Forget champagne. This Highland Park couple celebrates the New Year with cheesecake

Photo by Leticia Delasota

Not just one cheesecake. 80 cheesecakes. That’s how many cakes Highland Park residents Benji and Katrina made today in time for their annual New Year’s party on Saturday. The 10-inch wide cakes are made from scratch based on a recipe from Benji’s mother. Come Saturday night, party guests (including The Eastsider) will depart the couple’s Highland Park home with the gift of cheesecake. Katrina explains how this sweet tradition got started:

“We don’t buy gifts for our friends. We bake cheesecakes! Just finished #80 and we’re done for the day! Benj has been doing this since his 20s when he started the tradition of baking cheesecakes for friends because he was broke and really wanted to give his friends a gift but had very little money. Over the years it has expanded and now includes my friends. It takes an entire day of baking and we love it!”

What goes into 80, 10-inch wide cheesecakes? Here’s the list of ingredients:

50 packages of graham crackers
12.5 pounds of butter
25 pounds of cream cheese
8.3 dozen eggs
45 pounds of sour cream
4 bottles of lemon juice
10 pounds sugar


  1. Those cheesecakes are delicious!

  2. sweet photo & story!

  3. Wow, they have quite a cheesecake factory. 🙂

  4. Oh, be still my hear(attack)

  5. that was supposed to be hearT(attack).

  6. It’s the ingredient of love that makes benj and katrina’s event SO delightful, year after year!
    Skill also, hospitality extraordinaire- yes – but as with all giving – love is critical and generosity is foremost!
    We will be there!!!
    Glenn, Jane & co.

  7. Benji and Katrina – can I please be your friend? 🙂 What a delightful way to start the new year!

  8. Full disclosure, Jesus. How many pies did you down? 😀

  9. Now that the secret is out, I am afraid Benj and Katrina will have to
    include a security team in their budget.

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