A buttery graham cracker crust (is there any other crust worth bothering with?) topped with the most amazing rich, smooth and creamy cheesecake, flavored with the must-have ingredient of the season, all for just 260 calories per slice. This healthy pumpkin spice cheesecake is guaranteed to become your newest go-to autumn dessert. Maybe even a new Thanksgiving family favorite!
Are you one of those people who really want to like something, but just can't? Maybe it's skinny jeans, working out or even just drinking plain water. No matter how much you're motivated to like this thing and regardless of how hard you try, it's just not your thing. Never has and never will be. That's the sort of problem I had in mind when I made this healthy pumpkin spice cheesecake. All the awesome fall-inspired flavor of pumpkin spice without any of the actual pumpkin, for all you pumpkin haters out there.
Flash back a few years ago and I honestly thought I was one of those people who hated pumpkin. I'd see all the amazing pumpkin recipes on Pinterest and be dying to make them. But I never would, because I thought I hated pumpkin. (Looking back, I've no idea why I thought that, because I'd never eaten as much as a forkful of it in my life!)
So one day I decided to make something I was 99.9% sure I'd like, even if it did contain pumpkin: one-bowl healthy pumpkin brownies. And you know what? Now I'm hooked on the stuff! I've even got an awesome low-calorie entirely fat-free chocolate pumpkin brownie recipe coming up next week. So definitely stick around for that.
But I get that not everyone likes pumpkin, so this recipe is one everyone can enjoy! It's based on one of my most popular and personal favourite recipes, the best ever skinny cheesecake, with the simple addition of homemade pumpkin pie spice. Sure, you can use a jar of the stuff, but why bother when homemade pumpkin pie spice is made up of just 4 simple ingredients and takes literally seconds to throw together?
How do you feel about pumpkin? Are you the first in line at Starbucks to order a pumpkin spice latte?* Or would you rather carve a scary face into the round orange vegetable and leave it on your doorstep to scare little kids?
for the base
- 2 oz / 60g crushed graham crackers or Digestive biscuits
- 2 tablespoons butter
for the cheesecake topping
- 8 oz / 240g low-fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup fat-free sugar-free yogurt at room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 egg at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C and take out a 5" / 12cm round silicone pan or lightly grease a metal pan.
- Place the graham crackers into the bowl of your food processor and blend until they form fine crumbs.
- Put the butter inside a small microwave-safe dish and cook in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until melted.
- Stir the butter into the graham cracker crumbs until all the liquid has been absorbed. Tip the buttery crumbs into the bottom of the prepared cake pan and press down with the back of a spoon to form a solid base.
- Rinse out the bowl of the food processor and add in all the cheesecake topping ingredients, except the egg. Blend for around 60 seconds, or until everything is completely combined. You might have to scrape down the inside of the bowl a couple of times to make sure everything gets fully mixed up.
- Crack in the egg and pulse 3-4 times, just until the egg gets broken up and combined.
- Pour the cheesecake topping onto the prepared base and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Then turn off the heat, keep the oven door closed and leave the cheesecake inside for an extra 30 minutes.
- After 60 minutes in the oven, remove the cheesecake and leave to cool for around 60 minutes at room temperature then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving.
*I tried a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte for the very first time this month in Madrid. And you know what? I was so disappointed! I thought it was going to be wonderful and send visions of golden leaves, fuzzy jumpers and bonfires rushing through my mind but it just tasted powdery and gross. Ah well.