Baking with a Springform Pan

When you’re looking for the perfect pan to bake a delicious cheesecake – choose a springform. This type of pan comes in two pieces with a removable base and bottom, and a buckle-joined vertical surface (or rim). With the flick of a latch, the sides can open and close for easy removal of your sweet creations after they have completely cooked and cooled. The pan truly comes in handy when baking delicate sweet treats, flourless chocolate cakes, and creamy cheesecake desserts.

The traditional material used to make springform pans is tinned steel. The waffle-shaped bottom of the pan gives it strength to handle the relatively heavy weight of cheesecake and torts. The tin coating covers the steel of the pan and helps prevent rust from developing. It is important to thoroughly dry the pan after washing and place in the oven to remove all traces of moisture.

Choosing aluminum springform pans is an advantage in the kitchen because they don’t rust and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The base is kept in place because the rim is curved inward at the bottom. They don’t have a lip that is locked so they are less likely to suffer damage over time. However, stainless steel springform pans are still popular and non-stick versions make it easier to remove cakes.

Springform pans can be used to make:

  • Traditional layered cakes with a moist texture, such as carrot cake
  • Cheesecakes with crumbly crusts
  • Graham cracker crust before filling
  • Flourless cakes
  • Quiches with their custard-like fillings

Minimize Springform Pan Leakage

To ensure proper use and care of a springform pan, you should know that all springform pans have the potential to leak, especially when baking a very light batter. Pans with a more intricate design are more likely to leak. To minimize leakage, you can place the pan in a water bath when in the oven or line the outside of the pan with aluminum foil. When storing your springform pan, put in a place where no one can reach to avoid any bending, which can lead to leakage.



Cheesecake Styles from Around the World

From marbled chocolate to dripping strawberry glaze, cheesecake is one of the most popular sweet treats in the United States. The typical cheesecake is made from soft, fresh cheese placed on top of a crust base. Some are baked, while others are not. A variety of toppings may enhance the appearance and flavor of the dessert, such as nuts, fruit and chocolate. Around the world, the dessert also appears in many different shapes, forms, and flavors.

Greek Cheesecake

Before the Romans embraced the dessert after the conquest of Greece, the ancient Greeks were one of the first to popularize the cheesecake. Today, you will find Greek-style cheesecakes made with layers of buttered phyllo and a cheese-egg filling. A traditional, unpasteurized fresh cheese called mizithra plays a role in the fillings, which is comprised of milk and whey from sheep and/or goats.

Italian Cheesecake

When the majority of modern cheesecakes made in the United States and Canada use cream cheese, Italians are known for using ricotta. The ancient Romans mixed flour, ricotta-like cheese, and honey to make their version of the cheesecake. It was then shaped into loaves. Today, the cheesecakes may include ricotta or mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, and sugar. The ingredients typically produce a drier dessert than American versions.

United Kingdom Cheesecake

Decorating the menus of coffee shops and pubs, cheesecake in the United Kingdom is typically made with a mixture of cream cheese, sugar and cream as the filling. Crushed, buttered biscuits serve as the base, which is then topped with fruit compote, such as lemon curd, passionfruit, black current, and raspberry. This type of cheesecake is also seen in Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia.

German Cheesecake

A German-style cheesecake is baked using quark cheese made from sour milk, and often described as a “yogurt-like cheese.” The cheese creates a sweet yet unique taste.

French Cheesecake

Using gelatin to bind the ingredients, a French-style cheesecake is very light in texture and flavor. The French use Neufchatel cheese – one of the oldest cheeses in France. The soft and slightly crumbly cheese offers a saltier and sharper taste.

Belgian Cheesecake

Often flavored with melted bittersweet chocolate, the crust of a Belgian cheesecake is made with speculaas – a traditional Dutch-Belgian biscuit.

Latin American Cheesecake

Fruit plays an important role in the cheesecakes of Latin America. In Brazil, a layer of guava marmalade (called goiabada) is added. The Argentineans serve their cheesecakes with strawberry or another berry marmalade as a topping.

Japanese Cheesecake

The powdered form of Japanese green tea called matcha is added as a flavoring for some of the cheesecakes in Japan. Other flavors include lychee and mango. The texture of the desserts is usually light and spongy. The flavor is also lighter and considerably less sweet than American cheesecakes.

3 Ideas for Easy No-Bake Desserts

From Rice Krispie treats with M&Ms to chocolate mousse, no-bake desserts come in handy because they are usually quick and easy to make. Whether you need a spur-of-the-moment sweet treat or can’t bear to turn on the oven in the summertime, consider the following ideas for no-bake desserts:

1) Ice Box Cake

It doesn’t take much to make this old-fashioned no-bake cake that puts your refrigerator to good use. Start off with 1 ¾ cups chilled heavy cream, ¼ cup sugar, ¾ teaspoon mint extract, one 9-ounce package chocolate wafers, and 1 cup miniature chocolate chips.

To make an easy ice box cake, use an electric mixer to make mint cream – beating the heavy cream, sugar, and mint extract until stiff peaks form. Place two sheets of wax paper side by side as a liner for a serving platter. To assemble the cake, spread each chocolate wafer with around ½ tablespoon mint cream to form stacks. Lay the stacks horizontally along seam of paper. Press gently to form a log. Use a small spatula or knife to cover the log with remaining mint cream.

Refrigerate the cake for at least four hours or up to two days. When serving, gently remove the wax paper from underneath cake. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Use a serrated knife to diagonally slice the cake.

2) No-Bake Cheesecake

You don’t have to pay a visit to Cheesecake Factory to enjoy the deliciousness of your favorite dessert. There is a simplified, traditional way to enjoy this classic sweet treat with many different variations. A sample list of ingredients for a basic recipe may include two packages of graham crackers, unsalted butter, sugar, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla extract.

Place graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to crush into very fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl and stir in sugar. Add butter and stir until ingredients are well combined. Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, making sure to spread it about 2 inches up the side of pan. Press flat and allow the crust to chill in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.

To make the filling, set an electric mixer on medium-high speed, and beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it becomes smooth. Gradually add and beat in small amounts of the condensed milk – scrape the sides of the bowl when needed. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Transfer the filling into the crust and use a rubber spatula to smooth over the top. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator until firm (about 2 ½ to 3 hours).

3) Banana Pudding

The layered effect of banana pudding is a traditional favorite of families across the United States. Different variations exist, which could use sweet vanilla custard, instant vanilla pudding, instant banana pudding, Vanilla Wafers, freshly sliced bananas, ladyfingers, whipped cream, and meringue. The pudding can be baked, but many choose the refrigerated version to save time and energy. Also, while some people enjoy making banana pudding from scratch, there is also an easier, quicker method that involves a box of instant pudding. A basic recipe uses:

1 box instant Jello vanilla pudding
2 small containers Cool Whip
1 box Vanilla Wafers
3-5 bananas

Prepare the banana pudding according to the directions on the box. Chill the pudding and add in one container of Cool Whip. Layer the wafers, pudding, and thinly sliced bananas. Continue to layer until all of the ingredients are gone. Pudding should make up the last layer. Top with extra Cool Whip. You may also decorate with a drizzle of crushed cookie crumbs, almond slivers or chocolate sauce. Keep chilled in the refrigerator before serving.

8 Tips for Cheesecake Makers

The history of cheesecake is one traced back to ancient Greek times before the Romans embraced the dessert after their conquest of the city. Over the years, the sweet treat comprised of soft, fresh cheese has been sweetened and topped with sugar, nuts, fruit, glazes, and chocolate sauce. If you wish to enjoy cheesecake in the comforts of you own home – perhaps the following tips can ease the process and improve the outcome:

1) Testing for Doneness

Avoid overbaking your cheesecake by testing it for doneness at the minimum baking time range. To test for doneness, do not insert a knife because the hole left behind could turn into a large crack. Instead, gently shake the cake. If it jiggles, return the cheesecake to the oven for more baking.

2) Prevent Cracking

To prevent cracking, there are a couple of things to do. After adding eggs to the filling, gently beat, and then stir in the remaining ingredient by hand. If you beat too vigorously, too much air will cause the cheesecake to “puff up,” fall, and then crack. When baking, situate a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven to prevent cracks in your cheesecake.

3) Low-Calorie Cheesecake

If you’d like to make a cheesecake with fewer calories, use light cream cheese instead of regular.

4) New York Style Cheesecake

If you are interested in making a New York-style cheesecake, expect a dessert with a lot of heavy cream. Typical ingredients include cream cheese, eggs, and egg yolks, which add richness and smoothness to the filling. It is typical to bake the cheesecake in a special springform pan measuring 5 to 6 inches tall. To vary the texture and flavor, consider using cottage cheese and lemon. Other suggestions include adding strawberry sauce or chocolate sauce to a basic cheesecake recipe.

5) Is It Done?

It’s OK if the center of your cheesecake is soft when you first remove it from the oven. This is normal and as the dessert chills, the center will become firm.

6) Cutting Cheesecake

Use a wet knife to better cut cheesecakes and make sure to clean the knife after each cut.

7) Storage

Cheesecakes will keep for up to three days if they are covered and refrigerated.

8) Freezing Cheesecakes

If you are unable to eat all of your cheesecake, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container or heavy foil. Plan on eating a whole cheesecake within one month or consume individual slices within two weeks. When serving frozen cheesecake, loosen the covering and thaw a whole cheesecake in the refrigerator for 24 hours or allow slices to thaw at room temperature.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Cheesecake is one of the richest, most decadent and dense desserts around. Because of its fickle nature during baking and the setting up process, it is often considered one of the most difficult to master. Many recipes call for a water bath or slow baking at a low temperature to prevent over cooking. While delicious and extraordinary, cheesecake is often avoided by the home cook because of its delicate nature and no one wants to fail when dessert is at stake! The key to a perfect cheesecake is not to over beat the filling and to allow the cake to slowly cook at a low temperature. Also, it is important to allow the cheesecake to cool completely before chilling in the refrigerator.

This pumpkin cheesecake recipe is not only delicious, it is fool proof. It yields a perfectly creamy, dense and rich treat: everything a cheesecake should be. And with the added pumpkin, this dessert is a great alternative to the classic pumpkin pie. Serve this at your next holiday get together and wow your guests with your culinary expertise!


For crust:
8 graham crackers, crushed
5 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

For filling:
24 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
5 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree


1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine the crushed graham crackers, melted butter and sugar. Press the crumb mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.

2. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

3. Reduce oven to 300° F.

4. Combine all of the filling ingredients with an electric mixture.

5. Pour the filling into the springform pan and place in the center of the oven.

6. Bake for 1 hour. After the hour of baking, turn the off and leave cheesecake in the oven for another hour. Allow to cool completely then refrigerate overnight.

Carousel Cakes Giveaway – Now CLOSED

The Company: Located in Rockland county, NY, Carousel Cakes is a family owned business and was founded in 1975 by Martin Lefkowitz. For over 30 years they have sold cakes wholesale to over 700 restaurants! Local restaurants and gourmet grocers include Zeytinia Fine Food Marketplace in Oakland and Englewood, Aldo & Gianni Ristorante in Montvale, Valentino’s of Park Ridge, the Clinton Inn Hotel in Tenafly. Manhattan customers include Zabar’s, the private Friars Club, EJ’s Luncheonette and the American Museum of Natural History.

The Products: Carousel Cakes specializes in chocolate cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes and other fine desserts. Their cakes have been featured on tv and in many magazines, including Oprah’s O Magazine! Oprah’s favorite: the Red Velvet Cake!

Some of the top sellers include: Black and White Mousse Supreme, Brownie Cheesecake, Turtle Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cake and Coconut Snowball Cake.

Many of their products are flourless and Kosher, but not ‘Kosher for Passover’.

The Cupcakes by Carousel Shop: After many years in the wholesale business, the family decided to open a Cupcakes Shop in Ridgewood, NJ, to allow the general public to try mini versions of their delicious cakes. Cupcakes by Carousel has been featured in our Valentine’s Day Cupcake Guide.

Charity: Cupcakes by Carousel is dedicated to supporting different causes and  tries to do a cure cupcake each month. They also support education and creativity by hosting contests in honor of the National Cupcake Day. For more info, please visit their websites at &

Giveaway Details:

Carousel Cakes has generously donated a Chocolate Mousse Supreme cake to one lucky winner.

This giveaway is open to US residents only.

How to enter (required): Visit  and then come back and leave a comment telling us the name of your favorite product!

For additional entries (leave a new comment for each additional entry):
– one additional entry if you are or become our fan on FACEBOOK;
– one additional entry if you grab our button from the sidebar and post it on your blog, please post the link;
– one additional entry if you follow us on Twitter;
– one additional entry if you send a tweet about this giveaway (once a day only); make sure to include @1happyblogger.
– one additional entry if you fave us in Technorati;
– one additional entry if you blog about this Giveaway with a link back to and
– one additional entry if you follow via email.


The giveaway ends on February 17, 2010 at the end of day, Pacific Standard Time. Carousel Cakes will ship the prize.

*Please make sure you leave a comment for each additional entry so you get credited.
*Also, please make sure you typed in the correct email address.
*The winner will be announced via e-mail and has 2 days to get back to us or other name will be chosen.
*Incomplete entries will be disqualified & deleted.


See if you won!

Thanksgiving Desserts: Carrot Cake Cheesecake Recipe

This is a decadent dessert recipe for Thanksgiving dinner that won’t break the bank and will save you time in the kitchen. Carrot Cake Cheesecake is a scrumptious holiday treat with the added sweetness of pineapple frosting. This recipe is courtesy of Duncan Hines.

Ingredients – Carrot Cake:
• 1 box Duncan Hines Decadent Carrot Cake
• 1 cup hot tap water (for soaking carrots and raisins)
• 2 eggs
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• 8 ½ oz can crushed pineapple, packed in juice, drained well, reserve juice
• ½ cup coconut (optional)
• ½ cup chopped walnuts

Ingredients – Cheese Cake Filling:
• 2 – 8 oz pkg. cream cheese
• ¾ cup sugar
• 2 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
• 3 eggs
• 1 tablespoon flourBaking

carrot cheesecake
photo courtesy of Duncan Hines
Instructions For Carrot Cake:
Soak carrots and raisins in 1 cup HOT tap water, allow to stand for 5 mins. Drain and squeeze out excess water from carrots and raisins. In mixing bowl add dry mix, 2 eggs, ¼ cup oil. Add well drained carrots, raisins and pineapple. Add coconut and walnuts. Mix well by hand. Spread 2 cups of carrot cake on bottom of a greased 9-9 ½ Springform pan. Reserve remaining carrot cake. Backing Instructions For Cheesecake:In large bowl beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in eggs and flour. Spread ½ of the cheesecake batter on top of the carrot cake. Spoon on remaining carrot cake and top with remaining cheese cake batter. Do not marble with knife. Bake in a 350° preheated oven for 50-60 mins or until cake is set and cooked through. Cool to room temperature. When cake is cooled frost with Pineapple Cream Cheese frosting (see recipe below). Or top with Duncan Hines Cream Cheese Frosting. Refrigerate for 3 hours and serve chilled.

Ingredients – Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:
• 2 oz cream cheese (softened)
• 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 T pineapple juice

Baking Instructions For Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat Cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and pineapple juice until smooth. Beat in powder sugar until smooth. Frost top of cheesecake.

Thanksgiving Recipes: 718’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe is courtesy of Raphael Sutter – the chef/owner of 718 Restaurant in Astoria Queens, NY. He e-mailed us two very specially created dessert recipes, from his restaurant’s kitchen to our readers. One is his seasonal Pumpkin Cheesecake and the other is a delicious Apple Cranberry Tarte Flambee. Both are easy and both are delicious. Let’s start with the Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe:

Served with vanilla ice cream and a shot of Roseangel Tequilla

pumpkin cheesecake Ingredients:


1. Heat oven at 325°F

2. Grease a cake pan with butter and line it with parchment paper.

3. Mix the cream cheese with the brown sugar until smooth then add the spices. Mix in the pumpkin puree and slowly the heavy cream. Continue mixing until creamy then add the bread crumbs and the eggs (one by one, so everything is incorporated). Lastly, add the ricotta cheese.

4. Pour in to a cake pan (already butter with a parchment paper) and bake it at 325° F for 45 minutes.
Serve with ice cream and shot of tequilla.

Stay tuned for the Apple Cranberry Tarte Flambee recipe! To find out more about 718 Restaurant, please visit their website at or visit them in person at 35-01 Ditmars Blvd. , Astoria, NY 11105. Their phone no is (718) 204-5553. Thank you, Chef Raphael Sutter!