Sunday, December 22, 2013

No-Bake Cheesecake w/ Pecan-Cinnamon Crust & Cranberry-Coconut-Pecan Topping

This evening I'm posting the cheesecake recipe that I made for dessert last Christmas but never posted since I was so sick with the flu last year (so far, so good this year). I made a hazelnut-pecan crust for it last year, but this year I used pecan meal to make a pecan-cinnamon crust. I topped it with my Cranberry-Orange-Coconut Sauce that I added chopped pecans to. It turned out unbelievably good. I actually made the cheesecake last night in my mini springform pans (by Analon) -- they come in a set of four. I made a fresh batch of cranberry-orange-coconut-pecan sauce this evening to top them with and added chopped pecans. I had half of one for dessert this evening (I needed to make sure they were good enough for Christmas eve)...LOL. The recipe makes 4 generous servings or 8 nice servings. I love the fact that these are no-bake cheesecakes. The only thing that gets cooked is the crust (for 10 minutes) just long enough to toast a bit and to set. The pecan meal makes a crust similar in texture to graham cracker crust and it is consists of ground pecans, sweetener (I used Swerve), cinnamon and butter mixed together and pressed into the bottom of the pan(s). The cranberries are not only festive but tasted excellent as a topping -- I actually prefer it to the traditional strawberry or blueberry topping typical on most cheesecake. If you don't have the special pans, you can easily use a regular pie dish or springform pan and just make a larger cheesecake. You could also skip the crust and use a piping bag with a large star tip and pipe the chilled mixture into fancy little dessert glasses or dishes and top with the cranberry sauce. I snapped a few pictures below as well as the recipe. Enjoy!

No-Bake Cheesecake w/ Pecan-Cinnamon Crust (Topped w/ Cranberry-Orange-Coconut-Pecan Sauce)


For the Pecan-Cinnamon Crust
1 cup ground pecans (or hazelnuts)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup Swerve Sweetener (or erythritol or preferred granular sweetener)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Cheesecake Filling
16 ounces brick-style cream cheese (2 bricks), slightly softened
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener (or other preferred sweetener)

Optional Topping  
Fresh berries, sweetened to taste or Cranberry Sauce


Add crust ingredients to a medium bowl.  Combine mixture until crumbly.  Divide between 4 mini springform pans or springform tart pans and press crust mixture firmly into the bottom of each pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.  Cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, until creamy and smooth; stir in cream,vanilla and sweetener.  Beat with hand mixer for about 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth, light and fluffy.  Divide filling between 4 pans and spread until smooth.  When ready to serve, remove from spring-form pans or spring-form tart pans and place on a small dessert plate and top with sweetened berries or spread with cranberry sauce, if desired.  Serves 4 to 8.

*Note: I used 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Swerve to sweeten my cheesecake filling


Anonymous said...

My son is allergic to nuts. Any way to make a crust without nuts?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous -- You could use a mixture of flax and the finely shredded type of unsweetened coconut (I wouldn't use all flax)-- maybe 2/3 coconut & 1/3 flax mixed with butter, cinnamon and sweetener and then lightly baked just to form a crust. Alternatively -- this is great without crust, too. You could either pipe it (to make it pretty) into a pretty dessert dish or small custard cup and then top with your favorite berry topping or chopped chocolate pieces. Hope that helps! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

One more could make a pie crust from coconut flour, too -- I've never made one with coconut flour, but this one is a possibility you can try:

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious! I don't have any powdered swerve sweetener. What would be a good substitute for that? (I have stevia, sweet leaf & KAL brand, not sure if that would work the same). I am new to baking this way!! Thanks!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi there -- Yes, you could use your favorite sweetener but stevia is MUCH more powerful than Swerve (it measures the same as sugar). If you are familiar with using those 2 kinds, add it so it is the "equivalent in sweetness" to 1/2 cup in sugar and then add it a little at a time to get your desired sweetness. You need to be more careful with stevia because a little goes a long way and too much of it, it becomes somewhat bitter. You should be able to go to either of the brands you have website and find out the equivalent for them to 1/2 cup of sugar in sweetness and then gradually increase it from there to your desired sweetness. If you have erythritol or xylitol you could also use that (they are granular sweeteners that measure pretty close to the same as sugar also). Hope that helps! :-)

CyberSis said...


I'm taking a tiny little break from the holiday whirlwind to check in with you ... and I'm sure glad I did!

There's only one word to describe this recipe ... Awesome! I can think of a few ways that a person might even be tempted to "springboard" off it, too. The possibilities are dancing in my head just like sugar-plums ... only a whole lot better! :-)

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! Thanks so much! Whirlwind describes this past week for me to a tee! LOL I am up early already this morning getting ready to begin my Christmas eve dinner "frenzy" to wrap, house to the holiday fun can begin! I wish you and your family a very blessed and Merry Christmas! :-)

Pat in Ohio said...

I'm a bit late for Christmas wishes - one of these days I HAVE to get organized - LOL! This recipe is one of your best! It is truly amazing that something that has no bad ingredients in it can be so yummy! I especially appreciate the no-bake aspect of this cheesecake. I am the first to confess that baking is not at the top of the list of my talents. My mother and grandmother got the baking gene but not I.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Pat in Ohio

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Pat! Merry Christmas to you, too! So glad you liked the cheesecake. It is SO much easier to make than the kind you bake (which would be great to make in the summer when you don't want to heat up the kitchen). You can eat it plain "as is" or with fresh berries instead of the cranberry sauce...or grate lemon zest and stir it into the cheesecake mixture -- there are a lot of variations you can do with very little effort. Glad you liked it too -- I am really enjoying it with the cranberries. :-)

Pat said...

Hi there. Just wondering what size pan you would use if you made this recipe in 1 pan. I don't have the mini pans. Thanks! Pat in Delaware

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Pat -- I'd probably make it in an 8-inch springform pan if you have one. The diameter or size of your pan will really just determine the thickness of your pie. But I would keep it as small as possible if you have a choice. If you make it in a regular baking pan, I'd use an 8 or 9-inch round or square pan. Someone else made it recently (I believe Cecilia) and I think she used a round pie dish. Hope that helps! All you really need though is a spoon! ;-)

Pat said...

Awesome. Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly!!! Have a blessed New Year! Pat