An all-time favourite dessert at our properties; discover how to make Mrs Tollman's delectable cheesecake yourself.

A favourite on the menu across our hotels, Bea Tollman’s cheesecake is a classic crowd-pleasing dessert created by the Red Carnation Hotels founder. A simple but seriously delicious vanilla cheesecake, Mrs Tollman spent years getting the recipe just right and now the dish is available in several Red Carnation Hotels properties. Here, we share the vanilla cheesecake recipe for guests to enjoy at home.

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Serves 12 people.

  • 1.35kg Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 6 eggs, separated (room temperature)
  • 350g granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 450ml sour cream
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • A 20cm spring mould


  • 450ml sour cream
  • 50g sugar


  • 250g finely ground digestive biscuit crumbs
  • 65g white sugar
  • 120g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional) 


  1. For the crust, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon until well blended. Press the mixture into the mould to ensure a thin, consistent layer and bake at 190°C for 7 minutes. Leave to cool, then chill for an hour.
  2. Whip the cream cheese and half the sugar. Add the egg yolks, vanilla seeds, vanilla extract, salt and sour cream, and whip thoroughly, scraping the bowl.
  3. Whip the egg whites with the rest of the sugar. Fold the whites into the cheese mixture and very gently pour into the prepared pan. Wrap the bottom of the mould pan and place in a water bath.
  4. Bake in the oven for an hour at 180°C, then turn off the heat and allow to remain in the oven for another hour.
  5. Remove, cool on a rack, and then refrigerate for 12 hours.
  6. To finish, pre-heat the oven to 100°C. Mix the sour cream and sugar for the topping, top the chilled cheesecake, and bake for 20 minutes. Finally, chill for 24 hours before serving.