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When I get together with my family for holidays, I often bring the dessert, and our July 4th get-together was no different. I love the red, white, and blue desserts for the holiday with fresh strawberries and blueberries that are in season and delicious this time of year, but this year, I wanted to do something different.
A few weeks ago, I was looking around online and found a recipe for Lavender Honey Cheesecake, and I have been looking for an excuse to make it ever since. Before my sister’s bachelorette party in June, I found out that one of my coworkers has a side hustle selling gourmet cheesecakes, and we got a couple cheesecakes for her party and enjoyed them very much. I had never made cheesecake myself, which is so strange because I love to bake. I guess I thought cheesecake was intimidating, especially with the crust, but the delicious cheesecake I bought from my coworker inspired me to try to make one myself.
Sure, this lavender cheesecake doesn’t have the required colors for the holiday, but my lavender is blooming, and I didn’t know how long I would have to wait for another occasion to make it. I followed the recipe below, and it turned out great! Everyone loved it.
The original recipe called for a 9 inch springform pan, but I could only find my 10 inch springform pan. I’m glad I used the larger size, however, because I didn’t have much room left over in the pan when I added the second filling.
The original recipe also called for lavender honey, but I couldn’t find any in my area. I suppose if I went to some of the health food stores around here I might find some lavender honey. However, my family and I celebrated the 4th on Monday, the 3rd this year, and I left my grocery shopping until Sunday. Therefore, I wasn’t able to go to these stores, since they’re closed on Sundays.
In the future, when I make this cheesecake again (and I will – it’s so good!), I will look for lavender honey to try it. This time, I just added lavender flowers and leaves to the fillings in this cheesecake, and it turned out wonderful! Don’t have a lavender plant in your yard? Just use food grade lavender flowers for cooking.
**Update July 2018 (one year later): I found this high-quality Lavender Honey on Amazon and bought it for this July 4th, since my family requested this cheesecake again!
The Baking Process
Here are some photos of the process:
I pressed the crust into the pan with a ramekin, which was such a useful tool! Make sure the crust is evenly thin throughout the pan, especially along the bottom corner.
The first layer of filling ready to be poured over the crust in the pan.
First layer of filling as it is about to go in the oven.
First layer of filling is finished baking. The cheesecake will cool for 15 minutes before the second layer of filling is added on top.
After the first layer of filling is done baking, the second filling is added and baked for a short 10 minutes. Here is the cheesecake cooling on the stove after all baking is complete.
THE END RESULT
After the cheesecake is done baking, it must be cooled to room temperature before placing the cheesecake in the freezer until an hour before serving. Here is the frozen cheesecake being placed into my cake saver for transport to the party. I was worried about transferring the cheesecake from the pan to the cake saver, but it was a breeze, since the cake was frozen.
Cheesecake is all done and ready to be served!
So delicious! This cheesecake was a huge hit at our 4th of July party! The lavender essence and taste was very mild, but so unique and enjoyed by all. Everyone remarked how they enjoyed the tart sour cream layer and how it contrasted with the sweetness of the first layer of filling and the crust.
In this close up, you can see the little flecks of lavender blooms and leaves in both layers of filling.
Lavender Honey Cheesecake Recipe
- 2 packs graham crackers
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Dash of cinnamon
- 4 - 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup honey (you can use lavender honey if you can find it; if you would like, you can omit the lavender flowers and leaves if you use lavender honey, or keep it in if you want more lavender aroma and taste - don't worry, it's yummy).
- 1 tablespoon lavender flowers, minced (you can add lavender leaves too if you want more lavender flavor and aroma).
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1- 16 ounce container sour cream
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon lavender flowers and leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Remove all refrigerated ingredients from the refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature (not including the sour cream - you won't need this for a while, and I left the sour cream in the fridge until I was ready to use it).
- Coat a 10 inch springform pan with oil*
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- While still in the package, crush graham crackers with your hand before transferring crackers to a food processor. Be careful with this step - I had one of the packages break open, and I got crackers on the counter.
- Blend in the food processor until the crackers are processed into crumbs.
- Add sugar and cinnamon, and blend until combined.
- Add melted butter, and blend until well combined. The crust should be pretty loose and crumbly.
- Transfer crust to the middle of the springform pan. Distribute the crumbs evenly on the bottom of the pan and 3/4 the way up the side of the pan.**
- Place the pan with the crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- in a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese with an electric mixer, one at a time until light and fluffy. Do not beat cream cheese too much - you don't want the filling to be too runny.
- Gradually add the honey 1/3 cup at a time to taste. After you add one cup, taste the batter. You can add more honey if you like, but 1 cup worked well for me.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Add vanilla and lavender, if using, and mix until combined.
- Pour mixture into the springform pan.
- Bake for one hour. The middle should not be set will be quite wobbly.
- Cool the cheesecake for 15 minutes while you assemble the second layer of filling.
- Beat sour cream in a medium sized bowl until it increases 1/3 of its size.
- Add honey 1/4 cup at a time to taste. I only used 1/4 cup because I wanted to taste the tartness of the sour cream in this layer. If you prefer sweet over sour, add another 1/4 cup of honey - I wouldn't add more than that, though.
- Add vanilla and lavender flowers and leaves.
- Pour the mixture carefully over the hot cheesecake, and bake an additional 10 minutes. The cheesecake will be jiggly when removed from the oven.
- Cool on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature - about 45 minutes.
- Cover the cheesecake tightly with foil, and freeze overnight.
- Remove the cheesecake from the freezer. Place the cheesecake on the serving plate, and remove the springform pan.
- Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
- Use a sharp knife or thin wire to cut.
- *I used coconut oil to coat the pan. You could also use cooking oil spray.
- **PRO TIP: I used a ramekin to help evenly distribute and press the crust into the bottom and sides of the pan, and it worked wonderfully. Make sure the crust in the bottom corner of the pan is not too thick.
This Lavender Honey Cheesecake recipe was a great success! I have never really experimented much with lavender in cooking or baking, but the popularity of this cheesecake has inspired me to try more lavender recipes.
I would love to hear from you!
Have you ever cooked with lavender or other herbs and flavors not typically used in cooking? Share your experience in the comments below!
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