Mock Raspberry Cheesecake is not quite cheesecake — the layers of white cake, cream cheese and raspberries create a creamy taste without the heaviness of a true cheesecake. The tartness of the raspberries complement the sweetness of the cream and cake — and drew our staff back in for seconds. Prepared in a sheet pan, the dessert takes about an hour to prepare and can serve up to 60 people.
When my husband and I were serving as Presidente and Hermana Anderton in the Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission in 1999-2002, we wanted to serve our missionaries this family favorite as part of their Christmas dinner. Our missionaries were the best, and their diets consisted of the same foods every day. We wanted Christmas dinner to be special. I tried to find the ingredients in Tegucigalpa, but white cake mixes were nowhere to be found, the powdered sugar was grainy, and raspberries in December were nonexistent. When my parents visited for our first Christmas, I asked my mom if she could fit 10 cartons of frozen raspberries, six white cake mixes, six boxes of powdered sugar and six boxes of Raspberry Junket into her suitcase along with all the other items I had requested from home. My mother is someone who knows how to make things happen.
Our missionary Christmas celebration was held over two days — half the zones one day and the other half the next day (about 200 missionaries in total). I made three pans of Mock Raspberry Cheesecake for each celebration. The serving size for each missionary was significantly larger than a 2-inch by 2-inch square and not a crumb remained on any plate. A few resourceful missionaries even came into the kitchen to “help” with the dishes and licked the pans clean! The next day, I filled three more pans and the process repeated itself.
Every year since, as Christmas rolls around we look forward to making Mock Raspberry Cheesecake for our children and grandchildren. Their eyes light up when the red-topped pan comes marching through the kitchen. As I cut the cake and slide a square onto each plate, everyone huddles close looking for the largest piece. As they do, we remember the faces of our beloved missionaries and wonder, who will lick the pans today?
— Kristi Anderton
Mock Raspberry Cheesecake
- 1 white cake mix (My favorite is Betty Crocker Super Moist)
- 1 package 8-ounce cream cheese
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 package Junket Danish Dessert-Raspberry
- 2 packages or 3 cups frozen raspberries (thaw in a strainer and use any juice in the junket recipe in place of the water)
Make the white cake as directed on the box. (Note: if you don’t separate the yokes out, your cake won’t be white!) Pour the batter into a baker’s half-sheet (12×18 inch jelly roll pan) or you can divide the batter into one 9×13 and one 9×9 pan if you don’t have a jelly roll pan. Bake at 350ºF until the surface is a very light brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. In a separate bowl, whip the powdered sugar and cream cheese together until it is fluffy. Combine the whipped cream and the whipped sugar/cream cheese mixture, blending it together on low speed. Don’t over-mix. Spread the mixture on top of the cooled cake and let chill for a couple of hours. Make the Junket according to the directions for “Pie Glaze” on the back of the box. Use any juice from the raspberries in the 1 3/4 cups of liquid the recipe calls for. When the glaze is thickened and translucent, stir the raspberries in. Be careful not to mush the berries. Let the mixture cool, then spread it thinly on top of the cream cheese layer. Let chill 2 to 3 hours. Dessert can be made the day before.