My friend Kristin’s birthday was today. Yesterday, I decided to make my first cheesecake ever. I am a glutton for cheesecake, but I hate how fattening it can be. So I went searching around on the internet for different ideas that could inspire a little bit healthier version that wouldn’t hurt my hips as much. I came up with this recipe below, and I made two of them. One for my family, and one for my friend’s birthday to bring into my summer job.
The picture above is the first one I made. I felt the graham cracker crust was too thin, so I added more to the recipe. I also used Hershey Light Syrup in the cheese mixture to make a semi swirl on the top before baking it. I’m still not 100% great at the whole swirling a cake or bread. Any advice?
Low Fat Cheesecake Recipe
- 13 whole low-fat cinnamon graham crackers, broken in half
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons of water
- Cooking spray
- 2 8-ounce packages Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
- 2 8-ounce packages fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 2 large eggs plus 3 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
Set oven to 350
1. Take your graham crackers and break them in half. If you have a food processor, grind them into small crumbs and add the butter and water as you break up the crackers. If you are like me and lack a food processor big enough to hold that many crackers, you can take a zip lock bag and close it up except for a small section in the corner of the bag to let some air escape. Take a rolling pin and crush the crackers up until fine crumbs. Then you can add the water and melted butter and mix together in a bowl or with hands.
Take the mixture of graham crackers and spread it into a sprayed or buttered spring form pan. You want it to be even and cover the entire bottom.
Once that is done, throw it in the oven for about 8 minutes to brown and then let cool for ten on top of the oven or on a rack.
While that is happening…
2. Beat both cream cheeses and the sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth for 5 minutes.
Then beat in the sour cream on low.
Lightly whisk the 3 egg whites in a bowl, then add to the cheese mixture along with the 2 whole eggs, flour, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until fluffy for 3 minutes. Pour over the cooled crust.
(On one my crusts I decided to add chocolate chips on the bottom to add an extra layer of chocolate. I had some leftover chocolate chips in my pantry and sprinkled it over the crust before pouring the cheese mixture):
3. Place the cheesecake in a deep pan or roasting pan and add enough warm water to come one-quarter of the way up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cake is set but the center still jiggles for 1 hour 10 minutes. Turn off your oven and keep the cheesecake inside with the door closed for an additional 20 minutes.
Use this time to clean up or grab a nice glass of wine.
Take the cake from the water bath and transfer to a rack when the final timer goes off. Run a knife around the edge, then cool completely. Chill until firm, at least 8 hours. I made these at night so I just left them in the fridge overnight. It was perfect come the morning. I kind of like the cracks in the cheesecake. It adds to the rustic, homemade feel of it.
For my family, I decided on a raspberry and light chocolate syrup topping on the marble cake:
My friend Chrissy surprised her with a 25 dollar off coupon for skydiving (which we hope to do in a month or so), and I brought this cheesecake:
This is the one that had the crust with the chocolate chips scattered beneath it. On top of the cake is caramel and chocolate syrup with crumbled mini Reese’s cups. It was a smash hit! She loved it and so did my summer co-workers.
Cheesecake is definitely one of my favorite cakes to bake now. It may take awhile to prep, but it is easy and the outcome is worth the work. So go make your own cheesecake already and enjoy the low fat love affair in your mouth!