pumped up protein cheesecake.

by Janetha on February 3, 2012

in recipes

i have been talking about these little protein cheesecakes for awhile now. on twitter. on instagram. on facebook. and now, at long last, here’s the recipe. sorry it took awhile to get to you guys, you know how i am a professional procrastinator!

single one

one thing that is a non-negotiable for me is graham cracker crust. i played around with using a fiber cereal in lieu of the graham cracker.. but at the end of the day, i decided that the graham cracker HAD to be in the recipe. there was just no substitution. i did amp up the nutrition profile of the crust just a bit with the addition of almond meal.. but don’t worry, the graham crackery crust is still in full effect.


the cake part of these cheesecakes actually took quite a few tries before getting right. cheesecake is a tricky thing. you have to make sure to have just the right amounts of everything to get that, well, cheesecake-y consistency. and, not to brag, but i think i finally nailed it.

fork two

perfectly cheesy.. perfectly cakey.. and perfectly healthy. yes, really!

stacks one
recipe makes ten cheesecakes
prep time: 15 minutes
total cook time: 40 minutes
cooling time: at least 2 hours


for the crust:

  • 1 1/2 oz (42 grams) graham crackers
  • 1/4c + 2 TB (45 grams) almond meal
  • 1-2 TB unsweetened almond milk

for the cheesecake:

  • 4 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 3 oz low fat cottage cheese, blended
  • 3 oz nonfat plain chobani greek yogurt
  • 1 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 T xylitol (or equivalent sweetener of choice)
  • 1 T corn starch
  • 1/2 T vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 2 egg whites OR 6 T liquid egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 serving vanilla whey protein powder (yield ~20g protein)

optional toppings:

  • whipped cream
  • fresh or canned fruit


1. line a muffin tin with 10 liners and preheat oven to 325° F.

2. in a food processor, blender, chopper, or with your fist, combine graham crackers and almond meal.


3. place mixture into small bowl and add almond milk, a bit at a time, until it is slightly crumbly but not too wet.

4. evenly distribute the mixture into the 10 muffin cups and press down with a small jar or your thumb.


5. bake for 10 minutes.

6. meanwhile, combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, and greek yogurt in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. mix for at least one minute, until combined. i blend my cottage cheese in a magic bullet.


7. while mixing on low speed, add each ingredient one at a time, allowing each ingredient to mix in before adding the next.

8. reduce oven heat to 300° F and distribute cheesecake mixture evenly among the ten baked crusts.


9. bake for 30 minutes.

10. remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

11. transfer cheesecakes to refrigerator. refrigerate for at least two hours.

12. serve with toppings of choice.

fork one

i love this whipped cream from whole foods. it is fat free, there is no sugar added, and there are no crazy ingredients. most importantly, it tastes fantastic!

whipwhip back

nutrition info per cheesecake (prior to toppings) calculated on thedailyplate.com:


100 calories and 8 grams of protein per cheesecake. yep. that makes it totally acceptable to eat two. maybe even three. it’s health food!

bite one


xo. janetha g.

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Heather's Dish) February 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm

i think the hardest part for me would be stopping at just one…mini, cheesecake-y and dessert? SOLD!


Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries February 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm

YUM! totally making these tonight!


Paije February 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I have been waiting for this recipe!! SO SO SOOOO excited to make them! I’ll probably eat all 10 in one sitting lol :D


Kerryne February 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Mmmmmmmmmmm… these were SO yummy!!!!


Claire @ Live and Love to Eat February 3, 2012 at 3:42 pm

It’s about time! ;)

Looks amazing, can’t wait to try! Love the magic bullet.


Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats February 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm

These sound great! :)


Aimee February 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Awesome pictures! – All those pins on food photography paid off.


Lindsay @ Lindsay's List February 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm

sold! i’m loving the Chobani inclusion too!


Marie February 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm



Marie February 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Oops, let’s try this again.

You are absolutely GENIUS!!! I LOVE cheesecake! It’s one of my favorite desserts!


Betty February 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

You’re a genius! And your other post that said people overuse phrases.. Like love or epic.. You ARE GENIUS! Thanks for sharing!


StoriesAndSweetPotatoes February 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

It really does look like that cheesecake which is completely what makes it cheeseCAKE! How many trials did you go through??


Crystal February 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I am so making these for super bowl Sunday!!


Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife February 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Love this! Such a cute idea and it looks delicious! :)


Nataliya @irunforicecream February 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Oh yes! I’m so excited for this one! Can’t wait to make it!!!


Lauren @ What Lauren Likes February 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm

love this!! Great recipe :)


Olivia February 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Oh GOD those look good. Go you, inventing em!


Michelle (Better with Berries) February 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Oh, these look so good! Love that you decided to keep the graham cracker crust – that’s my favorite part!


Brittney February 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm

what brand of xylitol do you use? looks delicious :)


meg February 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Yum! I’m so glad you finally shared this. And that there aren’t a lot of weird (read: obscure that I will never use again and will sit in my pantry) ingredients in this! Can’t wait to try it out!


Pure2raw Twins February 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm

looks like we both had cheesecakes on our minds ;)
these look great! love the addition of yogurt!
sounds delicious!


Meg February 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm

you can bet your bottom dollar I am making these!


Sarah @ The Healthy Diva February 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm

graham cracker crust is amazing…i could eat it on it’s own. love love love this recipe…high in protein is such a bonus when ur pumping the weights!


Erica February 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Yesssss so excited for this post!! Graham crust is amazeballs. Thanks for sharing


Missy February 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I am SO glad this is FINALLY up! I am totally doing these when I get my almond meal. I don’t have that sweetener, but may try the stevia baking blend. Beautiful pics show how perfect that texture is!
Cute fork too ;)


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Ok this is the best thing Ive EVER seen anyone make with protein powder or a protein-based dessert. Period end of story. WOW. You outdid yourself!


kristen February 4, 2012 at 7:33 am

Sounds good! What would be another sweetener option?


gasem February 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

Here is a program for you

it’s 5 days a week but no day is long. I usually do it under 40 min since jan 1 i’ve added 50 to my bench 100 to my deads 50 to my pulls


Amanda @ xo, Amanda February 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm

NICE! I think I’m going to make these for the super bowl as well. I’m a big protein powder fan, but not sure about tasting it in a non-shake dessert. Does it leave a strong flavor (I use the same brand you do) or is it pretty undetectable? Thanks!


Mary (A Merry Life) February 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Wow those stats for the cheesecakes are awesome. I’m definitely making this at some point.


Christie @ SpringJumps February 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Ohmygosh YUM! Baked cheesecake is probably my most favourite food in the whole wide world. Pinning this one right now!!


Sherry February 5, 2012 at 5:33 am

This recipe looks so good, can’t wait to try it. I found a picture of these nails and thought of you so I had to share. Very cute, you should do it.


Hope you’re having an awesome day!


Janetha February 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Those are adorable nails!


Kim @ The Family Practice February 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I just made Chobani mini cheesecakes! http://thefamilypracticeblog.com/2012/01/29/have-a-better-superbowl-party/ We must be on the same wave length :)


Angie February 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Made these already- desperate for healthy snacks, what?

I LOVED them. I used stevia as the sweetener, and might up it a little next time (maybe 1 1/2 T.) but that’s the only change I would make. These are perfect! I actually got 12 out of the mix, so I made 3 with no crust- not terrible, but SO much better with the crust!

These are a great healthy alternative to normal cheesecakes, but they definitely taste healthy- as in, I probably wouldn’t bring them to a party. But to have at home, they’re great. What I love most is they actually fill me up, unlike other lowfat/cal desserts that are just air and sugar. I’ve had these in the afternoon as a snack the past few days and have been full until dinner- plus they knock out a sweet craving.



Janetha February 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Yay! Thanks for the feedback! Glad you liked them. I actually made a few crustless ones, too, when I ran out of crust supplies. You are right, not as good, but still tasty. XO


LG February 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I just made a double-batch of these…they are warm from the oven so I’ll try them tomorrow. Thanks for posting the recipe!


Janetha February 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I hope you like them!


Willow @ My Own Trail February 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Thank you! Thank you ! Thank you! I cannot wait to make these!


Sara @ Nourish and Flourish February 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

Wowee, Janetha! You’ve totally outdone yourself! These cheesecakes are now my #1 priority this weekend! I love cheesecake more than any dessert in the world, and I’ve spent YEARS searching for a *perfect* healthy version. Lots of trials and fails later, I still haven’t found it, so I currently settle for whipped cottage cheese (sweetened) and topped with whipped cream. It’s delicious, but doesn’t have that cheesecake consistency, ya know? I can’t WAIT to try these! xoxo


Meg February 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm

These were great! Made them as a treat for my boyfriend, as we’re both trying to keep our eats extra clean lately :) Also loved your review of Jamie Eason LiveFit – I’m on week 6 and you’re keeping me motivated!


Janetha February 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Great! Glad you liked them!


Bernice February 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

This looks wonderful! I am always looking for healthy desserts and I love that you incorporated protein into this dessert. Thanks for the recipe!


Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs May 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

You’re kind of my hero with these! I want to try them sans crust for the gluten free hubs :)


Amy May 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

ok i am so making these. i dont have almond meal though…any replacement suggestions?


Janetha May 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Try wheat germ!


Kammie @ Sensual Appeal July 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I might have fallen in love. You are GENIUS. Cannot wait to try these!


SSL January 3, 2013 at 9:14 am

Any idea of the weight watchers points for these????


Janetha January 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Sorry, no.. I am not familiar with WW


Tina June 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Great recipe. I made this this afternoon and I am seriously impressed. I drizzled with agave nectar..didn’t use the Greek yoghurt but upped the other quantities. Yum. Thx for posting :-)


Anna September 7, 2014 at 6:28 am

fyi: Dog owners should know that xylitol can be toxic to dogs, even when small amounts from candies are eaten. If your dog eats a product that contains xylitol, it is important to take the dog to a veterinarian immediately. Also, what brand of whey do you use? Thanks!!


Janetha September 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm

MRM natural vanilla


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