Keto-Perfect Cheesecake

Happy Birthday Papa Ted!

We celebrated Ted’s birthday last weekend. Luckily, his favorite dessert is keto-compatible–cheesecake! I am not a seasoned cheesecake baker, so I found a recipe for a self-described “perfect” cheesecake at Simply Recipes: ย recipes/perfect_cheesecake/

In addition to the promise of a perfect cheesecake for Ted, the ingredient list lent itself to a simple keto-version. I just scaled everything down proportionately for a 4-inch springform pan (from Michael’s), made a simple macadamia nut crust, and substituted some of Nora’s saccharine-sweetened Cytra-K for a touch of sweetness. I also omitted the sour cream topping and used plain berries. The recipe for the cheesecake alone is 4.2:1, so add berries to adjust the ratio down to your requirements. Nora gets 13 g of strawberries per 1/4 of the cheesecake to make it 3.5:1.

One full recipe of Keto-Perfect Cheesecake. Analysis by

Keto-Perfect Cheesecake

20 g ground macadamia nuts
10 g melted butter
100 grams Primrose cream cheese
1 g pure vanilla extract
22 g egg
20 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
20 g Straus Sour Cream

Wrap the springform pan in one continuous sheet of foil to keep it water tight for baking (see link to original recipe above for detailed instructions). Mix together the ground macadamia nuts and melted butter and press into bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350ยบ or until slightly browned.

With a hand mixer, cream together the remaining ingredients with any desired no-carb sweetener until very smooth, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl to evenly incorporate all ingredients. Turn oven down to 300ยบ and boil a pot of water. Pour cake batter into springform pan on top of the crust and smooth the top. Place in a larger roasting pan in the oven, and fill the larger pan around the cheesecake with about 1 inch of the boiling water. This is why you protect the pan with the foil, so that the water doesn’t get into the cheesecake pan and ruin the crust. Bake for about 1 hour, or until firm. Turn oven off and open the door so that the cheesecake can cool gently, about 1 hour.

Nora's Keto-Perfect Cheesecake.Place cheesecake in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2 hours. Carefully run a dull knife around the edge of the cake to loosen from the sides of the pan. Release the springform pan to serve the cake. I placed a few slices of strawberry and a raspberry to decorate the cake, just remember to factor those into your calculations. Cut the strawberry length-wise to get heart shaped pieces. Awwww. I pre-weighed each piece so that they were all 3 g of berry. I don’t trust my memory these days.

Nora ate 1/4 of the cake for a serving, with 3 g of strawberry on each 1/4. I included the nutritional information for the whole recipe above. As always, re-calculate with the exact ingredients that you use.

I made both Nora’s cheesecake and Ted’s cheesecake at the same time, side by side in the oven. That saved a lot of time. I also fully appreciated the contents of a perfect traditional cheesecake, knowing that Nora’s and Ted’s were proportionately identical, except that Ted’s included a lot more carbs. That said, it was delicious and perfect, as advertised.

Nora’s cake batter did not have the same consistency as the original. Nora’s batter was less runny, but only lacked the sugar. There is some food science going on there that I have not researched. Going into the pan and during baking, Nora’s was also thicker. I had a tiny taste from the knife and it was good, but a thicker consistency than Ted’s traditional cake. Even so, I have not heard a single complaint from Nora. She has 1/4 left awaiting her in the fridge. It’s a great keto snack!

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About Christy Anderson Brekken

In no particular order... Instructor and Researcher, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. Educational background: University of MN Law School, 2005. MS in Ag and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, 2011. Teaches: Agricultural Law, Environmental Law. Mother: brilliant 9 year old boy; brilliant 6 year old girl with benign myoclonic epilepsy on a modified ketogenic diet therapy. Married to: Ted Brekken, OSU Department of Electrical Engineering. Ride: Xtra-cycle Edgerunner with kid seat; 400-pound cargo capacity. Grew up: Devils Lake, ND. Lived in: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Pohang, South Korea, Trondheim, Norway, Corvallis, OR. Interests: Cooking, knitting, eating, yoga, laughing, hiking, traveling, staying sane.

5 thoughts on “Keto-Perfect Cheesecake

  1. Hi I want to make this now. Can I use macopone for the cream cheese part? What will happen if I just bake the whole cake without the extra hot water bath pan? Thanks. Bianca

    • Hi Bianca,

      I looked around the web (I’m not a food scientist!) and I think that you could simply substitute mascarpone for cream cheese in this cheesecake. Make sure you adjust the nutritional information. I looked up several types of mascarpone and it seems to have similar nutritional characteristics.

      The hot water bath is included to keep the oven humid so that the cake doesn’t get dry. In my experience, making Nora’s cheesecake without sugar means that it gets a little dry and crumbly anyway. Maybe mascarpone would be better because I think it has a little more moisture content than cream cheese. So if you are making the keto-version, I would go ahead and do it without the water bath. Maybe turn the heat down a little, and if you are making a small cake keep a close eye on it so that it doesn’t cook too long.

      Good luck!

  2. Hello! I would like to make this for my stepson for Thanksgiving dessert, he is on the MCT oil diet. Just wondering, you mentioned a “sour cream topping” that you omitted. Does that mean that the heavy cream/sour cream is not included in the batter that goes into the oven? Thank you so much, and your recipes are a lifesaver sometimes! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • (I just opened the simply recipe link and I see what you mean now, it is include in the batter, and additional sour cream can be used as a topping oops!)

      • Excellent! We love this cheesecake. Do yourself a favor and make the original recipe for yourself too (just cut the sugar down a bit). Mmmm, it’s so good.

        But if you are just making the keto one, you can skip the water bath and cook it at a cooler temperature, just until it sets throughout and gets a little color on the top. I have cooked the large on in a water bath beside the keto version in the same oven, but the keto one outside of the water bath. It makes me nervous to think of getting water in the precious keto cheesecake ๐Ÿ™‚


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