This delicious and super simple cheesecake without cream cheese takes no time at all to pull together! This light and creamy dessert will be a fan favorite in no time and no water bath is needed!
It took me until adulthood and a very sugary and delicious bagel to admit that I can stomach sugary cream cheeses. Plus, moving out east for college made it nearly impossible for me to avoid bagels and cream cheese. Thankfully, I’ve come a long way, but I’m still not one to seek out a traditional cheesecake or cream cheese unless it’s of the honey or brown sugar type.
That’s where this healthy cheesecake without cream cheese comes in! Other recipes for cheesecake without cream cheese will use lemon juice, lemon zest, or sour cream to mimic the tanginess of cream cheese, but we don’t need those because we have tangy Greek yogurt! Pair this with spicy gingersnap cookies and it’s the perfect baked cheesecake recipe!
Table of Contents
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted.
Greek Yogurt: This is the magic ingredient that gives the tang in this cheesecake without sour cream or cream cheese! The high content of whey protein in Greek yogurt is how this delicious cheesecake sets when baked without eggs.
Substitutions: Any type or flavor of Greek yogurt can be used that goes with ginger. For example, a lemon Greek Yogurt would make for a refreshing lemon cheesecake! For additional fluff, you can mix in a half cup of whipped cream or cool whip.
Sweetened Condensed Milk: Cheesecake has to have sweetness!
Substitutions: Coconut condensed milk can be used but evaporated milk cannot be used.
Honey: Yogurt has a very distinct tang and the only way to neutralize that is with sweetness. And even though we have sweetened condensed milk, this requires just a smidge more sweetness.
Substitutions: Maple syrup, agave syrup, or any liquid sugar can be used. You can also try adding different flavors like lemon curd, lime zest, or chocolate ganache for a chocolate cheesecake.
Gingersnap Cookies: I am just obsessed with gingersnap cookies, way better than a plain crust! Plus, using spiced cookies is a much quicker way to pack in flavor with minimal simple ingredients.
Substitutions: Vanilla wafers, graham crackers or graham cracker crumbs can be used for a buttery graham cracker crust! You can also use a store-bought graham cracker crust in place of the cookies and the butter.
Butter: Butter helps to bind the cookie crumbs for the crust.
Substitutions: Coconut oil or vegan butter can be used. Unsalted butter or salted can be used.
How to Make this – Step by Step
Step one: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step two: Blend the gingersnap cookies and melted butter together in a food processor to finely chop the cookies and create the crust.
Step three: Transfer the cookie mixture to a pie crust or 8” springform pan. Press down the crust evenly. Bake this for 10 minutes.
Step four: While the crust bakes, make the filling by mixing the Greek yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, and honey until thoroughly combined. This can be done in a large bowl with an electric mixer (or hand mixer) or in a stand mixer on low speed to medium speed with the whisk attachment or paddle attachment.
Step five: Remove the crust from the oven and pour the yogurt filling over top. Return to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the center is just set (it will look like Jell-O – slightly firm but still moves) and the edges are slightly golden brown.
Step six: Once this baked dessert is done, remove from the oven and let the cake come to room temperature. Transfer to the fridge to continue to set for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight before enjoying. Try having a slice of this perfect dessert with fresh fruit (fresh berries are my favorite!) or caramel sauce!
Watch How to Make This – Step by Step
Sweetness neutralizes tang! Yogurt has a very distinct bite to it. The only way to neutralize this is with the right amount of sugar. So while adding a tablespoon of honey may seem weird, without it this cheesecake recipe without sour cream will taste more like a yogurt cake.
Facts and Common Questions
What can I use instead of cream cheese in a cheese cake?
Typically any type of dairy with a high percentage of whey protein will work. This can be Greek yogurt, like this recipe, cottage cheese, or mascarpone.
How do you imitate cream cheese taste?
Cream cheese has a tang to it, so by using any other type of product with a tang, you can imitate cream cheese. You can also add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to imitate the tang.
How can I thicken a cheesecake without cream cheese?
Cheesecake can be thickened by using another similar dairy product, like Greek yogurt! You can also use eggs, cornstarch, or gelatin to create an emulsion that will thicken and set when baked.
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
Cheesecake can be kept in the freezer or fridge using these simple tips!
Fridge: To store your cheesecake, simply store in the fridge covered with plastic wrap or in a sealed container for up to a week.
Freezer: To freeze your cheesecake, I recommend cutting it into individual slices and wrapping each one in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. Store these pieces in a sealed container for up to 1 month in the freezer. After a month, the texture will start to deteriorate. When ready to eat, take out however many pieces you want and place in the fridge to thaw the day before.
Cheesecake dates back to ancient Greece! A version was even served at the Olympic games. I bet theirs was made with Greek yogurt too. Speaking of ancient recipes being like ours, another version of ancient cheesecake from the Romans was sweetened with honey (like ours!) instead of sugar. (source)
Joyful Pairings for Cheesecake!
Try these recipes to pair with your cheesecake!
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
- 1 Quart Unsweetened Greek Yogurt Full Fat
- 14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 10 oz Ginger snap Cookies
- 3 tbsp Butter* melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Blend cookies and melted butter in a food processor.
- Transfer the mixture to a pie tin or springform pan and press to flatten evenly. Bake for 10 minutes.
- While the crust bakes, mix the Greek yogurt, condensed milk, and honey together until combined.
- Pour the yogurt mixture over the crust once it’s done baking. Place this whole cheesecake back in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until just set.
- Let this cool and then transfer to the fridge to continue to set for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight before enjoying.