Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

It’s a good thing you are reading about this cheesecake instead of having a conversation face-to-face with me about it because I can guarantee coherent sentences would not be coming out of my mouth. Thanks to the modern invention of backspace and delete, I think I’ll probably be able to sum up my feelings in writing…but in person? Yeah, I’d be a mess of blubbery blubberiness talking about this most divine of all cheesecakes. It would be embarrassing.

How can I adequately convince you that in all my hysterics of exclaiming this or that to be my new favorite – that this cheesecake truly takes the cake, so to speak, on all other cheesecakes (and is most definitely going straight into The Best Of files)?

A wonderful friend-made-through-blogging-with-incredible-taste-in-food (yes, another one, I’m so lucky, not to mention all the fabulous recipes I get daily from all of you!), Lien, sent me this recipe along with a picture of when she made it. Come to find out, she made it five times throughout the holiday season all to rave reviews so I knew it was going to be good. I just didn’t realize how good.

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

The unique thing about this cheesecake is that there are no eggs in the batter which struck me as strange since I don’t think I’ve ever met a baked cheesecake without eggs. But I realize now that even though I love cheesecake, baked and no-bake, this has been the recipe I’ve been searching for all of my 30 plus years. It is the creamiest cheesecake I’ve ever had. Like so creamy there aren’t words…but I’m sure I’ll find some so we can continue this conversation aren’t you lucky. Plus, sandwiched between the glorious cheesecake and the lightly sweetened clouds of whipped cream is the most fantastic burst of luxurious white chocolate mousse (here I go again loving on white chocolate), intimidating by the sounds of it, but ridiculously easy to whip up.

Shall I go on?

And…not only is the crust (known to be my favorite part of any cheesecake) buttery and grahamy, like one would expect, but it is also soft and almost cake-like-in-a-crazy-way thanks to the egg yolks added to the graham cracker crumbs. Strange. I know! But it works. (A sidenote, though, that if you were excited about an egg-free cheesecake only to be dismayed that the missing eggs from the batter wound up in the crust, you could easily leave them out for a more traditional cheesecake crust to make the entire dessert egg-free). It’s so different and yet so wonderfully amazing at the same time.

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Apparently this is a knockoff of the vanilla bean cheesecake at TGIF’s. I’ve never had it there but let me tell you, if it is half as good as this cheesecake which came out of my kitchen, it should win some kind of award for changing lives. Don’t let the multiple steps and mixing bowls needed scare you off. Albeit a few dishes to wash, it’s simple to make and did I mention?

Best. Cheesecake. Ever.

You’ll have to take my word for it unless you dare make it for yourself. Just be prepared to not be able to form a full coherent thought or sentence for weeks because it will blow your mind with absolute rock star goodness.

Quick note about vanilla beans: I love the vanilla beans from Penzey’s Spices most of all but they aren’t convenient or economical to order online and since I don’t have a Penzey’s close, lately, I opt for these vanilla beans on Amazon. I’ve ordered them 2-3 times; they are good quality especially for the price and keep well since clearly I’m not using dozens of vanilla beans within a week. Also, if you’ve never worked with a vanilla bean before, here’s a quick video tip that can help you out.

One Year Ago: Confetti Chicken Bake with Cheddar Biscuit Topping
Two Years Ago: Classic Orange Julius
Three Years Ago: Mulligatawny Soup

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Yield: Serve 8-12

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Don't throw away those scraped out vanilla bean pods (you need two vanilla beans for this recipe)! Learned from the almighty Mr. Alton Brown, I throw the empty pods into a cup of granulated sugar, cover, and let sit for a few days. It makes the most delicious vanilla sugar and I use it almost always for creme brulee. I mean, who doesn't need an excuse to make that, right? Also, here is an easy tutorial on scraping out the seeds if you haven't done it before.

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Cheesecake:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • vanilla bean seeds, scraped from one pod
  • White Chocolate Mousse:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces white chocolate baking squares, melted
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • vanilla bean seeds, scraped from one pod

Directions

  1. For the crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix; then stir in the melted butter. Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and just barely up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan (could also use a 10-inch pan although all the layers will be slightly thinner). Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the cheesecake layer, in a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese with an electric handheld mixer (or stand mixer) until soft and creamy. Add the sour cream, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Mix in the vanilla bean seeds until evenly mixed. Don't overmix or the cheesecake will have a tendency to crack while baking.
  3. Spread the cheesecake over the cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  4. For the white chocolate mousse, in a medium bowl, beat the cream and vanilla with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer) until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined and the peaks are slightly stiffer. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the white chocolate and mix until smooth and creamy. Fold in the whipped cream, taking care not to deflate the whipped cream, and mix gently with a rubber spatula, lifting and turning the cream, until the mousse is combined and creamy.
  5. Spread the white chocolate mousse over the cooled cheesecake.
  6. For the sweetened whipped cream, beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar together until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla bean seeds and mix until slightly stiffer peaks form and the vanilla bean seeds are mixed in.
  7. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the white chocolate mousse. Refrigerate at least 1-2 hours before serving (or up to overnight).
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/vanilla-bean-white-chocolate-mousse-cheesecake-my-new-favorite-cheesecake/
Recipe Source: lightly adapted from this recipe from food.com sent to me by my friend, Lien (thank you!)

75 Responses to Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

  1. Amy says:

    You should try Olive Nation’s website for vanilla beans. Great quality, super well priced and they frequently offer deals. I’m not affiliated, I discovered them when making homemade vanilla and have had great experiences with them. You cheesecake looks Aaamazing!

  2. Sheila says:

    Oh, Mel . . . your descriptive, persuasive words (not to mention the picture) are such a temptation for me to call in a vacation day and stay home to create this best.cheesecake,ever.! Thank you for passing this tried and true recipe along.

  3. Kristi says:

    I love cheesecake by itself, but with white chocolate mousse. That takes cheesecake to a whole nother level. Especially since white chocolate is my absolute favorite.

  4. I can see why this has become a favorite! I’m a sucker for anything with vanilla bean and I do the same thing when after scraping them. They really do make for the best sugar!

  5. Kim in MD says:

    Wow…this looks amazing! I had a similar cheesecake while on vacation several years ago, and it was delicious. I’ve never made cheesecake without eggs. I can’t wait to make this recipe!

  6. Heather bell says:

    Wow looks amazing!! Not a fan of vanilla bean but I’m almost tempted:)

  7. Jackie says:

    We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory the other night and I kept looking at the vanilla bean cheesecake thinking it looked good, but with all the other options I didn’t try it. With your description though I’m thinking I should have. Now I can make my own though! Thanks!

  8. Dianna says:

    Waxing poetic about a cheesecake… a girl after my own heart! ;) I always say that I prefer to take my calories in the form of cheesecake, and this one looks like it’s worth every single one. Did I mention I’m also semi-obsessed with vanilla beans? As in, I only use them in recipes that are to be eaten by people I really, really like? In short — I’ll be trying this soon. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is going straight into my ZipList Recipe Box for an occasion when a cheesecake is warranted! Though, I might not be able to wait that long…perhaps I’ll just make it this weekend :) LOVE the specks of vanilla through it…cannot wait to try it!

  10. This is going to the top of my “desserts to try soon” list. Thanks!

  11. This cheesecake looks great!

  12. Soonhee says:

    This looks beautiful and sounds delicious! My husband loves vanilla bean so this might be a good Valentine’s Day dessert, if I can wait that long to try it. It’s also a good excuse to get a springform pan. I assume those are the pods on top as a garnish? Thank you for the tip on Olive Nation, Amy! Got my beans ordered.

  13. Jenn McCarthy says:

    I can’t wait to try this cheesecake – it looks amazing! In the event that I give in to temptation and make it before finding a worthy event, do you think it would freeze well? That’s assuming I don’t eat it all its decadent deliciousness myself!

    • Mel says:

      Jenn – hmmm, I think the baked cheesecake itself would freeze great but I’d wait to top it with the mousse/sweetened whipped cream until close to serving time after the cheesecake has defrosted.

  14. Teresa R. says:

    Oh my, bring on the fat pants! I’m tossing my New Year’s resolution out the door in order to make this! I love cheesecake!

  15. Rebecca says:

    Hi Mel,

    I’ve been a long time RSS subscriber and a fan of yours. Lately my RSS feeds show not only your blog posts, but all the comments. I don’t remember commenting on your posts or subscribing to all comments lately, and I didn’t see a separate comments feed from yours. So I’m wondering if you (accidentally) tweaked something from your end so now that your RSS feeds include comments?

    Thanks for double checking? Note it’s not email, it’s just RSS subscription. I don’t have any email subs from you.

    • Mel says:

      Rebecca – that’s odd…I checked my RSS feed and I’m not getting the same thing (comments showing). Let me do some digging and I’ll get back with you.

  16. Bless you for continuing to post delicious desserts in January. I can’t go without desserts ever!
    I’m a huge white chocolate fan, too, so this is going in the must-make file, just as soon as we have a special occasion. Hmm…anniversary? Yes!

  17. sara says:

    This looks sooooooooo good! :)

  18. This looks so freaking good Mel!

    Bookmarking and making soon. Will report back. Thanks!

  19. T.J. says:

    Sooo excited to try this recipe! I have some Penzey’s vanilla beans ready to go. Hopefully I can make this happen this weekend :)

  20. Robin says:

    Olive nation has the best vanilla beans, they have excellent customer service and such good quality product. They are really reasonably priced too if you make your own vanilla, which you so should because it is awesome!!!
    Here is a link http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/making-homemade-vanilla-extract-aka-why-laura-bought-a-gallon-of-vodka
    If you order through Heavenlyhomemakers you can get %10 off.
    This looks so so yummy!

  21. Amanda says:

    I’m drooling…

  22. OK I’m officially convinced! Making this tomorrow!

  23. mamalala says:

    Yep. Going to kill the healthy eating streak for this dessert. Not even going to justify it. Can’t wait.

  24. Diane says:

    I guess going Gluten Free will just have to wait until next week . I must make this cheesecake ( and eat it too! ) I don’t know if anyone else has a food co op nearby but , that is where I buy my Vanilla Beans for about $2 a piece .

  25. I am speachless. This looks so amazing. I love, love, love vanilla. We will definitly have to make this for Sunday dinner when the kids come over. I am not even sure how I came across your site but I am glad I did. I’ll be back :)

  26. Bea says:

    I love your blog and your recipes. I think we must have been related in a past life. You obviously write what you think and I do also. I look forward to searching through your website and just having a ball. I am trying to get my website up and running. I don’t blog for money, I guess you could say it’s more like a diary or journal, who knows but I love it. I need help trying to figure out how to make a lay out or page. That shows you how much I know. .lol. Definitely not much. I need to hire someone to help me.

  27. This would be so much better than a birthday cake!

  28. Becky says:

    I’m doing the freaking Whole 30 right now, but this will be the first treat I make when I’m done….which I shall eat with great moderation, if I’m lucky :)

  29. Oh, you’re kidding with this cheesecake. I’m SUCH a cheesecake fan, and particularly like baking them. I’ve tried so many, and now need to try this, like, yesterday! The 8hour cheesecake was the creamiest so far (I mean, 8 hours in a 120 oven…), but now I need to compare! You have the best kitchen buddies who send you the best recipes Mel!

  30. Vanessa says:

    Oh girl…cheesecake has got to be my most intimidating dessert. My grandmother used to make THE. BEST. cheesecake so I grew up having big baking shoes to fill (my mother won’t even attempt to make cheesecake because Grandma’s was the end-all of cheesecake in our family.) But this divine-looking creation…mmmm, I’m just tempted to try my hand at this. I’m saying a prayer and ordering my vanilla beans today!!

  31. Karen says:

    Made this a couple of days after you posted it and it was amazing!! Sooo yummy and perfect. Now we just need a chocolate version! I get my vanilla beans from Costco. Cheap and good!

  32. Damn yet another recipe I have to try! Looks delicious. I love Penzey’s too, I get all my spices from there. My cocoa powder though I get from King Arthur Flour, it’s just better than Penzey’s.

  33. Kathryn says:

    Went to the grocery store and spent $14.99 on a jar that contained 2 vanilla beans. Decided to check out the local health food store. .. I was able to purchase beans for 1. 29 EACH. Pays to shop around! Can’t wait to see if my brother enjoys his birthday cheesecake. Thanks for the great recipe!

  34. Katie says:

    Looks awesome, making tomorrow! How do you think vanilla bean paste would work in this recipe? How much would you add? Wondering if it would add too much extra liquid??

    • Mel says:

      Katie – I think the vanilla bean paste should work just fine. I’d probably add about a teaspoon (more or less) for each vanilla bean.

  35. Lien says:

    I’m so glad you liked the recipe, and didn’t wait too long to try it! I’m making it AGAIN today, along with your white chicken chili. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!

  36. Lien says:

    Also, if you have enough vanilla beans for your sugar, I have a huge container of vodka that I throw my extras in. Sure beats store bought vanilla! It takes a few months to cure, but it’s worth it.

  37. Lisa Brooks says:

    I got vanilla beans from beanilla.com, they had a sale 20 beans for $20. They are so good and plump. I will be ordering from them again. I made the cake today for a get together tomorrow. Can’t wait to try it!

  38. Katie says:

    This was so so yummy! We all loved it and the vanilla bean paste worked great! Thank you for another great recipe!

  39. Sheila says:

    BEST. CHEESECAKE. EVER. I regret I waited 10 whole days to make since you posted this recipe. You rock, Mel!

  40. Kristen says:

    I loved this! Thanks for the recipe.

  41. Rachelle McDonald says:

    I made these the other night for my brother-in-law’s birthday. He is a big cheesecake fan and he LOVED them. Everyone thought they were so, so good! They were so creamy, not too sweet, and the crust was amazing… Seriously the best cheesecake I have ever had!

  42. Cammee says:

    I’m obviously way behind in my blog reader, but jackpot! I just found my birthday cake for this year!

  43. Lisa says:

    Think I could use greek yogurt in place of the sour cream? I’ve been successful in replacing it in almost all of my recipes, but a little intimidated here. Can’t wait to try it ! Thanks, Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Lisa – definitely worth a try! I haven’t tried the Greek yogurt sub myself so I can’t say for certain that it works out but if you’ve had good experience in the past, I’d go with your gut. :)

  44. Amanda says:

    I made this for my husband’s birthday and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Followed the recipe exactly and everything was perfect! I’d recommend going with the suggested 9″ springform pan- the size of the layers are perfect!

  45. Lindy says:

    I am half way through making this and realized that the bar of baking chocolate I had is actually semi sweet chocolate and the only white chocolate I have are ghirardelli white melting wafers for candy making and dipping. Do you think this will work?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lindy – definitely worth a try with the candy melts; I’m guessing they’ll work just fine (especially the Ghirardelli brand). Good luck!

  46. Debra says:

    I can’t say it was easy, there were a lot steps and of mixing bowls to wash…but…so worth it! Everyone loved it. Thank you.

  47. tabitha says:

    In the picture is this 2 layers or 3? Is the whipped cream actually added already? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Tabitha – in the pictures, yes, the layers are all completely assembled so it’s the cheesecake layer, the mousse layer and the whipped cream.

  48. Carly Pickering says:

    Mel!! I think this is my second comment ever on your blog. Just had to tell you that I made this recipe last night! I have NEVER made a cheesecake and it is something I have always been nervous about doing. It turned out great and was SO SO delicious. Can’t wait to try out another one now. :)

  49. lynda Mcinlay says:

    Hi Mel.
    I just made this last night and had it today with some friends. One of them is a chef and he told me I blew him out of the water with this one. My husband absolutely loved it as did we all. I’ve made cakes with a baked cheesecake layer before and been unimpressed so when I made this i thought if i didn’t like it i will never try one of the layered cakes again. It was time consuming because of having to wait for each step to cool properly first but worth every minute. It was so light and I loved how creamy it was without being sickly sweet. the cheesecake layer i baked for 30 minutes. I didn’t have graham crackers because we don’t have them here in Australia so I used Malt biscuits. when it was cold I wrapped it in cling wrap overnight in the fridge and an hour or so before serving I added the whipped cream. I am making it for my sister in 2 days as she wasn’t able to stay for dinner and my husband told me I was not taking any of it out of the house. lol. He leaves on business in 2 days so then I’ll make it for her.
    I make my own vanilla extract. I got a kilo of vanilla beans and put in a huge jar and covered with vodka. It took a few months but I got the most amazing vanilla extract and as I use the beans I just top up with more beans and vodka. I cut the end off the beans and just squeeze out the seeds. I’ve kept it going for more than 5 years now and never run out.
    Definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing this.

  50. Lisa says:

    Hi Mel! I have a quick question about this cheesecake. The only white chocolate I have in the house is Nestle white chocolate chips. Do you think I could use 4 oz. of those instead of 4 oz. of white baking squares? When I read “white baking squares” all I can think of are those packs of almond bark in the baking aisle. I picture these Nestle chips tasting better. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lisa – I agree that the almond bark would not be right for this recipe. I actually use the actual white chocolate baking squares (I think it’s the Baker’s brand). Basically it’s real white chocolate (not the fake almond bark) in bar form. It melts, much, much easier than chocolate chips and tastes better than the chips or the bark in my opinion. White chocolate chips are hit and miss for me – sometimes they melt great and other times they end up in a clumpy mess. So if you can find the baking squares, I’d recommend those, if not, sounds like Lien and others have done fine using the chips. Good luck!

  51. Lien says:

    I used chips before without any issues. I agree, those bakin squares taste weird to me :)

  52. Hira says:

    Do u bake this in a water bath? Also, do u spread the white chocolate mousse on top after chilling in the fridge for 4 hours/overnight? Can’t wait to try this!

    • Mel says:

      Hira – No, I don’t bake it in a water bath. You’ll have to read the directions to see how I state it but it’s in the recipe when to add the mousse. Good luck!

  53. Laura says:

    Made this for my hubby last week and he is still raving about it!! He has told me this is the only cheesecake recipe I ever need. :) Even my cheesecake hating kids gobbled it up!! So, so good! Thanks!

  54. Lu says:

    Ok yeah. This is an awesome cheesecake. My family is a cheesecake family. We love our cheesecake and we even have a family cookbook dedicated to them. I’ve been putting off making this because I keep forgetting to buy vanilla beans but I finally made this for a family dinner without vanilla beans. I just subbed 2 tsp of real vanilla per vanilla bean. I was worried that it might not be anything special with regular old vanilla, but it was FANTASTIC! My family raved. For a long time. I felt like a celebrity. I always use a water bath for my cheesecakes so I was nervous about making one without but I gave it a try and I was so glad I saved the extra work. It was smooth and creamy and wonderful. Several family members said it was the best cheesecake they’d ever had. My brother said it gave him the shivers and that he would be dreaming about it tonight. EVERYONE requested the recipe. That’s saying a lot from a cheesecake-loving family. There were a lot of bowls involved to make it but it came together quickly and was one of the simpler fancy cheesecakes I’ve made. Next time I’ll make it with vanilla beans. Thank you from the bottom of my cheesecake-loving heart.

  55. Cheryl HD says:

    Holy Fat Pants! Love, Love this cheesecake.
    It is the best cheese cake I have ever made. Shared some with my new boss for her birthday and I definitely have an in with her now. LOL…
    I added some fresh strawberries on the side and it added a fruity dimension.
    Now to try your Carrot Cheese cake recipe.

  56. Jen says:

    I made this for my hubby’s upcoming birthday. I texted him after I finished the mousse layer saying that there may not be any left when he got home. That mousse is ahhhh-maz-zing!! Will be eating a full slice later today but I had to post already. Wonderful addition to my cheesecake recipes!!

  57. Kristi P says:

    Ever since I saw this cheesecake I have been looking for an excuse to make it. It was my husband’s birthday last week so I finally had a reason, and it did not disappoint! He kept telling me how amazing it is and our neighbors even came over to try some and they want the recipe now too. Can’t believe how amazing it is and will be my new go to cheesecake! Thank you!!

  58. Suzanne says:

    I made this for Easter and everyone loved this cheesecake, the cheesecake itself is my new favorite cheesecake, could the recipe for the cheesecake part be used in other cheesecakes like the carrot cake or brownie cheesecake?

    • Mel says:

      Suzanne – That’s definitely worth a try although the texture of this cake is lighter than cheesecake batter with eggs in it so I’m not sure how that would work with the carrot cake batter. You will have to experiment and let me know how it turns out.

  59. Ramona says:

    Hi, I made this cheesecake for my birthday and it turned out fantastic! Easy to make and I ended up using vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla beans. Delicious!!

  60. Heidi says:

    Tried searching, but not finding it…how do you store the unused beans? I have a bag I ordered from Amazon via the link and am opening it tomorrow:)

  61. Mila says:

    Hello Mel, I made this cheesecake and was fantastic. Creamy, soft and fluffy, the best cheesecake for me. Thanks for great recipe.

  62. Kathy M says:

    Made this for my mother’s birthday and it was delicious. I do have a lot leftover, how long will this last in the fridge? Could it be frozen? Thanks for another great recipe

  63. Teresa says:

    This was the MOST amazing cheesecake. I made it for the first time as one of our 4th of July desserts. Instead of elegantly garnishing with the vanilla beans (which I will do next time), I added some red, white, and blue sprinkles over it for the kids. It was so creamy and sublime. My cheesecake cracked ever so slightly even though I tried not to over mix, but it was no big deal since it was covered with two other layers. It was really a perfect recipe. Thanks so much!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.