One Mini Gluten-Free Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake with Fresh Berries has just 194 calories. This would make an elegant finish to any meal – you’ll love the chocolate crust, creamy filling and fresh berry topping. Sponsored by The Hershey Company.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t love cheesecake. The only problem is that it’s usually loaded with fat and calories. You really only need a few bites to satisfy your cheesecake craving, but it’s hard to resist when you have an entire slice in front of you.
So, I have the perfect solution! What about a mini cheesecake that tastes like what you’d expect in a cheesecake, but on the light side – one that has less than 200 calories? It’s something anyone can enjoy.
I created this Mini Gluten-Free Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake with Fresh Berries just for you and me so we can indulge in something that tastes super rich and decadent, but is so much lighter than the traditional cheesecake. I think chocolate and strawberries or raspberries make a great combination, so I’ve incorporated these into this mini cheesecake too.
So, what makes this cheesecake light? The secret ingredient is low-fat cottage cheese. I’ve used cottage cheese in place of cream cheese to lighten up all sorts of recipes, both sweet and savory, and it works wonders. The trick is to blend the cottage cheese up really well and remove as much moisture as possible.
These are really like a three layer cheesecake, with a chocolate crust, a light creamy cheesecake filling, and a fresh berry sauce on top.
While you’re enjoying a bite of this mini chocolate-crusted cheesecake, let me share a few cool things that I learned about Hershey’s cocoa sustainability strategy during my visit to The Hershey Company last summer. I was really impressed by several of the company’s programs that have been helping raise living standards for cocoa farmers and their families (primarily in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana).
In particular, CocoaLink and Hershey Learn to Grow are two innovative programs that help provide farmers with educational and community resources, and information on best practices in sustainable cocoa farming. Hershey is also committed to sourcing 100% certified cocoa for all chocolate products by 2020. Certified cocoa ensures the highest international standards for labor, environmental and farming practices. Hershey-supported sustainability and certification programs will benefit more than 750,000 farmers by 2017. I think that’s very impactful and impressive.
Watch this video Our Story of Cocoa and other videos to learn more.
Now let’s eat cheesecake! I’ve served these to my kids and to guests and everyone raved about them – they had no idea that the little cheesecake they ate was actually on the light side.
Mini Gluten-Free Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake with Fresh Berries
Chocolate Almond Flour Crust
- 1 cup almond flour
- 4 tablespoons HERSHEY'S unsweetened Cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons organic brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons organic unsalted butter melted, cooled
Skinny Cheesecake Filling
- 2 cups 16 ounces low-fat cottage cheese, strained
- 1/3 cup organic sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups fresh organic strawberries or raspberries
- 2 tablespoons organic sugar
- fresh organic raspberries
- organic powdered sugar
Chocolate Flour Almond Crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almond flour, cocoa powder and brown sugar in food processor and process until there are no more lumps. Add melted butter and process a few seconds until just combined.
Line muffin tins with paper liners. Divide crust mixture among 12 muffin tins. Use fingers to press down on crust.
Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.
Place strained cottage cheese in food processor (be sure to wash out after mixing the chocolate crust) and puree until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and process until just mixed through. Add eggs and process until just mixed through. Pour into muffin tins (I used a liquid measuring cup with a spout for less mess).
Bake for 25 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven, cool, then refrigerate for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make berry topping by placing strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes. Let cool; place in food processor and process until smooth; put through strainer if you want to get rid of seeds.
Gently remove paper liners from cheesecakes and place on serving tray. Spoon berry topping on top of each mini cheesecake. Decorate with a few fresh raspberries and sift a little powdered sugar on top.
Disclosure: This blog post and my trip to Hershey, PA were sponsored by The Hershey Company as part of my participation in their Food Ambassador program. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says
Jeanette, this is the perfect dessert! I love that these mini cheesecakes are gluten free, but I especially love that you made them with a chocolate crust and fresh raspberries on top!
Thanks Stacy – these little bites just kind of came together – glad you like them 🙂
Oh how perfect is this recipe!! I’ve been obsessed with anything with raspberries lately! and cheesecake….well that is just a match made in heaven!!
Thanks Cheryl – I couldn’t agree more – raspberries + cheesecake just seem to go together naturally!
Lauren @ Eating with a Purpose says
Beautiful photographs! Pinning to make!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
I adore cheesecake but my stomach cannot handle cream cheese so I am always looking for alternatives! I cannot wait to try this version Jeanette – the texture on those gorgeous little beauties is phenomenal – I would never have thought these were made wit cottage cheese!
Shashi – these are lighter than your typical cheesecake so I hope you can enjoy these.
These mini cheesecakes are beautiful, Jeanette! I love that you lightened them up with cottage cheese, they look so creamy and delicious. The raspberry topping with the chocolate almond crust sounds amazing together!
Thanks Kelly – I was really happy the way these turned out, and even happier that everyone loved them 🙂
Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy says
Jeannette, these mini cheesecakes look absolutely fabulous! They are definitely going on my to-try-soon-recipes list!
Thanks so much for sharing this deliciousness! 🙂
Thanks Neli – I hope you have the chance to try these!
Divine little cakes! Must try…
Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits says
I absolutely LOVE cheesecakes, especially when they’re topped with fruit. I’ve never thought of adding cottage cheese to make cheesecake before–thanks for the tip!
Thanks Lisa – I started using cottage as a substitute for cream cheese a few years ago and it is great as a higher protein, low fat alternative.
Love these!! Especially that you can have a treat and not feel badly about it!
Thanks Deborah – between the lighter ingredients and the mini size, these are definitely a treat you don’t have to feel guilty about.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
With less than 200 calories, these mini cheesecakes are definitely a winner! They look divine, Jeanette.
Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel says
Loving that they’re not only magnificent and yummy but they are gluten free. So cute and perfect in their mini form.
My mom used to make these for the holidays, but of course they were the full fat version. Loving that cottage cheese in your recipe – YUM. Great info on the cocoa 🙂
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
low-fat cottage cheese?!!!! Can’t wait to try this!!! Brilliant!!!
Brian @ A Thought For Food says
Anything cheesecake is my favorite. And, really, the most wonderful way to eat it is with fresh berries on top.
These little cheesecakes look so good, and I would have never thought to substitute cottage cheese for the cream cheese. Also a nice bonus that they are gluten free so my niece can enjoy them 🙂
genevieve @ gratitude & greens says
I have to admit that I find Hershey’s to be pretty awful- I just think their chocolate tastes way too sweet- but this cheesecake sounds delicious and I LOVE the chocolate crust you did 🙂
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
I love how low the calorie count is for a cheesecake dessert! Plus one that looks this good would be great for an Easter dessert too!
April @ Food n' Focus says
These sound and look amazing!
This looks delicious. My son is allergic to nuts. Can I substitute gluten-free flour in place of almond flour for the crust?
Thanks Judy – gluten free flour should work fine, although I’m guessing that you might need a little more moisture to hold it together since there is natural fat in almond flour.