Sopapilla Cheesecake: Two Ways

Food-snob alert: If you detest recipes that start with, “Take one tube of dough…”, avert your eyes.  This recipe is definitely not for you. It is full of refined sugars, chemical preservatives, saturated fat, and processed carbs.  It bears the name Sopapilla without having the slightest resemblance to the actual, authentic Mexican flatbread.  The food snob part of me is embarrassed to share this recipe.  The food lover in me can’t help it.  It’s just so freakin’ good.

It’s so good, in fact, that I’ve made it three times in a week.  So good, that the last time I made it, I fell into one of my common mental anguish moments while cooking something so tasty: Do I dare innovate, or leave it well enough alone? I can have an idea of how to make it better, but then I get worried that it won’t be as good as the tried-and-true original and I’ll be left still craving it.  So, instead of just sucking it up and trying something new, I do what any neurotic baker would do- make both and recruit my friends and family for a side-by-side taste test. Obviously.

It started when I went to the store for the cream cheese and I saw some seriously beautiful strawberries.  Well, beautiful in a grocery store, beginning-of-June kind of way.  And I thought, why not chop some up and throw them in the filling?  Surely a little fruit wouldn’t hurt the carb-fest that is this recipe.

So, basically, I made a full recipe, but split it into two pans- one plain, one strawberry.  Then, I let friends and family taste both and vote on which was better.  And the winner is… well I have no idea, because half liked the plain and half liked the strawberry.  And I didn’t even vote, because I couldn’t decide.  They were both delicious.  The plain was good in a decadent, comfort food kind of way- simply a crispy, flaky crust atop a creamy cheesecake filling.  The cinnamon sugar tastiness of it all is familiar and just as you’d expect- delicious.  The strawberry makes it a little more interesting, admittedly, but not wildly so.  It does cut the straight-up sweetness a little bit, which I like, but it also made the finished product a little soggier.  I imagine if you just added a few minutes to the baking time, that wouldn’t be so much of a problem.  Or, as one noble taste tester noted, “I like the sogginess.”

While I try to figure out what exactly that means, give it a try for yourself.  Either way, you won’t regret it.  Until you feel obligated to eat salad for dinner after scarfing down the better part of the pan.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

This recipe can easily be halved and made in a single 8×8 pan.  But you should be warned that if you make a half recipe that they will be gone entirely too quickly.

2 cans crescent rolls (even better if you can find the find without perforations)
2 (8oz) packages softened cream cheese
1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup diced strawberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Unroll and spread one can crescent rolls on bottom of ungreased 9×13 pan (or 2 8x8s).

Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread mixture over crescent rolls. If using strawberries, sprinkle them on top of cream cheese mixture.

Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture.

Mix 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Pour melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.



Filed under Baking, Dessert

7 responses to “Sopapilla Cheesecake: Two Ways

  1. Kerry

    I made half a batch and realized after they were in the oven that I had used a full cup of sugar in the cream cheese mixture! Since I can’t eat anything with flour in it, I can’t tell you if they were too sweet as a result of the extra sugar, but received no complaints and more than one request for the recipe.

    • Ha… Kerry, people rarely complain when you double the sugar, do they? Just watch, next time you make them, with the correct amount of sugar, they’ll complain because they were sweeter last time! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Homemade Ricotta | but i'm hungry

  3. Owen

    Wouldn’t leaving the pan ungreased make it harder to clean?

    • Hi Owen! You know, there is a good amount of butter in this, which keeps it from sticking to the bottom pan. But if you’d feel better greasing it, I’m sure that would be ok. OR, you could use one of my favorite tricks and line the pan with foil. If you do that, just make sure that the foil is nice and snug and pressed down into the pan. That makes clean-up even easier! Hope that helps clarify… 🙂

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