You can always thank cheesecake for being a friend

You can always thank cheesecake for being a friend

a collage of images of The Golden Girls and cheesecake
Photo: Steve Fontanini (Getty Images), Gwen Ihnat, Allison Robicelli, Luminary Bakery

With the warm weather coming and the CDC giving the all-clear for fully-vaccinated people to leave their face masks at home, the oracles of social media are warning us that we’re about to experience a wild and crazy summer. But the writer E.E. Holmes has another idea:

“Forget Hot Girl Summer,” she wrote. “We’re doing Golden Girls Summer, where you find a group of girlfriends to rent a house together, wear spectacular muumuus, and solve all our problems with sassy one-liners and late-night cheesecake.”

Several thousand people agreed this was a fantastic idea. It’s still a little chilly in more northern climes, but today is the Jewish festival of Shavuot, during which cheesecake is traditionally consumed. If everybody is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, at least when it comes to seizing the opportunity to drink green beer, perhaps everyone can be a little bit Jewish on Shavuot. Now choose your avatar (are you Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, or Sophia? or Stan?) and your weapon. We have seven delectable recipes for the cheesecake craver.

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Miss Maxwell’s Cheesecake

Miss Maxwell’s Cheesecake

a slice of cheesecake topped with blueberries
Photo: Gwen Ihnat

A wise person would always keep a cheesecake on hand for emergencies, but most of us are not that wise. And when we’re feeling desperate, we need that cheesecake now. This is a recipe for those desperate times: because all its components bake separately, you can make it in less than an hour! It was shared by Jennifer Jones, the pastry chef and co-owner of Dos Urban Cantina in Chicago, who, in turn, inherited the recipe from her parents, who received it as a (reluctant) wedding gift from a neighbor known only as Miss Maxwell, who is probably not pleased that her secret weapon is out in the world. Get the recipe for Miss Maxwell’s Cheesecake here.

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Grandma Malva’s Cheesecake

Grandma Malva’s Cheesecake

A slice of cheesecake on a plate
Photo: Arx0nt (iStock by Getty Images)

This is a more traditional cheesecake that requires an hour just to bake and then a night of chilling in the fridge before it’s ready to eat, but that doesn’t make it any less magnificent. It’s been a cherished part of Takeout associate editor Aimee Levitt’s family for years, introduced by her grandma who probably never celebrated Shavuot, but who loved her some Golden Girls. Get the recipe for Grandma Malva’s Cheesecake here.

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Blueberry Cottage Cheesecake

Blueberry Cottage Cheesecake

A graphic of blueberry cheesecake over an image of blueberries
Graphic: Natalie Peeples

Sometimes life is full of unexpected blessings, like a windfall of blueberry-flavored cottage cheese. And while it’s fine for eating out of the carton, it becomes truly transcendent when it’s blended into the filling for a blueberry cheesecake. Based on a German recipe for a cheesecake made with quark, this cake is lighter than a cream-cheese-based cake, but no less delicious, especially with a topping of blueberry compote. Get the recipe for Blueberry Cottage Cheesecake here.

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Rice Pudding Cheesecake Pie

Rice Pudding Cheesecake Pie

A slice of rice pudding cheesecake pie
Photo: Allison Robicelli

Is cheesecake, despite its name, a pie? Or is, despite its crust, it a cake? Does it matter? This recipe contains multitudes, enough for pie, cake, and rice pudding. Be warned: it calls for a 9-by-13-inch pan, which is a lot of cake/pie/pudding. But if, instead of one long celebration, you want a few weeks’ worth of breakfasts, it freezes up beautifully. Get the recipe for Rice Pudding Cheesecake Pie here.

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Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes

Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes

Illustration for article titled You can always thank cheesecake for being a friend
Image: Karl Gustafson

If straight up eating cake/pie/pudding for breakfast is just a bridge too far for you, how about a plate of Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes instead? As Takeout staff writer Allison Robicelli explains, “they are a healthy part of a balanced breakfast, as they contain three of the four food groups and are made in a pan.” Yes, there’s a decadent cheesecake sauce. But there’s also fruit, which makes it perfect for the crack of dawn. Get the recipe for Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes here.

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Honeycomb Cheesecake Blondies

Honeycomb Cheesecake Blondies

A pan of Honeycomb Cheesecake Blondies
Photo: Luminary Bakery

Luminary Bakery began in London in 2014 as a charity project to teach women at a local homeless hostel to bake. It’s now a full-fledged brick-and-mortar operation that supplies baked goods to sweets-loving Brits but also Ben & Jerry’s UK. These Honeycomb Cheesecake Blondies, developed by Grace, a refugee and single mother with a talent for combining flavors, is featured in the cookbook Rising Hope: Recipes and Stories from Luminary Bakery. Get the recipe for Honeycomb Cheesecake Blondies here.

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Instant Pot Cheesecake

Instant Pot Cheesecake

A graphic of an Instant Pot and cheesecake
Graphic: Libby McGuire

Now that the whole world is in love with the air fryer, it might feel like there is no love left for the Instant Pot—but can an air fryer make cheesecake? All right, it’s true that this Instant Pot Cheesecake requires a few special ingredients, a six-inch pan, and a parchment collar, all to save 30 minutes of cooking time. Is it worth it? Turns out the answer is yes, if you value a silky, mousse-like texture. Get the recipe for Instant Pot Cheesecake here.

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