Cheesecake is one of the best desserts to serve at a party: It’s rich, filling, and makes it simple to serve a crowd. It’s hard to eat more than one slice, and there are so many variations that you’ll never run out of recipes to try. Here are 10 kinds of cheesecake that walk on the wild side—try them out for the holidays, as they travel well and are easy to make ahead of time.

1. Ricotta Cheesecake with Blood Orange Marmalade

This cheesecake recipe has an almond biscotti crust and is full of whole-milk ricotta. The blood orange marmalade glaze (which you can make with any winter citrus) adds a delicious tang and some beautiful color. (It can also be used to disguise any cracks that show up if you accidentally overbake the cake by a few minutes.)
Photo and recipe from CHOW

2. Crème Fraîche Cheesecake with Brown Butter Streusel

Brown butter is the first step in making any dessert a show-stopper. This classic cheesecake has a graham cracker crust, but the walnut, graham cracker, and dulce de leche sauce on top is what differentiates it: The crunchy topping is a great contrast to the smooth, creamy base.
Photo and recipe from Bon Appétit

3. Christmas Peppermint Candy Ricotta Cheesecake

Peppermint extract and crushed peppermint candies with white chocolate and sprinkles? This red, white, and green treat with silky ganache is unforgettable. It’s a holiday ricotta cheesecake with chopped mints both in the batter and on top as decoration so the mint flavor really shines.
Photo and recipe from Roxana’s Home Baking

4. Bourbon Banana Pudding Cheesecake

This cheesecake is really two desserts in one: a tasty banana pudding combined with a bourbon cheesecake. It requires a fair amount of assembly so it’s best made the night before, but the Nilla wafer and pecan crust with banana cream cheese filling is worth the work.
Photo and recipe from Apple a Day

5. Ginger-Brandy Mini Cheesecakes

The only thing better than a freshly baked cheesecake is a tray full of mini cheesecakes that you can demolish in a few bites. The gingersnap crust is easy to press into the pan, but you’ll need a special mini cheesecake pan to make sure the cheesecakes separate easily. The fresh ginger and brandy lighten up the sour cream filling, and candied ginger pieces are the perfect garnish.
Photo and recipe from CHOW

6. Chocolate Mint Cheesecake

If you could make a box of Thin Mints into a cheesecake, this is how you would pull it off. The crust is particularly special, made of McVites chocolate digestive biscuits, which are available at specialty and gourmet stores in the U.S. Crème de menthe is what makes this cheesecake such a lovely light green.
Photo and recipe from The Royal Chef

7. Nutella Chocolate Cheesecake

There’s almost an entire cup of Nutella packed into in the batter (along with chopped hazelnuts) of this delicious chocolate cheesecake. And that’s not the only Nutella in the recipe—the topping has an additional 3/4 cup mixed with heavy cream and more toasted hazelnuts for an added crunch.
Photo and recipe from CHOW

8.  Cherry Cheesecake Pie

Part pie, part cheesecake, this cherry dessert has a latticework top and cherry pie filling with a cheesecake middle—a hybrid sweet doesn’t get much better. Feel free to make your own pie crust or substitute a refrigerated one to save time. Sliced almonds pressed into the crust are an elegant final touch.
Photo and recipe from Huffington Post

9. Custom Cheesecake

The most delicious cheesecake is the one you create yourself! This helpful guide lets you pick different fillings and crust combinations for the ultimate custom dessert. With great topping and garnish ideas (chopped fruit and nuts, sauces, cocoa powder, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and even burnt sugar shards), it really has something for everyone and will help you create the perfect cheesecake for the occasion.
Photo and recipe from Fine Cooking

10. Ricotta Cheesecake with Passion Fruit

Creamy ricotta cheesecake topped with tangy passion fruit is an addictive combination of sweet and tart flavors. This tropical-tasting cake is a great change of pace from the more traditional fruit toppings of cherries, blueberries, and strawberries, with the passion fruit balancing out the rich ricotta and cream cheese filling.
Photo and recipe from CHOW; Header image from

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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