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Frankenstein Cheesecakes

Elise Strachan:6 frighteningly fantastic Halloween dessertsFrankenstein Cheesecakes. TODAY, October 27th 2016.
Elise Strachan:6 frighteningly fantastic Halloween desserts Frankenstein Cheesecakes. TODAY, October 27th 2016.Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

Elise Strachan, the creator and host of the popular online baking show My Cupcake Addiction, shares her sweetest, spookiest recipes for Halloween. No fright fest is complete without Frankenstein — and here he is in no-bake cheesecake form!

Special equipment: 6 (1/2-pint) square jars with lids


  • 7 ounces dark chocolate candy melts
  • 2 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 20, cream filling left in)
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) salted butter, melted
  • 35 ounces full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups (200g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon green food color paste
  • 3 cups heavy cream, lightly whipped to soft peaks 12 brown M&M's
  • 12 brown M&M's


Melt the candy melts using a double-boiler or in 20-second bursts in a microwave and place in a zip-seal bag. Cut off a very small corner.

Pipe small solid triangles onto a sheet of parchment paper. They don't need to be even and can vary a little in size. You'll need about 12 per jar, for a total of 72. Refrigerate to set.

In a bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and butter and mix well. Place 2 tablespoons loosely into the bottom of each jar.

Take the set triangles and place 3 per side around  the outside of the cookie crumbs with the flat sides pressed up against the inside of the jar (this is Frankenstein's "hair").

Once the triangles are in place, compact the cookie crumb mixture using the back of a spoon; it will help to hold the chocolate shards firmly in place. Refrigerate.

In a mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until whipped. Add the food color paste and mix thoroughly, tinting the mixture a little darker than you want the final product to be. Fold in the whipped cream, which will lighten the color of the mixture.

Spoon the cheesecake mixture into a piping bag and cut the end to make a 3/4-inch opening. Pipe the mixture into the jars, starting in the center and finishing 1/2 inch above the top of the jar.

Tap the jar gently on the counter and, if need be, use a spoon to compact the cheesecake mixture into the corners of the jar so no air pockets are visible, then use an offset spatula to smooth the top of the cheesecake so it's flush with the jar rim.

Add the lids and allow to set in the fridge for 2 hours.

Once set, turn the jar over so the lid is now the base.

Dry off any condensation from the jar and use a black marker to draw on Frankenstein's face and scars. Place a small dab of melted candy on the back of 2 M&M's and use it as a glue to attach them to opposite sides of the jar to make the bolts in Frankenstein's neck.