We get so excited each year to remake all our favorite holiday classics for our family, but each year we try to incorporate some new recipes into the mix to see what sticks and what our family requests we remake at next year’s gathering. This year’s successful new recipe was our Christmas crunch cake, which features honey-touched crunchy top and bottom layers – don’t even bother trying to stay clean while eating this, there are delicious crumbles everywhere and that’s okay – which sandwich a cream cheese and condensed milk filling that’s dotted with red and green nonpareils or sprinkles, making this perfect for Christmas!
Of course, this doesn’t have to just be for the holidays – although blue and silver nonpareils would also be wonderful for Hanukkah – but any colored sprinkles in here would work great. The only trick here is to make sure you don’t over stir. Especially depending on the type of sprinkles, sanding sugar or nonpareils you’re working with, some disintegrate or break down faster than others, which makes for a streaky filling where the colors bleed together. Our advice? Add your sprinkles, then stir 2-3 times and that’s it. You’ll get a little color breakdown, but still be able to see the individual dots of color. So cute!
So we mentioned there’s cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in the filling, but there’s also frozen whipped topping (or homemade whipped cream, if you prefer), vanilla extract and spiced rum folded in there for a little extra kick. You can skip the rum depending on who you’re serving, but we find that it’s just enough to add some flavor without packing any punch, if you know what we mean. Either way, you get a creamy filling that’s sort of a cross between ice cream and cheesecake…need we say more?? You have to try this out; it’s an easy dessert to make, plus it tastes amazing and feels extra festive this time of year – it doesn’t get better than this!
Christmas Crunch Cake
Serves 9-12; 20 minutes active; 4+hours inactive
- 16 oats and honey granola bars, crushed
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon spiced rum
- 1/4-1/3 cup red, white and green nonpareils
- Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
- Place granola bars and sugar in bowl of food processor and pulse to combine. Once granola bars are a sandy texture, drizzle in melted butter, pulsing until combined.
- Divide mixture in half and press half into prepared square baking dish, forming an even layer.
- Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy, 2-3 minutes, then beat in sweetened condensed milk. Fold in whipped topping, vanilla extract and spiced rum.
- Once ingredients have come together, fold in red and green nonpareils, making sure to only fold a couple times so the colors don't bleed together.
- Transfer cream cheese mixture to baking dish, on top of crust, then spread into an even layer.
- Top with remaining crust, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until set, 3-4 hours.
- Slice into squares, serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Tablespoon