For most of us, a day that involves a bite or two of cheesecake sounds like a pretty good day indeed. One might even say that between its smooth and creamy mouthfeel, and its incorporation of two of our biggest instinctual food cravings (sugar and fat), cheesecake really knows how to "bring it."
Unfortunately, a traditional cheesecake comes with a price. Shockingly high in empty calories—usually coming from detrimental saturated fats and refined sugars—means cheesecake isn’t only bad for your waistline, it’s also bad for your heart, brain, immune system, and more. Suffice to say, cheesecake is usually reserved for the once-in-a-blue-moon list of desserts… until now. Presenting our version: Low-Sugar Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, which use smart-swaps for both the fat and sugar components to create a convincingly delicious treat without the unhealthy consequences.
How is this possible? It's all in the ingredients. Plant-based saturated fats (like cacao butter and coconut butter), can act similarly to animal-based ones (like butter and cream cheese) in recipes from a structural standpoint, but without the compromising cardiovascular effects. Additionally, refined sugars can be replaced with more natural sugars like maple syrup, and reduced even further with natural sugar-free sweet substitutes like stevia.
So the next time you get a cheesecake craving, feel good about giving in to it with our fully upgraded, low-sugar, berry-studded cheesecake bites recipe…and make a good day even better.
WATCH HOW WE MAKE OUR RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE BITES:
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RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE BITES PREP TIPS:
Although a no-bake recipe like this one is extremely forgiving, here's a few extra tips to ensure your cheesecake bites come out beautifully.
Warm the coconut butter before measuring. Unless you live in an extremely warm environment, coconut butter will be somewhat hard at room temperature, and its oil will partially separate and reside at the top of the jar. For best results, warm the jar in a bowl of hot water for several minutes, then stir well until it has transformed into a thick liquid.... then measure it out. This will give you the most accurate measurement of this special ingredient, which helps make the cheesecake bites so delectable.
Try liquid stevia. Although these cheesecake bites are low sugar to begin with, you can reduce the sugar even further by using sugar-free liquid stevia in place of some of the syrup, without sacrificing flavor. Just be sure to count out the drops carefully, as using too much stevia can make the dessert taste artificial.
If you can't get your hands on cacao butter.... use coconut oil instead. We love cacao butter, which gives these bites a much more gourmet "white chocolate" flavor, but understand it isn't always available (check your local health food store or online). In a pinch, coconut oil can be used instead, which will at least provide the same texture and structure. (Note: coconut butter cannot be substituted with coconut oil.)
MORE INDULGENT DESSERTS:
Low-Sugar Raspberry Cheesecake Bites
These low-sugar bites of decadence offer a rich, cheesecake-like experience that's dairy-free thanks to coconut butter and cacao butter.
Prep Time: 15 mins | Chill Time: 60 mins | Total Time: 75 mins Servings: 16 bites Author: Julie Morris
2 tablespoons raw pecans
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup coconut butter
¼ cup finely chopped cacao butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
8 drops liquid stevia, or 1 additional tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup raw cashews
12 fresh raspberries, halved
1. Set aside a dinner plate with 16 small paper candy cups on top (you do not need a candy tray).
2. Finely chop the pecans into an almost flour-like consistency. Transfer to a small bowl and mix with the cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
3. Fill a sauce-pot with a couple inches of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and place a heatproof bowl that is slightly larger than the pot on top. Add the coconut butter and cacao butter to the bowl, and let the ingredients slowly melt for a few minutes until liquid. Once fully melted, remove the butters from the heat, and transfer to a food processor using a silicone spatula. Add the maple syrup, stevia (if using), lemon juice, vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Pulse until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the processor to push the mixture back near the blades, and add the cashews. Process until the nuts are partially broken down, or the size of small gravel. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
4. Remove 16 raspberry halves and set aside for garnish. Add the remaining raspberries to the cheesecake mixture and gently stir the mixture to incorporate—allowing some of the berries to partially smash and add some color, while letting other larger pieces remain, for texture.
5. Use a melon-baller or spoon to divide scoops of the cheesecake mixture into the 16 candy cups. Press down to flatten slightly, then dust with the pecan mixture, about ¼–½ teaspoon per cup. Cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour longer before serving to become firm.
Store the cheesecake bites in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.