Sometimes you just need something sweet. Something decadently creamy. Something pink. Thankfully, it happens to be blood orange season and what better excuse is there to make a creamy Blood Orange Cheesecake?
Blood Orange Cheesecake
While blood oranges are often recognizable by their blush-stained orange peels, the gradient of red fleshy citrus inside is even more impressive, with colors ranging from bright reddish pink to deep oxblood red. When combining their juice with creamy batters and toppings, you end up with the most gorgeous shades of pale peachy and petal pinks. I find the flavor of blood oranges to be slightly more tart than a traditional orange, which makes it the perfect flavor to balance the creaminess of cheesecake.
Here in Portland, we start seeing blood ranges arrive in stores and farmers markets in the winter months and if we’re lucky they carry through to spring. Plenty of time for you to grab a few to whip up a gorgeous and tasty Blood Orange Cheesecake. Make sure to check out my list of 7 Tips For a Perfect Cheesecake Every Time to help you prep for a successful bake.
A bad crust can make an otherwise lovely cheesecake disappointing. I find that the classic low-carb mix of almond flour, butter, and sweetener alone is not sufficient for the crust to stay stable once the cheesecake batter is added, even when the crust is well-baked. I like to use finely chopped nuts as my primary ingredient, mixing in a slightly smaller amount of almond flour and butter to bind it all together and allow you to make a firm and compact crust that can stand up to the heavy creaminess of the cheesecake batter. Think about it in terms of a road made of gravel and dirt compared to a road made solely of dirt. Which one will fare better when it rains and which one will become a muddy, soggy mess? The same is true for the crust.
Walnuts are my preferred choice for this crust, but pecans are also a good option if you prefer. I like to sweeten my crust with a small amount of the 1:1 sweetener and add a bit of cinnamon as well because it brings out the flavor of the nuts. I do not generally extend the crust up the sides of the cheesecake, preferring to keep a tightly compacted bottom layer for the cheesecake to rest on instead. If you would prefer to extend the crust up the sides the classic way, I recommend doubling the crust recipe, but note that this will significantly impact the carb count.
I like to finish this Blood Orange Cheesecake with a simple sour cream topping, tinted with natural blood orange juice until it’s petal pink and just slightly sweetened to balance out the tartness of the sour cream. Add a few blood orange slices on top and this is perfectly finished in my book. If you prefer a slightly sweeter topping, swapping the sour cream for fresh whipped cream is also lovely.
Alternative Sweeteners and 1:1 swaps
I generally make this Blood Orange Cheesecake low carb, refined sugar-free, and Keto friendly by using a 1:1 alternative sweetener. This simply means that the alternative sweetener has a 1:1 ratio to the amount of traditional sugar you would use in a recipe. I use 2/3 cup of Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (a blend of monkfruit and erythritol) in the batter of this recipe, but this can easily be swapped out for any other 1:1 alternative sweetener. If you’re not worried about the extra carbs, you can also use traditional sugar in this, but please note the following:
I find that many traditional cheesecake recipes call for nearly double the amount of sweetener than I like to use in this recipe. I’m not sure if the truth of the matter is that these 1:1 alternative sweeteners are in actuality sweeter than their sugar counterpart and not truthfully 1:1 with sugar, or if it’s just my own taste preference. To be fair, I don’t have an incredible sweet tooth so it could very well be the latter. However, if I were making this recipe with traditional sugar I would be tempted to increase the amount slightly by an additional 1/3 cup sugar atleast.
A note for special diets
This Blood Orange Cheesecake is grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, low-carb, and Keto friendly. The net carb count per slice (1/12 of the cheesecake) is only 7g.Print
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup almond flour
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp preferred 1:1 sweetener (I used Lakanto monkfruit sweetener)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
For the filling:
- 3 (8oz) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cups preferred 1:1 sweetener (I used Lakanto monkfruit sweetener)
- 1/3 cup sour cream (full fat), room temperature
- 1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice, strained and room temperature
- 2 tbsp blood orange zest, room temperature
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
For the topping:
- 1 cup sour cream, full fat
- 1 tbsp fresh blood orange juice, strained
- 2–3 tsp preferred 1:1 sweetener (I used Lakanto monkfruit sweetener)
For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 C).
- Line a 9-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper, if desired. This is not absolutely necessary, but it does make it easier to remove the cheesecake from the pan later. I also like to wrap the outside of the pan in tinfoil, just in case there is a small leak in your pan. Again, this is optional.
- Add all ingredients for the crust directly in the bottom of the springform pan, combining by hand until well-mixed. Press the crust firmly into the bottom of the pan until reasonably even and compact.
- Bake crust for 10-14 minutes. I like to check the crust after the first 10 minutes, and them continue to bake in 2-minute increments until the crust begins to brown slightly.
- Cool on the countertop and reserve to the side for later.
For the filling:
- Once the ingredients have come to room temperature, combine cream cheese, 1:1 sweetener, sour cream, blood orange juice, blood orange zest, and salt until just combined. You may do this completely by hand or use a food processor, stand mixer, or hand mixer on the lowest setting. Be careful not to overbeat the mixture. You do not want to add excess air to the filling.
- Add eggs in last, one at a time until combined. Again, only mix until combined adequately, but no further.
- Pour filling into your pan with the cooled crust.
- Bake for 45 minutes, then turn oven off. Continue to bake an additional 10 minutes with the door closed and the oven off.
- Once the final 10 minutes is up, prop the oven door open slightly to vent some air. Allow the cheesecake to remain in the oven for an additional 30 minutes while the oven cools.
- Remove the cheesecake from oven and allow to cool to room temperature completely before adding the topping.
For the topping:
- Mix the sour cream, blood orange juice, and 1:1 sweetener by hand until well-combined and even in color.
- Spread the topping evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
- Refrigerate cheesecake until ready to eat.
- Serving Size: 1 slice (1/12 of recipe)
- Calories: 444
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 269 mg
- Fat: 40 g
- Saturated Fat: 18 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 10 g
- Cholesterol: 144 mg