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It’s Fry-Day again, so you know what that means! Time to give our arteries their weekly workout, play with scorching oil, and fry desserts that don’t really require frying. What a magical day.
Today’s frying victim: Cheesecake.
Cheesecake was sort of a bold choice, because we’re not big cheesecake fans at my house. Jason doesn’t like it at all, and I’m just lukewarm about it—I’m not mad at it, but I would never order it at a restaurant or make it for myself. I wanted to see if deep frying could transform the dessert from something that we merely tolerated into something that we loved.
Ding-ding-ding-ding! We have another winner! I’m beginning to think that deep-frying is the key to solving all of the world’s problems. President Obama should call me the next time he’s hosting a summit on Middle Eastern peace. He’ll supply the diplomats, I’ll bring the oil, and we’ll bang out some solutions over fried dessert.
Deep-Fried Cheesecake is a totally different experience from regular cheesecake. The best comparison I can make is to say that they taste like warm cream puffs on steroids. Crunchy on the outside, with a soft and creamy center. The sweet batter helps mellow out the cream cheese flavor, so they’re tangy but not hit-you-in-the-nose cream cheesy. My resident cheesecake hater snarfed down an embarrassing number of them in a short time, which is how I knew I had a success on my hands.
For the purposes of convenience I used a pre-made frozen cheesecake in this recipe, which made it one of the faster dessert projects I’ve made lately! Because each bite has so little cheesecake, and because the texture changes so much during frying, I don’t think it’s worth it to go to the trouble of making your own just to fry it. But if you happen to have homemade cheesecake left over from something else, by all means! This would be the perfect way to use up leftover cheesecake, and I imagine that different cheesecake flavors would work really, really well. Fried chocolate chip cheesecake, or dulce de leche cheesecake? Yes please.
Let’s talk sauces. Obviously you’re the boss of you, but I really can’t recommend serving these plain—I think they need a little drizzle or dip of something to make them pop. I made a quick raspberry coulis to serve with my cheesecake balls, using frozen raspberries, and it was the perfect accompaniment to brighten their flavor. You could also do a chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, dulce de leche sauce, peanut butter sauce, mango sauce…you get the idea. Just don’t let them leave the house naked! That’s indecent and not very tasty.
Now go forth and fry!
10-Flavor Cheesecake Sampler
For the Deep-Fried Cheesecake:
- 6 frozen cheesecake, about 1 1/2” tall (I used Sara Lee Original Cream Cheesecake)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup milk, 1 cup +2 tbsp
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
For the Raspberry Sauce:
- 8 oz frozen raspberries
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
To Make the Deep-Fried Cheesecake:
- Cut the frozen cheesecake into small 1-inch squares. The cheesecake I used had a graham cracker crust about 1/4″-inch thick. I trimmed the crust down to about 1/8-inch so the center would be mostly cheesecake, but this is an optional step. Keep the cheesecake cubes in the freezer until you’re ready to fry them.
- To make the batter, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the milk and 2 tsp of vegetable oil, and whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
- Pour the frying oil into a medium saucepan so that it’s 2 inches deep. Insert a candy/deep fry thermometer and heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 360 F (182 C). Once at 360 F, take a frozen cheesecake square and dip it in the batter, turning it over with your hands until it’s completely covered. Let excess batter drip back into the bowl, then gently drop it into the oil. Repeat with 2-3 more pieces of cheesecake, so you’re frying 3-4 at a time. Fry the balls for about 2-3 minutes total, flipping as necessary so that they cook evenly. Mine had a tendency to sink to the bottom when I dropped them in oil, so watch them carefully and loosen them gently from the bottom with a spatula if needed.
- Fry the cheesecake pieces until they’re puffed and a dark golden brown on all sides. Remove them from the oil using a frying skimmer or slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the rest of the cheesecake and batter. Watch the temperature of the oil and keep it between 360 F-370 F (182 – 188 C)—remove it from the heat if it gets too hot, or let it warm up in between batches if the temperature drops too much.
- These balls are best served when still warm, but not hot, with a side of raspberry sauce.
To Make the Raspberry Sauce:
- Warm the frozen raspberries in a saucepan over the stove until they give off juice and start to break down. Pour them into a blender or food processor and blend, then strain the puree through a fire wire-mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Return the seedless raspberry puree to the saucepan, add the granulated sugar, and cook over medium heat until it just starts to simmer and you have a smooth, velvety sauce.
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1) Um, YEAH. If cheesecake nonlovers love this, cheesecake lovers (like yours truly) would most likely explode with joy.
2) I love the food styling with the soup spoons!
3) I got the funniest image of you showing up at a Middle East peace summit. “That’s not the kind of oil we were talking about, Elizabeth. But sure, fry away!”
Ha! SugarHero: bringing people together with oil of all types, since 2011. 🙂
You didn’t. Oh my goodness, I can’t decide if this is sacrilegious or genius. I LOVE cheesecake! Your description was great – cream puffs on steroids is good in my book!
How about sacrigenius? Geniulegious? I’ll keep working on it.
Oooh why did I just discover Fry-day! I love it. And deep fried cheesecake – yeah, thats a must try! 😀
It’s my new favorite non-offical holiday, too! Thanks Kita!
Oh wow! Cheesecake is my all-time favourite dessert and you deep fried it to a heavenly crisp. How my arteries will love this. Well done.
Haha, let’s not think about the arteries right now. Eat fried cheesecake first, worry about everything else later…
LOL I love your posts! These look mouth watering delicious!
Thanks Jackie! They were a little over the top…in the best way!
One word: WOW. Just WOW!
You said it perfectly! Next time I’ll skip all the blah-blah and just write “wow.” 🙂
sounds good. I had fried cheesecake years ago and really liked it.
Awesome! I’ve never had it before so I don’t know how other versions compare, and I’d be curious to know how other people do it. I wouldn’t mind that taste-testing expedition!
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I bet there would be something super satisfying about biting into one of these through the crispy outer and into the gooey middle. Ugh, I’m going crazy.
You are not wrong, you are SO RIGHT.
Hi Elizabeth! You made me so curious and tempted to try these deep fried cheesecake, and the cake with raspberry sauce on top is just so perfect! These tiny treats look so good. I want some right now… 🙂 Pinning!
Thanks Nami! I really think the raspberry sauce makes the whole dessert. Let me know what you think if you give them a try!
I thought I was reading the title incorrectly the first time…But I’m so glad I didn’t! Oh my! These Deep Fired Cheesecake must be out of this world delicious. And amen to world peace thanks to deep-frying food! hahaha….I love your post. Wish I have a batch in front of me now.
Hah, it does seem a little like a typo, right? But nope, just my weirdo desserts and business as usual. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Amy!
I happen to love cheesecake and all things deep fried so sign me up!
Awesome, I promise you’ll never look at cheesecake the same way again!
I love cheesecake — a lot! These fried cheesecake balls drizzled with chocolate sauce would make me beyond happy. I so want to try this recipe.
A hundred times YES! Looks so good. Love the presentation and the sauce options you listed.
When I worked at the restaurant I used to get bored and deep fry cheesecake. So I know exactly how the “ding-ding-ding” registered in your head.
I’m just going to ignore the fact you and Jason aren’t big on Cheesecake…
I was wondering if these can be served cool? I’m planning to bring them to school, so I don’t think they’ll be as warm!
Hi Abby, These would be okay served cool. You lose the crispiness of the fried coating, which is one of the fun parts (creamy center vs crispy outer shell) but the flavor is still good, and the cheesecake center goes a long way toward making them tasty at room temp! You might also consider Deep Fried Cookie Dough if you’re looking for a fried treat that’s okay to serve at room temp. Good luck!
Goodness – these little balls are epic! I desperately need these right now!
Hello! First…these sound decadent, thank you for the recipe!
Second…do you think they could be frozen, then baked when needed?
Hi Stacey, the cheesecake cubes will freeze fine, but everything else (batter + frying) probably needs to happen when you’re ready to serve. I can’t see them being very tasty any other way.
hi my name is taylor i am a student at hixson middle and i am in the 7 grade we do this thing called 20% time i want to be a baker any thing that i sell goes to cancer plez help my with this i do not know much
Hi Taylor, I think it’s great that you want to be a baker! Did you have a specific question for me?
Do you refrigerate the leftovers and then warm them up later?
Hi Tori, Like all fried foods, these are definitely best freshly made. After refrigeration they lose the crispy outer texture which is about 90% of their appeal. So if possible I would recommend trying to eat them shortly after frying them. But if you are left with leftovers, then refrigerating them and warming them up would be the food-safe way to handle it.
omg I love fried cheesecake have been looking for the recipe so happy 🙂
Literally everyone in my home and family are cheesecake lovers. I’m 14 and I absolutely love to bake. I was thinking of what dessert I should make for the family reunion because, although I’m only a teenager, I’m in charge of desserts. So I found this recipe. It was a big hit. Everyone loved it.