An orange cheesecake is a specific kind of cheesecake dessert that uses the orange citrus fruit for flavor or visual appeal. In many societies were cheesecake is a traditional dessert, an orange cheesecake is not the most common fruit flavor. Cherry cheesecake is more common than citrus-based cheesecake, where using citrus fruits provides a very distinct contrast in the flavor profile. Many recipes for orange cheesecake also use the orange not as a flavor enhancer, but primarily as a visually attractive garnish.
Common varieties of orange cheesecake include either real or artificial orange ingredients. Some cheesecake recipes use actual orange slices, either on top of the cheesecake or baked into the interior of the cake. Other recipes will use orange zest, which is small shavings from the orange peel. Some alternatives for orange cheesecakes will simply include liquid or ground artificial compounds with an orange color and artificial orange flavoring. Many of these types of orange cheesecakes will have a marbled presentation, where veins of the orange colored element will run through the white cake.
Different types of oranges are commonly used in orange cheesecake. One of these is the Mandarin orange. The smaller, sweeter whole slices of this orange complement a cheesecake well. Other exotic forms of orange used in these desserts include blood oranges. In many of these recipes, the oranges are thinly sliced and spread across the top surface of the cake; they may also be dried or preserved with syrup.
Like other types of cheesecake, orange cheesecake usually has a crust made of graham crackers or other crumbly elements. The interior part of the cake is often made of cream cheese, along with other dairy products like butter, as well as eggs and flavorings. This mix is baked according to the particular recipe, then chilled. Like other forms of cheesecake, orange cheesecake must be refrigerated after it cools to avoid spoiling, and is often served cold.
Apart from being served on its own, orange cheesecake is often a part of a "variety pack" that comes as a single slice, along with other flavors of cheesecake like chocolate, cherry, or other fruit flavors. Some versions of this offering might be known as "sherbet" flavors of cheesecake, named for frozen desserts with an orange component. The combination of orange flavor and dairy products is a classic one, particularly within American dessert cuisine.