Cheesecake has been something I’ve attempted in the past, but have never been able to perfect. I’ve found that making an entire cheesecake leaves way too much room for error, but sticking with mini cheesecakes allows you some room for experimenting.
So here we have mini cheesecakes that not only taste great, but are pretty dang macro-friendly too!
The entire cheesecake contains 280 calories and 21g of protein. Those are the macros of a protein bar, but in the form of a cheesecake! Sign me up.
The macros for this recipe do not include the toppings, because you can use whatever toppings you’d like! I just used what I had at the time- a tiny bit of peanut butter, lite chocolate syrup, and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. If you leave the Reese’s off, the drizzle of PB and chocolate add a very small amount of calories (unless you have a real heavy pour).
For this recipe, we’ll be using mini springform pans. These are the ones I have and they have come in handy for so many recipes. Personally, I prefer to make a mini pie or cake when given the option. If I make a whole cake, odds are I’m going to want to eat the entire thing myself.
The beauty of this recipe…
To make the chocolate/peanut butter crust, I used a Bowmar Nutrition Brownie Protein Bar. Combined with peanut butter, it makes such a great Reese’s crust without the calories & sugar that an actual Reese’s crust would entail. If you want the same flavor, I recommend doing the same!
That being said, the beauty of this recipe is that the Reese’s flavor is in the crust and toppings- the filling is universal. So if you wanted to try a different protein bar (a protein cookie would probably be the closest alternative in terms of texture) you can give it a shot to create some new flavors.
And just note that this is a very light cheesecake! If you are into a super dense filling, you might feel disappointed with this one. We’re going to be fluffing up cream cheese with egg whites to create more volume. Personally, I love the light & fluffy consistency, but feel I should warn you in case you do not!
Protein Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
Macros for each mini cheesecake (without toppings):
*2.5g Fiber & 7g Sugar
Ingredients for crust
Ingredients for filling
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- Using a food processor, blend up your protein bar until you have a fine crumb
- In a small bowl, combine your brownie crumbs with your peanut butter (if your peanut butter is not smooth, heat it up in the microwave for 10 seconds or so). It should begin to resemble a batter, but if it is too thick & crumbly, add a splash of almond milk (or other milk of choice). Add in a very small amount as you do not want this to become a liquid- you need to be able to form a crust!
- In a separate bowl, combine your cream cheese, egg white, and powdered sugar. Using an electric mixer, continue to beat the mixture until it is smooth and fluffy. The egg white will fluff up a bit, so I advise mixing for at least one full minute. If you are using the Swerve Confectioners sugar, you do not need extra vanilla extract as it has a natural vanilla taste, but feel free to add it for extra flavor if wanted.
- Generously spray your mini springform pans with cooking spray, and add half of your crust to each pan. Gently wet your fingers with cold water (to prevent sticking) and press the crust down along the bottom of the pans to form a crust.
- Pour your cheesecake filling on top of your crust and bake for 10-15 minutes. Check on your cheesecake after 10 minutes as some ovens cook unevenly (the cheesecake in the back of my oven cooked faster than the one in the front). The top of the cheesecake will begin to crack, but you still want it to be nice and soft inside. Don’t worry if the edges are browning more than a typical cheesecake, the inside will still be the perfect consistency.
- Once removed from the oven, place in the fridge to allow the cheesecake to set/cool. Give them at least 20 minutes if you are eager, but an hour will serve you better.
- Once ready, top with the toppings of your choice! I drizzled a small amount of melted peanut butter and lite chocolate syrup, along with half of a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. My toppings ended up adding less than 100 calories to the entire cheesecake! If you want to save on calories, try some PB2 and melted dark chocolate.
Notes for substitutions:
- As noted above, you can use another protein bar or protein cookie for the crust. I can’t promise the same result, but it might be worth trying (any protein bar with a chocolate or candy coating will not work, however, since it will create a mess)
- Don’t have Swerve sweeteners? I highly recommend you buy some. They tend to be a little more expensive than other options, but they are BY FAR my favorite. But if you have any granulated sugar, you can toss it into a food processor or spice grinder to make your own powdered sugar.
- I didn’t include the toppings in the macros because I didn’t measure out how much of the peanut butter/chocolate drizzle I used. You can leave the toppings off all together, or get creative with them! Reese’s Puffs cereal would work great too. Feeling adventurous? Add more protein bar pieces on top!
- If you feel the fat content is too high, you can try using PB2 and applesauce for your crust. I didn’t do that solely because I like the authentic flavor of peanut butter and am not in love with the PB2 flavor, but feel free to give it a shot! The applesauce will be a necessary binder to hold the crust together though.