I am almost embarrassed to share this recipe. I usually pride myself on making things entirely from scratch, but this wonderful dessert is held together by store-bought crescent rolls, some sugar and cinnamon, and a couple bricks of cream cheese. It’s sooooooo yummy. Everyone loves it. When I make this, it is almost a guarantee that someone will seek me out to say how good it is and/or to ask for the recipe. The pictures do not do justice; this pan probably looks pretty ordinary to the unsuspecting person standing by the dessert table. However, there’s something extraordinary about this particular combination of cream cheese, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and of course, the crescent rolls.
I make this dessert for many occasions, but it is one of my go-to desserts for Cinco de Mayo coming up in a few weeks. With the word “sopaipilla” in the name it has to qualify, right? Nobody actually cares whether it does or not. They may or may not know anything about Cinco de Mayo, but they are more than happy to celebrate by eating the whole pan of cinnamon-y goodness. When I make this dessert for our Together meal at church on Wednesday nights, I have started making two pans because, clearly, one is not enough.
I like this dessert best after it has chilled, so you end up with this crunchy, sugary crust on top and a cool creamy layer underneath with a softer crust on the bottom. Heavenly. Add it to your Cinco de Mayo menu or your breakfast plans for tomorrow or your birthday or your midnight snack. Whatever. Just add it to your life soon.
- Two 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened (You can use regular or the 1/3 less fat or one of each)
- 1 cup white sugar, scant
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened or melted
- 3/4 cup white sugar, scant
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (or less) honey to drizzle over the top of the whole pan after it is baked
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 X 13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Make the filling: Beat the softened cream cheese, scant 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
- Prepare the bottom crust: Unroll one can of crescent roll dough and press it into the bottom of the baking pan. Press to seal any perforations or tears in the dough.
- Spread the filling mixture evenly over the bottom crust.
- Prepare the top crust: Unroll the second can of crescent roll dough out onto a piece of parchment paper or wax paper that is roughly the same size as your pan. Press the dough to seal any perforations or cracks and stretch it a little to make it big enough to cover your filling. Flip the pressed out dough over onto the filling and peel off the paper.
- Make the topping: If your butter is softened, you can cream the three topping ingredients together and then either spread or crumble the topping onto the top crust. If your butter is not softened, you can melt it first and then pour it over the top crust and then stir together the cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle over the melted butter layer. (Both of these methods work fine; I have not noticed if it makes any real difference in texture or anything else.)
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown.
- Optional garnish: Drizzle the top of the cheesecake with honey when it comes out of the oven. I highly recommend.
- Cool completely and then serve. (I like this best when it has cooled and then chilled in the refrigerator.)
- Keep leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container. This dessert holds up really well in the refrigerator and could theoretically last for several days, but it probably won’t make it that long.
Variation: You can easily adapt this to make a half recipe. Use just one can of crescent rolls and press half of it into a small square baking pan. Halve all of your other ingredients and top with the other half of the can of crescent rolls.
Source: Slightly adapted from Allrecipes.