Amaretto Cheesecake is an almond lover’s delight. This sweet, rich cheesecake has a lovely almond flavor, and the topping really makes it special.
In all these years of baking and blogging, I’ve learned that it’s best not to throw out too many superlatives about a recipe. Taste is subjective, so my “best ever” may not be someone else’s. But I just can’t help but say that this wonderful Amaretto Cheesecake is, at the very least, the best cheesecake I’ve had in a long, long time.
It’s a fairly simple cheesecake, really. I used my basic cheesecake recipe but with the addition of Amaretto, which is an almond-flavored liqueur. That bit of flavor from the liqueur is fantastic! Then, there’s the topping to add a sweet and slightly tart flavor. To top it off, add a little garnishing of toasted almonds to make it extraordinary.
I love when simple recipes result in something impressive. This Amaretto Cheesecake with its sour cream topping is such a beautiful dessert that’s absolutely delicious, yet it mixes quickly and simply. If you’re looking to impress your guests with a gorgeous, irresistible dessert that won’t have you exhausted once it’s in the oven, this one definitely fits the bill!
What You’ll Need
For the crust:
- Vanilla wafer crumbs – Feel free to substitute a different variety of cookie crumbs if you like.
- Melted butter
For the filling:
- Cream cheese – Full-fat cream cheese works best. Be sure to bring it room temperature for the smoothest filling.
- Granulated sugar
- Eggs – Set out the eggs along with the cream cheese to allow them to come to room temperature. Using cold eggs can affect the texture of the cheesecake.
- Amaretto – This is the most common brand of almond-flavored liqueur, but feel free to use another brand.
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
- Sour cream – Full-fat sour cream works best. Set it out along with the cream cheese and eggs.
For the topping:
- Sour cream – Again, full-fat will be best here.
- Confectioners’ sugar – Sift for a smooth topping.
- Almond extract
- Sliced almonds – If you want to go another step further, toast the almonds in a skillet with just a little (maybe a teaspoon) of butter and sprinkle a teaspoon or so of sugar on them while they toast. They’ll be a little sticky as the cook and cool, so just be sure to stir them frequently.
How to Make Amaretto Cheesecake
There are three separate components for this cheesecake: the crust, the filling, and the topping. The prep time is quick, but be sure you’re considering the oven time needed before baking. This method of baking cheesecakes takes a lot of oven time, but it works very well to bake it thoroughly and prevent cracking.
Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. (I like to use a cooking spray with flour, like Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking.)
Make the crust. Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Press the mixture evenly in the bottom and partially up the sides of the pan.
Bake the crust. Bake for 10 minutes; then set it aside to cool. I usually place the pan on a lined, rimmed baking sheet to catch any potential spills.
Make the filling. Use an electric hand or stand mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, Amaretto, and the extracts; mix well. Mix in the sour cream. Transfer the batter to the pan, spreading it evenly.
Bake the filling. First, bake the cheesecake for 15 minutes at 350°F. (Again, I recommend placing the pan on a lined, rimmed baking sheet.) Then, reduce the oven temperature to 200°F, and bake for 2 hours or until the cheesecake is set.
Return the cheesecake to the oven. After removing the cheesecake from the oven and running a thin knife around the outside, turn off the oven and return the cheesecake to the oven. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 2 hours.
Chill the cheesecake. Cover it loosely and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
Make the topping. Thoroughly mix the sour cream, confectioners’ sugar, and almond extract. Spread over the chilled cheesecake before serving. If you like, garnish with almonds.
Tips for Success
- Don’t skimp on the oven time. This method takes a lot of time in the oven, but I’ve yet to have a cracked cheesecake using it. It’s less precarious than a water bath, too.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Your cheesecake will have a nicer texture.
- Guard against leaks. Springform pans can develop little gaps over time, so I recommend placing the pan on a lined, rimmed baking sheet to prevent a big mess. Alternatively, you can also place the pan inside a larger pan if you have one that’s the appropriate size, or try wrapping the outside of the pan well in foil.
- No peeking! Well, you can peek through your oven’s window, but don’t open the oven door more than is necessary to help prevent cracks.
- When is it done? Don’t use a pick test like you would with a cake or a pan of brownies. Instead, tap the pan with a long-handled spoon or gently shake the pan (don’t forget your oven mitt!). There should be a very slight jiggle right in the center.
How to Store Amaretto Cheesecake
Keep the cheesecake refrigerated. After the initial chilling time, be sure to cover it tightly. (That initial loose covering prevents condensation from forming on the covering.)
Properly stored, it should keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Can Amaretto Cheesecake Be Frozen?
Yes! Wrap individual slices well in two layers of plastic wrap, and then place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container or bag.
You can also freeze the entire cheesecake. For ease of storage, you may want to place it on a cardboard bakery round first. Wrap well in two layers of plastic wrap, and then wrap again in aluminum foil or place in a large freezer-safe container or bag. For best results, freeze the cheesecake without the topping if possible.
Thaw the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.
Properly stored, cheesecake should keep in the freezer for about a month. It may last up to 2 months, but you’ll likely get diminishing returns past a month.