This light greek yogurt cream cheese cheesecake has decadence written all over it, but I love that it’s lightened up! I promise you won’t miss the full fat cream cheese and heavy sour cream. This cheesecake is light and fluffy, but still rich, has a very subtle lemony flavor and it won’t leave you feeling too full!
You guys. This weekend, Trevor and I had light greek yogurt cream cheese cheesecake.
Sounds like a mouthful, right?
Well, it was and it was a very delicious mouthful for about 200 calories LESS than the calories of regular cheesecake!
It also is significantly lower in fat and has more protein per slice!
Now let me tell you, this is not healthy, it’s just less bad, so you can maybe eat one more tiny slice and not feel as bad about it!
I am constantly on the search for how to lighten up desserts, without losing any of the sinful flavors and texture…only the calories and I think this one really succeeded!
This cheesecake is still so creamy and rich, and nothing’s better than a ‘Nilla Wafer crust.
Smother it in fruit or just eat it plain, you’ll never know that this light greek yogurt cream cheese cheesecake is *better* for you than the traditional cheesecake!
I knew I wanted to make a lightened up cheesecake for you guys, so on Friday I went to the grocery store and got everything I needed.
Then Saturday morning, I took out my ingredients so they could soften to room temperature.
We took Teddy to the park and when we got home I was raring to go!
I could NOT for the life of me find my cheesecake springform pan. I looked everywhere!
Like the, I emptied cabinets, scoured through cupboards, checked crazy places where there was no chance they’d be but it was all that was left… everywhere.
I announced my surrender to Trevor and explained the pans were no longer here. “Did you look under the stove?” Trevor says.
First of all, yes, I did look under the stove.
Second of all, we have a long standing rivalry over who is right in a situation, or some fact, or directions… whatever, we compete 🙂
Current score Trevor – 526 | Jennifer – 38. Yeah, I know… I don’t want to talk about it.
Needless to say… I just looked without saying anything just in case (gotta try to keep it as close as I can). I won’t keep you in suspense, they were there. Like I said… I don’t want to talk about it.
It was a long week, what can I say.
How do you make a graham cracker crust for this light greek yogurt cream cheese cheesecake?
- Crush nilla wafers in your food processor and measure out 1 and 1/2 cups
- Mix the crumbs with brown sugar and lemon zest
- Pour melted butter over the crumb mixture and mix
- Pour this into the bottom of a greased 9 in cheesecake pan
- Press down gently, but firmly until the crust is evenly distributed on the bottom of the pan
- Bake and set aside
How to make a baked greek yogurt cheesecake:
- Take two room temperature 8 oz tubs of whipped greek yogurt cream cheese
- Since the cream cheese I used was already whipped, I just gave it a quick stir in my stand mixer
- Incorporate room temperature eggs
- Add in 1 cup of sugar and mix together
- Mix in some 2 % plain greek yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch
- Pour onto your pre baked crust
Let’s back it up real quick, because
What is greek yogurt cream cheese?
It’s basically Greek yogurt in cream cheese form. It has more protein and less fat. #winning
Tips on how to avoid cracking in the top of your cheesecake…
- Don’t open the oven door! The change in air temperature can cause a crack.
- Don’t overbake. The center (about 2-3 inches) will still be jiggly. The cheesecake will continue to set as it cools.
If you do get a crack, however, who cares?! It still tastes good and just smother it in fruit, lemon curd, or your topping of choice to hide it.
Nobody needs to know 😉
Can you substitute yogurt for cream cheese or sour cream in a cheesecake?
Yes! That’s exactly what I did to make this cheesecake lighter. I replaced some of the cream cheese and sour cream with the greek yogurt!
Still has that really great cream cheese flavor, but it’s significantly lightened up in the calorie department!
Once the cheesecake has cooked, remove from the oven (without sticking your oven mitt in it like I did, whoopsey) and let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Then loosely cover with foil (you may get a little condensation) and let cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
If you’re really impatient, I tested this at 2 hours in the fridge, and it was still warm and a little gooey, but what’s bad about that? 😉
Even with the mishaps: the missing cheesecake pan and the mitt print in the top, this light greek yogurt cream cheese cheesecake was 100 % successful!!
This light greek yogurt cream cheese cheesecake has decadence written all over it, but I love that it’s lightened up!
I promise you won’t miss the full fat cream cheese and heavy sour cream.
This cheesecake is light and fluffy, but still rich and decadent, has a very subtle lemony flavor and it won’t leave you feeling too full!
I love the tang and it’s just sweet enough to make it the perfect light greek yogurt cream cheese cheesecake!
Light Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese Cheesecake
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 1/2 cups crushed nilla wafers
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 (8 oz) tubs whipped greek yogurt cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 (16 oz) container 2 % plain greek yogurt room temperature
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 325 degree F and thoroughly grease a 9 inch cheesecake pan (be sure to grease the bottom and sides). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together wafer crumbs, brown sugar, zest, and melted butter until well combined.
- Pour into prepared pan and press down gently, but firmly until the crust is evenly distributed on the bottom of the pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6 - 8 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Set aside to cool.
- Place whipped cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for 2 minutes.
- Slowly beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in sugar. You may need to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Beat in greek yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch.
- Pour onto pre baked crust.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes. After 40-50 minutes, the middle will still be “jiggly”. 2 - 3 inches from the middle should be jiggly. It will continue to set as it cools.
- Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Loosely cover with foil (you may get a little condensation) and let cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.