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No-Bake Greek Yogurt & Berry Cheesecake

A taste of heaven without the cream cheese.

 

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berry cheesecake

berry cheesecake

berry cheesecake

I am a serious lover of cheesecake.  A true New York style cheesecake, preferably fresh from the oven with an oozing berry topping drizzled over.  Generously drizzled over.  The tangy, cream cheese-y flavor, buttery graham cracker crust combined with the pop of tart berries in your mouth.  Ok, yum, right?

But how many of these mouth-watering experiences can you say you’ve had guilt-free?  Yeah, pretty much zero.  So while J and I could polish an entire cheesecake off in one sitting (though he prefers the pumpkin & gingerbread crust fall-ish version), it’s not an indulgence we allow ourselves often.  Hence, the birth of our new favorite no-bake.  I was inspired by this recipe on Bon Appetit, which I have made and is amazing, but wanted to make a tad healthier.

I’ve replaced the cream cheese with a can of Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream.  Have you tried the stuff?  It’s so thick and rich and very yummy.  An ingredient or two used to thicken the milk are unfamiliar though.  So if you’re uncomfortable using it, you can get the regular canned, preferably organic, full-fat coconut milk and use just the thick creamy top (refrigerate the cans and allow the milk to seperate into coconut water and coconut cream) from 2 cans for this recipe.

The graham cracker crust is replaced with a protein-rich almond crust, sweetened with dried figs, which along with the butter help to bind the crust together.  For the berry topping, I used Costco’s Nature’s Three Berries frozen berry mix.  You can use whatever berries you prefer or have on hand.  Even fresh will work just fine.

This cheesecake is best served very cold (frozen is refreshing too on a warm day) and in the company of good friends.  Although in warning, sharing may be difficult.

NOTE:  For those who have asked about how to get coconut cream if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can purchase this and it will work just as well.



Get a printable PDF of the recipe

No-Bake Greek Yogurt & Berry Cheesecake

Crust:

2 c. raw almonds

5 dried figs (or dates)

1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 c. butter, ghee, or coconut oil

Cheesecake Filling:

2 tsp. grass-fed unflavored gelatin

2 small lemons, juiced (can be adjusted to taste, use 1 for a less tangy)

2 c. grass-fed full-fat plain greek yogurt (sub more coconut cream for dairy-free)

14 oz coconut cream

1/2 c. raw honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Berry Topping:

2 c. organic frozen berries (your choice)

1 lemon, juice & zest

1 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. arrowroot powder or tapioca starch

Directions:

For the crust:  roast the almonds on a dry sheet pan at 425F for 10-15 min.  In the bowl of a large food processor, combine the roasted almonds, figs, salt, and butter and pulse until well-combined.  Press into a 9-inch springform pan and refrigerate 30+ minutes.

For the cheesecake filling:   place gelatin and lemon juice in a small heat-proof bowl and set the bowl in a small saucepan with simmering water (over low heat).  Stir until gelatin is melted, remove from saucepan, and set aside.  Combine remaining filling ingredients in the bowl of a large food processor and process until well-combined, about 60 seconds.  With the machine running, drizzle warm lemon/gelatin mixture in and process another 30 seconds (EDIT: make sure it is mixed in WELL or the cheesecake will not set evenly).

For the berry topping:  combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook for 5-10 minutes or until berries begin to pop and mixture begins to thicken.  Pour into a blender and blend until smooth (you could also leave it chunky on the cheesecake).   Keep in the fridge until serving.

To assemble:  pour cheesecake mixture into the cooled crust.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Warm the berry topping, gently spread on top and serve as-is or refrigerate an hour for a more “set-up” look.

Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.  Can be served frozen, if desired.

berry cheesecake Like this berry recipe?  Get the No-Bake Pumpkin recipe here!

  • WOW. That looks delicious! I just pinned it and stumbled it 🙂

  • Angela Gallardo

    Thanks Kelly, I appreciate that! And it tastes even better than it looks!

  • Lisa

    Wow!!! This cheesecake looks amazing. I can't wait to make it. I have some regular yogurt in the fridge. Do you think it would be ok to use it?

  • Angela Gallardo

    Hi Lisa! I hope you do try the recipe. If you use regular yogurt, just strain it overnight in the fridge with cheesecloth and a fine strainer over a bowl so it thickens up. Best of luck!

  • Claudia

    I wish we were neighbors!

  • Angela Gallardo

    Haha, I wish we were neighbors too, Claudia!! 🙂

  • Janelle

    It is so nice to have a healthy alternative to my favorite dessert. It looks like I'll be enjoying cheesecake more often. THANK YOU!

  • Angela Gallardo

    Janelle, you are welcome!! You are going to love it, I promise! 🙂

  • Kris

    I've been trying to use coconut milk more and more lately. I can't wait to use it in this recipe!

  • Marisa

    this cake looks incredible! could you share the nutrional facts?

  • Angela Gallardo

    Thanks Marisa! Sure thing, I will put the nutrition facts together and post them later today!

  • noelia

    Very pretty! I love to translate with google chrome, but as your recipe is a photo .. therefore not translated. I'd have to write it in the translator and I'm too lazy. Greetings from Spain 🙂

  • Angela Gallardo
  • This looks dreamy! I always sub Greek yogurt for sour cream, but now I am dying to try replacing cream cheese. Can't wait to try this recipe! Thanks!

  • Madeleine

    What would happen if we used nonfat Greek yogurt instead of full fat? I imagine it would be lower the calorie intake quite a lot.

  • Angela Gallardo

    Madeleine, I don't have much experience with nonfat Greek yogurt so it's hard for me to say for sure. What I do know is that the important thing is the consistency. If the nonfat Greek yogurt is still much thicker than regular yogurt, I'm sure it'd still work great. You may not just have as creamy a texture in the end product. Let me know how it goes if you try it! Good luck!

  • Christie

    I'm assuming PLAIN greek yogurt. Or vanilla?

  • Angela Gallardo

    Christie, I always use plain because there's no sugar added. That way you can better control the sweetness. You're welcome to try it with vanilla, I'm sure it'll still be great, just sweeter!

  • Bristen

    This looks so yummy! For the coconut creme – is that the sweetened cream of coconut, or just plain coconut cream?

  • Angela Gallardo

    Bristen, the coconut cream is a new product at trader joes. Here's a random amazon link for it just so you can see a pic of it: http://amzn.to/YiWp0t. If you don't have access to a tj's, just use canned coconut milk but only the thick, creamy stuff that separates from the coconut water. It helps to refrigerate it to get it to separate. I wouldn't use sweetened coconut creme cause that stuff is usually super sweet and not always very natural. Best of luck, I hope you try the recipe!

  • Kat

    I didn't read the part about only using the think part of the coconut cream is there any way to save this?

  • Angela Gallardo

    Kat, oh no! My best suggestion would be to dissolve a teaspoon of two more of gelatin in warm water and add it to the mixture. It may turn out a bit more "jello-like" but it will help the cheesecake to set up despite the extra thinner liquid you've added (the coconut water). Hope this helps!

    • Angela Gallardo

      I’ve made it with both raw and toasted almonds (depending on what I had readily available at the moment) and I think it’s great either way! It really depends on whether you want that toasty/nutty taste or not. 🙂

  • Kat

    Thanks!!!

  • Angela Gallardo

    Kat, you're welcome! Also, if it still doesn't set up to your liking, you can try freezing it. It's great served frozen/slightly defrosted!

    • Angela Gallardo

      Thanks, Cheryl! 🙂 Technically, no. But the recipe itself is an image so you can select to open it in a separate window and print from there.

  • this sounds so light and yummy! We love cheesecakes too, maybe I can convince them to eat it like this 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Bridget

    Any suggestions on substitutions for the gelatin to turn it vegetarian please?

  • Angela Gallardo

    Hi Bridget! I have heard that agar is a great vegetarian substitute for gelatin, though my experience with it is limited. From what I know, you should be able to sub equal parts agar for gelatin IF you can find agar in powdered form. Here is one I've seen in stores: http://amzn.to/11UiSRL. I have also seen sheets of it in Whole Foods in the Asian section. But you may need to check the ratios for substituting if you don't use the powdered form.

    The agar may cause the cheesecake to set up a bit firmer than the gelatin. Also, I think that the mixture needs to be warmed slightly before adding the agar/lemon mixture. I would read about agar a bit before using it but I think you'll have success using it in this recipe. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  • I made this the other day and … it's DELICIOUS! You're totally right about not wanting to share. 😉 I do have one question. Why do you heat the gelatin, lemon juice mixture in a bowl over simmering water … why not just straight in a pan? I actually did it straight in the pan due to not having an available pot to simmer water in. And when I've used gelatin in other recipes, I've just heated it straight in the pan. Am I missing something?? 🙂

  • Ursa

    I have serious issues with cow dairy but still miss the "luxury" of the indulgences (like cheesecake). I'm going to give this a try with goat yoghurt and agar agar (instead of gelatin). Have you had anyone else try this yet?

  • Angela Gallardo

    Hannah, I'm so, so glad you enjoyed the cheesecake! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the recipe 🙂 I recommend heating the gelatin/lemon juice mixture in a bowl over simmering water solely because it's such a small volume of liquid. If you're vigilant, you can do it straight in the pan like it worked for you. I tend to be a little scatter-brained in the kitchen and if you take your eye off a gelatin mixture that's straight on the burner, it can lose too much liquid, firm up, and get really gummy. Which would make it really tough to incorporate into the rest of the mixture! Strictly a precautionary measure. I hope this makes sense! 🙂

  • Angela Gallardo

    Ursa, you can see above that Bridget was asking about that, as well. So far, no one has given any feedback as to use with the agar agar. If I hear anything, I will definitely let you know. FYI-just with googling, I found some no-bake cheesecakes with agar that you might use as a reference.

    As for the goat's yogurt, I have a friend who made the cheesecake with a strained goat's yogurt (line a strainer with cheesecloth, dump in yogurt, and set over a bowl to catch the liquid whey, place in fridge overnight) and she said it turned it great! If you try it, please let me know. I'd love to be able to add a note to the post to help others with the same issue. Thanks 🙂

    • Angela Gallardo

      Lily, try agar agar-it should work just the same!

  • Ivana

    Hi! I was just wondering what I could use to substitute arrowroot powder – preferably something I could already have at home? Or could I just leave it out? 🙂

  • Angela Gallardo

    Ivana – are you wanting to substitute the gelatin with arrowroot? If that's the case, I'd definitely say no because arrowroot has to be heated (as far as I know) and this is a no-bake recipe. And you choose to leave it out, you'll just want to freeze it before eating! Good luck and let me know what works! 🙂

    • Angela Gallardo

      Julianne-LOVE the no food coma! 🙂 I am working on a fall-ish version and it will most definitely be posted this fall so keep your eye out!

  • Stephanie

    This looks great! Should I use raw almonds?

    • Angela Gallardo

      I’ve made it with both raw and toasted almonds (depending on what I had readily available at the moment) and I think it’s great either way! It really depends on whether you want that toasty/nutty taste or not. 🙂

  • crystalseer

    Coconut Milk is very high on cholesterol only the water has none but high on sodium. I will stick with my c.cheese and double cream version. but look amazing.

  • Cheryl

    This looks fantastic!!! Do you have a printable version? 🙂

    • Angela Gallardo

      Thanks, Cheryl! 🙂 Technically, no. But the recipe itself is an image so you can select to open it in a separate window and print from there.

  • Repinned! I can’t wait to make this myself.

  • Wow, this looks divine! I can’t believe how healthy it is too, my usual no bake cheesecake recipe is a disaster. I can’t wait to try this! Thanks!
    http://www.cookeatdelicious.com/sweets-recipes/cheesecake-recipes/no-bake-cheesecake-recipe.html

  • Wow, this looks divine! I can’t believe how healthy it is too, my usual no bake cheesecake recipe is a disaster. I can’t wait to try this! Thanks!
    http://www.cookeatdelicious.com/sweets-recipes/cheesecake-recipes/no-bake-cheesecake-recipe.html

  • Julianne

    My-my, I was pleasantly surprised that my family and I both prefer this cheesecake to the traditional New York style. Unlike traditional cheesecake, this recipe leaves me feeling satiated – but not overly stuffed (i suffered no food coma! 😉 ) – it has a very creamy texture, just what you desire in a cheesecake. I too saw that recipe on Bon appetit’s site, so I appreciate you formulating a healthier version.
    Also, I’m intrigued by the fall-ish version you mentioned, do you think you’ll post that recipe sometime? Thanks again, Angela! 🙂

    • Angela Gallardo

      Julianne-LOVE the no food coma! 🙂 I am working on a fall-ish version and it will most definitely be posted this fall so keep your eye out!

  • I made this for my restaurant and everyone who has tried it has loved it. We don’t call it cheesecake anymore though, at customer suggestion. It’s now "Berry Coconut Cream Pie" and it is amazing! If you’ve seen the press coconut oil has been getting these days, that helps. Coconut is a healthy fat and delicious, far better for us than dairy products. We make our own yogurt here and it was easy enough to strain it overnight through a coffee filter and have rich thick yogurt in the morning. I just love this recipe. I serve it in 3 inch pie shells with a single blackberry garnish on top. Lovely!! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • I made this for my restaurant and everyone who has tried it has loved it. We don’t call it cheesecake anymore though, at customer suggestion. It’s now "Berry Coconut Cream Pie" and it is amazing! If you’ve seen the press coconut oil has been getting these days, that helps. Coconut is a healthy fat and delicious, far better for us than dairy products. We make our own yogurt here and it was easy enough to strain it overnight through a coffee filter and have rich thick yogurt in the morning. I just love this recipe. I serve it in 3 inch pie shells with a single blackberry garnish on top. Lovely!! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • lily

    ugh why do you have to put gelatine in!!! cheesecakes should always be vegetarian imo 🙁

    • Angela Gallardo

      Lily, try agar agar-it should work just the same!

  • Kristin

    So I’m in the midst of making this…and did a big oops…..I used the whole can of coconut MILK…..and now the topping is all soupy. Should I start all over again, or is there a thickener I could add to make the milk mixture creamy?

    • Angela Gallardo

      Krisin-no worries! If you haven’t refrigerated it yet, just add a bit more dissolved gelatin (1-2 t. should be enough). If you’ve already refrigerated it by now, it may just come out not as firm as it would’ve been. You have the option to freeze and serve it semi-frozen and then it wouldn’t be that noticable! Good luck 🙂

  • Kristin

    So I’m in the midst of making this…and did a big oops…..I used the whole can of coconut MILK…..and now the topping is all soupy. Should I start all over again, or is there a thickener I could add to make the milk mixture creamy?

    • Angela Gallardo

      Krisin-no worries! If you haven’t refrigerated it yet, just add a bit more dissolved gelatin (1-2 t. should be enough). If you’ve already refrigerated it by now, it may just come out not as firm as it would’ve been. You have the option to freeze and serve it semi-frozen and then it wouldn’t be that noticable! Good luck 🙂

  • DoriDukes

    Loved this, will definitely make again. The crust was a revelation. I used agar in equal amount as gelatin, set up nicely. Nice suggestion to partially freeze, great idea for a summer party. Husband wants a pineapple topping next time. Thank you so much Angela!

    • Angela Gallardo

      AHH! Thank you so much for sharing your agar use. I have had so many ask about it and now I can say from your experience that it works! 🙂 Enjoy the pineapple version, that sounds DELICIOUS!

  • DoriDukes

    Loved this, will definitely make again. The crust was a revelation. I used agar in equal amount as gelatin, set up nicely. Nice suggestion to partially freeze, great idea for a summer party. Husband wants a pineapple topping next time. Thank you so much Angela!

    • Angela Gallardo

      AHH! Thank you so much for sharing your agar use. I have had so many ask about it and now I can say from your experience that it works! 🙂 Enjoy the pineapple version, that sounds DELICIOUS!

  • Julie

    Cannot have cream cheese but can have Greek yogurt. Have lived without cheesecake for over 25 years. Let’s break that streak!

  • Andrea

    Hey my dessert did not set, any ideas on why this might be? It still turned out great in the freezer though. 🙂

    • Angela Gallardo

      Hey Andrea! Sorry to hear it didn’t set up right. 🙁 Most common mistake I’ve seen is not fully dissolving the gelatin (at a warmer enough temp). That’ll keep it from dispersing properly throughout the creamy mixture. Also, if you used regular yogurt in place of the greek or skipped the coconut cream, the mixture might’ve been too runny and would need more gelatin. If you followed it exactly, I’d suggest just trying more gelatin next time, different brands gelatin may yield different results. Glad you still enjoyed it frozen! 🙂

  • Andrea

    Hey my dessert did not set, any ideas on why this might be? It still turned out great in the freezer though. 🙂

    • Angela Gallardo

      Hey Andrea! Sorry to hear it didn’t set up right. 🙁 Most common mistake I’ve seen is not fully dissolving the gelatin (at a warmer enough temp). That’ll keep it from dispersing properly throughout the creamy mixture. Also, if you used regular yogurt in place of the greek or skipped the coconut cream, the mixture might’ve been too runny and would need more gelatin. If you followed it exactly, I’d suggest just trying more gelatin next time, different brands gelatin may yield different results. Glad you still enjoyed it frozen! 🙂

  • Vivian

    Just made this, it’s very good, not crazy about the crust.

  • Vivian

    Just made this, it’s very good, not crazy about the crust.

  • alex

    I found this recipe via pinterest and was excited to try a new recipe. I even made a special trip to trader joes to pick up the coconut cream. I was unable to find full fat greek yogurt so I opted for a 1%, which was still creamy. Other than that I followed the recipe to a T. The following morning I pulled it out of the fridge and it almost smelled rancid (I assure you all my ingredients were fresh). 2 lemons was way too much juice, combined with the tanginess of the honey (there was no specification here so I went with wildflower honey) the flavors did not work well together. The cake was inedible, there was no way I could serve it to my friends. I’m so confused what I did wrong to yeild such an offensive tasting cake when others were thrilled with the recipe. If I ever try again (unlikely without a lot of guidance) I would use maybe half a lemon and opt for a sweeter honey like tupelo.

    • Angela Gallardo

      Hey Alex, I’m so very sorry to hear about your experience with the recipe. I understand the disappointment of making a special trip for ingredients and having it not turn out 🙁 I will modify the recipe to specify 2 small lemons, to taste, as that may meet more people’s liking for the lemon flavor. I guess I just love lemons! I am surprised about your comment on the honey, since I’ve used quite a few different honeys when making this and not had the same experience. I wonder at the gelatin you used? Some gelatins, particularly not grass-fed, can have a very strong taste and may have affected the overall result here. Again I’m sorry but I appreciate your feedback.

  • alex

    I found this recipe via pinterest and was excited to try a new recipe. I even made a special trip to trader joes to pick up the coconut cream. I was unable to find full fat greek yogurt so I opted for a 1%, which was still creamy. Other than that I followed the recipe to a T. The following morning I pulled it out of the fridge and it almost smelled rancid (I assure you all my ingredients were fresh). 2 lemons was way too much juice, combined with the tanginess of the honey (there was no specification here so I went with wildflower honey) the flavors did not work well together. The cake was inedible, there was no way I could serve it to my friends. I’m so confused what I did wrong to yeild such an offensive tasting cake when others were thrilled with the recipe. If I ever try again (unlikely without a lot of guidance) I would use maybe half a lemon and opt for a sweeter honey like tupelo.

    • Angela Gallardo

      Hey Alex, I’m so very sorry to hear about your experience with the recipe. I understand the disappointment of making a special trip for ingredients and having it not turn out 🙁 I will modify the recipe to specify 2 small lemons, to taste, as that may meet more people’s liking for the lemon flavor. I guess I just love lemons! I am surprised about your comment on the honey, since I’ve used quite a few different honeys when making this and not had the same experience. I wonder at the gelatin you used? Some gelatins, particularly not grass-fed, can have a very strong taste and may have affected the overall result here. Again I’m sorry but I appreciate your feedback.

  • Kate

    Hi Angela, I made the recipe last week and it turned out great! I wanted to share with my sister, who is allergic to dairy, can i substitute yogurt with all coconut cream? Thanks!

    • Hey Kate, thanks for the feedback! Yes, you can definitely substitute all coconut cream. Different coconut creams have different thicknesses though so if yours is pretty runny (in comparison to the greek yogurt you’d otherwise use), I’d advise using just a teaspoon more of gelatin to make sure it sets up thick. Actually no yogurt is used in the pumpkin one (pictured at the end of this post) for my Sweets book and it works just as well IMO 🙂

 

Your Perfect Paleo
Build-a-Meal Formula

Take your Paleo meals up a notch with my tried-and-true formula for balanced meals that will leave you satisfied & full for hours.

It's free!