• Mandala cheesecakes (The Sweet Life with Elise Strachan)Source: The Sweet Life with Elise Strachan

Experiment and let your creative genius take over with these colourful, creative cakes. The coconut icing and raspberry coulis add plenty of flavour, making this cheesecake equally delicious as it is eye-catching. 






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (132 votes)


Pastry base

  • 175 g salted butter, softened
  • 55 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
  • 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence 


  • 250 g fresh or frozen raspberries 
  • 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • juice of 1 small lemon


  • 600 g sour cream
  • 397 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tsp vanilla essence 
  • 30 g (¼ cup) cornflour
  • juice of 2 lemons, strained
  • 15 g (¼ cup) moist coconut flakes 

Mandala icing

  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut cream
  • food colourings of your choice

Ganache topping

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) pouring cream
  • 200 g white chocolate, finely chopped 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 2 hours

1. For the pastry base, place the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add the flour and vanilla essence and beat until the mixture comes together and pulls away from the side of bowl. Shape into a smooth ball, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  

2. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a non-stick 25 cm tart tin with removable base with baking paper. 

3. Break off pieces of the chilled pastry and press into the base and sides of the prepared tin to create an even crust. Bake for 20 minutes or until dry and light golden. For a perfect finish, you can push and manipulate the sides while still warm if they have shrunk. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, for the coulis, place the raspberries, sugar and 60 ml (¼ cup) water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Place the cornflour and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth, then slowly pour into the raspberry mixture and simmer until thickened and deep red in colour. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Discard the seeds, then set aside to cool.

5. For the filling, beat the sour cream, condensed milk and vanilla essence until smooth and well combined. Place the cornflour and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Gradually add to the sour cream and beat for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. 

6. To assemble the cheesecake. Pour 250 ml (1 cup) of the filling into the bottom of the cooled base and sprinkle the coconut flakes over the top. Drizzle over the raspberry coulis and pour over another cup of filling, making sure you leave enough room for your ganache topping. Reserve the remaining filling for the mandala. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until firm and set but not browned. Remove from the oven and stand for 1 hour or until cool. 

7. For the mandala icing, add enough coconut milk to the remaining cheesecake mixture to make a mixture with the consistency of thickened cream. Divide the mixture between as many small bowls as you have colours (see note). Add the colourings and stir until well combined, then pour into squeeze bottles.  

8. For the ganache, place the cream into a small saucepan over low heat until warm. Add the chocolate and stir just until melted and smooth. It’s important you don’t overheat the mixture or that it isn’t too runny because this is the canvas for your mandala pattern. Pour over the top of the cooled cheesecake making sure it doesn’t quite reach top of base. Once the ganache is on, it’s important you move fast to get a good consistency in the mandala pattern. 

9. To decorate, use a bamboo skewer as your paintbrush. Start off with a dot so you can get the right consistency. (A dot once pulled will make a heart). Flowers always look beautiful and very appealing to the eye. Experiment and let your creative genius take over. Freeze for 20 minutes or until set, then cut into slices and serve. 


• With colours of your choice. Always good to use at least 3 colours of different shades to get a good 3D effect. You can make a dark chocolate sauce for an outline if needed.


Taste The Sweet Life with Elise Strachan on SBS Food and On Demand.