Mulled Wine Cheesecake – just let that name settle in for a moment. Imagine a deep-red mulled wine jelly on top of a creamy citrussy filling with a deliciously spicy cookie base. Doesn’t that sound tempting?
In fact, it is incredibly tasty and, with the recipe below, very straightforward to make – perfect for the Christmas table!
Christmas is definitely the time of year when spices and the aroma of food are most prominent in our collective mind.
Cinnamon and vanilla waft temptingly along the street from the toasted almond vendor. The smell of heavenly baking drifts out from your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen, bringing back memories of Christmases past.
The sharp spray of citrussy oil from a Christmas clementine, or in my homeland, the toasted sugar and light vanilla perfume of a gently cooling pavlova.
Every scent evokes a memory during this time of year.
A Christmas Cheesecake
My recipe for Mulled Wine Cheesecake gathers up the most appetising of those aromas and layers them one on top of the other; spice, vanilla, citrus, wine – and it is a true beauty.
This is a no-bake cheesecake that uses gelatine to set the mixture. But don’t worry; it’s easier to use than you might think.
This cool and creamy delight is perfect whether you are sweltering in the Aussie heat or cosily tucked up inside against the European winter.
To make Mulled Wine Cheesecake, you’ll need the following main ingredients:
- Spice or Ginger Cookies: You can use either ginger snaps or speculaas / biscoff cookies to make the base. Make your own using my recipe here!
- Butter: I always use unsalted butter in my recipes to control the amount of salt in the final product.
- Gelatine: Sheet gelatine gives the most consistent results in this recipe. Instructions for using powdered gelatine can be found in the recipe notes.
- Cream cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese for the best results in this recipe. Reduced-fat cream cheese has stabilisers and other additives, making it generally unsuitable for baking. Cream cheese is easy to make at home! Grab the recipe!
- Whipping Cream: I use whipping cream with a minimum of 30% fat.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I really have to let the cheesecake set such a long time?
It’s essential to let gelatine set properly; otherwise, your cheesecake will be difficult to slice. I recommend letting the cake set for at least 4-8 hours in the fridge before serving. Gelatine will completely melt around 35°C, so keep the cake cool if you are in the hot Aussie sun!
If you are in a hurry, try chilling it in the freezer for up to 30 minutes. No longer!
Can I make this recipe alcohol free?
Sure! Either use alcohol-free red wine, red grape juice, or berry juice. You will need to slightly reduce the sugar as juice is sweeter than wine.
Fancy making your a big batch of German Glühwein to serve with this cheesecake? Grab the recipe here!
Mulled Wine Cheesecake Recipe
for the base:
- 150 g (5.5 oz.) spice or ginger cookies. I use Speculaas cookies
- 75 g (2.75 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
for the filling:
- 4 sheets gelatine, (see note 1)
- 500 g (1 lb.) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 150 g (⅔ cup) caster or superfine sugar
- 30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of one unwaxed orange
- 250 ml (1 cup) whipping cream
for the mulled wine jelly:
- 3 sheets gelatine, or 1.5 tsp powdered gelatine
- 250 ml (1 cup) light red wine, (see note 2)
- 50 g (¼ cup) caster or superfine sugar
- 3-4 slices orange
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- PREPARE: Line a 20cm (8 in.) round springform cake pan with baking paper and grease the sides with a neutral oil like sunflower or canola. Set aside while you prepare the base.
- MAKE BASE: In the bowl of a food processor, process the spice cookies until they are fine and crumbly. With the motor running, pour in the hot, melted butter and process to combine. Pour the crumbs into the prepared spring form pan, spreading them evenly across the base. Use a glass with a flat bottom to make the crumbs nice and even. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
- SOFTEN GELATINE: Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl, cover them with cold water and allow them to soften for 5 minutes. Heat 50ml (3 Tbsp) water in a small saucepan, pick up the gelatine sheets one by one, giving them a good squeeze to get rid of excess water, then stir them into the hot water until dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- MAKE FILLING: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and orange zest until smooth. Quickly whisk in the gelatine mixture, ensuring it is evenly distributed. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks, then use a spatula to fold the cream under the cheese mixture gently but thoroughly, keeping as much air in the mixture as possible. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth over the surface, and then chill for at least 2-3 hours until set and firm.
- MAKE JELLY: To make the jelly, soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water, then place the wine, sugar, orange slices, cinnamon and cloves into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then turn off the heat, cover and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the solids from the wine, then squeeze out the gelatine sheets and stir them into the hot wine. Return to the heat for 1 minute, then cool to room temperature. (see note 3).
- TOP CHEESECAKE: When the jelly mixture is cool, pour very carefully over the cheesecake - you may find it helpful to pour it onto a back of a spoon so as not to disturb the surface of the cake. I like to pour the jelly on top while the cake is in the fridge so that I don’t have to work about spilling it! Allow the cheesecake to set overnight in the refrigerator. To get to a good slicing consistency, it will need at least 4 hours in the fridge, longer in hot weather, so plan accordingly. I like to leave it 8 hours to overnight.
- SERVE: To serve, fill a tall container with boiling water, dip a sharp knife in the water, dry with a clean cloth and then slice the cake, dipping and cleaning the blade between each cut.
Note 1 - GELATINE: If you can only get powdered gelatine, sprinkle three teaspoons over 50ml of cold water in a small saucepan. Allow to bloom for five minutes, then heat gently, stirring until dissolved, before continuing with the recipe.
If it is particularly hot where you are, or the cheesecake will sit around in the warm for a while before eating, consider adding an additional sheet or spoon of gelatine to the cheese mixture. The top jelly should be firm enough as is.
Note 2 - WINE: Try to use a lighter wine for this recipe, such as a Pinot Noir, Grenache or Primitivo - not only is the flavour more suited to a dessert, they are lower in tannins which will help the jelly to set clear. Don’t use fancy expensive wine! If you only have a heavier variety, replace some wine with water in the recipe.
Note 3: If you’d like to hurry this step up (and I often do), pour the jelly mixture into a heat-proof bowl, then place it in a sink full of cold or iced water, occasionally stirring until it has begun to thicken and chill. It will set much faster when poured onto the chilled cake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 850Total Fat: 58gSaturated Fat: 34gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 159mgSodium: 463mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 2gSugar: 46gProtein: 9g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a star rating in the recipe card and share it using the buttons below so that others can find it too!