Vanilla Sweet Potato Cheesecake

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Meet your new favorite dessert recipe. This vanilla sweet potato cheesecake is easy, but it looks gorgeously fancy.

Vanilla Sweet Potato Cheesecake Recipe
Photo: Victor Protasio
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
8

This cheesecake recipe includes a clever combination of just-enough sweet potato, ample cream cheese, and a brown butter-based graham cracker crust. It hits all the nostalgia elements, while also feeling elevated enough for the most special occasions.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 10 oz.)

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pie plate

  • 15 graham cracker sheets (from a 14.4-oz. pkg.)

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar, divided

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped, or 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • Store-bought caramel sauce, at room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place sweet potato on a rimmed baking sheet; poke all over with a fork. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, 40 to 45 minutes. Alternatively, microwave in a microwave-safe bowl on high until tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl; discard skin. Mash until smooth (you should have about 1 cup); set aside.

  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate with butter. Set aside a small heatproof bowl. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium, swirling pan occasionally, until butter is lightly browned and smells nutty, 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to a small bowl, scraping out all of the butter with a rubber spatula. Let cool for 10 minutes.

  3. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until coarse crumbs form, 15 to 20 pulses. (You should have about 2½ cups.) Add cooled brown butter, salt, and 3 tablespoons sugar; process until fine crumbs form, about 15 seconds.

  4. Using your fingers, press the mixture into the bottom and up sides of the prepared pie plate, making the crust thicker on the bottom than sides. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, tightly pack the crust in the plate.

  5. Bake until crust is set and slightly darkened 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 F.

  6. Beat cream cheese with vanilla bean seeds or extract in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add remaining 5 tablespoons sugar; beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well combined. Add mashed potato, beating until incorporated, about 1 minute.

  7. Pour filling into crust, smoothing top. Bake at 325 F until cheesecake is puffed and the center jiggles only slightly 28 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator and chill for at least 90 minutes. Drizzle with caramel sauce just before serving.

  8. Prepare cheesecake up to 1 day in advance. Cover and chill.

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