This M&M cheesecake is a baked cheesecake full of colorful M&M's! It has a graham cracker crust and a creamy cheesecake center. It is topped with homemade whipped cream and both mini M&M's and regular M&M's.
This M&M cheesecake makes me so happy. It is full of colors and milk chocolate M&M's!
The best part about this cheesecake is all of the colorful swirls when you cut into it. Since there is so many M&M's, the colors bleed into the batter as you mix them in. It results into a kind of rainbow cheesecake.
Why This Recipe Works
- Graham cracker crust- The crust is soft after it bakes, but not soggy. It is soft so it blends well into the cheesecake when you take a bite! I hate a crust that is hard as a rock!
- Baked cheesecake- This cheesecake gets baked and chilled overnight.
- Whipped cream- You can make homemade whipped cream or a whipped topping like cool whip. If you want extra sweet you can also make a chocolate ganache.
- Two types of M&M's- I used mini's and regular, however you can use whatever M&M's you want!
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Graham crackers- I used two packages of graham crackers. You can also use vanilla wafers, Oreos, nutter butters, or digestive biscuits.
- Brown sugar- I used light brown sugar.
- Unsalted butter- The butter is melted for the crust.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Sour cream- Use full fat sour cream or plain greek yogurt. Pull this out 2 hours before baking so it is room temperature.
- Heavy cream- For the cheesecake, pull this out 2 hours before baking. For the whipped cream, it needs to be cold.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking.
- M&M's- I used mini M&M's and regular M&M's. I bought the bigger bags at my grocery store.
Step By Step Instructions
STEP 1: Make the crust. Using a food processor, or even a ziplock bag with a rolling pin, blend the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Then, add the brown sugar and melted butter. It should resemble wet sand.
STEP 2: Compact the crust. Next, pour the graham cracker crumbs into the prepared pan. Use your hands to go around the sides and press the crust halfway up the sides of the pan.
Then, use the back of a measuring cup to really compact the crust down.
STEP 3: Bake. Bake the crust for 11 minutes at 325F.
STEP 4: Beat the cream cheese and sugar. Using the mixer, first beat the softened cream cheese on high speed for 1 minute. Add in the white sugar and beat again.
STEP 5: Add wet ingredients. Next, add in the sour cream, heavy cream, salt, vanilla extract, and eggs into the cream cheese mixture. Add the eggs in on low speed one a time!
Then, fold in both types of M&M's using a rubber spatula. The colors will bleed and create pretty swirls!
STEP 6: Pour. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust. Then, prepare the water bath. See below for my water bath tips.
STEP 7: Bake. Bake for 70-80 minutes until the edges are baked but the middle has a slightly jiggle.
STEP 8: Cool. First, turn off the oven, crack open the door, and let it cool for 30 minutes. This allows it to cool slowly. Then, cool completely on a cooling rack (wire rack).
Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and chill for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.
Decorating the Cheesecake
First, remove the cheesecake from the pan. Tilt it on it's side to remove the parchment paper.
Next, make the whipped cream ( or use cool whip) and pipe the whipped cream in cute dollops on top. The, pour all the M&M's on top! I used a piping bag with Wilton 1M piping tip.
Water Bath Tips
The water bath provides a moist environment for the cheesecake. This is because of the steam. When it is too dry, it will create cracks in the cheesecake.
Here are two techniques to try. They both use a roasting pan with hot steaming water.
- Place the springform pan inside a 10 inch cake pan. Place the cake pan in the roasting pan. Fill the pan with the hot water (about halfway up the cake pan)
- Wrap the springform pan with foil twice very tightly. Place the springform pan inside the roasting pan. Fill the pan halfway up with hot water.
My favorite method is the first one. This won't let any water at all get into the crust. It makes baking cheesecake so easy!
The second option gives the chance to get water inside and create a soggy crust.
Preventing the Cheesecake From Cracking
- Beat the wet ingredients minus the eggs on high speed. Everything need to be super creamy and smooth. Chunks of cream cheese can cause cracks.
- Add the eggs on low speed. The goal is to have as little air as possible when mixing in the eggs. Too much air can cause big bubbles in the cheesecake batter. It will make the cheesecake rise and fall too quickly when baking. Which causes cracks.
- For best results, use a water bath. This is essential! See above for cheesecake tips.
- Cool the cheesecake. Once the cheesecake is done baking, it needs to sit in the hot oven for 30 minutes. This lets it cool slowly.
- If you were to put the cheesecake on the counter right after done baking, it will be too quick of a temperature change, which cause cracks.
Divide this recipe into thirds to make 12 mini cheesecake. Bake in a muffin pan for 18-20 minutes. Follow this Mini Oreo Cheesecakes for instructions for mini cheesecakes.
You can half the recipe to make these into cheesecake bars using 8X8 or 9X9 inch baking pan (use 16 oz of cream cheese). You can also use a 8 inch springform pan. If you want to use a 6 inch springform pan, half the recipe, but use 16 oz of cream cheese.
You absolutely can! My cookie dough cheesecake uses a chocolate ganache.
Storing and Freezing
Store this M&M cheesecake in an airtight container like a cake carrier. Store in the fridge up to 5 days.
You can freeze the M&M cheesecake in individual cake slices. Store in an airtight container and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.
You can also freeze the cheesecake before decorating. Wrap the cooled cheesecake (it needs to chill in the fridge overnight first), in plastic wrap and freeze up to 30 days.
Thaw for 1-2 hours before decorating.
Other Cheesecake Recipes To Try
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 ½ cups Graham cracker crumbs 2 packages of graham crackers with a fine crumb.
- ¼ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter melted
- 24 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
- ¼ cup Heavy cream room temperature
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 3 Large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup Mini m&m's
- ½ cup M&M's
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon Powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- M&M's for decoration
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking nonstick spray. Line with a 9-inch parchment paper circle and spray again.
- Using a food processor, blend the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Add in the brown sugar and melted butter and blend until combined.
- Pour the crumbs into the pan. Use your hands to press the crumbs halfway up the sides of the pan. Then, use the bottom of a measuring cup to compact the crust.
- Bake for 11 minutes.
- Start the cheesecake once the crust is done baking. Start the hot water for the water bath.
- Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed for 1 minute. Then, scrape the bowl and add in the sugar. Beat on high for 1 minute.
- Scrape the bowl and add in the sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix on medium until smooth.
- Crack the eggs into a separate bowl, Then, slowly pour in the eggs one at time on low speed. Mix in one egg at a time. Scrape the bowl.
- Take off the mixer and add in both m&m's. Use a rubber spatula to fold it in. The colors will bleed and create swirls.
- Pour the batter on top of the crust.
- Water bath. Use one of these methods for a water bath. Both methods use a large roasting pan and hot steaming water.1. Place the springform pan in a 10 inch cake pan. Place the cake pan in the roasting pan and fill with hot water halfway up the cake pan. This method prevent water getting into the crust.2. Wrap the springform pan tightly twice in aluminum foil. Place the springform pan inside the roasting pan. Fill with hot water halfway up thes pringform pan. This method works great, but can sometimes leak water into the crust.
- Bake for 70-85 minutes. Bake until edges are set and the middle has a slight jiggle.
- Turn the oven off, prop open the door slightly, and let the cheesecake sit to slowly cool for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in the fridge. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Place a metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Using a mixer, beat heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla on high until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake and top with a lot of M&M's!