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daring bakers: cheesecake pops

Recipe: cheesecake pops

The Daring Bakers strike again, this time with cheesecake pops!

we knead to bake

Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell are our lovely co-hosts this month and they selected this recipe from Jill O’Connor’s Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey.

beat the eggs into the cream cheese and sugar

oven-ready batter, pre water bath

Seeing as no one in this house is a cheesecake fan and that I have trouble eating during my chemo, I almost bailed on this one. Yeah, I know… But math is my friend and I took a cue from Ashley of eat me, delicious who successfully reduced the recipe by a fifth. I mean, I was willing to participate, but not with 4 dozen freaking cheesecake pops… I baked the cheesecake batter in two small ramekins.

what a craptastic mess

taking great joy in skewering these sticky bastards

I started yesterday afternoon, the day before the deadline. I figured I’d be cutting it close with all of the refrigeration and freezing required. I let the ramekins cool in the fridge overnight. Then this morning at 4:30, I got fabulously ill and worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish the pops this morning (well, I worried that I might suffocate in the night too). But I rallied, I swore a lot, and I made a huge mess in my kitchen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think cheesecake was meant to be scooped, let alone stuck with a stick.

i used semi-sweet chips for the coating

dippity dip

Normally, if it’s a recipe I’m jazzed about, I’ll go the distance and spring for Valrhona or some other lovely chocolate. Because I was not loving this recipe from the start, I bought generic Nestle semi-sweet chips for the coating and nuked it on half-power, stirring the shortening into the warm chocolate at the end. It’s a thick glaze which sets up in about 5 seconds on the frozen cheesecake balls. Since I didn’t want to purchase a bag of lolly sticks (I was pretty ornery about this one, wasn’t I?), I used some bamboo skewers we had on hand.

there was one casualty – just too soft

most of them held up just fine

The nice thing about using skewers was that the sharp ends stuck nicely in my styrofoam base so the pops could set up easily. The bad thing about the skewers was that the sharp ends also stuck nicely into my hand at times… Since the chocolate firms up in no time flat, I had to work quickly on rolling a few in chopped pistachio nuts.

drizzled with white chocolate

The end products are totally adorable and I hope my neighbors will dig on these because I don’t want to see the pops ever again. That was fun, but definitely not my thing. I hope all of you DBers know how much I freaking love you guys because I was not wanting to finish this challenge this morning…

jolly little lollies

a bouquet for you… no really

To see the different cheesecake pops cropping up all over the foodblogosphere, check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll. I think we’ve reached something like a billion members now. I’d also like to thank Lis, Ivonne, Andy, and Katrina for the new and wonderful DB website which doesn’t put me in the foulest of moods the way freaking Blogger did. Thank YOU!! xxoo

Cheesecake Pops
[print recipe]
Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor
makes 30–40 pops

5 8-oz. pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream

boiling water as needed
thirty-forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 lb. chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbsps vegetable shortening
assorted decorations: chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees (optional)

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Set some water to boil. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream. Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight. When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety. Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

100 nibbles at “daring bakers: cheesecake pops”

  1. Shellyfish says:

    Beautiful finished photos- I love the contrast between the swirly chocolate ones & the pistache covered ones.

  2. Chelle says:

    Absolutely beautiful photos! And your pops look wonderful!

  3. Dagmar says:

    The pops are beautiful and so are the photos!

  4. Laura @ HungryAndFrozen says:

    Heh, these things are popping up all over the place, as it were. Seriously adorable, but I sorta agree with you – who would have thought of rolling balls of cheesecake and skewering the darn things? However now that I’m seeing everyone’s finished results I wish I had a ‘bouquet’ of my own :) They look gorgeous, and good on you for not flinging the whole thing out the window halfway through.

  5. Sarah says:

    Your pops look great! I agree that these didn’t become “balls” willingly!

  6. Courtney says:

    These look heavenly. I love your decorationg. For a messy project your pops came out perfect. I agree that a good cheesecake isnt ment for scooping.

  7. jasmine says:

    These look absolutely stunning. Glad there were a few of us who decided to make these with one brick…couldn’t imagine four dozen-ish of these living in my freezer…


  8. Mary says:

    Your pops turned out great. Sounds like you and I were on the same page with this challenge. We both did some math to cut down the recipe, used small ramekins and bamboo skewers. Even my messy spoon looked the same as yours!

  9. Kim says:

    They turned out just fabulous, despite your not enjoying this challenge. I love the way your chocolate coated the pops, did you add anything to it to make the chocolate thin?
    Love the pistachios!

  10. jennywenny says:

    They still look absolutely wonderful, I hope your neighbours enjoy them. I felt a bit down about this challenge too, it didnt really inspire me, but I do love cheesecake, so at least I enjoyed that part! Hope you feel better soon.

  11. Andrea says:

    Those balls were so so sticky, weren’t they? Your pops turned out lovely.

    Sorry to hear about the troubles with chemo, and I hope you are feeling better soon.

  12. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    How in the world did you get such very perfect balls? And your “dips” are beautiful.
    Totally excellent.

  13. White On Rice Couple says:

    Wow, if you sold those down here, people would go crazy! Will ya send a dozen of those to me? Or even better, you can use my kitchen and make two dozen of those for me when you come for a visit!

  14. veron says:

    Your cheesecake pops looks so adorable! Great job!

  15. Gretchen Noelle says:

    So sorry this just didn’t make you day. They look lovely nevertheless and I am sure the tasted great. Loved the idea of fifthing the recipe. I *do* like cheesecake but could not imagine so many pops around.

  16. desie the maybahay says:

    hard to decide which one i prefer. i love the colour of pistachio against the choc and the dripped white chocolate looks fantastic. great job.

  17. Bridget says:

    Total pain in the ass…I agree. First there was cream cheese everywhere, and then there was chocolate everywhere. And, yes, they were too soft and fell right off the sticks.

    Fortunately, I do actually like cheesecake, so in the end, I was happy.

  18. mimi says:

    wow, gorgeous looking pops from someone who doesn’t like cheesecake and wasn’t thrilled about the challenge! i’m sure your neighbors will love them. and great idea about the bamboo skewers (how come i didn’t think about that one?)

  19. Susan says:

    We are honored that you finished because you love us! And finished in grand style, as usual. Feel better soon.

  20. Tartelette says:

    I am so happy you got around to making them, great team spirit! They look so classy and adorable!

  21. farida says:

    Jen, your pops are beautiful! You got those perfect rounds I struggled to make with mine (i eventually gave up on making rounds:)) Beautiful pictures! Yum!

  22. peabody says:

    A bouquet of cheesecake is the way to go…much better than flowers.

  23. Deborah says:

    You are truly daring! They look amazing – great job!

  24. Diana Banana says:

    wow, can i be your neighbor?!? it seems they always get the treats you make. you really are a trooper for having made these so beautiful, even though you weren’t into the challenge.

  25. Nemmie says:

    Those are absolutely gorgeous – I love the pistachio!

  26. Robyn says:

    Your pops look gorgeous! I’m another person who did 1/5 of the recipe because I don’t really like cheesecake. I hope you feel better and take care of yourself!

  27. June says:

    Your pops look beautiful! Great job.

  28. Chris says:

    Your pops look perfect! Styroform…thats what I needed (and bigger sticks). Beautiful!

  29. Elle says:

    Perfect pops, even though they ar not your thing…so glad you participated this month…as usual your photos are fantastic…I want that chocolate dripping pop just becasue of the photo.

  30. Michelle says:

    Wow. Those are some gorgeous pops! I’m sure your neighbors are going to be thrilled!

  31. Gabi says:

    You are a rock- you pull out these beautiful pops after feeling like crap and not wanting to eat the final result too? Is there such a thing as type GigaA personality? :) I think you’re amazing and I hope you feel better every day and I send you all the healing energy I can.

  32. Tarah says:

    Oh wow! Your pops came out beautifully! And the pistachio nuts… That’s got to be amazing. I wanted to have some chopped nuts, however, I didn’t have any on hand :[

    I love following your blog. You always come up with such beautiful creations :]

  33. deb says:

    Sweet mercy, these all look so good. But my first thought was, scoop cheesecake? Does that work? Yet nobody’s pictures–including yours–look like you even struggled, so you all must hide it well.

  34. kellypea says:

    Yes, I was a bit worried too, about having a trillion of those pop thingys around. It’s not like they’re calorieless, right? Tomorrow morning, they are so headed for the middle school office down the street! And for not feeling the lurve on this challenge, those are some pops you’ve got! The pistachios are way cool, and it looks like you found the perfect container to arrange them in. *sigh* Quite swell, I’d say. Bravo!

  35. maybelles mom says:

    yours came out so round–and lovely. good job.

  36. megan says:

    I showed my husband how round your balls were and he fell over laughing.
    They look great. Seriously, nice and round!

  37. Susan at StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Jen- You’re such a trooper! And your pops are so beautiful! How in the world did you get them so round? I’m glad you got to finish the challenge. I was selfishly waiting to see how yours looked. I hope you feel better soon. :)

  38. Melanie says:

    I think you are the second or third DBer that ended up with splinters from the bamboo sticks. Not fun! Regardless your pops look fabulous – I royally screwed up my cheesecake “balls” and had to go with squares. I have no idea how you got yours scooped and rounded so well. They are lovely – and I agree with everyone else, kudos to you for going forward with this feeling ill (and not terribly excited about it)!

  39. Karen says:

    By looking at your photos, I would have never guessed this wasn’t any fun for you. These look amazing! And I hope your neighbors really appreciated all of your trouble.

  40. Sabina says:

    Jen– how amazing that you not only produced the most exquisite example of this recipe, but that you pushed to complete the challenge in the face of overwhelming well, challenge. Tenacious, fortitude abounds in your essence. Sending you healing thoughts.

  41. Gigi says:

    Jen, you did an amazing job on your pops and the photos! And I just wanted to say thanks for mentioning Wahibs! We had dinner there last night and it was really good! I live in Pasadena, so if have any great dinning suggestions am all ears. I am fairly new to Southern CA, which means I am still finding all the great spots. :)

  42. steph says:

    wow, that is a fabulous bouquet! i agree, cheesecake was not meant to be scooped. how’d you get yours so spherical? i also did 1/5 batch, and though they are cute, couldn’t imagine having more lollies than that!

  43. kk says:

    your pops are wonderful!! the pistachio one is my favorite of the bunch. mmmm…yum!

  44. Rosa says:

    What pretty looking cheesecake pops! Wonderfully decorated and perfect! Very well done!



  45. rachel says:

    Perfect pops there..I’m surprised you didn’t have fun…great pics!

  46. Sathya says:

    Wow! I’m so glad you did, I have to say your pops are the best ones I’ve seen so far! Wonderful. I didn’t have so much luck!

  47. Kaykat says:

    Whoa! Those are insanely pretty looking. And so symmetrical! I think the pistachio ones are the best of the lot, I loved them :)

  48. HoneyB says:

    Your pops look beautiful! I hope to be as faithful as you!

  49. Y says:

    Ooh I love the shot of the pop being dipped into chocolate. Very tantalising !

  50. Mrs Ergül says:

    I agree with White on Rice Couple, you could have sold yours! Consistent sizes, neat coating & topping. Good job!

  51. BC says:

    Some challenges are more fun than others. You’re still an A-1 Daring Baker even if it wasn’t your cup of tea.

  52. Candace says:

    Gorgeous! You got them to be so perfectly round and smooth… I had to cheat a bit and mold mine!

  53. Esther says:

    Well done for doing the challenge even though you didn’t feel like it. I certainly appreciate it and feel humbled as I wimped out on the last couple due to illness. Your photos always look so wonderful it amazes me that even when you feel dreadful you manage to do such bright, uplifting pictures it always makes my day to check them out.

  54. Ashley says:

    Your balls are so perfectly round! And the white chocolate drizzle ones look amazing! I haven’t experimented with chocolate drizzling too much so I must perfect that. Mine will probably come out in big globby lines at first. Hope you’re feeling better!

  55. Katie B. says:

    And we love you right back! Great pops!

  56. Madam Chow says:

    I almost bailed on this one, too, but in the end, I’m glad I didn’t. Your pops and your photos look beautiful (as usual!)

  57. fanny says:

    Jen, you made me laugh so hard. And I’m at work (?) being exploited as an intern would be a better definition of my ‘job’ though!

    I kind of liked those pops, mainly because they looked pretty; but I HATED having to use my hands to roll those little buggers. Luckily, the dipping was fun – if only the chocolate didn’t set that fast!

    And yep, my kitchen was a mess.

    xx fanny

  58. Emma says:

    I love the pistachios – they give an AMAZING pop of (my favourite) colour!
    Kudos on the beautiful photos as well!!!

  59. Antonio Tahhan says:

    The pistachios give the desserts such a cool Middle Eastern look (that’s how they top ALL desserts in the ME). I love your bouquet, too!
    ps. I saved myself the whole trouble of scooping/dipping by not using sticks. You should try it out this way, it’s a lot less frustrating

  60. RecipeGirl says:

    I agree that these little suckers were quite difficult to make. How frustrating it was to have your hands completely sticky and covered in cheesecake goo. As you mentioned, cheesecake is not meant for scooping or rolling or the like. That said, we loved these treats. They were fun to decorate. And I’ve seen some good ideas for other decor. Yours look fab- great pics too!

  61. maria~ says:

    What beautiful creations! I cannot believe I didn’t think of crushed pistachios because I simply love love love nuts!

  62. kimberleyblue says:

    Yours are so, so, so nice! You got them so round and smooth!

    Love the pistachio, and the white chocolate stripes. Great job.

  63. manggy says:

    Yowza, 62 comments in less than a day! To be different, I’ll just say that I think that your pops are teh suck. JUST KIDDING! :P Unless by that I mean I would hoover them straight into mah tummy in a second. Goodness, those perfect spheres are you having difficulty? You got mad skillz, Jen (okay, where did all this jargon come from?)!

    And yes, Math is my friend too! You and I would so get along in our dessert-economy :D

  64. Amy J says:

    Oh, God bless ya! Your pops look awesome.

  65. Christina says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, Jen! I almost wished I had shaped mine into balls, though not because… yeah, epic messiness. :D

    I love the way the pistachios contrast nicely against the chocolate.

  66. Cakespy says:

    Dudette, these are HOT! LOVE the drizzle and the pistachios visually…and am willing to wager a guess that I’d like the taste as well. Lovely!

  67. Meeta says:

    These are so very chic! I agree with the craptastic mess though! However, my dad always said it’s the result that always counts and girl your result is supetastic!

  68. Chez US says:

    They turned out GREAT! Glad you were able to do the challenge and hoping you are feeling better after chemo!

  69. Kevin says:

    Your pops look amazing! Great job with the drizzle.

  70. Christine says:

    Your pops have left me speechless. Beautiful and perfectly round! I like that you downsized the recipe!

    Hope you are feeling better. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  71. cookworm says:

    I agree, they weren’t my thing at all, either. Yours looks really perfect, though!

  72. Sara says:

    Those look fantastic! I love the drizzled ones. Way to go on cutting the recipe back so much, I wish I’d done that.

  73. Jaime says:

    your bouquet is beautiful jen! i love the pistachio covered ones! i wish i had thought of the styrofoam trick!

  74. pixie o says:

    your pops are amazingly neat! lovely!

  75. Lisa says:

    Wow, they look gorgeous! Shame you didn’t really like the challenge, but I guess not every challenge can float everyone’s boat, can it? I’m not a big fan of lemon meringue pie, and I still baked it back in Jan. Wish it came out looking half as nice as your pops did, though. :p

  76. tina says:

    They are Beautiful!! Great job. Kudos for doing them!!

  77. Christine says:

    Jen – I really like how you used the bamboo skewers instead of lolly sticks. I love the photos of the sunbursting pops. The pistachio and white chocolate drizzle really add a nice touch. I hope the inflammation is getting better :)

  78. Ivonne says:

    Love ’em, Jen!

    Especially the white-chocolate drizzled ones. They’re so perfect and uniform. Nice job!

  79. Steph says:

    Your pops look fantastic! How in the world did you get them rolled into perfect little balls? I had the hardest time with that step! Great job!

  80. LINA @ my life is yummy says:

    I simply cannot get enough of your wonderful blog and amazingly beautiful photos!!! I just joined DB and will be starting next month. Yeay~!

  81. Randi says:

    Totally beautiful with the pistachios! I was dying for mine rolled in nuts, but alas, we were out. I’ll dream of your cheesecake pops dipped in nuts tonight :)

  82. jenyu says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments! I’m feeling much better now and only have one more chemo to go!!!

    Kim – I only added the shortening per the instructions of the recipe. I did shake off a lot of the excess before it solidified.

    WoRC – hon, if they wouldn’t turn into a mushy mess in transit, I would TOTALLY send you a dozen :)

    Mark – you made me laugh so hard!! Your use of jargon is hi-larious.

    Christine – yup, inflammation has gone away (until the next round!)

  83. Barbara says:

    Your pops are gorgeous!

  84. Lisa says:

    You crack me up!! I don’t think I’ve felt that way (yet) about a DB challenge, but there have been other events and/or reasons I had to bake/make/cook something that I just wanted no part of.. so I feel your pain. heheheee!

    Well regardless of your dislike of this challenge you fakkin blew me away with your adorable pops! How did the neighbors like them, btw?

    I’m glad you are cruisin’ along.. knew you would.. you make me happy. :)


  85. jenyu says:

    Lisa – thanks woman :) The neighbors loved them! Most normal people do – I’m just a dork is all ;) xxoo

  86. Aaron says:

    I recently got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. On the the inside, Yeah, I’m sobbing.

  87. Foodaholic says:

    Wow, those are great. My mouth is watering just thinking of the different variations!

  88. marion-il en faut peu pour ... says:

    fantastic job !!!!!!
    I’m discovering your blog thanks to the DB challenges and I’m so impressed by the quality of your photos/your dishes :) thanks a lot !

  89. jenyu says:

    Aaron – that sucks, but there are a lot of steps you can take to manage your condition. Best of luck with that and I wish you health and strength.

  90. renaedujour says:

    I can’t see your photos and it is KILLING ME! Love the recipe, love the site and I will check back because I must see these things. :)

  91. renaedujour says:

    There they are my lovelies…. Wow. I must make these and display them in a glass vase. That is perfect!

  92. Food Blogs: Porn for Bakers « if only I had a kitchen says:

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  93. Diane says:

    Thanks for making them! They’re so pretty! I might be tempted to make them but I know mine won’t look as nice as that! I have much less patience than you.

  94. RavingRecipes says:

    OMG! These look AMAZING!! I can’t wait to try this recipe! This blog is awesome!

  95. Little Miss Cupcake says:

    Um, wow! These look fantastic! What a GREAT idea!!!

  96. Cheesecacke Pops by Taste and Tell and by Feeding My Enthusiasms « De (au)Gustibus says:

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  97. Patty H says:

    Just came across these on your site, and these pops look so good! I admit, I’ve only seen cake pops….not cheese cake pops, but I’m thinking they may actually be easier to make. I just made some cakepops this past weekend, and some were too sweet, but with less buttercream mixed in, they didn’t hold up to the dipping well. So, back to the kitchen, but maybe this time, it’ll be cheese cake pops!

  98. Regina says:

    I’m new to this, how did you use the bamboo skewers, did you cut them?

  99. jenyu says:

    Regina – I had short bamboo skewers (like you would use for appetizers), not the full length. I think I found them at a cookware store.

  100. Pat says:

    these look fabulous and a much better alternative than cake balls for me…thanks for sharing

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