Mardi Gras Cheesecake is one of our favorite desserts at that time. Everywhere you look it's King Cake, this creamy simple cheesecake with a graham cracker crust just gives us a break from the New Orleans classic.
In Louisiana, the Mardi Gras celebration (fat Tuesday) is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the last night before lent.
It's kind of a big deal and runs for weeks before with carnivals and mardi gras parades happening in almost every town around Louisiana.
❤️ Why you'll love it
- Who doesn't love cheesecake - and cooking it this way means you won't need to cook in a water bath or anything. It's easier.
- A simple sprinkling of Mardi Gras colored sanding sugar and bam! You have a delicious Mardi Gras themed dessert. Easy use of festive sprinkles.
- King Cake always seems to take center stage at this time, so it's great to change things up here and there.
- It's the perfect treat after a full meal - depending on the size of the slice it can feel quite light.
- This is a great dessert to bring to a Mardi Gras party. It's a pure taste of carnival season.
- If you've tried Copeland's cheesecake (a famous restaurant in South Louisiana) it's fantastic and although it has a more King Cake Cheesecake flavor, their signature cheesecake inspired me to making this.
- Seasonal Cheesecakes are the best.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs
- Granulated Sugar
- Light Brown Sugar
- Cream Cheese
- Vanilla Extract
- Sour Cream
- Purple, green and yellow sanding sugar.
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities.
- Step 1: Mix together the Graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and press the crumb mixture into a springform pan.
- Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer add the cream cheese and lightly mix until creamy.
- Step 3: Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, salt and lightly beaten eggs (one at a time) and on low, mix until no yellow streaks.
- Step 4: Pour the cream cheese filling in an even layer, on top of the crumb and bake in the oven for 75 minutes, then allow to cool slowly in the oven with the door open for 10 minutes, before pulling out and allowing to cool to room temperature - before refrigerating.
- Step 5: Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, before sprinkling the sanding sugars and serving.
Hint: Just before the cheesecake has set I like to run the back of the handle of a spoon/fork in circular motions on top of the cheesecake batter, to form ridges. This makes nice little valleys for the sanding sugar to collect in.
🔄 Substitutions and Variations
- White Chocolate - instead of sanding sugar you could melt some white chocolate, color it with food dye and drizzle over the top instead.
- Mini Mardi Gras Cheesecakes - using cupcake liners you could make some cute little Mardi Gras mini cheesecakes using this same recipe.
- Warm King Cake rum sauce - pour a little over the top when serving. You can thank me later.
- Cinnamon Streusel - you could sprinkle a little of this on top before baking to have a more of a crumble on top. All you need is flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon.
- Brown Sugar Cinnamon Butter - drizzle a little.
- Gold-Colored Sugar Sprinkles - to add more pezazz!
- King Cake Crumbles - This would be almost like a cinnamon streusel.
- Dusting of Cinnamon - Simple, but tastes good.
- King Cake Base - Try taking a little King Cake and making a base out of that.
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You'll need some mixing bowls, a stand mixer and a springform pan.
I have some affiliate links for the equipment I used in the recipe card below.
📘 Related Recipes
- Mardi Gras Beignets (aka. King Cake Beignets)
- Pecan Praline King Cake
- King Cake Cinnamon Rolls
- Biscuit Beignets
- King Cake Bites
Once the cheesecake has set and been served, if you have leftovers (and I'll be shocked) store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best practice.
Expert Tip: The MOST important point about making a cheesecake is do not overbeat the cream cheese. If there is air in the mixture it will rise in the oven then create a crater in the middle. It's just not pretty.
If you’ve tried this Mardi Gras Cheesecake Recipe or any other great recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section below, how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- 1-½ Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
- 7 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
- 32oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- ⅔ Cup Sour Cream
- 1-½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- 4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
- Purple, green and yellow sanding sugar (topping)
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a medium bowl and the crust ingredients and mix well. Spoon into a 9" springform pan and press down with the back of a flat measuring cup until evenly leveled out.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer add the cream cheese and mix with the paddle attachment, on low, just until mixed.
- Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla and salt and mix again, on low, just until combined.
- Using a fork, individually mix an egg at a time in a small bowl before adding to the cream cheese mixture. Add one at a time and mix in just a little, until no more yellow is seen. On low.
- Pour this cream cheese mixture on top of the crumbs then bake in the oven for 75 minutes.
- Check the pan, give it a little shake, as long as the center of the cheesecake jiggles a little that's good, it will set.
- Turn off the oven and keep the oven door open for 10 minutes, then remove the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cover and set into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours - preferably overnight.
- Sprinkle with the sanding sugars when you're ready to serve.
It's important not to overmix the cheesecake or it will rise due to the air in the batter.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 769Total Fat 57gSaturated Fat 32gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 246mgSodium 528mgCarbohydrates 54gFiber 1gSugar 40gProtein 12g