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Creamy cheesecake filling is sandwiched between a buttery crescent roll crust and finished with cinnamon sugar and honey in this surprisingly easy sopapilla cheesecake.

Three slices of sopapilla cheesecake stacked on a white plate, with honey drizzled on top.

Do you ever crave something that tastes like your childhood? It might not be the fanciest food in the world, but it brings back great memories?

For me, some of those foods include homemade orange julius, orange fluff, ice cream sandwich cake, and this sopapilla cheesecake.

Sliced sopapilla cheesecake in a white baking dish.

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What are Sopapillas?

If you grew up eating at Chi-Chi’s in the ‘90s or if you’re familiar with Tex-Mex cuisine, you probably already know what a sopapilla is.

Sopapillas as we think of them here in the States are puffed, fried dough squares that are coated with cinnamon sugar and served with honey. This style of sopapilla is common in New Mexico and in Tex-Mex cuisine.

There are other types of sopapillas, ranging from savory to sweet, that are popular throughout Latin America. But today, we’re gonna acknowledge that the type we’re talking about isn’t exactly “authentic” – but they are still delicious.

As a kid who grew up in the Midwest in the 80s and 90s, there wasn’t a lot of authentic Mexican or Latin American food around. We thought we were cultured going to eat at a place like Chi-Chi’s! 

Even though I have come to love much more authentic Mexican food as an adult, I still remember the servers bringing out those platters of fried, cinnamon-sugar-covered dough and being totally delighted. And that’s a pretty good memory.

(If you want to try an authentic Mexican version, try this sopaipilla recipe!)

Two slices of sopapilla cheesecake on a white plate, with a bite taken from the corner from the top slice.
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What is Sopapilla Cheesecake?

Sopapilla cheesecake combines the cinnamon-sugar goodness of those sopapillas with one of my all-time favorite foods: cheesecake.

A simple cheesecake filling – very similar to the filling for my nana’s easy cheesecake – is sandwiched between layers of crescent roll dough. The whole thing gets topped with a bunch of cinnamon sugar and finished with a drizzle of honey.

This recipe doesn’t make a round, traditional-style cheesecake. Instead, it is made in a 9×13-inch pan and cut into bars, just like my classic cheesecake bars

It’s a super easy recipe that is great for taking to a party or potluck, since you can cut the cheesecake into as many pieces as you like. And I can bet that more than one person will be transported back to their childhood with just one bite!

How to Make This Recipe

This sopapilla cheesecake is so easy to make, you might just find that it becomes your new go-to recipe.

Ingredients you’ll need

You know when I say a recipe isn’t fancy or fussy, the ingredients list is going to be pretty simple. For this one, you will need:

  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature 
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 8-ounce cans refrigerated crescent rolls or sheets
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons honey
Ingredients for sopapilla cheesecake arranged on a beige countertop.

Pillsbury makes crescent dough sheets. They come in a can just like the classic crescent rolls do, but the dough isn’t perforated. That makes it super easy to use in this recipe, since all you have to do is unroll it and press it into the pan.

If you can’t find the dough sheets, though, don’t stress. You can absolutely use the regular cans of crescent rolls. You’ll just want to pinch the perforated seams together before using them in the recipe.

Making sopapilla cheesecake

Start by making the cheesecake filling. Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese, 1 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth. This will take about 3 minutes.

Filling for sopapilla cheesecake mixed in a white bowl.

Now it’s time to assemble. Unroll one of the crescent roll tubes and use your hands to spread it into the bottom of a grease 9×13-inch pan. 

If you are using the crescent rolls instead of the dough sheets, now is when you’ll pinch the perforated seams together.

Spread the filling on top of the dough, then top with the second tube of dough in the same way.

In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix together the softened butter, the rest of the sugar, and the cinnamon. Dot this mixture all over the top of the cheesecake. Don’t worry about spreading it out; it’ll melt in the oven and spread over the top on its own.

Bake for 35-40 minutes; you want the top crust to be puffed and golden brown.

Once you remove the sopapilla cheesecake from the oven, drizzle it with the honey. Let it cool in the pan for about 2 hours before serving.

You can serve this cheesecake at room temperature or chilled. It’s up to you!

Baked sopapilla cheesecake cooling on a wire rack.

Storage

Store the sopapilla cheesecake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

If you’d like to freeze leftovers, you can. Place sliced bars on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place the entire sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

Once the cheesecake bars are frozen through, store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. Let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Cake server lifting up a slice of sopapilla cheesecake from a pan.

Recipe FAQs

Help! I forgot to set my cream cheese out ahead of time to soften. What do I do?

Don’t panic! You can speed things up by cubing your cream cheese or using the microwave. I cover both of these methods in my post on how to soften cream cheese.

Should I use salted or unsalted butter in this recipe?

Honestly, it really doesn’t matter. I’ve used both and it has come out delicious both ways, so use whatever you happen to have on hand!

Can I make this sopapilla cheesecake ahead of time?

Yes! You can serve this sopapilla cheesecake chilled or at room temperature, so you can make it the day before you plan to serve it and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
If you want, simply let the cheesecake come to room temperature before serving, or serve it straight from the refrigerator. 

Honey being drizzled over the top of two stacked slices of sopapilla cheesecake on a white plate.
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Sopapilla Cheesecake

By: Jamie
4.60 from 5 ratings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 35 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total: 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 12
Creamy cheesecake filling is sandwiched between a buttery crescent roll crust and finished with cinnamon sugar and honey in this surprisingly easy sopapilla cheesecake.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature (2 8-ounce packages)
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar divided use
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls or sheets 8 ounces each
  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth; about 3 minutes.
  • Unroll crescent roll dough, and use clean hands to spread the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. If using crescent rolls, gently pinch the perforated seams together to create a sheet of crescent roll dough.
  • Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture on top. Repeat the process with the remaining can of dough and place the dough sheet on top of the cream cheese layer.
  • In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine the butter, remaining 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Evenly dot the mixture onto the crescent roll dough.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the crescent roll dough has puffed and turned golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan for about 2 hours before cutting into 12 squares. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

Video

Notes

From allrecipes

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 59mg, Sodium: 477mg, Potassium: 57mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 745IU, Vitamin C: 0.03mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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