Cheesecake combines two of our favourite foods: cheese and cake.
And while cheesecake is usually stuffed with refined sugars, it’s pretty easy to make your own delicately sweet, sugar-free* version at home. We got our marketing executive and resident baking whizz Alyssa to show us how to make sugar-free cheesecake right here in the office!
1. Find a good base recipe.
Swapping out the sugar in a traditional recipe for fructose-free sweeteners probably won’t work.
“Those recipes are designed with cups of sugar in mind, so if you take it out it can really affect the bake and the texture,” says Alyssa.
This sugar-free cheesecake base recipe has been fine-tuned by Sarah and the IQS team for years – we’ve used it for our Crunchy Nut Cheesecake, Beetroot Red Velvet Cheesecake and Bloody Good Cheesecake. Once you get the hang of it, you can add your own modifications too.
- 750 g cream cheese, at room temperature.
- 2 tablespoons full-fat natural or Greek yoghurt.
- 1/4 cup coconut cream.
- 1/2 cup rice malt syrup.
- 1 free-range egg.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder.
- 1 cup almonds.
- 1 cup almond meal.
- 1 cup shredded coconut.
- 120 g butter, at room temperature.
2. Making the crust.
Typical cheesecakes might use digestive biscuits to make the crust, but nuts definitely supply the crunch factor! Grind the almonds in a food processor until semi-fine, with just enough chunky bits to give you something to sink your teeth into.
Add the almonds to a bowl with the rest of the base ingredients, and rub the butter into the ingredients with your fingers to make a dough. The trick is to give it a good massage!
“The idea isn’t to ‘melt’ the butter but to evenly ‘coat’ the coconut and almond with butter,” says Alyssa. “You want to use your fingertips to do this. If you use your whole hands you just heat the mixture and end up with a sticky mess! You want a ‘breadcrumbs’ consistency that will result in a crust that’s a great texture and holds its shape.”
Press evenly into a 22cm greased springform tin (this is important – you’ll struggle to remove it from a regular tin). Pop in an oven preheated to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and bake for five to eight minutes, or until golden. Remove and allow to cool completely.
3. Fill her up!
This part is really easy – just dump all your filling ingredients into a food processor and press go.
“Bring the cream cheese to room temp before mixing, as cold cream cheese is harder to mix and may result in clumps!” says Alyssa. “Mix to the point of no lumps but don’t overmix! Eggs hold air inside the batter and could cause the cake to rise up and then fall.”
Pour carefully into the cold base and return to the oven for 20–30 minutes.
“Be careful not to overcook the filling. It should be golden and custard-like, firm but with a light wobble in the centre,” says Alyssa. “Don’t open the door whilst cooking – sudden changes in temp cause cracks.”
Once cooked, turn the oven off and leave in there until cool. Then, refrigerate for at least two hours to firm up. We prefer to let it set for several hours, as it can taste a bit eggy if it’s not thoroughly cooled.
The sky is really the limit here! Some of our favourites include toasted nuts, toasted coconut shards, sugar-free caramel sauce and, of course, fresh fruit.
* While we quit fructose on the I Quit Sugar: 8-Week Program, this recipe contains rice malt syrup (a blend of glucose and maltose). We recommend enjoying on special occasions and sticking to a small portion size, or cutting down on the sweetener even further if you can.