Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Hands-on Time
45 Mins
Total Time
13 Hours 45 Mins
Makes 10 to 12 servings

This gorgeous, festive cake marries two favorite holiday cake flavors: red velvet and cheesecake.  The cake features layers of white chocolate cheesecake alternated with red velvet cake layers, topped with white chocolate frosting and candy "leaves". 

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Cheesecake Layers: Preheat oven to 300°. Line bottom and sides of 2 disposable cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

Step 2

Microwave white chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl according to package directions; cool 10 minutes.

Step 3

Beat cream cheese and melted chocolate at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in 1 Tbsp. vanilla. Pour into prepared pans.

Step 4

Bake at 300° for 30 to 35 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecakes stand in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes. Remove from oven to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours). Cover and chill 8 hours, or freeze 24 hours to 2 days.

Step 5

Prepare Red Velvet Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat 1 cup butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add 6 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Step 6

Stir together flour and next 2 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla; stir in food coloring. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch disposable cake pans.

Step 7

Bake at 350° for 20 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 hour).

Step 8

Prepare Frosting: Whisk together chocolate and 1/2 cup boiling water until chocolate melts. Cool 20 minutes; chill 30 minutes.

Step 9

Beat 1 cup butter and chilled chocolate mixture at low speed until blended. Beat at medium speed 1 minute. Increase speed to high; beat 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.

Step 10

Assemble Cake: Place 1 layer Red Velvet on a serving platter. Top with 1 layer Cheesecake. Repeat with remaining layers of Red Velvet and Cheesecake, alternating and ending with Red Velvet on top. Spread top and sides of cake with White Chocolate Frosting. Store in refrigerator.

Ratings & Reviews

SariGoldberg's Review

December 26, 2014
Made this to bring to Christmas Eve dinner and it was superb! It was time consuming and very LARGE. In fact, we cut each slice in half and it was more than enough per person. I took the advice of previous writers and used the Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix. I needed two boxes for all 3 layers, which left enough over to make cupcakes for the grandkids! It was just a fabulous cake, however, I would not make it as described in the future. I believe that half the recipe (2 red velvet and one cheese cake layer) would have been more than enough. Since I was bringing it as a guest to a dinner, I did not want to change anything now, but in the future I would definitely only halve the recipe. It still would be delicious. I did take someone's suggestion and brought and electric knife to slice it. Worked like a charm, thank you! I also froze the sections over night and used a bit of the frosting in between the layers. So to all of those who tried this before me - THANK YOU!

wade40's Review

February 23, 2014
I made this cake using my red velvet cake recipe and it turned out awesome,my recipe yields 4 layers so you can make two separate cakes having only one layer of cheese cake. I didn't like the frosting so I used the classic cream cheese frosting. This cake is outstanding and beautiful and my family and friends LOVE IT, OMG

cbsopp's Review

November 19, 2014
This cake is wonderful! I did a trial run to make sure it was holiday-worthy; and it was. I did make a few changes. I added 1/2 cup of oil and a pinch of salt to the red velvet recipe. It was perfectly moist. I added 8oz cream cheese and 1 tsp vanilla to the frosting. It is labor intensive, so don't be in a hurry when you are making this. I let each layer cool then froze for a few hours. I also put just a tad of icing between each layer to keep it from sliding. After applying icing, I froze the cake overnight. I let it thaw and it held its shape perfectly. Next time I make it I am going to make two cakes with the recipe instead of one by slicing the red velvet cakes. It was far too tall to fit into a cake carrier or refrigerator. Eat sparingly as it is very rich and will upset your tummy. Forgot to mention, I also replaced the water with heavy whipping cream.

Awesome inspiration

December 21, 2015
Totally love this. I made it for Thanksgiving 2013, when the issue flew off the shelf into my shopping cart. I changed it up a bit with a traditional red velvet cake and cream cheese icing. I made the chocolate leaves on the backs of fresh bay leaves. So much fun!! Making again for New Years eve this year :)

KristyDawn's Review

November 22, 2014
I made this cake last year for Christmas. It is a time consuming cake to make--but, worth every moment. It looked like a professional cake and tasted AMAZING! I had so many compliments on this cake; including the pastry chef from The Mansion in Dallas. One of the most exclusive restaurants in Dallas. I decorated the top with sugared cranberries. (Used separate recipe for that). It looked amazing with the cranberries on top and around the bottom edges of the cake. I've seen several comments regarding the cake density & moistness. The red velvet portion of this cake is a bit denser than a typical cake; but, it needs to be a bit stiffer to support the weight of the cheesecakes on it. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out beautifully. I would definitely recommend making this for a special occasion.

mdowney's Review

December 17, 2013
Beautiful cake but, as stated, red velvet cake is dense and too dry. Cake is very tall, which makes for an impressive presentation, but presents some very real issues when being cut and served on dessert plates. Will not make again.

tsue22's Review

January 25, 2014
Made the cake just like the recipe read. Awesome, delicious and impressive. No adjustments needed!

rcembrey's Review

August 21, 2014
I made this for Christmas last year and it was amazing.....such a hit and Beautiful too!

smithj370's Review

January 09, 2014
I've made this twice in the past week. After reading all of the other reviews, I let the ingredients sit to room temperature. The cheesecake layers are amazing. I placed a pie dish 1/2 filled with water on the bottom rack of the over while they were baking and they came out great, no cracks. The first cake I made, I followed the red velvet recipe. I took it to a party and I got a lot of comments about it being very dense. I myself thought it was a bit bland. The second cake I made, I used a red velvet box cake and it was great. It looked just like the photo. Everyone loved the icing. I made it for the holidays so I put crushed candy cane on top of the cake and it gave it an extra bit of flavor and some texture. I will definitely make this again, probably with the box cake or a different red velvet recipe. I would love to know if anyone has substituted the white chocolate in the cheesecake layers for a milk or a dark chocolate? I may try a chocolate version this weekend....

baker54's Review

December 29, 2013
So after reading many reviews I made a few changes to the recipe. First I halved the cheesecake recipe and made the cake with one cheesecake layer and 2 red velvet layers (froze the 3rd layer for later time). The icing I changed by melting the chocolate in 1/2 cup of heavy cream instead of boiling water and adding chocolate. Mixing it with water didn't make sense to me since water will seize chocolate. The cake was delicious but rich. I made it for a dinner party with friends and it was enjoyed by all. I will definitely make this again.