Rainbow Cheesecake

Bright, colorful swirls make this Rainbow Cheesecake pretty to look at, and this is my favorite fluffy cheesecake recipe with a hint of lemon- divine!

Rainbow Swirl Cheesecake Recipe

One of the most popular recipes on my site is the Rainbow Swirl Cake that I made for my youngest son a few years ago. As you know I am not a professional baker, I’m just a wife and a mom in a house full of boys who like to eat. I like to give ordinary desserts a few changes and make them really extraordinary. This cheesecake is surly nothing less than extraordinary!

Rainbow Cheesecake Recipe

Since today is National Cheesecake Day I really wanted to bring you a show-stopper in looks as well as flavor- Rainbow Cheesecake it is! If you follow KatrinasKitchen on Instagram you got a little preview earlier this week. I used my favorite cheesecake recipe that I’ve been making for years and gave it a hint of lemon flavor with a whole lot of color.

Of course you can make this without the coloring too- it really is my favorite fluffy cheesecake recipe. Just don’t tell me. And you must promise to at least add a gazillion colorful sprinkles to make up for it. Deal?

Easy Rainbow Swirl Cheesecake Recipe

If you don’t have a leak-proof cheesecake pan then you’ll want to wrap the base of your cheesecake pan several times with heavy duty foil to prevent water from seeping into the pan.  Place the cheesecake pan into a larger pan that is filled halfway with water. This is called a water bath. It sounds super-fancy but really that’s all there is to it. I placed my 9-inch cheesecake pan into a 10×10 square cake pan and baked it for 45 minutes. Then I like to turn the oven off and let the cheesecake remain in the oven for 1 more hour before removing to let cool completely. Finally I let it set up overnight in the refrigerator.

In the meantime I place threatening notes all over the kitchen telling my boys not to dare touch this work of art before it’s ready or they will have to sit and watch me enjoy multiple slices before I even think about letting them have a bite.

SO making this Rainbow Cheesecake Recipe


Rainbow Cheesecake


Yield: 9 inch cheesecake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Bright, colorful swirls make this Rainbow Cheesecake pretty to look at, and this is my favorite fluffy cheesecake recipe with a hint of lemon- divine!



1 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup butter, melted


4 (8oz) sticks of cream cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Wrap the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan in heavy duty foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. Mix together graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter and press into the bottom of your prepared pan and up the sides. Bake for 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  1. In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and cream cheese. Beat together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time making sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, lemon, and vanilla extracts. Mix until creamy and smooth.
  2. Divide batter into 6 large ziptop bags and add food coloring to reach desired vibrancy. Alternately use small bowls to stir in the coloring.
  3. Drop batters into prepared crust letting the colors overlap. Use the tip of a butter knife to swirl the colors around once or twice, being careful not to mix them together. Fill a larger pan (10x10 cake pan or roasting pan) with water halfway for a water bath. Place the cheesecake pan into the water bath.
  4. Bake 45 to 55 minutes until the edges appear to be set. The center will still have some jiggle to it. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour has passed, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, chill for at least 5 hours or overnight.


  • Serve with fresh whipped cream and sprinkles
  • Food coloring may be omitted if desired for a classic cheesecake recipe

Original recipe and images © In Katrina's Kitchen 

EASY Rainbow Cheesecake Recipe

I’m teaming up with TONS of other bloggers bringing you delicious cheesecake recipes for National Cheesecake Day. Be sure to grab the whole list over at Roxana’s Home Baking!

Items used in this recipe:

In Katrina’s Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
- Katrina

61 Responses to “Rainbow Cheesecake”

  1. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — July 30, 2014 at 8:26 am

    OMG those swirls of color. My kids would LOVE this!!! And I would too 🙂

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:30 am

      Thanks! Yep even my husband was happy to dig into this colorful beast.

  2. #
    Betsy | JavaCupcake.com — July 30, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Genius! What a fun way to make a “grown up” cake more kid friendly!!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:29 am

      Even grown ups like colorful food too! 🙂 Thanks Betsy! I loved your berry cheesecake.

  3. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — July 30, 2014 at 8:48 am

    This is WILD! So so much fun. You are one talented lady! Simply an at-home baker??? No way—I think you are extraordinary!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:29 am

      Yeah um I just dumped all of the batter in the pan! lol Thanks Erin!

  4. #
    Carolyn — July 30, 2014 at 9:02 am

    How cute is that? Although slightly psychedelic too!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:28 am

      You know how I like to keep things groovy, right? ha! Thanks Carolyn!

  5. #
    Lisa @ Wine & Glue — July 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Shut your mouth! This is AWESOME! My daughter turns three next week and this might have to be her birthday cake!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:28 am

      You just made me laugh out loud! 🙂 Thanks Lisa

  6. #
    Tonia — July 30, 2014 at 9:41 am

    No way! That is so much fun!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:27 am

      Yes way! Thanks 😉

  7. #
    Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking — July 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Your cheesecake will put a smile on everyone’s face! You always have the most fun ideas and this cheesecake surely proves it!
    Thanks for sharing and joining us today, Katrina!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:27 am

      Thank you Roxana for organizing such a fun food holiday event!

  8. #
    Kristin — July 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

    What kind of food coloring do you use? I think I just have the box you get at the grocery store and I can’t imagine getting such vibrant colors from it…

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:26 am

      I love using the store-bought food coloring! Be sure to also check out my Rainbow Swirl Cake post where I talk about food colors a little bit more.

  9. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — July 30, 2014 at 10:01 am

    <3 <3 <3 It's absolutely gorgeous!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:25 am

      Thanks!! ♥ ♥ ♥

  10. #
    Sue {munchkin munchies} — July 30, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I couldn’t wait to see your cheesecake! I knew it would look amazing! So fun and festive!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:25 am

      Thank you! I love making colorful sweets.

  11. #
    Julie — July 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    This is the most extraordinary cheesecake I have ever seen. How fun would this be for a birthday party? Love it!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:24 am

      Yes! I was thinking the same thing! Perfect for a cheesecake-lover’s birthday!

  12. #
    Toni | BoulderLocavore — July 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    You are a crazy-talented genius! This is the most original cheesecake ever!!!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:23 am

      Aren’t you the sweetest?! Thank you Toni!

  13. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — July 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    this is the coolest cheesecake I’ve ever seen! yum!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:23 am

      Thank you Angelyn! It was pretty easy to pull off too. I love easy desserts lol

  14. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — July 30, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Such a fun cheesecake! You are so talented!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:23 am

      Thanks Jessica! I just dumped it all in the pan though 😉

  15. #
    Silma — July 30, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Hmmmm, change the colors to green, gold, and purple. Sprinkle the whole thing with golden sprinkles and voila……MARDI GRAS CHEESECAKE!!!! It’s a plan for next year!!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:22 am

      Sweeeeeeet idea! Love it!!

  16. #
    Michele @ Alwayzbakin — July 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    THAT is genius!!! What a beautiful cake! Why can’t I be that smart??? lol Will def have to try this recipe. My kids would love it. 😀

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:22 am

      Kids do love this cheesecake- well mine did!

  17. #
    Heather @ French Press — July 30, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Oh my gosh! Gorgeous, I don’t have any other words, just goreous

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:21 am

      Thank you SO much!

  18. #
    Anna @ Garnish with Lemon — July 30, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    So bright, cheery and playful. You’re such a creative talent, Katrina!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:21 am

      Thanks Anna! I do love to play with my food 🙂

  19. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — July 31, 2014 at 12:04 am

    This is honest to God the coolest and “bestest” cheesecake I’ve ever seen in my life!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:21 am

      Thanks Ashley! It was super fun to make.

  20. #
    Robin @ Simply Southern Baking — July 31, 2014 at 8:55 am

    What a colorful and fun cheesecake!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:20 am

      Go big or go home, right?! Thanks Robin!

  21. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — July 31, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Woah! How fun is this cheesecake! So festive! Pinned!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:20 am

      Thanks Anna! I appreciate it!

  22. #
    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen — July 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    So creative, Katrina! The colors definitely make it more festive! Can I have a slice…and also eat a gazillion rainbow sprinkles?

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:19 am

      Yes you can always have a gazillion sprinkles!! 🙂

  23. #
    Shaina — August 1, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    This is one cheesecake that is sure to brighten anyone’s day!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:18 am

      It would be hard to be grumpy while eating this cheesecake, that’s for sure!

  24. #
    Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies — August 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I LOVE this!! How fun!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:18 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Jen!

  25. #
    Tara — August 2, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    OH MY HEAVENS!! That is one amazing cheesecake!!!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:17 am

      Thanks Tara! One of my favorites for sure.

  26. #
    Ala — August 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Wow–just, wow! I never knew a cheesecake could look THIS good. Completely perfect for any party! Thanks for sharing this–and it was great sharing cheesecake day with you!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:15 am

      Thank you Ala!

  27. #
    holly waterfall — August 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    This is freaking incredible!! Look how vibrant!! <3 <3 <3

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:13 am

      Thank you! It was one of my favorites for sure.

  28. #
    Terri/LoveandConfections — August 12, 2014 at 11:02 am

    This is THE most colorful cheesecake I have ever seen. It looks so happy! I bet any kid would look at it and want to instantly dive right in.

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 10:08 am

      I had to fend off my kids for sure! Thanks for stopping by!

  29. #
    shirley felts — August 14, 2014 at 7:51 am

    looking at this i came up with an idea for a white chocolate cheesecake, marbled with red and green, topped with whipped cream and red and green cherries for Christmas. would be lovely!

    • Katrina Bahl — August 22nd, 2014 @ 9:58 am

      Oh can’t wait to see it! Share a pic with me if you remember this winter!

  30. #
    Trina — August 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Just made this for my daughter’s birthday. We only used the colours though. Her choice of colours was purple, teal and red. It looks so pretty but it is still in the oven.

  31. #
    Juan Carlo — January 29, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I love this recipes. I think I’ve done this Rainbow Cheesecake perfectly since I’m doing this for so many times after I read this here. All of my friend liked this as well. Thanks for the inspirations.

  32. #
    Karen — January 29, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I was wondering why the recipe would call for lemon extract, wouldn’t almond extract make the cake taste more like rainbow cookies ?

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