Hey! My name is Ann Ittoop and I am a South Indian/American South food blogger.

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Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

Gulab Jamun Cheesecake with Saffron Rose Cream

Where do I even begin with this Gulab Jamun Cheesecake? This recipe idea came about from my friend Tina so I decided to make it for her birthday. I knew it’d be the perfect edible gift to celebrate her day and her wonderful food ideas!

My Gulab Jamun Cheesecake features a pistachio shortbread cookie crust. I make the cheesecake filling with the spiced sugar syrup that gulab jamuns soak in. Then the topping is a blush pink whipped cream with sunny streaks of yellow from pinched-in saffron and rose. Finally, it all gets topped with a cluster of gulab jamun and crushed pistachos. It’s seriously so dreamy and full of flavor.

While there are many layers and steps in this recipe, there are some shortcuts you could take. You can buy pre-made cheesecake crusts and gulab jamun (or use my gulab jamun recipe). Additionally, if you wanted to make this a no-bake cheesecake and save some time, see my notes section for the instructions on how to make it. I personally love the airy texture that comes from a baked cheesecake.

The most important part of making this cheesecake is in the cooling process. Do not try to rush the cheesecake to cool because sudden drops in temperature can ruin your masterpiece.

If you make this cheesecake please tag me @thefamiliarkitchen on social media. This recipe took me awhile to write and produce and I’d LOVE to see how it turns out for you. Looking for other dessert inspiration? Check out my other favorite recipes: Lemon Pound CakeChocolate Banana Nut Muffins, or The Ultimate Oreo Bundt Cake.

Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

This dreamy Gulab Jamun Cheesecake features a pistachio shortbread cookie crust, spiced cream cheese, a saffron rose cream frosting, and a topping of gulab jamun and crushed pistachios. It sounds like a lot to make, but it's very easy!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Resting Time4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Fusion, Indian
Keyword: baked goods, cheesecake, dessert, gulab jamun
Servings: 12 servings
Author: The Familiar Kitchen


  • Food Processor
  • Springform Pan, 8-10" diameter


Gulab Jamun

The Crust

  • Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies, 40
  • Pistachios, 1/2 cup
  • Butter, 3/4 stick, cold, cubed

The Filling

  • Cream Cheese, 5 cups
  • Sour Cream, 1 cup
  • Sugar Syrup from Gulab Jamun, 1/2 cup or use sugar instead
  • Sugar, 1 cup
  • Lime Juice, 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract, 1 tbsp
  • Rose Essence, 2 tsp
  • Green Cardamom, 15-20 pods, ground (about 1 tbsp)
  • Cloves, 6-8, ground
  • Saffron, 3-4 pinches
  • Eggs, 4

Saffron Rose Cream

  • Heavy Cream, 2 cups
  • Rose Essence, 1/2 tsp
  • Grenadine or Pomegranate Syrup, 1/4 cup
  • Saffron, 2 pinches
  • Salt, 1/8 tsp


  • Gulab Jamun
  • Crushed Pistachios
  • Gulab Jamun Syrup Drizzle
  • Crushed Edible Rose


Make the crust.

  • In a food processor, pulse all the crust ingredients together until it forms a crumby mixture that can hold together. Dump this mixture into your springform pan. Use a silicone spatula or your hands to firmly press the crust into the pan so it holds together. Press it so it's evenly flat. You can also press up the sides about a 1/2" if you like a rounded up crust.
    Set your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes and then remove to let cool. Set aside.

Make the Gulab Jamun.

  • You can use store bought or use my recipe (on the blog). Make this ahead so you have cooled sugar syrup to use in the cheesecake batter. I like to make my gulab jamun fresh so I can make different sizes for the cake topping. That's mostly for aesthetic and doesn't affect the taste.

Make the cheesecake batter.

  • Mix all the batter ingredients together except for the eggs. I like using room temperature cream cheese and whisking it together on medium speed on my stand mixer. Mix together until the cream cheese is creamy.
    When adding in the eggs, I fold it in using a silicone spatula instead of on my stand mixer. I do this because I don't want to fluff up the eggs too much (which can create too many air pockets in your cheesecake when baking). Once the eggs are fully mixed in, pour the batter on top of your crust. Give a light tap to your pan to remove any air pockets.

Bake and cool.

  • Place a tray of water on the bottom rack of your oven to allow steam to form in the oven. this will help keep the cheesecake soft and cooking evenly. Bake the cheesecake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes and do not open the oven to check. The rim of the cake will start to brown around the 30-40 minute mark. If it starts browning too much, you can loosely cover the cheesecake with aluminium foil. You'll know it is down if the edges have browned and look firm while the center is still somewhat softer.
    This is important. When the cheesecake is done baking, open the oven door and DO NOT remove the cheesecake just yet. Leave the oven door open and let the cheesecake gradually cool inside. If the temperature drops too quickly, your cheesecake will sink.
    After about an hour of cooling in the oven, let it finish cooling on your counter top before finally refrigerating it for about 3-4 hours or overnight.

Make the saffron rose cream.

  • Use a hand or stand mixer and whisk the heavy cream on high until it becomes stiff. Once stiff, add the remaining ingredients and mix evenly. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Decorating the cheesecake.

  • Finally, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator. Spread the saffron rose cream on top followed by placing the Gulab Jamun in a mound (or however you'd like to). Drizzle gulab jamun syrup on top and sprinkle with crushed pistachios and dried rose. That's it!


To make this an egg-free cheesecake you can use Just for All Eggs as a substitute or turn this into a no-bake cheesecake.
To make it no-bake, swap the eggs for 1 cup of heavy whipped cream or condensed milk. Mix all other cheesecake filling ingredients as listed. Pour on top of your crust and refrigerate overnight. 
If you prefer to not bake the crust, add in a full stick of soft butter in the food processor so it's more wet. Press the crust into your springform pan and then refrigerate. 

Saffron Rose Cream on Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

Hey! My name is Ann Ittoop and I am a South Indian/American South food blogger. Growing up as a second-generation Indian-American, I got the chance to experience the best of both food worlds, oftentimes on one plate! On one hand I had Kerala staples like appam and chicken curry. On the other I had chicken and waffles. If there’s one thing that has helped me understand my identity and express both ends of my cultural upbringing, it’s most definitely food. I have a firm belief there is literally magic in the cooking process. That’s why most nights you’ll find me in the kitchen. I’m there always testing and creating new recipes that stem from my wild imagination. And I’m there searching for the familiar memories of my childhood. I started The Familiar Kitchen to not only help myself find this magic, but for those seeking a way to find their own magic. Join me on my adventures through cooking classic Kerala-inspired dishes, some of my Southern favorites, and all the recipes in between.

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