If you’re in the mood for a rich, indulgent dessert, this cheesecake recipe is exactly what you need.
And this is not just any cheesecake; this is a low calorie cheesecake with 10 grams of protein!
These mini protein cheesecakes taste every bit as delicious as a velvety smooth NY-style cheesecake, but they are secretly packed with 10 grams of protein. With only 130 calories each and less than 10 grams of carbs, these are an amazing dessert for any diet.
This low calorie cheesecake recipe makes 10 mini cheesecakes, making it perfect for meal prepping your favorite dessert.
And, unlike traditional cheesecake, you won’t need a springform pan, water bath, or any technical skills that are usually required when making a true cheesecake.
All you need is a muffin tin and a little bit of patience (since cheesecakes need to sit for a little bit to achieve their perfect texture) and you’ll have some of the most delicious desserts you’ve tasted!
How to Make Mini Low-Calorie Cheesecakes
A cheesecake is nothing without a delicious graham cracker crust.
To make a simple crust, all we have to do is mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and a small amount of sugar substitute (or regular sugar).
In most of my recipes, I use “light butter” to save calories, but I’ve found that full-fat butter is necessary to create an authentic graham cracker crust.
When you mix up the ingredients, it’s going to seem very loose and crumbly, but that is perfectly okay. Once it bakes, it firms up and holds together perfectly.
Add the graham cracker mixture to the muffin tin to create crusts for 10 mini cheesecakes, then use your hands to press it down into the bottom and slightly up the sides.
Note that I didn’t use muffin liners, but you certainly can! My muffin tin is nonstick and works very well, but you can always use muffin liners to be safe.
Once the graham cracker crust is ready to go, we’ll make our cheesecake filling. Here are the ingredients I chose to use:
- Cream cheese (a combination of reduced fat and fat free cream cheese)
- Vanilla or Unflavored Protein Powder
- Vanilla Extract
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Sugar Substitute
Regarding cream cheese, you can use any type you prefer. I use a combination of reduced-fat and fat-free to keep the calories down while still keeping some fat for a creamy texture, but you can also use full-fat cream cheese if calories are not a concern.
The protein powder I use is a blend of whey and casein protein because I’ve found a whey/casein blend to be the best for baking. However, whey protein powder or another type of vanilla protein powder should work fine for this recipe.
Using a hand mixer, mix together all of the cheesecake filling ingredients except for the egg in a large bowl until smooth.
Add the egg in last, then mix on a low speed just until the egg yolk has completely mixed in and thinned out the filling a bit.
You may be tempted to use egg whites instead of a whole egg to save some calories, but if you want a classic cheesecake flavor and texture, egg yolk is an essential ingredient.
Spoon the cheesecake batter over the graham cracker crust to create 10 mini protein cheesecakes. Don’t worry about them being smooth- they work themselves out as they bake.
Bake your high protein cheesecake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, turn the oven off but leave the cheesecakes in the oven for one hour. Do not open the oven, just trust the process!
If you remove the cheesecakes from the oven after 15 minutes, they will cool too quickly and sink. By allowing them to slowly cool in the oven as the oven temperature lowers, they end up with the perfect cheesecake texture after one hour.
After one hour, remove your cheesecakes from the muffin tin and place them in the fridge to fully cool for 1-2 hours. I’ve found that the easiest way is to add the mini cheesecakes to an airtight container and let them sit in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to enjoy your low carb protein cheesecake, you can top with whipped cream, fresh fruit, peanut butter, or any of your favorite toppings!
Can You Freeze Protein Cheesecake?
Yes! If you want to freeze your mini cheesecakes to enjoy at a later date, freezing them works very well.
Place your mini cheesecakes in an airtight container (I like to use reusable bags) and they will stay fresh for months.
To thaw your mini protein cheesecake, I’ve found the best method to be letting it sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning, it will be a perfect cheesecake consistency.
If you want to thaw out the cheesecakes faster, you can leave them out at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow them to soften.
Or, if you’re extremely impatient, you can even use the microwave! Microwaving a frozen mini cheesecake for 10-15 seconds should be enough to soften it to the point where it’s ready to eat. We don’t want to heat/cook the cheesecake, just thaw it out enough to soften.
More Delicious High Protein Desserts
If you’ve read this far, it means you have impeccable taste. It also means that you appreciate a quality healthier dessert option, so you’re in luck! I’ve got plenty of delicious desserts to help you satisfy your sweet tooth AND help you hit those protein goals.
Here are some of my favorite dessert recipes for a high protein diet:
- Soft & Fluffy Protein Cinnamon Rolls with 10g of Protein
- Protein Peanut Butter Cups
- High-Protein Biscoff Ice Cream Bars
- Healthier Homemade Choco Tacos
- Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
- 100g Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 28g (2 Tbsp) Melted Full-Fat Butter
- 20g Granulated Sugar Substitute (or regular sugar)
- 84g (3oz) Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
- 168g (6oz) Fat-Free Cream Cheese (if fat-free is not available to you, you can use 9oz total of reduced-fat cream cheese instead)
- 60g Vanilla Whey/Casein Blend Protein Powder (code "Matt" to save on PEScience)
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 100g Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 125g Sugar Substitute (or regular sugar)
- 1 Egg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Melt the 2 tablespoons o butter and mix it with the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a small bowl. It will be pretty crumbly, but it firms up when it bakes.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom of the muffin tin to form a crust for 10 mini cheesecakes. Note: I don't use cupcake liners for mine because I have a good nonstick pan, but you can use liners if you prefer.
- In a large bowl, mix up all of the ingredients for the cheesecake except for the egg. It’s much easier if the cream cheese is at room temperature, so I recommend leaving it out for about 30 minutes before prepping your cheesecakes.
- Add the egg as the final ingredient and mix until combined to thin out your cheesecake mixture.
- Spoon the cheesecake mixture into the tin to cover all 10 crusts.
- Bake at 325 for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, turn the oven off but leave the cheesecakes in the oven for 1 hour. I’ve found that this is the perfect timing to have these cheesecakes fully set without over-baking. If you remove them from the oven after 15 minutes, they will sink. Allowing them to slowly cool down in the oven for exactly one hour makes all the difference.
- Remove the cheesecakes from the oven, add them to an airtight container, and place them in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours (or overnight).
- Enjoy your protein cheesecake throughout the week, or freeze to enjoy them at a later time!
- Cheesecake is very technical, so if you try to skip a step, your mini cheesecakes will not turn out as good. Trust me, this was attempt number 7 for me! If you want a truly decadent cheesecake, follow this recipe exactly.
- If you've made any of my other recipes, you'll know that I often use "light butter" instead of regular butter. For this crust, it is very important to use full-fat butter. When I used the lighter alternative, the crust ended up chewy and unpleasant.
- How to thaw from frozen: Transfer frozen cheesecakes to the fridge overnight, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or quickly thaw in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds.
- You can use all fat-free cream cheese if you prefer, but I find that the added fat really helps to create a true cheesecake texture.
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Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1 Mini Cheesecake
Amount Per Serving Calories 130Total Fat 6gCarbohydrates 9gProtein 10g