Bulls Eye!

The daring baker challenge this month was cheesecake. We were given total creative freedom in this challenge, which I love! The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

I ended up using a slightly different recipe, as I prefer to add sour cream instead of heavy cream to my cheesecake. Also, I wanted to make the bulls eye design that results from two different colored batters. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic before I cut into it… duh! But it still looks really cool with the layers. Lastly, I always bake my cheesecake at a low temperature (325 degrees)in a waterbath. I detest overcooked cheesecake!

Bulls Eye Cheesecake Recipe

32 oz cream cheese
1/4 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
2/3 c granulated sugar
2/3 c dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp instant coffee (powder, not granulated)
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c graham cracker crumbs

1. Adjust rack 1/3 up from the bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Carefully butter an 8 inch springform cheesecake pan all the way up to the rim and including the inside of the rim itself. You will need a larger pan to use as awater bathwhile baking. Wrap the bottom of the pan with one large piece of foil. Make sure the foil comes at least 2 inches up the sides of the pan to avoid water getting into the cheesecake.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cheese until it is soft and smooth, frequently scraping the sides of the bowl(with a rubber spatula) and the beaters themselves to be sure the cheese is uniformly smooth. Beat in the sour cream, then the vanilla and almond extracts, and the salt, then the eggs, one at a time. Keep scraping bowl occasionally and beat after each addition until it is incorporated.

3. Remove the bowl from the mixer. You will have about 6 cups of themixture. Place half of it (3 cups) in another bowl that is large enough to allow you to stir in it. Add the granulated sugar to one bowl, and the brown sugar to the other bowl, stirring with a rubber spatula until incorporated and the mixtures have thinned out.

4. Remove about 1/2 c of the brown sugar mixture and add the cocoa and powdered coffee. Stir well to dissolve the powders. Add this mixture back to the brown sugar bowl and stir well.

5. Now you will have about 4 c of each mixture. The two mixtures will be placed alternately in the pan to create the design. Each segment will be about 1 cup of mixture. I use two 1-cup measuring cups, one for the dark, and one for the light mixture.

6. It doesn’t matter which color goes first. Pour one cup of one mixture into the center of the pan. It will spread by itself to cover the bottom of the pan. Then pourone cup of the other mixture directly into the middle of the first mixture. (That will spread out too.) Now pour one cup of the first mixture in the center. Keep continuing until all of the batter is used, four additions of each mixture.

7. Now handle the pan very carefully in order not to disturb the design. Place the cheesecake pan in the larger pan and place in the preheated oven. Carefully, pour enough hot water in the larger pan to come 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

8. Remove the cake pan from the hot water and set aside to cool at room temperature. When cooled, cover the pan with plastic wrap and then refrigerate for several hours (the longer the better, at least 8 hours.) Remove the springform sides and place a flat plate or large plastic cutting board on top of the cheesecake. Carefully flip the cheesecake and remove the bottom of the springform pan.

9. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the bottom of the cake. This will keep the cake from sticking to the plate. Cover with your serving plate and flip again, leaving the cake right side up. Dip your knife in hot water before making each cut.

Makes about 10 servings



  • sara 10 YEARS AGO

    Wow, I love the layered look! Fantastic photos, and it also looks really yummy. :)

  • vibi 10 YEARS AGO

    It doesn’t matter about the complete picture… this one is crazy good looking, enough to give us the idea that your complete cake was just as amazing! Bravo!

  • Suzana 10 YEARS AGO

    The flavour combination sounds delicious! And very pretty too.

  • elra 10 YEARS AGO

    Gorgeous, delicious and irresistible! I like your technique of making this cheesecake. Almost the same as in the zebra cake technique. Well done.

  • bakingblonde 10 YEARS AGO

    Wow, what a great presentation that would make. Beautiful pictures!

  • justine 10 YEARS AGO

    it is so pretty!

  • Courtney 10 YEARS AGO

    wow that is so cool and I too prefer sour cream over heavy cream!

  • Kitchen M 10 YEARS AGO

    First of all, what a delicious and amazing looking cheesecake!
    That’s interesting that simply layering the two colored batter can create such a beautiful pattern.

  • claire 10 YEARS AGO

    This is AWESOME! I love the different layers. Fantastic job. I think I prefer sour cream as well.

  • Nawal 10 YEARS AGO

    A very nice pictures for an amazing looking cheesecake !

  • Amanda 10 YEARS AGO

    Being the coffee addict I am, why have I never made a cheesecake with coffee in it? You have definitely inspired me. And I like the way you did the crust. Different, but in the best way possible.

  • Memoria 10 YEARS AGO

    Wow! This is one of the best cheesecakes I’ve seen so far! I love the layers. I also adore your photos.

  • Dana McCauley 10 YEARS AGO

    Look at those fantastic swirls! You rock!

  • Heather 10 YEARS AGO

    I LOVE the bullseye!! Great cake.

  • Lisa 10 YEARS AGO

    That is SO cool! I’ll have to try that bulls-eye trick sometime! VERY, very cool! Beautiful job!

  • Elissa 10 YEARS AGO

    Stunning photography! What an elegant, beautiful cheesecake.

  • Rina 10 YEARS AGO

    Absolutely beautiful.

    LOVE the design and am insanely curious as to how you achieved it!!

  • The Italian Dish 10 YEARS AGO

    Really gorgeous – I love those layers. I always add sour cream, too, to mine!

  • Michelle 10 YEARS AGO

    Gorgeous! Sounds delish, too. I lllllllove cheesecake.

  • Sugar Chef 10 YEARS AGO

    I love your striped cheesecake. Looks so cool, I’ll have to try that sometime.

  • Ashley 10 YEARS AGO

    What a beautiful cheesecake! It’s definitely drool-worthy! :)

  • Y 10 YEARS AGO

    What a stunning cheesecake. I love the swirls!

  • Zita 10 YEARS AGO

    Aww this sounds fun to make and to eat, booked marked!

  • jo 10 YEARS AGO

    Great job and the flavours are fantastic. Your pics are equally amazing too.

  • mary 10 YEARS AGO

    That’s beautiful, and I love how the cross section looks from the side. How did you manage to cut it so cleanly? I had swirl on the top of mine, and the 2 colors got completely smeared together in ever slice I cut. Still tasty though!

  • farida 10 YEARS AGO

    Great looking cheesecake! Very creative! The stripes remind me of zebra stripes on zebra cake.

  • Christina 10 YEARS AGO

    Your cheesecake looks fantastic! And your photos are beautiful!

  • peasepudding 10 YEARS AGO

    Very creative, it looks fabulous and sounds so easy to produce. I will definitely try this method in future.

  • Teanna 10 YEARS AGO

    Awesome, awesome design! I did the polka dot cheesecake and I think combining chocolate and vanilla cheesecakes are the best thing EVER! This looks awesome and I will try that next, for sure!

  • Alicia 10 YEARS AGO

    I don’t like cheesecake much, but I would try this one, because you made it and I’d probably love it, because you made it ;)

  • Chantal 10 YEARS AGO

    Lovely flavour combo and beautiful photos as usual.

    I really like the zebra effect :)

  • Lucy 10 YEARS AGO

    Wow the bullseye look is amazing – worked extremely well! I bet it was delicious for it most certainly looks it :)

  • Cee Tindll 10 YEARS AGO

    The texture and layers are just gorgeous. I bet the flavor was great too! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful pie with us!

  • lauren 10 YEARS AGO

    i always love to see your presentation! great job this month!!

  • Ramya 10 YEARS AGO


  • Lori @ RecipeGirl 10 YEARS AGO

    I hate overcooked cheesecake too, so yay-for-you for taking the time to bake it in a waterbath. Turns out perfect every time for me in a waterbath.

    This is gorgeous! Love the pattern created.

  • Ivy 10 YEARS AGO

    I love the zebra affect and the bright red sauce garnish.

  • Nicole 10 YEARS AGO

    I love the bulls-eye effect!

  • Elle 10 YEARS AGO

    What a hit! Great way to do the cheesecake and make it visually stunning!

  • Amber 10 YEARS AGO

    You cheesecake looks delicious. Excellent job as always. I made a layered neopalitan cheesecake and it was delicious.

  • Elizabeth 10 YEARS AGO

    Wow! what a beautiful looking cake! That technique is fantastic, I can’t wait to try it someday

  • JennyBakes 10 YEARS AGO

    That looks amazing. I loved reading about this bulls eye technique!

    Sorry I am late in getting to your post. I’m determined to visit each of the 1k+ Daring Bakers who did this challenge. Thanks for being a part of it!

    Jenny of JennyBakes

  • Kat 10 YEARS AGO

    I’ve been baking this cake since the 1980’s using Maida Heatter’s recipe. Very similar, but do prefer the crushed Amaretti cookies as a crust; really brings a different accent to the flavor.

Recent Comments

  • I visited your blog after a long time today and was so thrilled to see all these new posts and the new design. As always, your food looks gorgeous.
  • The best!
  • wow great pictures! the filling sounds really interesting.. I have lots of leftover egg whites that I've been wanting to use up...I'm definitely making them! thanks for the recipe : )
  • I did have this salad when we visited the Philippines! It was certainly delicious and very fulfilling. Although this dish is more Japanese in origin, that restaurant gave it its own twist. The Filipinos really have a good palate for excellent food! Anyway, thank you for the recipe. I will surely give this a try!
  • Absolutely mind-blowing. I tried doing spoons once.....do your spoons have a rounded bowl or a flat surface. Did many break if you were trying to push it in a little to make it have a little depth.

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