Let’s make a savory cheesecake today, shall we? I developed this appetizer recipe using pickled peppers, cream cheese and goat cheese.
Once you bake your goat cheese cheesecake, top it with pepper jelly, and you have one delicious holiday appetizer that feels pretty retro and is elevated a bit from sauce you pour over a block of cream cheese.
Find more of my cheesecake recipes here.
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Cheesecake Doesn’t Have to Be Sweet
I know most folks think of dessert when they think of cheesecake. I generally do, too, so I get it.
But think of how often we use cream cheese in savory foods and love it. Here are some examples:
- spreading cream cheese on savory asiago bagels
- mixing cream cheese into tomato sauce for a shortcut creamy vodka sauce
- mashing into your potatoes for super creamy mashed potatoes
- blended into a not too sweet filling for blintzes with cottage cheese and farmer cheese
- using cream cheese as a base for dips and spreads as in these avocado tomatillo rolls
So the next time you pick up some cream cheese at the store, grab a log of goat cheese as well and get in the kitchen to make a savory cheesecake. You won’t be sorry!
How to Make a Savory Cheesecake
It is not as hard as you might think to make a savory cheesecake, friends.
It’s pretty much a matter of leaving out the sugar and adding savory ingredients instead.
I know that sounds like an oversimplification, but nope. It really is that easy.
Here’s how it goes so you can make any kind of savory cheesecake you can think of.
- Blend cream cheese and goat cheese together until smooth
- Mix in egg, sour cream and any mix-ins or spices you want
- Pour into a prepared pan and bake in a water bath until just slightly wobbly in the center.
- Cool and chill until cold before unmolding and topping however you want
Proportion of Cheese to Egg in Savory Cheesecakes
Technically, you don’t need the egg at all. You can just blend all the ingredients together, mold it and chill until firm.
I like to use egg and then bake because I like the additional richness the yolk brings plus the insurance that the cheesecake will set up properly.
In this recipe, I have used 12 ounces of cheese (8 oz cream cheese and 4 ounces goat cheese) along with another 2 ounces of sour cream and 1 egg.
This is a good ratio that yields a fairly firm cheesecake. You could use 2 eggs if you would like, and the end result would be a bit more custardy.
Ingredients in This Goat Cheese Cheesecake
The ingredient list for this savory cheesecake is pretty short. You can always add more/different spices and savory mix-ins to your own version, but sometimes I like to keep things simple:
- cream cheese
- herbed garlic goat cheese
- sour cream
- finely chopped pickled peppers
- fine sea salt
- ground white pepper
Once the cheesecake is baked, chilled and unmolded for serving, spread it with a generous layer of your favorite pepper jelly.
How Big Is This Cheesecake?
The recipe as written makes a 6″ cheesecake, which is a nice size for an appetizer spread.
You can double or even triple the recipe, but I suggest baking it in 2-3 6″ pans instead of trying to bake it in a large springform pan. I like these 6″ cake pans from Fat Daddio.
Your appetizer cheesecake will bake more quickly and you can replace them easily as people gobble it up rather than having a huge cheesecake that gets mauled by grazers throughout the evening.
I can tell you all day long about how delicious this savory goat cheese cheesecake is, but I think it means more when it comes from someone else who has made the recipe and enjoyed it.
Here’s what Reader Imane had to say:
I love love love your goat cheese cake and bought the jelly and made it… Being a cheese lover I tell you it’s 5 thumbs up or more… LOOOOL.. Thank you for this wonderful recipe..Reader Imane, lover of cheese
A Note About Measurements
NOTE: Most of my recipes are written by weight and not volume, even the liquids.
Even though I try to provide you with volume measurements as well, I encourage you to buy a kitchen scale for ease of measuring, accuracy, and consistency.
This is the scale I use, love, and recommend:
I really hope you love this spicy goat cheese cheesecake, you guys!
And if you make your own version using your favorite savory ingredients, I’d love to see those guys too.
Thanks, and enjoy!
For the Cheesecake
- 8 oz package cream cheese
- 4 oz herbed garlic goat cheese
- 2 oz sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 3 1/2 ounces pickled peppers, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- several grindings of white pepper
For the Topping
- 1/3-1/2 cup your favorite pepper jelly, well stirred
For the Cheesecake
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Prepare a 6" cake pan by lining the bottom with a circle cut from parchment or non-stick aluminum foil. Spray the sides of the pan with pan spray. Set aside.
- Have a 9" or 10" pan ready for a water bath. Bring a kettle of water to the boil and keep hot.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and goat cheese together until completely smooth. Scrape the bowl as necessary.
- Mix in the sour cream, egg, chopped peppers, salt and white pepper until well combined. Scrape the bowl as necessary.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Put your filled pan in the larger pan and set them both on the middle rack of your oven.
- Quickly pour in the hot water to come about halfway up the side of your baking pan.
- Center the 6" pan in the water bath if necessary and bake for 35-40 min or until the cake is firm.
- Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool. When cool, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until completely chilled.
To Top and Serve
- Run a thin knife around the sides of the cheesecake pan and unmold on the serving platter of your choice.
- Pull the pan away--you may have to do a bit of jiggling--and peel off the parchment or non-stick foil.
- Spread an even layer of pepper jelly on top of the cheesecake and serve with crackers or crusty bread.
- Stand back.
If you are not serving this within a day or two, you may want to add a level Tablespoon or two of corn starch to the cheesecake mixture.
This will bind up any extra liquid and keep your cheesecake from weeping. I omitted this step and even two days later, the cake was just fine. It's just some insurance if you think you need it.
Feel free to add chopped herbs, minced garlic or shallot, or some other savory mix-ins if you want, especially if you use a plain goat cheese. Mine was herby and garlicky, so I left well enough alone.
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Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size about 2 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving Calories 147Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 38mgSodium 170mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 0gSugar 14gProtein 2g
And there you have it, friends. Enjoy the spicy cheesecake!
Thank you for spending some time with me today, Take care, and have a lovely day.