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Neapolitan Atole Cheesecake Is THE All-In-One Christmas Treat

The most difficult part about Christmas dessert for me is choosing just one to enjoy. With vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry options abound, I want to just shove them all in my face. Fortunately, there are desserts out there like this Neapolitan atole cheesecake that let me enjoy all of those flavors at once.

Made with instant atole mix, this cheesecake is more decadent than your standard New York variation, but adds in a nutty flavor that you wouldn’t get otherwise. It has triple the layers of your standard cheesecake, with vanilla as a foundation, a chocolatey middle, and a vibrant pink strawberry finish.

The treat is made even sweeter with a base made from Maria’s Cookies and buñuelos, with even more buñuelos and cajeta garnishing the top.

Those looking to make this all-in-one dessert can find the ingredients to do so at Northgate Market. You’ll also soon be able to find a cookbook that covers this recipe as well as a host of other Christmas treats in Northgate Market. For those who want to make it before then, though, you can find the full recipe below.

Servings: 10

12 Maria’s Cookies, crushed
5 6-inch buñuelos, crushed,
4 tablespoons butter, melted
6 cups 2% fat free milk,
3 (1.6 oz each) packets of instant atole mix: 1 vanilla, 1 chocolate, and 1 strawberry flavor
3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature, divided
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder


Step 1
Spray the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper as well to prevent the cake from sticking to the bottom.

Step 2
Make the cheesecake base by combining crushed cookies, 2 crushed buñuelos and the melted butter in a small bowl. Stir until fully combined into a wet, sandy mixture. Press that into the bottom of the parchment-lined springform pan with the bottom of a tall drinking glass or large spoon. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes so the base can set.

Step 3
Make the vanilla cheesecake layer using the vanilla flavored atole mix. Dissolve it into ½ cup cold milk in a small bowl. Meanwhile, bring 1 ½ cups milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in vanilla atole mixture into the hot milk, lower the heat, and continue to whisk slowly until the liquid thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Let the mixture cool at this point.

Step 4
Combine 1 package of cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl.  Mix with an electric mixer for 5 minutes, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula to ensure everything combines evenly. Gradually add vanilla atole mixture while mixing. Once everything is combined, pour it over the cheesecake base and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes while second layer is prepared.

Step 5
Repeat Step 3, but use the chocolate atole mix this time. This will be the middle layer of your Neapolitan cheesecake.

Step 6
Repeat Step 4 for the chocolate atole mix, adding in the cacao powder as well while mixing the cream cheese together. Pour on top of the vanilla cheesecake layer, then place in the freezer for 15 minutes while the top layer is prepared.

Step 7
Repeat Steps 3 and 4, using the strawberry atole mix this time to make the final layer of cheesecake.

Step 8
Pour the strawberry atole cheesecake mixture over the chocolate layer, spreading evenly. Carefully top with your remaining crushed buñuelos, pressing them lightly into the strawberry layer. Chill for 3-5 hours, or overnight.

Step 9
Run a knife around the edges to help the cheesecake release from the springform pan. Once that is freed, drizzle with a generous amount of cajeta and serve!

Photos by Pete Pham

Created in partnership with Northgate Market

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Move Over, PSL: This Is The Pumpkin Drink You Really Want This Fall

Atole and its chocolatey cousin champurrado are commonly enjoyed during the festive winter months. If you want to get a jump on atole season, though, this pumpkin version is designed to be enjoyed during Fall.

For those who’ve never tried atole, the warm, masa-based beverage is the ideal comforting drink for the colder seasons. This version incorporates spices like cinnamon and star anise while mixing in pumpkin puree for an autumnal flavor.

One of the keys to this recipe lies in its sweetening agent, piloncillo. The cone-shaped “sugar” can be found at places like Northgate Market, and is an unrefined ingredient made from boiling and evaporating cane sugar juice. It’s flavors are key to bringing the atole to life.

You can view the full recipe to this fall-based Pumpkin Atole in Northgate Market’s new holiday cookbook, arriving in early December. If you want to make it ahead of then, though, check it out below.

Servings: 9-10

1 cup masa harina
6 cup water, divided
4 cups milk
1 cup pure canned pumpkin
2/3 cup grated piloncillo
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground turmeric
pinch salt
1 vanilla bean split
1 large hollowed pumpkin (approximately 11” wide), small hollowed pumpkins for cups (approximately 4-5” tall and wide)
Extra long cinnamon sticks, star anise and pumpkin pie spice for garnish


Step 1
In a medium bowl, combine masa harina and 2 cups of water. Stir well to avoid any lumps.

Step 2
In a large saucepan, combine milk, pumpkin puree, remaining water, piloncillo, pumpkin pie spice, turmeric and salt. Whisk together until piloncillo is dissolved. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Step 3
Slowly stir the masa harina mix into the saucepan, add the vanilla bean and bring back to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and keep simmering until thickened to desired consistency, approximately 5-10 minutes.

Step 4
Serve hot or warm in a large pumpkin punch bowl, using small hollowed pumpkins as mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick straw, star anise and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Created in partnership with Northgate Market