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On National Cherry Cheesecake Day, April 23, we’re celebrating the smooth dessert topped with antioxidant-loaded cherries. We always knew it was a classic, but did you know it dates back to 2,000 B.C.? The cheese-based delicacy has long been a favorite but has changed in many ways over the years. Today, we most often imagine cherry cheesecake with a graham cracker or pastry crust, filled with cream cheese, and topped with nutrient-rich cherries — with a drizzle of thick cherry sauce to top it off. Our mouths are watering just thinking of it!
History of National Cherry Cheesecake Day
Though cherry cheesecake has been around for thousands of years, even today there’s a huge variation for what qualifies as the iconic dessert. The crust can be anything from graham cracker to pastry crust and even sponge cake, and the cheese inside isn’t always cream cheese! Some recipes swap cream cheese for cottage cheese and are baked with no crust at all. The hallmark of cherry cheesecake is, of course, the cherries, which traditionally rest on top and are packed with vitamins and other nutrients. Besides being delicious, cherries are anti-inflammatory and pack a punch of antioxidants!
The ancient Greeks didn’t add cherries to their cheesecake, but served a primitive form of the dessert for thousands of years — even to their athletes in the first Olympics! So if you ever wonder whether or not you can have cheesecake and still have an athletic figure, it is possible. The first written recipes for cheesecake appeared a few thousand years after it was first reportedly made.
In 1,000 A.D., cheesecake reached Europe. Roman armies stormed into Western Europe and the U.K., bringing with them the recipe! Though the dessert was a huge hit and spread rapidly, the next cookbook mention of cheesecake in these countries was in the mid-1500s. Cheesecake was then a widespread and well-known dessert — and the rest is history.
A new iteration of cheesecake arrived in the late 1870s, with the development of cheesecake and its promotion to the primary ingredient in the smooth dessert. Less than a decade after its invention, Philadelphia Kraft was making cream cheese en masse, and cheesecake was more accessible than ever. This gave way to the invention of the New York-style cheesecake that we all love so well today, which is defined by its ingredients — cheese, cream, egg, and sugar. Many people say this is when cheesecake really became cheesecake!
National Cherry Cheesecake Day timeline
Experts believe that cheesecake was created on the Greek island of Samos.
Althenaeus, a Greek writer, is thought to have first recorded a cheesecake recipe in writing — though there is evidence that Greeks had already been serving the dessert for years.
The next time cheesecake turned up in a cookbook was in the mid-16th century under the Tudors — it was called a ‘tarte of Chese.’
While attempting to replicate the iconic Neufchâtel cheese of France, some dairy farmers from America unwittingly discover the even-creamier cream cheese — the most crucial ingredient of cheesecake.
National Cherry Cheesecake Day FAQs
Are there any National Cherry Cheesecake Day deals?
The Cheesecake Factory, Harry & David, TGI Fridays, Olive Garden, Denny’s, and many more establishments all run deals on National Cherry Cheesecake Day!
Are there other National holidays on April 23?
Yes! April 23 is also National Picnic Day, St. George’s Day, Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day, and World Book Day.
Are there other National cheesecake holidays?
Yes! National Cheesecake Day is on July 30, and National Blueberry Cheesecake Day is on May 26.
National Cherry Cheesecake Day Activities
Hold a cherry cheesecake taste test
There are so many kinds of cherry cheesecake, a testing panel is the only way to know what’s best! Invite over friends or family to taste test and decide on the cherry cheesecake to rule them all.
Whip up your own cherry cheesecake
Maybe there’s an old family recipe, or you’re aiming to perfect a classic one you found online. Either way, take to the kitchen and create your own because there’s nothing better than a homemade cherry cheesecake. Share with family and friends when you’re done!
Share your creation to inspire more bakers
After you’ve perfected the cherry cheesecake recipe that’s made everyone you’ve served it to melt, post the picture on social media with the hashtag #NationalCherryCheesecakeDay! You’ll inspire some more bakers and show off your mad baking skills while celebrating the most delicious holiday of them all.
5 Fun Facts About Cheesecake
There was a 4,703-lb cheesecake!
Whipped up by Philadelphia Kraft Foods in 2009, this hefty cheesecake is the all-time heavyweight cheesecake champion.
It’s technically not a cake
In a surprising twist, cheesecake isn’t a cake at all, but a baked cheese custard pie with a crust!
The “Golden Girls” were big fans
We’re not sure how they did it, but over the course of seven years of filming, the “Golden Girls” TV show went through over 100 cheesecakes — that’s over one full cheesecake a month for almost a decade!
It’s the fuel of champions
We can’t confirm this, but legend has it that the first Olympic games of 776 B.C. supplied their athletes with some form of cheesecake before their events.
They used to make mail delicious
Häagen-Dazs once made cheesecake-flavored stamps for the Austrian Postal Service.
Why We Love National Cherry Cheesecake Day
It’s a true classic
The dessert has its roots in 2,000 B.C. Greece, yet remains popular today. We think that definitely makes it a classic! It’s got a great history and great taste, what more can we ask for?
It’s a reason to get in the kitchen and bake
When is the last time you made a cheesecake from scratch? It’s been a long time for us, too. Cherry Cheesecake Day is a great excuse to rediscover the joys of baking with family and friends and perfect your own recipe!
Cheesecake. Who doesn’t love it? It’s already a fan favorite, and only improves with cherries! Today is the day for indulgence, so go ahead and pick up that slice in the grocery store that you’ve been eyeing.
National Cherry Cheesecake Day dates