Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Yummy (Easy) Dessert for Cinco de Mayo or any Mexican meal.

It is almost Cinco de Mayo, so today I am sharing a dessert recipe that is one of my favorite endings to a Mexican meal. If you make my Sopapilla Cheesecake Squares, this recipe will probably become a favorite of yours too! 

Image 1 sopapilla cheesecake squares

It seems like practically everyone likes Mexican Food.

Mmmm. Mexican food.  It's so yummy and a perfect menu choice for a party, especially on the festive occasion of Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May.) 

Before I share my dessert recipe, I have a suggestion for an easy Mexican main dish you might want to make, as well.

I have several favorite enchilada recipes, but this one is quick enough for a weeknight meal and tasty enough for company, so it is the one that I make most. 
Here's the link: A Favorite Enchilada Recipe - Super Quick and Easy. 
My chicken enchilada recipe

Now, let's talk about dessert... 

Sopapilla Cheesecake Squares. A perfectly yummy finish to any meal!

I made Sopapilla Cheesecake Squares for the first time many years ago.  I don't remember where I copied the recipe from at the time, but I know that it is now posted on the Pillsbury website. This makes sense, as the main ingredient is refrigerated crescent dinner rolls dough. The credit for the original recipe probably goes to Deborah Harroun. (She is listed as the author of the recipe on the Pillsbury website.) Unless Ms. Harroun got the recipe from someone else, of course!

Everyone wanted the recipe!

The first time I baked this recipe was not for a Cinco de Mayo party, but for a teacher appreciation luncheon with a Mexican theme. The teachers loved this dessert so much, they were all e-mailing me for the recipe. I finally just made a copy of it and posted it in the teacher's break room.  Every time I have ever made this recipe, I have had lots of compliments. 

Besides being really easy to make, the best thing about this recipe is that it's utterly delicious. It has been described as "dangerous" because of how hard it is to limit yourself to just one piece. To minimize this problem, I altered the recipe to make a smaller batch of squares. Even this version is more than enough, unless we have a lot of guests!

Here is my scaled-down version of the recipe. You can, of course, double it when baking for a crowd!

sopapilla cheesecake squares with an article about Mexico.

Recipe: Sopapilla Cheesecake Squares

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Makes one 9x9 inch pan.

Cooking spray (or butter to grease pan)
1 (8 oz.) can Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese ( I use a 1/3 less fat variety)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for topping)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 TBSP butter, room temperature
1/8 cup honey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. Very lightly grease a 9x9 inch square pan. 
3. Mix together the cream cheese, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of sugar, beat well until very smooth.
4. Using half of the 8 oz. can of crescent roll dough, press them very lightly into the pan, covering the entire bottom and pinching/pressing all seams to make one full square.
5. Spoon cream cheese mixture carefully on top of the dough, smoothing out to cover it completely and evenly.
6. Cover cream cheese mixture with remaining crescent roll dough. I find it best to form a square first (handling as little as possible) and then just gently place it on top of the cream cheese layer in the pan.
7. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, mix together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, butter, and cinnamon.  Lightly dab this on top of the dough, covering it evenly.
8. Bake immediately at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes or so, until dough become puffy and topping is nicely browned.
9. Remove from oven and drizzle evenly with honey.
10. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before cutting into squares. This may be served warm or cold. 
11. Refrigerate leftovers, if there are any!

A few more things ...  
  • If you have any Mexican vanilla extract, the flavor is perfect to use in this recipe! If not, any regular vanilla will be perfectly fine.
  • I usually serve these warm as that is how I like them best, but some people prefer them well chilled.
  • To make a 9x11-inch pan of these squares: Double the recipe ingredients; use one whole (8 oz.) can of crescent rolls to cover the bottom of the pan and the entire second one to cover the cream cheese filling.  You will need to increase baking time to about 30 to 40 minutes.

Confession time

This sopapilla cheesecake is not an authentically Mexican recipe, and it is really neither a (sopapilla (fried dough)) or a cheesecake. I am quite certain, however, that whether you serve it at a Cinco de Mayo party or any day, no one will complain.

If you make these, leave a comment and let me know what you think.
What is your favorite dessert to have with a Mexican meal?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!


  1. This looks SO delicious Susan! I will definitely give it a try!

    1. I hope you like it, Lana. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  2. Oh yum, these look delicious, Susan. I'm going to give them a try when M and H are home. But I don't think it's wise for me to do that until then ...

    1. You are probably best to wait for them Kelly, it is pretty easy to be tempted to just keep eating this!

  3. I love cheesecake. It's actually one of the few things I can make. This looks delicious!

    1. We really like it - hope you do too if you try it, Rena.


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