Guest Post: Frugal Hausfrau

Bonjour tout le monde! Today, we commence with the first guest post and as you can tell, OH MY GOD, they are going to be good. They are going to be soooo good! :D

While I slave away at not a stove, but at my books (jokes, I will pretend to), I would like to, without further ado, welcome our first guest poster on Go Bake Yourself (fireworks go off, slow motion clapping everywhere!) – One of fabulous blogger mates, have you ever met The Frugal Hausfrau?

Spunky as can be, with magic sparks coming out of her hand when she touches a whisk, I think you had better start reading all about her impromptu virtual trip down under no? You’ll love it, especially when you start to (if already haven’t) salivate over all dem photos!

It’s high time I disappear now… so enjoy!!!😀

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You know it’s awful cold in Minnesota, and Aussie weather? Well, I’ve seen the photos! Just gorgeous. While I can’t pop on a plane and go down, I’m taking a virtual trip. On the agenda? I wouldn’t want to miss a chance to meet up with Uru, the famed CCU. But Gibs and I are here, and CCU must be undercover because I’ve looked all over for her.

She’s not in the front room,  definitely not in the kitchen where I kind of expected her to be. Gibson & I already walked up and down the street looking for her…but no luck. We also popped in the corner store, thinking she ran out for a minute,  but still no CCU.

I bet she’s out on a Top Secret Mission, so I’ll just make myself at home and whip her up a little surprise for her return. Maybe one of my specialties, a big American style cheesecake. Yeah, yeah, I know Cheesecake has roots from elsewhere, just like many of us Americans (and Australians, too) but I have to say what we have done with cheesecake…

The finished Cheesecake, Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

The finished Cheesecake, Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

They’re big, gorgeous overblown concoctions – and everyone always says, “Oh, just a sliver for me” but before you know it, they’re back at it until they’re half laying on your sofa discretely trying to unbutton that top button, and you’re serving coffee to get them on their way! Strong coffee! (Even if you don’t like coffee.) This one is especially good because it involves cheesecake and candy! And the candy? It’s cook’s choice.

Anyway, I hope when Uru gets back that she loves this – and doesn’t notice the mess in her kitchen!

Let’s talk about the candy in this cheesecake – since I made it with a graham cracker crust mixed with almonds and toffee bits, I like to carry that flavor through and use chocolate covered toffee candy bars, we call them Heath bars back home, tucked inside the cheesecake and on the top. I also used brown sugar in the cheesecake to go with all that caramel goodness. I’ll take it one step further and use a little caramel drizzle, too, ‘coz this is a very special cheesecake for Uru.

The finished Cheesecake Caramel Toffee Cheesecake, Backside.

The finished Cheesecake Caramel Toffee Cheesecake, Backside.

I do hope Uru likes Toffee & Cheesecake – the customs guy gave me the eye when he saw my stash of Heath bars!

I know Uru loves and uses all kinds of candy in her baking & almost anything really goes here, although I’ve always stuck with pretty much caramel and chocolate flavors. If I don’t use Heath candy bars, I think about Milky Ways, 3 Musketeers or maybe M&M’s. But really, with a few variations, all kinds of candy (or maybe crushed up cookies) could be used in this cheesecake.

The biggest thing to think about is if the candy you choose will be good in the center of the cheesecake or will it just be weird, and that any candy added to the top should be added last-minute, especially colored type candies, so it doesn’t bleed into the topping. If you think your candy will be strange inside, it could just be left out of the center and only added to the top or a coordinating candy could be added to the middle.

 I did mention Milky Ways as a garnish - so good!

I did mention Milky Ways as a garnish – so good!

Examples: Gum drops – they’d be cute in all different colors in little groupings on the top, but they’d be weird inside! M&M’s – they’d be great inside, especially if lightly chopped, but would bleed a little bit, and they’d have to be added very last-minute to the top, because even if they don’t melt in your hands, they melt on your cheesecake! Trust me on this one! Chopped up Milky Way bars? Yeah, they’d make a great middle layer and a great topping!

After you choose your candy, you’ll want to think about your crust. This crust normally has 1/2 cup of nuts in it and I went with Almonds because they fit my theme. Change it up – how about hazelnuts with Ferrerro Rocher candy? Snickers with peanut in the crust? Or maybe you’d like to use something else instead of the nuts. Ground up Pretzels? Put chopped up caramels in the middle and top with chopped pretzel, caramel & chocolate? But if you don’t think some kind of nut will go with your candy, simply omit and increase the crumbs by 1/2 cup.

Which brings us to the crumb bottom on the cheesecake. Graham Cracker crumbs are the standard, but another type of very crisp cookie could be chosen. Dry shortbread cookies work great. So do crisp chocolate cookies and hard lemon cookies. Perhaps you’d prefer to grind up gingersnaps! Choose the type of bottom you think will complement your candy – and think about using some of the cookie in the middle or for the topping instead of or as well as the candy.

As you start to deviate from the exact crust, you might find you need to add just the tiniest touch of more butter to it – start with the six tablespoons and if you can just press it together and it holds in clumps, you’re good to go. If not melt another tablespoon and add it bit by bit until it does. Add as little as possible, though, because you don’t want it oily.

Now that you’ve chosen the crust, the middle layer and the candy topping, you’ll want to decide if you’re going to use brown or white sugar! White sugar goes with almost anything, and brown is great, but not with everything, because it makes the cheesecake slightly caramel in flavor. I always use white in the topping because the pure white looks just gorgeous with any decoration.

Last of all is the drizzle. what ever goes with your theme. Any ice cream topping or sauce will work here and to keep things simple, I usually just use store-bought. I’ve always wanted to try one of those toppings that hardens into a candy shell just because I think it might be fun, but haven’t yet. The drizzle, though, if I use it, is usually just a punctuation, a tiny bit, to set off the rest.

Wouldn’t it be fun to put out a whole assortments of candies, crushed cookies and drizzles, the candies in their own little dishes and the drizzles in squirt bottles and have the guests go at it? I could just imagine almost any kid’s (or adult’s) eyes light up when they saw that! If my son were here, Number 2, the “glutton” he’d have to go last for sure, and would no doubt clean up everything left behind! There’d be nothing left for poor Uru when she came back, just the mess in the kitchen!

 The finished Cheesecake - it doesn't look like much plain, but just wait until it's plated!

The finished Cheesecake – it doesn’t look like much plain, but just wait until it’s plated!

Speaking of which, my cheesecake is done and sitting in the fridge, the toppings chopped up and set out and I found some caramel ice cream topping in Uru’s fridge. But where is Uru?  I think Gibson and I will take a stroll around the neighborhood and play detective. Maybe we’ll run into someone who knows where Uru is! At the very least, perhaps we’ll stop by one of the wonderful restaurants she’s reviewed. Luckily, she’s left behind a hat and trench coat…

I hope CCU doesn't mind if Gibson and I borrow a couple trench coats and hats?

I hope CCU doesn’t mind if Gibson and I borrow a couple trench coats and hats?

Oh, but before we go, I guess I better clean up that mess!

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

(or Design your own Variation)



  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 5 ounces (or hard cookie of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, very finely chopped (or another nut or pretzels)
  • 1/2 cup English toffee bits (such as Shor or Heath)
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar (white sugar may be used)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, perhaps a bit more if using a variation in the crumb or nuts


  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar (white sugar may be used)
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (may be omitted or another extract may be substituted to complement your variation)
  • 8 ounces chocolate-covered English toffee (such as Skor or Heath bars), cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or another candy/crushed cookie of your choice
  • 1 16-ounce container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Assorted chopped up candies or cookies
  • Drizzle of your choice


For crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180 degrees C).
  2. Mix the crust ingredients in medium bowl.
  3. Add butter and stir until moist clumps form – If variations in the crust have been made, a little more butter may need to be added, as little as possible.
  4. Press mixture over bottom and 1 inch up sides of 10-inch-diameter springform pan. (A flat bottomed cup is very helpful to make the crust even and flat and work it up the sides of the pan.
  5. Check the crust in good light to make certain there are no holes and gently nudge to cover them.
  6. Bake crust until just set, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (160 degrees C).

For filling

  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar together in large bowl until just blended, stopping and scraping the sides once or twice.
  2. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, until just mixed in. Scrape bottom and sides before adding the next egg.
  3. Add both extracts and mix in.
    Note: Blend until just mixed, not to add in air, and as beat little as possible for the best textured cheesecake.
  4. Pour half of mixture into prepared crust and level with a spatula; sprinkle with chopped up toffee bars or other candy/cookie of your choice.
  5. Gently dollop the remaining mixture over. Use a spatula to carefully nudge the the cheesecake mixture over the toffee bars/candy until well covered, gently smooth the top. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but even and level is best.
  6. Bake until edges are puffed and well set, but center still has a very slight jiggle. The top should be a nice golden brown, about 55 minutes (Don’t worry about any cracks that have formed on the top of the cheesecake as it will be covered by the topping)

Meanwhile, prepare topping

  1. Mix sour cream, sugar and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Again, try not to beat air into the mixture.
  2. Pour topping over hot cheesecake, smooth with spatula if needed. If you see any bubbles, smooth them out. Bake cake until topping is just set, about 5 to 7 minutes. The topping should not be brown.
  3. Transfer to rack and cool 10 minutes. Run knife between cake and pan sides. (This will prevent the cheesecake and topping from pulling as it shrinks in the pan while being chilled.)
  4. Chill cake uncovered overnight.
  5. Remove pan sides and place cake on platter. Garnish top with candies.

Helpful Hints:

  • The bottom of a cheesecake pan has a lip on it – for easiest removal and cutting of a cheesecake when you put the pan together, put it together with the lip down. I know it is a bit more difficult and looks like there is a small gap on the inside of the pan between the bottom and the sides – trust me, the gap won’t be a problem and it will be much easier to cut and slice the cheesecake and remove a slice intact.
  • When I place the cheesecake on a platter or cake stand, I often just keep it on the bottom portion of the springform pan. It doesn’t show until it’s time to cut.
  • When cutting the cheesecake, use a long thin knife and a downward motion. Wipe the knife clean between slices.
  • This is a great recipe to use up a little Halloween candy!

Recipe originally appeared in Bon Appetit, December 2000.

Aaah Frugal Hausfrau you found me! I was just casually chilling… in the back… way out back… while you made the cheesecake…😉
But now that the cheesecake has been made, and I just happened to appear again, isn’t our timing totally in sync? 
I know you all enjoyed this mouthwatering cheesecake recipe, I know I want to bite my screen if I could! Thanks so much for guest posting Frugal Hausfrau! If you want to see more awesome recipes and trenchcoat-style anecdotes, be sure to check out her fantastic blog!😀
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  1. Pingback: CHEESECAKE FOR BREAKFAST? | To Arizona......and beyond!

    • Thanks, Nami! You haven’t lived until you’ve tried this then! The toffee stays crisp inside – not hard but just – I don’t know if “toothsome” is the right word? It gives a wonderful little crunch. I hope you’ll try it and let CCU & I know how you liked it!

    • Yes, please, Thank you, Anna! Bookmark, pin it – share it on FB – everyone should taste this at least once in their life, but most of all make it for that husband of yours – and yourself!🙂

    • Thanks, Juliana! It was fun stepping out and “visiting” Uru and her friends for this guest post! I’ve had so much fun “meeting” everyone and hearing such a fantastic and welcoming comments! Gibs says “Thanks!” I think…how many barks is that?🙂

    • Sweet of you to say, and I’d love to come back anytime Uru needs a Guest Post. Everyone here has been so nice! Honestly, I wondered what I could post for such a great baker! And I do have a few more cheesecakes up my sleeve, all good in their own right! (Although this one is particularly fabulous!)🙂

    • Thanks, RubyRed! I love the name – it reminds me somehow of fairy tales and gingerbread houses! I hope you’ll try it and let us know what you think! And thanks from Gibs – he is a cutie! And the gentlest, sweetest dog in the world…

    • Thanks, applec, it really is. And it’s one of the reasons I so seldom order cheesecake when I’m out in a restaurant!🙂 Why pay so much for something that can be made so easily at home and absolutely customized!

    • Hi Applec – it really is and I actually think this cheesecake is responsible, in part, for my social life – I’ve had more than one dinner invitation when I’ve said (oh, why do I always make this offer?) “Can I bring anything?” and the person has said, “Well, we were at your house one year when you made this cheesecake – it had candy on it?”🙂

    • Thanks Pamela! And it was (I think I can finally say was as the kids finished off the last piece as a midnight snack last night!) so good. We had our first “real” snow last night here in MN. followed by sleet today, so I wish Gibby & really were down under!

  2. shenANNAgans says:

    Holy YARM! What an amazing cheesecake Frugal. By the end of the post I was practically licking my computer screen. Sounds amazingly delicious, cant wait to try it.🙂 AND… CCU, I do hope the study is going swell too.

    • Love your name, I use it often in vain with my son and his friends and their activities🙂 And thanks, and I know you’ll love it!

      I hope CCU’s hitting the books, too, and not peeking – and wondering what on earth I’m doing with her blog…teehee.

    • Hi Ramona (which is one of my favorite names! My daughter would have been a Ramona except I gave in, probably from exhaustion after the birth!) thanks much! I’m not known for my photos, I’m afraid, but this was a good subject!

  3. Hello there, Frugal🙂 Lol, that’s what usually happens. People will politely say they just want a pinch or a tiny fraction to sample. But you know your dessert is a hit when they don’t leave the fork down and just waiting for that chance to come back🙂. I love this cake!

    Gourmet Getaways xx

    • Hi Ashley – so there you go, I’m going to have to check out Instagram for myself! I noticed CCU shares from her blog, and of course I’ve heard my kids talking about it, but I’m behind the times! Glad you like the post!

  4. Kathleen Richardson says:

    I love the way you cook, and think. If you don’t want this ingredient, substitute this, or this!. Only problem is, by the time I was finished reading, I wanted to add everything you suggested. You write a lot like CCU. You two would make a great team.

    • 🙂 Thanks much Kathleen – I think a great recipe is a template for what ever flavors you love! And my son DOES put everything on it…nothing wrong with that, except it would put me in a food coma. Ah, to be young! And what a wonderful compliment, as I admire CCU very much, and she’s so “hip” …me, I’m more hippy, and not the back to nature kind if you get my drift!

    • Thanks Brittany, and yes it is…and it’s calling my name right now I can hear it all the way from the kitchen. At first it was once every hour or so, but I’ve resisted, now it’s whining from the fridge and the sound is almost blocking everything else out…I must be strong, I must be strong.

      Seriously, it is a bit dangerous and so delish!

    • I like that almost any candy would work here, so Uru can go wild when she makes this and use all the purple, blue & pink candies I’ve seen so much in her baking! And thanks, I think he looks “fetching” (dog pun) in his CCU undercover gear!

  5. The Vegan 8 says:

    OMG Uru, this looks insanely delish!! Before I went vegan, I used to make a Toffee Cheesecake that everybody died over and I have been determined to remake it vegan, but still be just as rich, quite the challenge, but thanks for reminding me, lol! Cheesecakes have always been my specialty before vegan and now vegan, I love making them. This is gorgeous!

    • Thanks, and I’m looking forward to exploring your blog – and the blogs of all the other commenters, if they have them! Quite a challenge, a vegan cheesecake – I’m not vegan, but when I’m not being indulgent I love cooking either vegan or vegetarian dishes to help balance out all the rest!

    • Thanks much, I was honored that CCU let me guest post for her! And the toppings are so much fun! And if Gibson could speak, he’d say thanks, although as you might guess by the photo he was a little concerned about wearing a hat, but very patient.

      • A_Boleyn says:

        I’ve been intending to make individual/mini cheesecakes (the ones with a ‘Nilla wafer base) in cupcake papers, especially now that Christmas is coming, and your post is inspirational. I think I’ll do a dozen vanilla and a dozen chocolate and add toppings to make several different time. I just have to pick up an assortment of chocolate bars…and then NOT eat them ahead of time. 🙂

  6. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great guest post, I’m sure CCU will adore this recipe, how can she not love it? The candy bars look like a decadent addition and well worth the splurge, or if you have left over candy bars from Halloween.
    I recently assisted on a Kraft Philly cheesecake photo shoot and the food stylist baked all her cheese cakes in a Bain Marie which bakes more evenly, thereby avoiding the dreaded cracks. Wrap the bottom of the spring form pan with foil so it doesn’t get wet. Allow the cheese cake to cool in the oven in the Bain Marie. It works like a charm.

    • Hi Eva, those are very good comments, and I make a lot of my cheesecakes in a Bain Marie – they have such a perfect, creamy inside from the outside edge to the middle. The beauty of this cheesecake is with the topping a few cracks make no difference at all – it’s kind of a “cheater” cheesecake, so no Bain Marie necessary. Plus the crust of this cheesecake bakes up crispier without.

    • Thanks so much for the compliments, and I’ve already taken a peak at and signed up for updates from your blog! What a collection of beautiful recipes…I can’t wait to try some of them!

    • Of course I had to drop by your blog and say hello, since we’re neighbors. What a great sense of humor you have, and you haven’t managed to lose it through all you’ve been through. Thanks for bringing such a serious issue to the forefront. There isn’t one among us, I’m sure, who hasn’t had a tangle with domestic violence or known someone who has. Your tribute to your sister serves to highlight it is not something to brush off lightly.

      The way you’ve handled your loss with honesty, aplomb, dignity and grace serves to highlight how important it is to go on, day by day, and find pleasures even in the small things.

    • Dale, I hope you do and I hope you love it as much as we do! I should have showed the photo of my son’s version, with all kinds of toppings from the left over halloween candy. It was kind of like what as kids we used to call “Suicides.” For younger readers, that’s when one goes to a place where they serve something like “slushies” or snow cones and has the maker put a squirt of EVERY flavor in.

        • I would say this makes about 10 to 12 servings so it really is a favorite for a dinner party or a crowd. I make this almost every year for either Christmas or New Years.

          One time I had some of this left over in the fridge and it seemed like every time I walked past I’d pull out a knife and cut just the teensiest sliver off. A couple days later a WAIL of anguish went off!! “What happened to the cheesecake! You ATE it ALL!!” Although it had been diminishing in size, I had assumed other family members were eating it too! I was mortified to realize I had eaten so much, sliver by sliver!!

  7. navane64 says:

    One of my fav is cheesecake, included now this caramel version. Gosh!! triple drooled which is seldom the case but this one, so heavenly.

    • Thanks much (and hands you a napkin!) it really is a great version. I love cheesecake because it’s delish, but also because they’re impressive for very little actual work and they’re make ahead!

  8. Pingback: Guest Post on Go Bake Yourself: Caramel Toffee Cheesecake | Frugal Hausfrau

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