This Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust is lightened up with Greek yogurt and will be a hit on your holiday table!
Today is one of the most important days of my life. Probably on the same level as the day I got married and the days I gave birth (all three times!)
Today is my birthday.
Big deal, right? Today I turn 43 years old.
And why is that a big deal? My mother lost her battle to cancer when I was 15 and she was only 43 years old.
Sharing this post as a tribute to my mom and in hopes that it might help anyone else grieving.
Yes, this is a food blog and I normally share recipes so if you just want to skip to recipe, click on "Jump to Recipe" up at the top. If you are looking for some other delicious cheesecake recipes, try this Pecan Cheesecake Bars, No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, No Bake Low Carb Berry Cheesecake Bars and Mini Mint Chocolate Cheesecakes. These would all be even better with some Apple Chai Latte, Low Carb Bulletproof Hot Chocolate and some of this Spiked Apple Cider!
If you are staying to read about me and my mom, just know that I only have a few pictures of her left. And this one is my favorite.
Why This Birthday is Important
My birthday is Friday the 13th (don't think that irony is lost on me). It's a very strange feeling to reach the age that your mother (or father) died.
When you are a young girl and your mom dies, you think she's old. Even when she's only 43. And now that I have reached that age I realize just how young she really was.
I've had several health scares in the past 5 years that have made me think about my mortality. I am now a mother and I can't imagine how my mother felt leading up to her final days.
But something changed in the last year. I started to focus on all of the things that I am incredibly thankful for.
And I am approaching this birthday with a full heart and gratitude for everything that's important.
My mother loved cheesecake. She was crazy about it!
You know what's funny about this is that I hated cheesecake. And I still do.
Well, let me clarify, I hate cream cheese. I made this cheesecake with love in honor of my mom.
Of course the Greek yogurt lightened it up a bit (the recipe is right out of The Greek Yogurt Cookbook!) and is drizzled chocolate sauce on top because that's how I remember my mom making it.
I don't remember what kind of crust she made but I made it with crushed ginger snaps because I thought it would be fun and festive. I was right.
And I really love this cheesecake.
So here I am, 43 years old, healthy, strong and blessed. I feel so happy to have a job that I love where I can help others, a family that loves and supports me and friends that are truly like my family.
- Ginger snap crumbs - You can use whatever cookies you'd like for this crust. I used these ginger snaps because they are gluten free, GMO free and don't contain any corn syrup.
- Butter - I always use 100% grass fed, organic unsalted butter which just plain old tastes better!
- Unrefined sugar - This can be whatever sugar you have in the house. I like to use unrefined sugar because it's minimally processed and contains some nutrients. You can use maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, or even try a sugar free alternative such as Monk fruit.
- Cream cheese - I always use full fat cream cheese for the taste quality, but using a lower fat variety wouldn't change this texture at all.
- Plain Greek yogurt - I use plain, full fat Greek yogurt for these bars and loved it. I had some people write to me that they have also used vanilla Greek yogurt and even pumpkin Greek yogurt and they were delicious.
- Vanilla extract - I use pure vanilla extract which doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or additives, it’s just pure vanilla made from alcohol. I use this one.
- Eggs - I like to use cage free, organic eggs for better taste and quality.
- Cocoa - Make sure you read the labels on your cocoa, the ingredients should only say 100% cocoa and nothing else.
- Honey - or other sugar of your choice.
Strawberry Cheesecake from Lauren Kelly Nutrition
Healthy Cheesecake from A Big Man's World
Healthier Greek Yogurt Cheesecake from Fit Mitten Kitchen
Cheesecake of Your Dreams from Chocolate Covered Katie
Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust
- 1 cup graham ginger snap crumbs
- ½ cup butter melted
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon plus 3⁄4 cup unrefined sugar divided use
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice about 1⁄2 medium lemon’s worth
- 2 eggs
- Chocolate Sauce:
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ¼ cup honey
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9" pie pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together ginger snap crumbs, butter, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press the mixture into the prepared pie pan, making sure to press evenly on the bottom and the sides of pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Mix the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, remaining sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. When the mixture is almost smooth, add the eggs, one at time, on low speed. Continue to beat on low speed until smooth. Pour into the pie pan and bake for 60 minutes until the edges are golden brown. The middle will not be completely set. Cool on the counter for at least 30 minutes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, prepare chocolate sauce by mixing the cocoa, honey and vanilla together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Drizzle over cheesecake. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9" pie pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker or cookie crumbs, butter, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press the mixture into the prepared pie pan, making sure to press evenly on the bottom and the sides of pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Mix the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, remaining sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. When the mixture is almost smooth, add the eggs, one at time, on low speed. Continue to beat on low speed until smooth. Pour into the pie pan and bake for 60 minutes until the edges are golden brown. The middle will not be completely set. Cool on the counter for at least 30 minutes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with fresh berries if desired. Serve cold.
- Serve cold.