Cheesecake is one of my all-time favourite desserts. The fork gliding through that luscious creamy filling to hit the buttery base, every mouthful just melting away…
As a baker, I love always try to recreate dishes I love at home, but cheesecake has been something that I hadn’t been able to because we couldn’t get cream cheese easily in Sri Lanka (or India). Even though it is available in lots of places now, cream cheese costs an arm and a leg, so it’s not something I feel is worth the hassle of making at home. It made more sense to just buy a single slice when the cheesecake craving hit.
But, of course, the baker beast in me wouldn’t let things lie as it were. I seem to have this pathological need to find substitutes and create recipes that arrive at the same result, but with a few detours.
So, as anyone would do, I found myself Googling “No-Cream Cheese Cheesecake”. To my surprise, there were no such recipes! After much searching, I began developing this recipe. It has been over two years and I’ve made it several times, tweaking it a bit here, tweaking it a bit there. It’s received rave reviews from all those who have eaten it. But yet…
Yet, I was nervous to share it because this recipe is like my baby. I’ve worked on it so long and I am my own harshest critic. But today, I’m putting those apprehensions aside and finally sharing it. So, here we go…
ETA: I’m happy to report back that many others have made this recipe since then and loved it as much as I do!
What are the ingredients needed to make Homemade no-cream cheese baked cheescake?
This cheesecake recipe may not have cream cheese, but in a roundabout way, it does. That’s because we will be using the process to make homemade cream cheese, but the steps are seamlessly integrated into the rest of the recipe so it won’t seem like a whole other recipe. In fact, this recipe is just as easy to make as any cheesecake recipe, it just has a few unconventional steps.
This also means that we’re going to have a cheesecake that is very much cheesecake-like, and that’s all that needs to be said about that!
- For the cheescake:
– 1.5 liters of full cream fresh milk,
– 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice,
– 300g of the paneer that we prepared earlier,
– 1/4 cup full cream fresh milk,
– 1/4 cup tbsp granulated white sugar,
– 2 large eggs,
– 1/4 cup curd or plain yogurt,
– 1 tbsp all-purpose flour/maida,
– 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- For the base:
– 70g digestives,
– 2 tbsp (25g) (1/8 cup) brown/white sugar,
– 2 tbsp (30g) (1/8 cup) butter, melted
How to make Cheesecake without cream cheese at home?
This recipe is broken down into 3 steps. Follow them as they are in the guide below to make sure you do not waste any time waiting around.
- Making the paneer: Boil milk and add the acid (vinegar or lemon juice) to cause the wheys and curds to separate. Reserve the curds for this recipe.
- Make the base for the cheesecake and bake it.
- Make the filling by combining all the ingredients (including the paneer we made) in a blender and pour over the base. Bake and cool completely before letting it set in the fridge overnight.
What Topping to Use
A classic cheesecake can be served without any topping, but let’s be honest, the topping is half the fun! But there’s no one topping you have to use. I have topped this cheesecake with passion fruit curd, lemon curd, chocolate ganache, and even some biscoff spread. You can go with more classic cheesecake toppings like blueberry, raspberry, or strawberry. You can really get creative here!
Here’s the step-by-step guide to making cheesecake without cream cheese at home.
No-Cream Cheese Cheesecake Recipe
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Step 1: Making paneer.
- 1.5 liters of full cream fresh milk,
- 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
- In pan deep pan over high heat, pour the milk and let it come up to a boil. Keep stirring to ensure the bottom doesn’t burn.
- Have a fine mesh strainer ready or prepare a regular strainer by lining it with a cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel.
- Once the milk boils, reduce the heat to low. Pour the vinegar/lemon juice in and keep stirring for a few minutes. The milk will curdle and separate into curds (clumps of white) and whey (yellow liquid).
Note: You may need more of the vinegar, so if it doesn’t seem to be separating, add extra 1 tsp at a time and keep mixing.
- Pour the mixture over the strainer to collect the curds.
Note: You can discard the yellow liquid (whey) or use it in another recipe.
- Press the curds down with the back of a spoon to get rid of excess moisture and then let it sit in the strainer while it cools.
- Let cool completely.
Tip: Place it next to a fan to speed up the process.
Step 2: Make the cheesecake base.
- 70g digestives,
- 2 tbsp (25g) (1/8 cup) brown/white sugar,
- 2 tbsp (30g) (1/8 cup) butter, melted
- Grease a 6″ springform pan and preheat the oven to 175° Celsius.
- Crush the biscuits, either by hand or in a food processor, and mix it in with the sugar and butter.
- Pour this mixture onto the pan evenly and pack it down tightly.
Tip: Use the bottom of a glass to press down firmly.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust has browned nicely.
- Let it cool completely before pouring the filling.
Step 3: Making the cheesecake filling.
- 300g of the paneer that we prepared earlier,
- 1/4 cup full cream fresh milk,
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar,
- 2 large eggs,
- 1/4 cup curd or plain yogurt,
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour/maida,
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- Place all the ingredients together in the jar of a blender or food processor and blitz until it is completely smooth.
Note: Check the mixture by rubbing it between two fingers. It should not feel grainy.
Step 4: Bake.
- Preheat the oven to 150° Celsius.
- Pour the filling over the cooled base and let the bubbles settle for a few minutes and then tap the pan on the counter a few times to further release bubbles.
- Bake the cheesecake for about 30-35 minutes.
Note: Check if it is done by shaking the pan slightly. The filling would have set but the middle will still be slightly wobbly.
Step 4: Chill and serve.
- Let the cheesecake cool completely (minimum 2 hours), before refrigerating overnight.
Note: It is important to refrigerate at least 8 hours before slicing to allow the cake to set and get clean slices.
- Remove from the fridge and release the sides of the pan.
- Slice and serve while slightly cold.
– You can serve it plain or add a topping such a sstrawberry jam, blueberry jam, or even chocolate ganache. We love having it plain.
– Note if you do not get exactly 300g of paneer, it is ok if you re a few grams short.
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Have you made this recipe? I would love to hear your feedback or questions in the comments below!
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