Mint Cheesecake for St. Patrick’s Day

Mint Cheesecake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

When I was growing up in Vermont we celebrated St. Patricks Day at school by dressing up in green. It was fun, although green really isn’t my color, but I had no idea what any of it meant. It never occurred to me that it went beyond shamrock knee-highs, until I went to Chicago on March 17th, quite by accident. The city shut down at noon and people flooded the streets wearing green and carrying beer of the same color. Even the mighty river was dyed green in honor of the 4th century Saint. Although few people probably know the origins of the festivities, we still honor this religious man all these centuries later by wearing green and celebrating Irish culture. Even for those of us who have no ties to Ireland, it is too fun to miss out on.

This mint cheesecake is my nod to the day. It seemed fitting to go green, but I wanted to do something particularly fun. The stripes are easy to create and make for a terrific “Wow” moment when you slice into the cake. The trick to the color is a dash or two of food coloring. I do use fresh mint in the batter, which adds a bright, fresh flavor, but on its own, it is honestly a bit lack luster in color. The chocolate crust makes the whole thing taste like a super-lush “thin mint.”

Mint Cheesecake

The Crust:

24 chocolate wafer cookies (homemade or store bought)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

The Mint Cheesecake:

1 cup packed fresh mint leaves

¼ cup heavy cream

2 drops green food coloring

1½ pounds cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups sour cream

6 yolks

1½ teaspoons mint extract

2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

The Topping:

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

 

To make the crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Chocolate cheesecake crust | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a food processor break up the cookies until they are powder. Add the butter and pulse until it just sticks together. Firmly pat the chocolate crust into an 8-inch spring form pan. Bake the crust for about 5 minutes and then cool on rack.

Reduce the oven to 300°F.

To make mint-cream for cheesecake:

Fresh mint | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Clean the leaves and remove the stems of the mint.

Blending fresh mint | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a blender or food processor add the mint…

Blending fresh mint and heavy cream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

and heavy cream.

Homemade mint cream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Pulse until the mint is well blended in the cream. Add the food coloring. Set aside.

Mix the cheesecake batter:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and sugar on medium low speed. Scrape the mixture off the sides of the bowl and make sure it is very smooth.  Mix in the sour cream. Add the yolks one at a time, mixing well between each one. Add the mint extract and whiskey and mix until well combined.

Cheesecake batter with mint cream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Divide the cheesecake batter into two bowls and add the mint-cream mixture to one of the bowls.

Cheesecake batter with mint cream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add about 1 cup of the white cheesecake batter to the prepared pan. Then add 1 cup of the mint batter in the center, do not spread it out too much.

Mint cheesecake recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add about ¾ cup of the white batter, followed by ¾ cup of the mint batter.

Mint cheesecake recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add about ½ cup of the white batter, followed by ½ cup of the mint batter.

Mint cheesecake recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add about ¼ cup of the white batter, followed by ¼ cup of the mint batter.

Mint cheesecake recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add about 2 tablespoons of the white batter, followed by 2 tablespoons of the mint batter.

Wrapping baking pan in foil | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Tightly wrap the spring form pan with foil and then bake the cheesecake in a hot water bath, tented with foil. Be sure the water you pour into the pan is nice and hot, so that it gets up to the oven temperature as soon as possible. This will help the cake to bake evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, but check it after 30 minutes. It is done when the center is set and giggles like jell-o. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes, still sitting in the water bath.

Mint cheesecake recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Remove the pan from the water and foil.

Spreading top layer of cheesecake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Mix together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread the mixture over the top of the cheesecake and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

Running knife through edge of cheesecake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Before the cake cools, run a paring knife around the edge so that the cake can shrink away from the pan without cracking.

Mint cheesecake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

The effect is cool on the outside…

Mint cheesecake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

and even better when you slice into it!

Related post: Mint Macarons

47 thoughts to “Mint Cheesecake for St. Patrick’s Day”

  1. Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies would be a great bottom too! Thank you for the fantastic recipe – think I’ll make my first cheesecake Saturday! 🙂

  2. I have a particular fondness for cheesecake. Every day in our dessert restaurant my chef husband would back one dozen cheesecakes (10 servings each), That was years ago. Today I would make your stunning fresh mint cheesecake, and after eating the first delicious slice I would share it with our customers. Oh that St. Patrick’s day should be celebrated in such a spectacular way.

  3. Just beautiful!

    You sure are a patient person. Your recipes are multi-layered.

    I really bought a lot of chocolate so I could make your Passover torte this year.

  4. I was going to bake your ice box cake from last week for paddys day, but will definitely go with this instead! It looks so great. I love to bake cheesecake, so this is a great new way to try it! Thanks

  5. zoe, this looks so fantastic. the mister’s side of the family is irish and i think they would love this festive dessert for st. patrick’s day dinner 🙂

  6. I never thought mint flavoring and cheesecake went together well, that is, until I saw your recipe. Well done, and impeccably so, I might add! Now I can’t wait to try it…thanks!

  7. I love the way you assembled this! The sliced cake is just beautiful. A real mint lovers’ treat. Really unique recipe, and wonderful photos.

  8. this definitely takes some serious technique.
    i can’t even begin to express my respect for your baking!
    what a great and beautiful recipe!

  9. I am so happy you used real fresh mint! Besides the beautiful swirl and the contrasting colors, the fresh mint is my favorite part of this cheesecake =) Anyway, I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure following your creations…

  10. Just made this. It was amazing – esp since I don’t really like mint.Also, my friend who doesn’t like cheesecake loved it!!!!

  11. I made this beautiful cheesecake tonight, but I had a little trouble. I couldn’t get it to set. I ended up baking it several minutes longer than the recipe said. When I took it out the top had cracked and got worse when I put the sour cream topping on. I guess I made a goof in the process somewhere! I’ll have to try it again!

    1. Hi Denise,

      Thank you so much for trying the cake!

      The one thing that comes to mind is the temperature of the water in the water bath. Did you fill the water bath with very hot water? You want the water to be as close to the oven temp as possible, so the cake will bake evenly. If the water is too cool, it prevents the cake from baking. This should also help with the cracking.

      Hope that helps. Zoë

  12. Thanks, Zoe! That is what I did wrong…missed that detail about the water being really hot! In spite of being baked too long and the top being cracked, we tried it for our St. Patricks Day dinner. It was really good and the layers were beautiful-perfect for the holiday! I also made bread from your Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and got rave reviews for it. I’ll never go back to all the required kneading in my old bread recipes. Going to try your pizza dough next! Thanks again!

  13. I just made this and it was awesome. I really thought all the mint would be over powering but it wasn’t. I could not keep my fingers out of the batter while making. Just love it.

  14. I think I did something wrong. It’s been baking for over an hour now, and I’ve increased the oven temperature to 200C and it still isn’t set at the edges, let alone in the middle! ( My water bath started with boiling water)

    Although I followed the recipe, I seemed to have a lot more mixture than you did ( about 9 cups in total), which probably explains why it’s taking so long to cook. The batter tastes spectacular, so I’m hoping when it’s eventually done it will be worth the wait! Did you divide your batter between two tins?

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Have you checked your oven with an oven thermometer? They often aren’t accurate to what the dial says. The nice thing about cheesecake and custards is that they can bake without harm for as long as they need. It may be that you ended up with more batter and so it will take longer? I didn’t have to split the batter, so somehow you ended up with more. But, if it tastes good, there is no worry, just more of it!

      Keep baking and checking and it will set up eventually, as long as there are enough eggs in the mix!

      Thanks, Zoë

  15. I want to make this soon, but I can’t find a small bottle of Irish whiskey. Could I use JD or even Beam in place? I don’t drink whiskey so I don’t know anything about their flavor profiles and how they might affect the finished product. I don’t want to buy a larger bottle. It is really pricey and I won’t drink it!

    1. Hi Sadie,

      Sorry I missed your question. If you haven’t made the cake yet, you can use either of those in its place or go without the booze all together.

      Thanks, Zoë

  16. I did make it, but I messed up somewhere. Although the flavor was right, it did not set up as it should have. I am a cheesecake amateur, so I think I pulled it too early. When I try again I’ll use whatever I had around. Luckily I found a coworker with a little Jameson, and my brother happily drank the leftover.

    1. Hi Sadie,

      That is the beauty of cheesecake, you can leave it in the oven until it is set without the fear of over baking! Next time just leave it until the center is completely set, depending on the oven and the temperature of the water in the water bath, this may take a bit more time.

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. Interesting… she took it down. She’s getting called out on a lot of her fraudulent photos, so I guess she’s cleaning it up.

  18. I made this for last St. Patrick’s Day and will again this year. It was a huge success. So smooth and the minty flavor adds a freshness that one doesn’t usually have with a cheesecake. It is smooth, beautiful and has a professional appearance. My guests last year just raved! Thank you for such a creative recipe. It is a little more time consuming to make than just a plain, old cheesecake, but well worth it. Oh, I did drizzle some hot fudge on each slice. Delightful !

  19. Could anyone share the measurements for a 9″ springform pan? I was thinking of just using these measurements, but don’t want a flat cheesecake. Thank you in advance for the help!

      1. Hi Zoe!

        Actually, I was looking for the precise ingredient measurements for a 9″ pan since your recipe is for an 8″.

        Thanks!

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