This protein cheesecake was made to be christmas themed, but it’s yummy any time of the year :) I incorporated my Protein Gingerbread Man Cookies into the crust, and used a similar cheesecake recipe to the very first blog entry I posted on Protein Buff. It’s topped off with a sugar-free cranberry compote topping to add to the holiday flavors theme, but you could use pretty much any other fruit instead of cranberries if they’re not your thing. The tartness of the cranberries really compliments the rich creaminess of the cheesecake though!
I’ve made this protein cheesecake recipe three times now (in slight variations) and it’s pretty much fool proof. You can sub in greek yogurt for some or all of the cream cheese or quark if you like, and a bit of mascarpone makes this recipe extra rich. Oh, and also, I usually make my cheesecake individually portioned in cupcake tins or papers, as I just like the look of it, and you’re sure that’s each portion is the same. You can also make one large protein cheesecake with this recipe instead, just make sure you bake it at a lower temperature, and for longer – the middle will take longer to cook, but you don’t want to overcook the outer edges, or they’ll become firm and crumbly rather than soft and decadent.
The next time I make a cheesecake I want to make it using my erythritol stevia sweetener combo, and unflavored whey. I was busy with a flurry of Christmas baking when I made this, so I didn’t have time to fully figure out the new recipe. So this one is a combo of vanilla protein powder, erythritol, and stevia. But until then, this recipe is tried and true though, you’re gonna love it!
(makes 12 mini protein cheesecakes)
2 Protein Gingerbread Man Cookies (or 48 grams of your cookie/graham cracker of choice)
45 g almond flour
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 packet stevia
1 Tbsp erythritol (or 1 extra packet of stevia)
500 g light cream cheese
375 g quark (greek yogurt works as a substitute)
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
4 scoops (120g) vanilla whey protein powder
1/4 cup erythritol
4 packets powdered stevia
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
Cranberry Compote Topping
(makes 16 x 1/4 cup servings – any extra you have left makes a great sauce for turkey or pork! Or you could make a half batch and just put a bit less on each cheesecake.)
2 x 340g/12oz bags of fresh cranberries
1 cup fresh pressed sweet apple cider (or any apple juice/cider of your choice)
3/4 cup erythritol
5 packs stevia
– Magic bullet (or a rolling pin and a ziplock bag), muffin/cupcake pan, cupcake papers or tins, glass baking dish big enough to hold cupcake pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 fahrenheit. Throw the gingerbread cookies in your magic bullet until they’re powdered (or put them in a ziplock bag and crush them to bits with a rolling pin haha, I’ve done this). Mix up the rest of the crust ingredients, mixing in the coconut oil last (I melted mine in the microwave first). Press the crust mix evenly into the cupcake cups (or pan if you’re making one big cheesecake). Put them in the oven for 5 minutes or so they can crisp up and prevent a soggy base later on. Keep an eye on them, they’ll go from crisp to burnt very quickly.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese and quark, then mix in the erythritol, then the eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and stevia, mixing in the protein powder last. Pour the batter into the cupcake cups or pan, and place the whole thing in a bath of hot water. I use a glass baking dish and fill it up with hot tap water until it at least partially covers the underside of the cupcake pan. This step helps keep the crust from burning, and the steam also helps keep the cheesecakes moist and from cracking or getting too brown on top. You can skip this step, but the results won’t be quite as good.
Bake in the oven in the water bath for 35 minutes. DON’T OVERCOOK YOUR PROTEIN CHEESECAKES! They may still seem a tad underdone in the middle, but they will finish setting as they cool. If you over-bake them they will be hard and crumbly instead of soft, rich and luscious as they should be. Take the cupcake tin out of the water bath immediately and let them cool to room temperature before transferring them to the fridge. Allow them to cool 4-24 hours in the fridge before eating for best results. I know it’s hard to resist eating them sooner, but it’s worth it!
For the cranberry compote – heat the cranberries and apple cider on medium heat in a large pot until simmering, then stir in the erythritol and stevia – keep stirring often until most of the cranberries have popped and it reaches a good consistency. Allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring to fridge.
To serve, peel the protein cheesecakes out of their papers, place on a plate, top with about 1/4 cup of cranberry compote, and enjoy!
290 calories 184 mg sodium
17.6 g protein 141 mg potassium
13.9 g fat 11% vitamin A
20.6 g carbs 28% vitamin C
4.5 g fiber 17% calcium
13.1 g sugar 7% iron