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

Anne said...

Hi Gourmet Girl! I uses your crust for a baked cheesecake and it was great. I have a question about the swerve, I used my old baked cheesecake recipe and swapped out swerve for the sugar in the filling
. The taste is great but the texture is a little grainy and I used the powdered swerve. Any ideas?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anne,

Usually, using the confectioners Swerve eliminates the graininess (which comes from thee erythritol). Some people report that refrigerated products are more susceptible to that then room temperature items (like cookies, for example). I know what you are talking about because I get that with the regular granular version in chilled items but not so much when using the confectioners version. I would suggest that you heat/boil the sweetener in the liquid portion of your recipe...but you can't do that with cheesecake. How much Swerve did you use in the recipe? I'd like to try and help figure out what could be done differently in this particular recipe next time. :-)

Sabine said...

Hi Gourmet Girl,

I had been eyeing this one for a long time, but the opportunity to make it never really arose. Until yesterday. I wanted to bring a cheesecake to a potluck party and decided to make this one on a whim. I had no pecans, so I followed the suggestion you made above and used shredded coconut and flax. It turned out awesome! There were more people than expected at the party. In no time at all, everybody was greedily staring at the last piece. I told them that I had never made it before, but that this awesome low carb recipe blogger ;) always comes through so that I was able to just take the plunge and make it. Suffice to say that not all of the filling made it on top of the crust. Some of it went straight down my gullet :D


Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sabine,

I'm so happy you and your guests enjoyed the cheesecake. It's so easy to make isn't it! Too funny about all the filling not making on top of the crust! You sound just like me! :-)

unter der laterne said...

Hi GG, welcome back . I wrote e-mails to you via your e-mail post, well obviously it was a no-reply address . I was thinking of you a lot! I am just so happy that your children are alright, Maybe you understand what I mean. My daughter now has the fight of her life and I can hardly breathe ! I try to avoid too much thinking, so I occupy my mind with talk shows and cooking .It works for a little while and then a hammer comes down to bring reality back! Today I want to make the no-bake cheese cake with the hazelnut crust, but I can not find the recipe. The pecan crust is fabulous but I have too many filberts in my freezer , so I am anxious to try the new crust.
Thanks !

unter der laterne said...

Ayla, can I simply replace the pecans with hazelnuts ?Or does it need tweaking?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara,

Great to hear from you again. Hope you are doing well. No, no tweaking necessary; simply swap them out!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara,

I don't think I received an email from you? Unless I missed it with all the craziness here, which is entirely possible. Although I think I would remember. I'm sorry about your daughter's difficulties and if your email mentioned it, I did not get it. If you get a chance or are able to forward or copy the email you had sent and would like to get it to me privately (without posting it publicly here on my blog), you can email me directly at: I would love to hear from you and realize that not everything is something to share in a public forum. There are things I could share with you as well. I hope your daughter is okay and I hope you are doing well. Let me know how your hazelnut crust turns out and please feel free to contact me by email any time. And if, by chance, I have missed your email, please know that it was due to the chaos here and not intentional. There are good days here and bad and I understand quite well how reality comes crashing down out of the blue at times. Know that I am thinking of you too and hope everything will be okay with whatever you are going through. <3