Florida Orange Cheesecake


  • 2 cups of finely ground vanilla wafer cookies (1 box) – you can substitute the vanilla wafers with graham crackers or pretzels.
  • 1/3 cup of golden brown sugar
  • 6-7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 4-6 Florida navel oranges, (for 1 cup of fresh orange juice)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of finely grated orange peel
  • 4 – packages of cream cheese (8 oz packages), room temperature
  • 1 container (8 oz) of sour cream (1 cup), room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature


  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • Set oven to 350 degrees, position rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Finely grind vanilla wafers to get two cups, place in a medium bowl.
  • Add 1/3 cup golden brown sugar.
  • Melt 6-7 tablespoons of butter.  Add 6 tablespoons to the mixture (if mixture is still dry, add 1 more tablespoon of butter), mix well.
  • Press the mixture into a 9″ springform pan and create a 1″ border up the side of the pan.
  • Bake crust at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until set and golden brown.  Cool crust in pan on rack.
  • Once cooled, wrap 4 layers of foil tightly around the outside of the pan so that it is completely waterproof (pan will be setting in a water bath while cooking).
  • Maintain oven temperature at 350 degrees.


  • Zest 2 tablespoons of orange zest from the orange peel.
  • Juice 4 medium oranges to create 1 cup of orange juice.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of orange zest.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to a simmer.  Let the mixture simmer reducing to 3/4 cup (about 10 minutes).  Chill until cool.
  • In a large bowl, using a strong wooden spoon, mix the cream cheese with 3/4 cups of sugar until smooth.  You can use an electric mixer, I prefer the spoon.
  • Mix in 1 cup of sour cream, 3 tablespoons of flour, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • Beat in 5 eggs, one at a time.
  • Finally, mix in the cooled orange juice mixture.
  • Pour filling into the crust.
  • Place the aluminum foil lined spring form pan into a large roasting pan.  Pour hot water into the roast pan till water level rises halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.
  • Bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Use a cake tester or toothpick to determine doneness.  It will come out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place on a rack.  Leave the oven on.
  • Mix 8 oz sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Pour over the top of the cheesecake.  Smooth it around with a knife.  Place back in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, remove foil, let rest on rack for 1 hour.
  • Mix 1 1/2 cups orange juice, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.  Place in a sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Stir until desired thickness.  I usually just bring it to a boil.  Let cool 5 minutes and pour over the sour cream topping.  Then, let cheesecake cool completely on the rack.
  • Refrigerate overnight.

Cheers, Drew Frederic

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