Here in New Orleans, it’s April 2020, and my daughter Mikaela and I have been quarantined for about a month now, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
I’ve gotten plenty of cleaning and organizing done. I’ve been trying lots of different recipes, both sweet & savory. I cook all of our meals & it’s a must to have dessert for our sweet tooth craving. Mikaela loves my chocolate chip cookies but her ultimate favorite is Sopapilla Cheesecake!
We both discovered this dessert while visiting my Aunt in Natchitoches. Her daughter-in-law, Ashley, brought over the ingredients and started making it in the kitchen. Usually people bring dessert already made but I was curious to see what Ashley was about to whip up as she only had a few ingredients in hand. Not only had I never heard of this dish but watching her make it was pleasantly entertaining. It looked like something to fun to make with kids. Crescent rolls, cream cheese, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. That’s it!
When she took it out of the oven, a cinnamon, buttery bread scent filled the house. I couldn’t wait to taste, but I had to wait for it to “set”.
After waiting what seemed like forever, I dug in! One spoon full & I was hooked.
I just had to have the recipe. Ashley emailed the recipe to me & I’ve been making it for Mikaela ever since. I even introduced it to my students in one of my baking tutorials.
After asking me multiple times to make it, I suggested a better idea, that Mikaela try & make it herself. Surprisingly, she jumped to the challenge! I pulled out the laminated page from my recipe binder, and told her to start prepping. Truth is, Mikaela has been by my side beginning to end through my baking business journey. She‘s my taste tester, my critic and sometimes my advisor when I need ideas of making something better. Sometime she’s like my little mental coach when I get overwhelmed. She was definitely ready to take charge in the kitchen.
Mikaela needed help with a couple of things while making the sopapilla cheesecake but it’s such an easy dish, she was able to get it in the oven in less than 20 minutes.
The hardest part for her was waiting for it to cool and set before indulging. When I said that, her reply was “Set?” I knew that was coming lol. When baking with cream cheese, it turns into a loose, liquid consistency through the mixing and process. It’s as if the cream cheese melts and then returns to its firm consistency after it cools and “sets”. If you cut into it too soon, it may be runny or too soft to scoop out, and the texture is not at its best. Allowing it to cool and firm brings it back to a consistency to better enjoy.
3 cans of Pillsbury crescent rolls
2 packs 8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
9×13 pyrex dish
Preheat oven to 350.
Cover bottom of pyrex dish with parchment and spray corners and sides of remaining dish (if you don’t have parchment, spray entire bottom and sides of pyrex dishes with Baker’s Joy)
Stretch 1 & 1/2 can of Crescent rolls across bottom of baking dish.
Filling: Mix Cream Cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla for about one minute on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture over the bottom of crust.
Place remaining can & half of crescent rolls over filling mixture. Carefully stretch to cover completely.
Topping: pour melted butter over crescent layer. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over butter crescent rolls.
Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is browned.
Allow 20-25 minutes to cool and set.
Store in refrigerator. (Optional: Cut them into bars, wrap them in plastic wrap & store in air tight container. When ready to eat, remove from wrapping & microwave for 30 seconds).