Healthy Cherry Cheesecake

Healthy Cherry Cheesecake

Healthy cherry cheesecake is quite possibly the best cheesecake you will ever have. A chewy cookie base is topped with creamy cheesecake filling and loaded with a healthy, homemade cherry pie filling. 

healthy cherry pie cheesecake in a bowl and a slice sitting behind it.

During Thanksgiving I always have a tough time choosing between pumpkin pie and cherry pie. Most of the time I opt for both because I just can’t make a tough decision like that one.

Of course, the fullness factor at this point in time is just too much to handle. So que the stretchy pants and food-induced coma I’m about to participate in.

But you know, after about an hour nap and a maybe a giant glass of water, I’m back to that pie plate. Second holiday stomach anyone?

This year, I’m in charge of dessert for both families {surprise, surprise}. It’s going to be a tough decision one what dessert to bring, because there are so many good ones coming up. {Don’t worry, I’m sharing them all later this week and next}.

overhead shot of healthy cherry cheesecake on a plate and in a small bowl

My healthy cherry cheesecake make just make an appearance. That’s if I don’t eat it all myself before we make it back to my in-law’s and parent’s before next week.

So what exactly makes this healthy cherry cheesecake so much better and different than your traditional? Let’s find out!

Healthy cherry cheesecake cookie base

Okay, this is where this healthy cherry cheesecake sets itself apart from the amateur cheesecakes of the world. It’s chewy cookie base.

It’s not just any cookie base either. We’re taking a play off of this lemon raspberry cheesecake from last summer, and incorporating it into this one-of-a-kind healthy cherry cheesecake.

We start by blending goat cheese {yes…stick with me, it’s sooo good!}, almonds, more honey for that sticky sweetness, and almond flour to bind it all together.

healthy cherry cheesecake cookie base {baked} and cheesecake in a bowl off to the side

I know this doesn’t sound like your traditional cookie, and the goat cheese probably sounds weird, but the balance it creates with the sweetness of the cherry filling is one that’s going to blow your mind.

When baked in a glass dish, it won’t take quite as long to bake because glass conducts heat faster and holds it in longer. {Did I get that right Dad?}. So if you’re baking in a traditional metal pan, you may have to bake a little while longer. It will look slightly underdone in the center, but that’s totally okay.

Healthy cherry cheesecake filling and topping

The actual cheesecake portion of this healthy cherry cheesecake is super simple, and requires just a couple of ingredients. Rather than mixing in sour cream, like the original recipe called for, I opted for my favorite alternative: Greek yogurt. If we’re getting our protein in, it might as well be with cheesecake, right?

cheesecake and cherry pie filling {top}, healthy cherry pie cheesecake assembled {bottom}

Now for the best part: the cherry pie topping. The recipe I was recreating, of course, called for a can of cherry pie filling. But you’re here for healthy desserts. And I’m here to make them easy for you.

Making your own cherry pie filling is incredibly easy. {Don’t roll your eyes….it really is!}. All you have to do is put a bunch of frozen dark sweet cherries into a sauce pan with some pure maple syrup. Bring it to a boil and then sprinkle in corn starch to thicken it all up. See? Super simple!

Healthy cherry cheesecake: the hardest part

Like many of you know, cheesecake needs to be refrigerated to set and bring everything together into one sweet bite.

This is not easy. But waiting is going to let the crust settle, the cheesecake firm up and the cherries to come together.

healthy cherry cheesecake in a bowl and pan off on the side

After you’ve waited the ceremonious 8 hours {or shorter if you start this right away in the morning}, you can finally have your first glorious bite.

The crust is chewy and has a slight tang that pairs so perfectly with a simple cheesecake filling and the most amazing cherry topping you’ve ever indulged in.

No one at your Thanksgiving table is going to know that this cheesecake is actually healthy. That’s if it makes it there. 😉

Looking for more perfect holiday recipes? Check these out:

Healthy Cherry Pie Cake

Healthy Apple Crisp

Bourbon Cranberry Bars

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Healthy cherry cheesecake is a super simple holiday dessert to throw together. If you're looking for a last minute Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert, this one is for you. This gluten free cheesecake is healthy and topped with a delicious homemade cherry pie filling. #cherrypie #cheesecake #cherrycheesecake #thanksgivingdessert #christmasdessert #homemade #norefinedsugar

Healthy Cherry Cheesecake
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Chill Time
8 hrs
Total Time
35 mins
 

Healthy cherry cheesecake has a chewy cookie base, topped with creamy cheesecake filling and loaded with a healthy, homemade cherry pie filling. 

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: cheesecake, cherry pie, christmas, easy recipe, gluten free, healthy, thanksgiving
Servings: 9
Ingredients
Cookie Crust Ingredients:
  • 8 oz goat cheese softened
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup almond flour
Cheesecake Ingredients:
  • 8 oz lite cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Cherry Pie Filling Ingredients:
  • 4 cups frozen pitted dark sweet cherries
  • 4 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. corn starch
Directions
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8” x 8” pan with baking spray.
  2. In a small food processor, add all of the crust ingredients, except the flour, and blend until smooth. Stir in the flour.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Bake for 30-33 minutes until edges are golden brown, and center is set.* Remove and let cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium-size bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt, and continue to beat until combined and smooth.
  5. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Pour the mixture into the cooled cookie crust.
  6. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for 5-8 hours.
  7. For the cherry pie filling: in a large saucepan, add the cherries and pure maple syrup and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  8. Sprinkle in the corn starch** and continue to stir until the cherries thicken. Place in a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator to chill.
  9. Once the cheesecake is set and the cherry filling has chilled, pour over the top of the cheesecake.
  10. Slice into 9 slices and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

*Note: I baked mine in a glass dish, which typically takes less baking time because it heats up faster and retains heat. If you’re using a traditional metal pan, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

 

**Note: sprinkling in the corn starch will allow the cherry pie filling to be nice and smooth and not have any clumps.

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