What’s On Your Plate? Caramelized Orange Cheesecake

Each year – for maybe five years now – my only non-negotiable birthday demand request I have for my husband is for him to make his Caramelized Orange Cheesecake. I don’t need a card (although always appreciated) and I certainly don’t need presents to open. Just gimme that rich cream cheese and citrus goodness and I will happily turn a year older (not really, but it seems to happen with or without cheesecake so… cheesecake).

The cheesecake alone is heaven itself (if heaven includes a splash of Grand Mariner, and why wouldn’t it?) but the pièce de résistance – and what really makes it special – are the rings of thinly-sliced caramelized oranges placed on top. This isn’t a quick, simple cheesecake to make – although it’s also not overly complicated, either – but the results are worth the time and effort… believe me. (Of course, you might point out that it’s easy for me to say that since, as the birthday girl, I’m not putting in either the time or the effort, but that wouldn’t be nice.)

Wednesday, he caramelized, baked, and assembled…

Orange slices are caramelized until candied and translucent.
Springform pan lined with parchment paper.
Cheesecake filling poured on top of graham cracker crust. (Don’t forget to remove the clips before the pan goes in the oven.)
Caramelized orange slices placed on top of baked cheesecake.

Last night, we enjoyed the delicious results.

Isn’t it beautiful? (We love the orange slices so we add a lot of them.)
Fortunately, I remembered to get a picture before devouring my slice.


Are you interested in giving the recipe a try (or better yet, convincing someone else to make it for you)? The recipe with step-by-step instructions and notes is too long to include in this post but if you’d like it, contact me and I will be happy to send it to you. It’s worth every calorie… trust me.

So, What’s on your plate? Share your delectable deliciousnesses (or kitchen disasters – we all have been there) via Deb‘s and Donna’s monthly challenge. Just click on the blue Inlinkz button at the end of their posts to add your link and/or to see what others have shared.

Author: Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

123 thoughts on “What’s On Your Plate? Caramelized Orange Cheesecake”

  1. I’m vouching for Janis – this is the best cheese cake recipe ever. Even better, her husband makes it. I made it for my husband’s birthday and he loved it. It’s a little extra work over my usual cheese cake recipe, but well worth it. That’s an awfully small slice you have there Janis!

  2. That looks fabulous. And happy birthday! I’ll send you a note so you can please email me the recipe. Yum.

      1. Happy birthday my long lost friend! And yes I want the recipe or Paul can just make me one.😊😎

  3. After irrevocably burning a pan in an attempt to create a caramelized dessert with a friend back in school, I have nothing but respect for people who can pull it off! Many wishes for a wonderful birthday 🥳

  4. Im still not sure why Paul did not make this cheesecake for me when you visited this past summer. Okay, so perhaps it was not my birthday but I’m sure that there was a holiday or two in there somewhere! 🙂
    Thank you so much for linking up with us.
    And happy, happy birthday!

  5. As soon as I saw the parchment paper and the clothes pins, I said to myself – oh yeah, I remember Janis mentioning Paul is an engineer 😁. This cheesecake has always looked amazing to me, and BTW it was JUST past my birthday when you guys came to the island. Just sayin’ 😉


  6. This cheesecake looks truly amazing, and are you one lucky woman to have a hubby who bakes it for you. Happy Birthday. Maybe you need to celebrate your birthday and your half-birthday so you could enjoy it twice a year. 🙂

  7. hm…. why doesn’t my engineer bake for me? Although I would want a chocolate raspberry cheesecake and I make a mean one! I have never used parchment paper in my springform pan — I’ve never had issues with it sticking. I am pretty sure this is as good as it looks. I mean Grand Marnier is a win. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY. January birthday’s give us something to look forward to. Bernie

    1. That’s a very good point, Mary! I do feel very lucky to have a husband who grants this very specific request every year… and does so happily (although, the fact that he gets to share in the results may have something to do with that 🙂 ).

  8. Janis, this looks as good as it probably is, scrumptious. We love anything orange, so we will need to give this a try. Thanks, Keith

  9. I have never seen such a beautiful thing and I am jealous that you get one every year! Yummy!
    Happy belated Birthday 😀

  10. Mmmm!😋 One of these days I might just have to buy a springform pan. That does look like the best way to celebrate (?) getting another year older.

  11. Hi – the cheesecake looks REALLY good.
    When I was little, I got a cheesecake on my birthday every year for about five years – it started on accident because my mom was in a pinch and that was all the store had. And to all cheesecake is the same – I felt bad – but last month, my MIL had a small tray of cheesecakes and I took two bites and could not finish it – it was in a fancy package and came from a nice stores bakery – but it tasted like the box recipe – yuk. So it was easy to not eat. However, “good” cheesecake is a gift and it looks like your orange one here is a gem. mmmm

    1. I’ve had bad cheesecake too and it’s… well… bad. I had a friend in college whose mother was writing a cheesecake cookbook. Every week or so she’d send him her newest creation. That was when I learned what a fabulous cheesecake tasted like.

      1. omg – a cheesecake cookbook – and then to as maple some varieties is awesome – and also upped the situation for you because once you taste the higher end recipes (or well done) there is no going back.
        and janis, the cheesecake at MIL’s I was so disappointing because I was really looking forward to indulging – it came from a nice store and that cool package was deceiving – there was fresh fruit out and so I took my slice and added fresh blueberries – and two strawberries – mmm – but nope- two bites and no mas. hahaha

  12. oh and regarding the recipe – you should make a pdf of it and then upload that – because then that way people can see it without sign you to send it – and I was curious to skim it to see why ingredients he used – but no worries on sending it – I was just curious –
    But I used pdf’s for short stories and it helps to share content without a long post

      1. wow – excel for recipes- guess that excel can do it all! ha
        if you do get the pdf, I would love to see the ingredients list – last year we experimented with making keto friendly pies – and would love to develop a cheesecake.
        In summer 2020 we had key lime cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and it was one of the best pieces of cheesecake I have ever had. Something about the citrus – and so I can see why the oranges are a hit with your spouse’s recipe – mmmm

  13. First of all, Happy Birthday, Janis! And wow, this orange cheesecake looks scrumptious! I love how you included photos on the structural baking process too! I hope you enjoyed every luscious bite. We are still eating dessert leftovers… diet? Schmiet. LOL! Have a great week!

  14. Dang, that looks good! Personally, I’m proud that I managed to make myself a pumpkin pie last week….using the recipe on the Libby’s can of pumpkin. LOL!

  15. That cheesecake looks decadent Janis, but it’s healthy due to the Vitamin C from the oranges right?! Years ago, there was a baker who owned a cheesecake store … all she made was cheesecakes. Every time someone at work left, had a baby, got married, etc., it called for cheesecake. We’d collect enough $ to buy several cheesecakes. She had many flavors. I think that’s the last time I had cheesecake and it melted in your mouth!

  16. This looks divine, Janis. As soon as I convince someone to bake it for me, I’ll get that recipe. 😁 Also, happy belated birthday!

      1. I emailed her the link to your post. She has yet to say anything. Something about finals…. I don’t know. Clearly she needs to prioritize feeding her mom over schoolwork.

          1. I know, right? I’m so ashamed. But recently I found her staring at her laptop screen. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’m looking at pictures of cake,” she said. Apparently there’s hope for her yet!

  17. Happy Birthday, Janis. That cheesecake looks delish! And what a special treat that your husband made it for you. I make a pretty fine no-sugar cheesecake, but have never tried a caramelized orange topping. Wow. The presentation is exquisite and I’ll bet it tastes like heaven. 🙂 🙂

    1. A sugarless cheesecake sounds interesting… what do you use as a sweetener? I find that I can’t eat sweet and rich foods like I used to… and actually prefer a less sweet taste. Anyway, my birthday cake is pretty awesome and we are sad when we finally eat the last bite.

      1. My husband is pre-diabetic so we’re very careful about sugary foods. I use a product called “Swerve.” The main ingredient is Erythritol, non-GMO made from plants. No artificial ingredients, preservatives, or flavors. And it’s a 1:1 with sugar so easy to use. (I sound like a commercial!) We did quite a bit of research before settling on it and are happy with it. But we also don’t eat it in huge quantites either… except those once a year cheesecakes!

  18. Janis, this looks better than good. If I were eating sweets, I’d want to eat the whole thing! If you bring it over, I’d definitely try a bite. 🙂

  19. I was just reading your short story and discovered that I missed this post! I don’t think I got a notification. But I had to go back and read this because I adore cheesecake—and because I don’t want to miss any of your posts! Homemade cheesecake with caramelized oranges sounds divine! How sweet that your husband makes it for you. Such a lovely birthday tradition. And by the way, happy belated birthday. I hope this will be a wonderful year for you.

    1. Thank you! That cheesecake makes my (often) cold, early January birthday so much more enjoyable. We are always sad to eat the last pieces (yes, I’m nice enough to share it with him), but I think since it’s just once a year, it makes it more special.

    1. I wasn’t able to leave a comment on your post, so I’ll do it here… your no-bake cheesecake sounds wonderful, and simple! I assume I can use graham crackers for “digestive biscuits” but I’m not sure how “double cream” translates to the U.S. (maybe sour cream?).

      1. Hi Janis. I don’t know if it would be sour cream, but it might be whipping cream? You’d need cream that whips up really thick (and stays thick).
        If you make it, I hope you enjoy it.

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