The ultimate makeover: New York cheesecake

The ultimate makeover: New York cheesecake

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(53 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 45 mins Plus 3½ hrs cooling and overnight chilling


Cuts into 10 slices

Angela Nilsen rises to the ultimate challenge - keeping a cheesecake creamy and decadent while making it healthier and lighter

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal315
  • fat15g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs37g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre1g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.89g


    For the base

    • 35g butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 85g reduced-fat digestive biscuit, finely crushed

    For the filling

    • 2 x 300g/11oz tubs light soft cheese, we used Philadelphia cheese, at room temperature
    • 175g golden caster sugar
    • 3 tbsp cornflour
    • 1½ tsp finely grated lemon zest, preferably using a Microplane grater
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs, room temperature, beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 150g fromage frais

    For the topping

    • 25g golden caster sugar
    • 225g punnet blueberry



      Blueberries are one of the few edibles native to North America and credited with being…

    • ½ tsp finely grated lime zest



      The same shape, but smaller than…

    • 100g fromage frais


    1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a 20cm loose-bottomed or springform tin with baking parchment and stand it on a baking sheet. Melt the butter and stir in the biscuit crumbs. Press the mix into the base of the tin, then bake for 10 mins. Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9.

    2. For the filling, beat the soft cheese just until smooth with an electric hand mixer on low speed. Gradually add the sugar, also on a low speed, then the cornflour without overbeating. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Slowly whisk in the lemon zest and juice, the vanilla, then the eggs. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then finally whiskin the fromage frais. The mixture should be smooth and quite runny.

    3. Pour the filling over the crumb base. Jiggle the tin to level the mix and squash surface bubbles with the back of a teaspoon. Bake for 10 mins, then lower the heat to 110C/fan 90C/gas ¼. Bake another 25 mins and, if you are using an electric oven, leave the oven door slightly ajar for the first 3 mins. After the 25 mins, shake the tin and there should be a wobble in the centre of the filling. If left until firmer it is more likely to crack later. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed and leave the cake in for 2 hrs. Open the door, loosen the top edges of the cake with a round bladed knife, then leave in the oven to cool gently for another 1-1½ hrs.

    4. Meanwhile, put the sugar for the topping in a small pan with 3 tbsp water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then let it bubble for 1-2 mins to make a thin syrup. Tip in the blueberries, gently stir and cook for about 1 min, just to slightly burst the fruit and release the purple juices. Stir in the lime zest, then leave to cool.

    5. Spread the fromage frais over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hrs (or overnight). Remove from the fridge 1 hr before serving, loosen the sides of the cheesecake completely, remove from the tin, then slide onto a plate, peeling off the paper as you do. Slice with a sharp knife and serve each wedge topped with a spoonful of syrupy blueberries.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    26th Dec, 2018
    Excellent cheesecake. I doubled the base as previously suggested. Needed to be baked for longer; about 90 minutes. Also, didn’t bother with topping and served with fresh raspberries. Will definitely make again.
    Fwteinh Nikolopoulou's picture
    Fwteinh Nikolopoulou
    2nd May, 2018
    Just remembered that I swapped low fat yogurt for fromage frais and stevia for sugar and it was so light and healthy that we were eating for breakfast.
    Fwteinh Nikolopoulou's picture
    Fwteinh Nikolopoulou
    2nd May, 2018
    Gorgeous dessert
    27th Jun, 2016
    I made this yesterday with a few changes. Firstly, after reading the comments below I did 1.5 times the quantity for the base. I forgot to add the fromage frais to the cheese mix, I don't think it affected the taste or texture which were really good. If I had remembered to add it the tin would have been too small to hold all the mix, even allowing for the extra base I used. I used lemon extract instead of vanilla. the berry topping was lovely and I am sure the basic recipe would lend itself to a lot of adaptation.
    26th Dec, 2015
    Made this for pudding for xmas day. OMG it was fab. Made ahead the biscuit base which i doubled and gave myself enough time to finish off in the oven the required time didnt even check oven to see if it wobbled just left it in till completely cold, never added the topping before to my cheesecakes but did this time. Was sceptical as it was low fat but the texture and taste was perfect and it came out with NO cracks. Definately a winner...thanks GF
    8th Oct, 2015
    Really really tasty - this will be a favourite of mine - quiet costly but most definitely worth it. I think a smaller portion is required as it is very rich and with the blueberries and lime it is scrummy!!!
    17th Oct, 2014
    I should have added that I doubled the base as there is not enough biscuits with 85g
    17th Oct, 2014
    Absolutely delicious. It was fine for 25 minutes. For the topping I just had the blueberries and a squeeze of lemon in the pan. Everyone loved it
    3rd Jul, 2013
    This cheescake is fabulous! Light, not cloying as some are, although you should not eat too large a portion, even if it is lower in fat! Only problem was with the baking time - 25 minutes is nowhere near enough! I baked mine (in a fan oven) for about 90 minutes, then left it overnight in the oven to cool. Served with raspberries (frozen) instead of blueberries. Will be making this one again!
    30th Apr, 2013
    Have made this several times now, always delicious and admired. Really rich but fresh flavour. I do double base ingredients as I found the base a little thin first time and it doesn't lose anything if you leave the fromage frais off the top. So much better than most of the cloying cheesecakes that you get in supermarkets and really easy to make.


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    17th Apr, 2019
    Going to make a GF version of this by substituting GF digestives (Sainsbury’s own brand). Will also use their 40% reduced fat soured cream instead of fromage frais (bought for adapting a different recipe). Will heat some frozen summer berries and stevia to make an sauce to pour on the side. Happy Easter :)
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