Horchata Cheesecake

Horchata Cheesecake

This recipe is one that has been kicking around in the back of my head for years now. I’m not generally a big dessert person, so it took me a while to get to it – but I’m glad that I finally did!

The big draw of this idea was the idea of incorporating a uncommon flavor into a classic American dessert. Horchata is a traditional beverage in Spain and many Latin American countries. There are a number of different styles, but the basic principal is a ground nut or grain, milk, and spices. Rice, almonds and sesame seeds are common bases, while spices often include some mix of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

I chose a preparation that is common in Guatemala: rice and cinnamon. Although rice is often thought of as a very neutral grain, it actually impart quite a bite of flavor. Cinnamon, meanwhile, has its own robust yet homely profile that forms the backbone of the horchata.

Folded into a very classic cheesecake recipe, horchata becomes a wonderful way to spice up a typical dessert. It’s simple and elegant while still rich enough to sate your sweet tooth. Enjoy!

Horchata Cheesecake

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely ground graham crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup rice
  • 1 lb. cream cheese (2 8 oz. blocks) softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 dash of vanilla extract
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • Cinnamon, to garnish


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Coat an 8 inch springform pan or 8×8 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and press the crumbs down into the base evenly. Place the dish in the oven and bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool while you mix the filling.
  2. Add the water, cinnamon powder and rice to a food processor and blend on high. Once the mixture has reached a paste-like consistency and no bits of rice are left remove the contents to a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese and eggs and mix until smooth. Slowly add in the sugar, continuing to mix while you do, and beat until creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and horchata paste to the cheesecake filling and mix until evenly distributed. Pour the filling into the now cooled crust and make sure it’s evenly distributed
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and place the cheesecake in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the filling has begun to firm up but will still jiggle slightly when shaken. Be careful not to overcook. Chill the cheesecake for at least 3 hours before serving.

2 Responses to “Horchata Cheesecake”

  1. Hello, I was just wondering if you had cooked the rice prior to making the pase, and if so what method you used (steam, boiled, etc).


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