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Avocado Cheesecake with Cranberry Topping

January 21, 2012

I developed this recipe for an avocado recipe contest, and I think it turned out really well.  Now that the contest has ended and I can be sure I haven’t won any prizes–cue sad trombone–I think it’s only fair to share it with you in all its glory.

Testing recipes was a new experience for me, and it’s really a lot of fun.  It might be interesting to do long-term, but only if someone else were paying the grocery bill and supplying people to eat the products!  This recipe testing took place over Thanksgiving break when very few students were on campus, so I ended up throwing away a lot of cheesecake before settling on the recipe I wanted to submit for the contest.

Here you can see an earlier, swirled version that I tested and rejected.  I think I tinkered with the filling too much, because it never quite set up:

The cheesecake filling I eventually submitted was based on my very favorite cheesecake by Smitten Kitchen (could I possibly talk about it any more?), and it has a surprisingly pleasant avocado flavor.  Others may not agree, but I found the color really pretty, especially once the cake baked up golden-brown on the outside and avocado-green on the inside.  With the contrasting cranberry sauce on top, it makes for a striking dessert.

The best part is that now I can remove all of the references to the specific type of avocado that was sponsoring the contest, and I feel all the freedom in the world to say: use any kind of avocado you want, because they’re all exactly the same.  Enjoy!


Avocado Cheesecake with Cranberry Topping

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


Crumb Crust:

15 graham cracker sheets, ground in a food processor

6 Tbsp butter, melted

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. salt


Cheesecake filling:

24 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 avocadoes, peeled, pitted, and pureed in a blender or food processor

1 3/4 c. granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice

1/2 tsp. vanilla

4 extra-large eggs

2 extra-large egg yolks


Fruit topping:

1/3 c. water

1/3 c. red wine (we used Pinot Noir)

1/2 c. granulated sugar

8 oz. fresh cranberries

1. In a small bowl, combine all the crust ingredients and press onto bottom and sides of a buttered 10-inch springform pan.  Leave the springform pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

2. Preheat the oven to 550º.

3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the pureed avocadoes and blend until smooth.  Then add the sugar, flour, zests, and lime juice and blend until smooth.  Beating on low, add the vanilla, then the eggs, then the egg yolks, one at a time and scraping down the bowl between additions to avoid lumps.

4. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the filling into the crust.  With a baking sheet on the rack below to catch drips, bake the cheesecake at 550º until the filling has puffed, approximately 12 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 200º and continue baking until the cake is mostly firm, about 1 hour more.  A knife or skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out mostly clean.

5. While the cake is still slightly warm, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen it.  Then allow it to cool completely before covering and chilling it.  Chill the cake for at least 6 hours before serving.  The flavor improves over time, and I would recommend waiting 3-4 days if you can.

6. When it’s almost time to serve the cake, make the topping: bring the water, red wine, and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add the cranberries and return to a boil.  Reduce the heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Allow the sauce to cool before spooning it over the cake.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Elyse permalink
    January 21, 2012 11:35 PM

    Oh man… My love of avocados knows no bounds. I can’t wait to try this one!
    Thanks again, Jamie, for the deliciousness!

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