I was asked to make London Cheesecake. As I had never heard of it I did some research and found it had no cheese in it, and had nothing to do with London. I did some Googling to find out why and how it got it's name, only to find out that no-one really knows......
So what is London Cheesecake?
London Cheesecake is, at the most basic level, 2 bits of puff pastry sandwiched together with jam in between. It is then decorated with thick fondant or glace icing and finished with shredded or flaked coconut.
I've asked around my friends, who know London Cheesecake, and got different reports of what was inside the puff pastry. Some said just jam, others told me there was a almond paste. So I tried both version, and got a great response for both version, so it's entirely up to you which one to try, depending on if you have time to faff, or like the idea of almond paste inside.
A note on ingredients
I used shop bought, ready rolled puff pastry. This is for no other reason than I am lazy. In my opinion life is too short to make puff pastry. There are factories that make and roll it so much better than I ever can.
I used Strawberry Jam, because that's what I had in the cupboard. However, I think if you are including the almond paste either raspberry or cherry would taste amazing.
Icing Sugar for Glaze
I was also lucky to find Tate and Lyle Fondant Icing Sugar in my local supermarket. If you can't find the Fondant Icing Sugar, regular will do.
The coconut on London Cheesecake is crucial - without it, it's simply not London Cheesecake!
Shredded is the one that is preferred and most photographed. However, unless I wanted a 1kg bag of the stuff I couldn't get hold of any. I did however find flaked coconut in a local health food shop. Desiccated will work if you are in a fix, but it won't give you quite the same texture.
Notes on How to make London Cheesecake
If you are using shop bought, ready rolled puff pastry, get a rolling pin and roll over it again a couple of times. Shop bought, ready rolled is always a little thick, so rolling it a little thinner will definitely help it cook all the way through, be light and crispy and make it slightly larger to cut.
I found the best way to cut the necessary rectangles was lay the pastry out like it was a ‘landscape’ piece of paper. I then cut across the centre length ways. Then cut down the centre. Then cut down each quarter again – see the video.Jump to Video
Make sure you don’t use too much jam in each Cheesecake. If you use too much it will ooze out of the sides, making your London Cheesecake messy and sticky.
If you want the jam you use to stay in the cheesecake make sure you seal the top and bottom pastry rectangles of each London Cheesecake properly. The jam turns molten when in the oven and will find any crack in the pastry to find it’s way out.
The almond paste is a great addition to London Cheesecake, but isn’t essential. Again like the jam though, don’t put too much in. Just a teaspoon smeared in the centre will be enough.
Once the cheesecakes are out of the oven and cooled cover in a thick glace icing. Make sure it’s very thick as it’s what adds the sweetness to the cheesecake. Place the coconut onto it before it sets or it’ll never stick.
London Cheesecake Pro-Tip
These are sold in traditional bakeries all over the country. They are not pretty or refined, but they are well loved. If you are a small independent bakery with a retail outlet these are great bakes to include in your offering. They are inexpensive and easy to make, and are a crowd pleaser. If you do fairs and markets, these would be perfect!
They will keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days, so you don't have to be discarded at the end of the day and can be sold for a couple of days.
FAQs for London Cheesecake
Yes, absolutely. If you are good at making pastry and you have the time you can use either puff pastry or flaky pastry.
Yes. Just leave out the Almond Paste in the centre.
Yes. If you make your own pastry it can be made with gluten free flour. Alternatively, there is Gluten Free Puff Pastry on the market.
They will keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days, so do not have to be discarded at the end of the day and can be sold for a couple of days.
If you like traditional British Bakes you may also like the following recipes:
London Cheesecake Recipe
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 Baking Sheet
- 1 Packet Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
- 6 tspn Jam
Almond Paste Filling - Optional Extra
- 50 gms White Sugar
- 50 gms Butter or Baking Spread
- 1 Egg
- 50 gms Ground Almonds
- 200 gms Fondant Icing Sugar, or Regular Icing Sugar
- 50-100 ml Water
- Shredded or Flaked Coconut
- In a bowl cream together the butter/baking spread and sugar until light and fluffy
- Add the add and mix through
- Lastly add the almond and mix until fully combined
Constructing the pastry
- Preheat your oven to 160c fan, 180c, 350f, GM4
- Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or parchment
- Unroll the pastry and roll out a little thinner
- Cut into 12 even rectangles
- Lay 6 rectangles on the baking sheet
- Spoon a teaspoon of jam on each one and spread it out. DO NOT spread right to the edges as it will spill out when you bake them
- If you are using the almond paste, spoon a teaspoon of the mix on top of the jam, and again spread it out, making sure you keep away from the edges
- Place the 6 remaining pieces of pastry on top and press down at the edges to seal the filling inside
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and well puffed up
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool fully
- Whilst they are cooling make the topping
- Put the icing sugar into a bowl and add 20-30ml of water and mix. Keep adding drizzles of water until you have a thick pouring consistency. You want it thin enough to be able to smooth over the pastry, but thick enough for it stick and not pour off the sides
- Spoon onto the pastries and smooth out to the edges
- Cover with coconut and leave to set
Have you Tried this recipe?
I would love to see it or hear about your experience of it.
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