once the crust comes out of the oven, prepare a water bath by placing a roasting pan containing 1-2 inches of hot tap water  in the oven while it’s preheating.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Scrape the bowl and beat again. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the yogurt and remaining ingredients. Scrape the bowl again then beat until smooth.

Pour the filling into the shortbread crust and carefully place the pan down into the water bath. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 275 degrees F and bake for 1 hour.

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Yield: 12 slices

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 75 minutes

Yogurt Cheesecake with Orange Shortbread Crust and Chambord Honey Drizzle

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (½ cup)
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 cup + 2 Tb. all-purpose flour
Zest of 1 orange

For the Filling:
3- 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
1 1/8 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 orange (about ¼ cup)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tb. flour
Pinch of salt

For the Drizzle:
2/3 cup honey
2 Tb. Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
3 cups fresh raspberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-10 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and attach the ring over the rim. Trim the excess paper. Grease the sides of the pan and wrap the exterior with foil.

Using an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the salt, flour and orange zest; beat until combined. Press the dough into the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 5 minutes, then cool.

Once the crust comes out of the oven, prepare a water bath by placing a roasting pan containing 1-2 inches of hot tap water in the oven while it's preheating.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Scrape the bowl and beat again. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the yogurt and remaining ingredients. Scrape the bowl again then beat until smooth.

Pour the filling into the shortbread crust and carefully place the pan down into the water bath. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 275 degrees F and bake for 1 more hour.

Once the timer goes off, turn off the heat, but leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1-2 hours to cool. Carefully remove it from the oven and set on the counter to cool all the way before placing it in the fridge. Then refrigerate until chilled through.

Whisk the Chambord and honey together. Use as is, or simmer on the stove to render out the alcohol. Cool before using. *I used mine uncooked—the kids aren’t getting enough to make a difference!

To serve: Garnish with fresh raspberries and drizzle with Chambord Honey. You can even mix a little of the Chambord Honey in with the raspberries to make them glossy if you want to pile them on top of the cheesecake.

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74 Responses to “Yogurt Cheesecake with Orange Shortbread Crust and Chambord Honey Drizzle”

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    EA-The Spicy RD — May 5, 2011 @ 7:07 am

    Wow! This looks wonderful. I love the idea of the Chamvoard Honey and raspberries on top. I’ll make this gluten-free by subbing gf flour for the regular flour, and using Pamelas shortbread cookies and vutter for the crust. Thanks!

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    Cécy — May 5, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    You sold me just with the title, Now I want to have a cheesecake party at home. Yum!

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    5 Star Foodie — May 5, 2011 @ 7:42 am

    Wow, what an amazing treat that would be! I love the use of the greek yogurt here and it sounds just wonderful with the additions of Chambord Raspberry Liqueur and honey!

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    Katarina — May 5, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    This looks really delicious! I love cheesecakes!

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    Eileen — May 5, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    Oh Sommer. I would love a piece of this cheesecake for Mother’s Day. You did a beauiful job making, and photgraphing it. Definitely a top 9! Happy Mother’s Day to you!!

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    Carolyn — May 5, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    I love the idea of greek yogurt in cheesecake. I adore it and have thought about ways to make cheesecake with it so thanks for working out the kinks for me! ;)

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    My Kitchen in the Rockies — May 5, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    Hi Sommer, I make my German cheesecakes with Quark and Creme fraiche. Therefore I love your addition of the yogurt! Cheesecake is also one of my favorite cakes to eat and you are correct, they are not hard to bake at all. Yours looks especially beautiful. Great pictures!
    Thanks for a new , soon to be tried recipe! Kirsten

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    Parsley Sage — May 5, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    So very good. I love the ingredients you used for this cheesecake and your gung-ho, think outside the rigid-cheesecake box attitude. Looks like it helped you to create a truly unique AND delicious dessert. Well done!

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    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert — May 5, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    Can I come over and play at your house? You are the master! Once again the recipe looks incredibly delicious, the directions precise and easy to understand, and the photos, well I am in awe! I’ve made cheesecake with some success and am not one to judge which kind is better. My mom’s been gone since I was 32 so I’ll have to find another excuse to make this … soon! Thanks and congratulations on a wonderful creation.

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    Joy — May 5, 2011 @ 8:26 am

    That looks so good.

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    Emily @Cleanliness — May 5, 2011 @ 8:27 am

    Absolutely lovely!!!

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    Sara — May 5, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    I’m totally open minded when it comes to cheesecakes. I grew up with different cheesecakes than the ones we find in the States so maybe I got used to think of several “real” cheesecakes”. I’m in love with the shortbread crust. I think shortbread is always good for everything and the orange flavor would make it perfect with the yogurt. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

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    Gastronome Tart — May 5, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    Beautiful photos, beautiful cheesecake! Sounds delicious! Different is always better in my mind anyways :)

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    Melissa — May 5, 2011 @ 10:07 am

    I love citrus juice and zest to add flavor. Drool-worthy, for sure. I don’t have much patience for cheesecake…but I may forward this along as a “hint” to some friends!

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    Maris (In Good Taste) — May 5, 2011 @ 11:03 am

    I am in love with this cheesecake! It looks so incredible. i always wondered why the water bath and now I know!

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    megan @ whatmegansmaking — May 5, 2011 @ 11:27 am

    This looks so good!! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the water bath explanations. I’ve made one cheesecake using a water bath and it leaked :(

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    carolinaheartstrings — May 5, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

    What a beautiful looking cheesecake. I bet it tastes just fantastic. I love Greek yogurt and honey and I know it make this recipe just that much better.

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    Linda — May 5, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

    Wonderful flavor combination!! Guess we both had the same idea for a Mother’s Day dessert! I have not used yogurt in a cheesecake…yet! But I will now! Sommer, your last photo with the spoon is amazing! I really loved it!

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    Dmarie — May 5, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    besides the mouth-watering pics, soo very excited to see this crust variation. I don’t like all the artificial ingredients on the commercial graham cracker boxes, so your suggestion sounds like a great alternative for crumb-crusted pies. yum!

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    Rachel — May 5, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

    Will definitely be trying this one, Sommer! Thanks!

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    Squash Blossom Babies — May 5, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    This looks great!!! I love the pictures!

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    Matthew "mmWine" Horbund — May 5, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

    Though it’s more work than I’m in for, It looks awesome!

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    briarrose — May 5, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

    Amazing cheesecake! I do love a graham cracker crust, but the shortbread looks quite tasty….and that drizzle….sooooo good. I love how there can be such a difference in how cheesecakes are made…possibly because it gives me a reason to eat more…all in the name of taste testing of course. :)

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    Melissa — May 5, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    Your photos are incredible. That cake looks divine.

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    Belinda @zomppa — May 5, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    That shortbread is a pure delight. Want some, please!

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    skip to malou — May 5, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    You got me on the title alone. Yep hands down. Then looking at your stunning photos made me drool. haha what a delightful post. Definitely will make a grand “happy mother’s day” table top.

    Enjoy the rest of the week!
    Malou

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    Evan Thomas — May 5, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

    The cheesecake looks fantastic!

    Ancient Greece and Rome are my area of studies. I’m definitely going to look into this cheesecake debate. The idea that it was served at Olympus is mind blowing.

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    Angie's Recipes — May 5, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

    What a gorgeous cheesecake! Love the drizzle too.

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    Sawsan@chef in disguise — May 6, 2011 @ 3:52 am

    That shortbread crusts sounds tempting and I LOVED the idea of using greek yogurt in the filling.
    Bookmarked to try very soon

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    thepickyeater — May 6, 2011 @ 4:24 am

    i love any cheesecake ! the drizzle looks good :D

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    Kristen — May 6, 2011 @ 7:40 am

    I am in love with the orange shortbread crust. The whole thing looks great, but that crust has me drooling.

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    Denise @ Creative Kitchen — May 6, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    Sommer,

    Oh my!!! Words fail me!! This looks wonderful, sounds wonderful and I know would taste wonderful. I’m stumbling & liking this to add to my list of things to make. You know the very long list we all keep! I just LOVE your blog…your whole layout is very calming and easy to navigate. After moving over to wordpress and redesigning, I can totally appreciate all the work that goes into our blog designs. Have a GREAT weekend!!!

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    pachecopatty — May 6, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    Hi Sommer, this is one luscious looking cheesecake, wow, I would love a piece. I made a cheesecake with goat cheese this past week and it was good too but way different, lighter, drier and not as sweet. But, now I’m thinking about a traditional cheesecake and why it’s so good, love the drizzle with berries;-)

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    torviewtoronto — May 6, 2011 @ 10:07 am

    beautifully done this looks so delicious
    I like the addition of yogurt

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    Hester Casey - Alchemy — May 6, 2011 @ 10:34 am

    Hi Sommer, we had Mothers’ Day back in March but I think you have given me a great excuse to celebrate it over again.

    Love the shortbread crust and the greek yoghurt. Stunning photos too.

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    Brett Borsvold — May 6, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    I love how you added a bit of background to cheesecakes in general. I spent 09-10 studying abroad in France and was lucky enough to procure an oven for my baking habit. I can safely say I lived off of quiche with the occasional cheesecake used for trade with friends. I tried so many different methods and ingredients, had a blast doing it. I found that there’s a lot of leeway when you have so many types of creme fraiche and yogurts as well as the Philadelphia style cream cheese. The problem I have nowadays is dealing with lactose intolerance, only seen nuts used as a replacement, but then the whole cheesecake isn’t quite cheese-cake anymore.

    Thanks for the insights and ideas for my future cheesecakes though! The emphasis you put on the crust is great, its where I put the majority of my creativity when making a cheesecake anymore.

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    kankana — May 6, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

    I love love cheese so you can imagine how much I love cheese cake :) This is looking so amazing .. i am too busy this weekend to bake a cake but I have to buy one and eat .. seriously craving :P

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    sweetlife — May 6, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

    longest recipe title, ever..love it..thanks for the bit of history..I make no fuss over cheesecake, i love’m all!!

    sweetlife

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    Cookin' Canuck — May 6, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

    This is truly one of the prettiest cheesecakes I have seen in a long time. And with the Chambord – oh my!

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    elle marie — May 6, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    I love, love, love your cake pedestal! It is adorable… I have this fondness for hobnail too! That aside, this looks just perfect!!! I’m swooning over your background too… here in Japan we have to implant grass because of all the cement.. JK..lol

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    sonia — May 6, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    Hi Sommer, The cheese cake is looking lovely. Loved the new combo of ingredients and the recipe is very nicely made and presented. Beautiful Pictures… ! Saving this recipe of urs and wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day….Sonia !!!

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    Jenny (VintageSugarcube) — May 6, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

    Why? Why? Why? Couldn’t you live closer???? I could be your official taste-tester! That really looks nothing less than amazing. :)

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    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — May 7, 2011 @ 5:03 am

    I love everything about this cheesecake, the fact that it has a shortbread crust, that it uses Greek yogurt and that it’s topped with one of my favorite liquors – Chambord!

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    Julie M. — May 7, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    Another beautiful recipe Sommer! You were made to do this!

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    Kate@Diethood.com — May 7, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

    You sure know how to sell a cheesecake!!
    This looks beautiful, Sommer…I would be one happy Mama if I saw this waiting for me on my coffee table tomorrow!

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    Evan @swEEts — May 8, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    Confession..I don’t particularly care for cheesecake :( I do however adore shortbread and that drizzle sounds fantastic.. Now I just have to figure out where I’m going to incorporate it!

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    Bethany — May 8, 2011 @ 9:28 am

    Hello! This looks just amazing! So, I have made it- followed the recipe exactly (except I didn’t have a roasting pan so I did the bread pans w water thing) and the cheesecake has risen like an inch and a half over the top of the spring-form pan and cracked in 3 spots… it smells great but looks terrible!!! What did I do wrong?? Could I have mixed it too much? I don’t understand why it rose up so high

    • Sommer — May 9th, 2011 @ 6:05 am

      SORRY! Sometimes that just happens with cheesecake–they cannot be trusted! ;)

      If you try it again without a roasting pan, put the bread pans with water around the cheesecake and a brownie dish with water on the rack below. The more steam the better. …I bet it still tasted great. :)

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    Tiffany — May 8, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

    Haha! I feel like all of my dishes have super long titles! I’ve been on a shortbread kick lately! I love the idea of using it as a crust for a cheesecake! Just delicious! Happy Mothers Day!

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    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — May 9, 2011 @ 8:02 am

    Oh my word this cheesecake looks incredible. I LOVE the orange shortbread crust! :)

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    Liz — May 9, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    Wow, this is one incredible cheesecake! Perfect for Mother’s Day or any occasion. That last photo is wonderful~

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    Roxana GreenGirl — May 10, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    I love the idea of greek yogurt in cheesecake. Looks amazing. Thanks for sharing Sommer.

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    Amanda — May 11, 2011 @ 6:53 am

    WOW!! That looks totally amazing

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    Magic of Spice — May 12, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    This cheesecake is absolutely stunning Sommer…I love the idea of this shortbread crust, wonderful!

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    Priya Sreeram — May 12, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    absolutely delightful n stunning !

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    Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris — May 16, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    Wow!! It looks amazing!! So healthy!! I love Greek yougurt!

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    shabunam — May 16, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    OH MY GOD!!!!!! that cheesecake looks absolutely delicious , I really want some right now , the pics are just amazing *slurp* .

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    Laura — May 21, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    This is over the top, Sommer! Next time I do cheesecake, I know where I will be getting the recipe – xo!

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    caroL — July 10, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

    Hi Sommer,

    So I was wondering.. I only have an 8″ baking pan.. Should I make the ingredients lesser.
    Like the cream cheese to 3-6oz OR eggs to 3large eggs OR 1 1/2 cup of sugar?
    Help… =(

    • Sommer — July 10th, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

      Carol, you know what I’d do? I’d make the recipe as is, and fill the 8 inch pan about 3/4 of an inch from the top. Then I’d pour the rest of the filling into a glass dish and bake it separately. I little bonus “sampling” cheesecake is never a bad thing. :)

      • caroL — July 10th, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

        wow I would have never thought of that.. hmmm good idea, would love to sample it b4 serving.. thanks a lot.. oh ya, if I were to mix in a raspberry jam in the cheese filling, would it be too sweet?
        I thought of swirling in the jam but not mixing properly..

        • Sommer — July 11th, 2011 @ 6:50 am

          I bet it would be good, but would probably take a little longer in the oven. You could reduce the sugar a bit if your worried about it being too sweet.

          • caroL — July 11th, 2011 @ 8:35 am

            hmm okay then.. gonna try next week.. thanks a lot ya..

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    Angela FRS — August 12, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    I totally buy the logic on the Greek yogurt–this looks amazing. Must try.

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    SMITH BITES — August 12, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    seriously . . . i want to know when you’re moving next door . . . dear heavens above . . .

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    DessertForTwo — August 13, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    GORGEOUS! :)

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    Julia — October 19, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    Wow, that looks incredibly creamy and just delightful! Ran across it on tastespotting.

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    Val — May 14, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    Love the use of yogurt here. Fresh, healthy and decadent all at the same time. We just HAD to include it in our round-up of Mother’s Day recipes:

    http://www.tipsonhealthyliving.com/diet-and-fitness/show-your-love-with-healthy-mothers-day-recipes

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    Sophia — July 13, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

    This looks amazing. Can you make a gluten free version of this recipe?

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    Kenneth Kapasi — November 13, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

    This is a super recipe thanks for sharing it.

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