This delicious citrus goat cheese cheesecake has a rosemary graham cracker crust and is drizzled with a homemade rosemary caramel sauce. It’s the perfect dessert to bring to a summer picnic!
Hi there! How’s your summer going? I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I do, it’s been great over here in the Rockies. The weather is wonderful and we’ve already been doing lots of great hiking and a bit of camping.
I should say “glamping” because we have a little camper with such delightful features as a bed, running water, a stovetop and a fridge. Because the fridge is nice and spacey, it’s no problem to bring a cheesecake and what you see here is my new favorite camping dessert: rosemary caramel goat cheese cheesecake.
The rosemary in this recipe comes both from rosemary butter that I used for the graham cracker crust and from rosemary-infused cream that I used for the caramel sauce. The herb provides the perfect balance to the goat cheese and citrus flavors of the cake.
The goat cheese cheesecake batter recipe is from Whole Foods and it is wonderful. The lemon juice and zest add just the right amount of citrus flavor and the goat cheese adds its signature tang to the cake and turns it into something half savory. The cake is not very sweet, the sweetness in this dessert comes mostly from the caramel sauce.
It’s a great dessert for just about any occasion and also perfect for bringing to a picnic in the forest and eating on a bench under a nice, shady tree.
How to make the caramel sauce:
Step 1. Add 3/4 cup heavy cream and 2 large sprigs of rosemary to a saucepan. Heat the cream to a low simmer, then turn the heat off and let it steep for 10 minutes. Take the rosemary out, transfer the cream to a container you can pour from and set it aside.
Step 2. While the cream is cooling, you can make the caramel: grab a clean saucepan (it’s really important that the pan is clean because any tiny piece of stuff can cause the sugar to crystallize). Add 1/2 cup cold water to the saucepan, then carefully add 1 cup granulated sugar right into the middle of the pan (make sure not to get any sugar on the sides of the pan).
Step 3. Turn on the heat and let the mix boil until it turns a deep amber color. During that whole time, don’t touch or stir or do anything with the saucepan other than watch it.
Step 4. Once you have the deep amber color, very carefully whisk in the rosemary-infused cream and then let the caramel sauce cool.
RECIPE TIP – How to keep sugar from crystallizing: It’s quite simple to prevent the sugar from crystallizing when making caramel sauce, in my experience. All you have to do is leave the saucepan completely alone while the sugar and water are boiling. Don’t stir, swirl or get anything in contact with the boiling sugar mix in any way and your sugar will not crystallize.
How to make the cheesecake:
The goat cheese cheesecake starts with a graham cracker crust made with crushed graham crackers, sugar and rosemary melted butter.
Step 1. Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small saucepan and then add 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary to it. Set the pan aside to let the rosemary infuse the butter.
Step 2. Crush up 9 sheets of graham crackers.
Step 3. Whisk 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar into the crushed graham crackers.
Step 4. Mix the slightly cooled melted rosemary butter into the cracker/sugar mix.
Step 5. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan using a cup measure or the back of a spoon. To make it easier to get right up against the edges you can switch the cup measure for an espresso tamper, if you have one.
Step 6. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
Step 7. For the cheesecake filling, beat together 16 ounces room-temperature cream cheese*, 12 ounces of goat cheese, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1.5 teaspoon vanilla in your standing mixer or with a handheld electric mixer. Beat in 1.25 cups granulated sugar and 4 eggs, then fill the batter into your pan and bake until set (50 to 60 minutes). Let the cake cool to room temperature in the pan, then cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
*RECIPE NOTE: Don’t use any cream cheese products labeled as low-fat or reduced-fat. Those have a higher moisture content than full-fat cream cheese and that will interfere with the baking process.
Step 8. To serve, lightly warm up the rosemary caramel sauce and drizzle it on the cheesecake slices.
Can this cheesecake be frozen?
Yes, this cheesecake freezes very well, just transfer it into a ziploc bag, seal it and put it in the freezer.
More delicious cake recipes:
- Caramel Almond Cake
- Chai-Spiced Rum Raisin Bundt Cake
- Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Mousse Hazelnut Mini Cakes
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Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel
For the rosemary caramel sauce:
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 long sprigs of fresh rosemary
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
For the graham cracker crust:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 ⅓ cup crushed graham crackers* (you need 9 sheets (which is one sleeve) for that)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the cheesecake:
- 16 ounces cream cheese,** at room temperature
- 12 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
For the rosemary caramel sauce:
- Add the cream and the rosemary sprigs to a saucepan.
- Heat the cream until it starts to simmer, then turn the heat off, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Remove the rosemary sprigs and transfer the cream to a container you can pour from. Set aside.
- Add the water to a very clean saucepan.
- Add the sugar in a mound into the middle of the saucepan. Be careful not to have any sugar on the sides of the pan.
- Turn the heat on to high and without any stirring or touching of any sort, let the sugar/water mix come to a full boil. Be careful, the mix will get very, very hot. Do not touch the pot or the caramel under any circumstances.
- Keep boiling the mix on high heat (still without any stirring) until it starts to turn golden brown.
- Turn the heat down to medium and continue to boil until the mix reaches a deep amber color.
- Turn the heat off.
- Standing back, very slowly whisk the cream into the mix, a little bit at a time. The sauce will bubble violently and is still very hot, so be careful.
- Let the sauce cool until you can handle it easily and fill into a glass container.
For the graham cracker crust:
- Grease the pan you’re using by rubbing it with a little bit of butter.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the chopped rosemary to it. Set aside.
- Whisk crushed graham crackers and sugar together in a bowl.
- Pour the melted butter into the bowl and mix with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
- Press the crumb mix into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Set the pan on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is firm, about 10 minutes.
- Take the cake crust out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. for the cheesecake filling.
For the cheesecake:
- Add cream cheese, goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla to a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
- Gradually beat in the sugar until the mix becomes creamy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time and continue to beat until the mix is very smooth.
- Pour the batter onto the crust and bake until the edges of the cheesecake are set and the center is still a tiny bit jiggly, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, then unmold.
- To serve, warm up the caramel sauce slightly over a pot of hot water or in the microwave and drizzle it over the individual cheesecake slices.
- add the crackers to a large mortar and crush with the pestle
- add the crackers to your food processor and pulse them a few times
- add the crackers to a large ziploc bag and hit them with a rolling pin