Low Carb Cheesecake Recipe
Cheesecake and I have always been friends. If I had my choice of any dessert at any given time, it would be cheesecake.
After our family made the switch to paleo and we cut out all dairy, I definitely missed cheesecake, but made the sacrifice for better gut health. After a few years of healing, reintroduction of dairy, and experiments on what works and doesn’t work for me personally, I’ve allowed myself the occasional slice.
However, now that we frequently go through keto cycles, cheesecake was once again off the menu. That is until I created my Instant Pot Low-Carb Cheesecake recipe. It was the perfect treat to get me through a rough week while still maintaining my macros and keeping me in ketosis.
Healthy (KETO) Zebra Cheesecake
But as I tend to do, I like to mix things up a bit. This Zebra Cheesecake is a variation on the original recipe, but with an added crust and a bit of cocoa added to the batter. It’s less sweet, which I actually like normal sweet things tend to be overly sweet while I’m in ketosis.
Chocolate Pecan Crust
Rather than alternating the layers of vanilla/chocolate batter, you could just layer all the vanilla and all the chocolate at once, but I love the layers and how the flavors combine. Plus it looks fun too. The addition of the chocolate pecan crust adds 1 net carb per slice, but that’s doable for me, even with my low daily carb count, which I try to keep around 15g.
If you’d like some step-by-step photos of the cheesecake baking process in the Instant Pot, check out the original recipe. And since this is a regular cheesecake, just baked a lot faster by using the Instant Pot, you should be able to bake it in the oven using the standard method (though I haven’t tested it so I don’t have exact time/temperature for that).
- 1 cup Pecans
- 2 Tbsp Grass-Fed Butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Swerve
- 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 16 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Granulated Swerve
- 1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Fresh Orange Zest, dried zest results in a chunky texture
- Zest of 1 Small Lemon
- 3 Eggs, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt, full-fat
- 2 tsp Granulated Swerve
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the pecans and process until ground to a powder (before it becomes a nut butter). Add the melted butter, 1 Tbsp cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp Swerve. Process until fully combined. Set aside.
- Using a 6" (or 7" maximum) push pan or springform pan, take a strip of parchment paper slightly taller than the sides of the pan (a pan with a height of at least 2.5" is best) and line all the way around the perimeter of the pan. Very lightly oil the bottom of the pan. Wrap a piece of foil around the bottom of the pan. Since we're not using a crust, this will help insure that no water gets into the cheesecake and no cheesecake seeps out of the pan. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, blend together cream cheese, Swerve, heavy cream, lemon and orange peels, and vanilla until smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time, very gently mixing until just combined. Do not over mix the eggs, otherwise you're cheesecake will be lumpy, not creamy.
- Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into a separate bowl. Add the 2 Tbsp cocoa powder to half of the mixture and combine until fully mixed in
- Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared push/springform pan. smooth it out as much as possible and press it all the way to the edges, but not up the sides.
- Pour 2 Tbsp of the vanilla cheesecake batter into the center of the pan, then pour 2 Tbsp of the chocolate cheesecake batter. Continue alternating vanilla/chocolate until all the batter has been used, gently tapping the pan on the counter to settle the layers if needed. If there is more of one batter than another leftover, just pour it over the top and gently spread it as evenly as you can.
- Lay a paper towel on top of the pan and gently wrap a piece of tin foil over the top to hold the paper towel in place. This is why the parchment needs to be taller than the pan. Set aside.
- Pour 1-1/2 cups of water into the inner liner pot of the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Place the trivet in the water with the handles up.
- Take a long piece of tinfoil and fold it in thirds, creating a sling. Place the cheesecake pan on the center of the foil sling and very gently lift it up using the long piece of foil. Place it into the Instant Pot on the trivet. Leave the sling in the pot.
- Put the lid on the pressure cooker and set the valve to "Sealing". Press the "Manual" button and increase the time to 37 minutes.
- While the cheesecake is cooking, prepare the topping. Mix the "Topping" ingredients and set aside.
- When the cycle ends, let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure (DO NOT open the valve and do a Quick Pressure Release) for 18 minutes without turning the IP off. Open the valve and remove the lid when all pressure is released.
- Carefully lift the cheesecake out of the Instant Pot with the foil sling. Remove the foil and paper towel from the top. If any liquid has accumulated on top of the cheesecake, very gently dab it off with a paper towel.
- While the cheesecake is still hot (and it's okay if there's a slight jiggle to it in the middle), spread the topping over it.
- Replace the paper towel/foil lid on the cheesecake and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
- When completely cooled, release the outer spring ring of the pan or, if using a push pan, push the bottom up out of the pan and remove the out layer of parchment. Cut into 8 slices and serve chilled.
- "Cook Time" does not include the time it takes to get to pressure. This is usually only about 5 minutes or so for me.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 40gCarbohydrates: 6gNet Carbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g
Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate