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Protein Cheesecake Recipe With 3 Healthy Variations!

Like most people, I love dessert. Unfortunately, most desserts are full of sugar, saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates and will ruin your attempts at getting lean and staying healthy.

So to satisfy my sweet tooth I’ve found ways to make my favorite desserts more nutritious to help me stay on track with my fitness goals.

Some of these that you can find on Built Lean are my protein brownies and healthy carrot cake muffins. Today I want to share something that is a little more decadent: a protein cheesecake recipe. Like my other desserts, I substitute the empty calories for healthier ingredients and add protein to assist in muscle building without sacrificing the taste. Win-win!

How To Make A Healthy Protein Cheesecake

Loads of sugar in most cheesecakes will sabotage even the strictest diet. Eliminating the crust that most traditional cheesecakes have significantly lowers the carbohydrates and the calories makes this cheesecake much more diet friendly.

Another way to decrease the overall calories is to use no-fat to lower fat dairy. Using high fat ingredients instantly jacks up the calories and doesn’t necessarily make things taste better. Lower the fat and you lower the calories.

The one ingredient that most desserts lack is protein. Adding whey protein is easy and doesn’t change the flavor all that much if you do it right.

Here are some examples of the nutrient profile of my cheesecake vs. “the others”:

  High Protein Cheesecake (4oz) Regular New York Style Cheesecake (4oz) Cheesecake Factory Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Cheesecake
(1 slice)
Calories per serving (8oz.) 208 450 930-1100
Fat 2.5 32 59
Saturated Fat 2 13.5 30
Carbohydrates 15 35 93
Sugar 3 22 72
Fiber < 1 < 1 4
Protein 31 6 17

Healthy Protein Cheesecake Ingredients

Healthy Protein Cheesecake Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Soften cream cheese in a large mixing bowl by pressing down with a spoon.
  3. Add eggs and stevia and mix using an electric mixer.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue mixing for 2-3min.
  5. Pour in baking pan (6” pan works best) lined with parchment paper for best results.
  6. Bake at 325° for 25min then turn down the oven to 200° and continue baking for an additional hour.
  7. Let cool in fridge for 4-5 hours, add topping and destroy!

3 Healthy Protein Cheesecake Variations

If plain old cheesecake isn’t your thing, there are endless possibilities to making your favorite styles of cheesecake super healthy by adding nutritious ingredients.

1. Pumpkin Cheesecake – I’m a pumpkin fanatic and this is one of my favorite cheesecakes. All you have to do is add a few extra ingredients. These are canned pumpkin puree (NOT pie mix), 1tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg and ½ tsp pumpkin pie seasoning. This one is a staple in my house!

2. Strawberry Cheesecake – To make this classic cheesecake simply substitute strawberry whey protein powder and serve with fresh strawberries or other fresh berries.

3. Chocolate Peanut Butter – For this cheesecake you want to use chocolate protein powder and add a tsp of 100% cocoa powder and a tsp of peanut butter. The trick is drizzling peanut butter over the top of a fresh slice of this cake.

If you are as crazy about cheesecake as I am then I hope this recipe finds its way into your regular lineup. Please let me know if you have any questions or cheesecake variations!


  • Rahul says:

    Thats Great.

    Thanks alot.
    It means a lot. :) :)

  • Seb says:

    the healthy versions show much better they are for you! good article!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks! How did yours come out?

  • Deborah says:

    Has anyone made it yet just wondering?

    Also for the choc version do I completely swap the whey protein for choc??? If anyones made the choc one I'd like to know. :-)


    • Steve says:

      This is a weekly staple in my house and I have experimented with all sorts of crazy ingredients (including maple walnuts and bacon).

      For chocolate you can do one of two things:

      1. Just use chocolate whey protein powder.

      2. Use vanilla or unflavored whey and add in 100% cacao powder.

      Both are delicious, hope that helps :-)

  • Kristin says:

    Looks decent to me, but the spouse hates artificial sweeteners (we are both soso about nonfat cream cheese, but would give it a go. We usually use the light stuff), and there is no way I am eating a whole cheesecake by myself ;b Do you have a suggestion of something else I could use?

    • Travis says:

      Stevia is from a plant, it's not an artificial sweetener, so you should be good.

      • Kristin says:

        I did say artificial though didn't I, t'was not what I meant. Of note, a lot of it is still processed, though yes you can find the pure stevia if you look around.

      • Kristin says:

        He does not like the taste of it. It has nothing to do with its origin. :) (kind of like how some people do not like brussel sprouts - also a plant ;b)

  • Barry says:

    Hi Steve, I would like to try your cheesecake, and have a couple of questions for you:

    (1) have you ever [or do you think you could] substitute plain greek yogurt for the cream cheese?

    (2) how pumpkin should you use - I am just seeing the amounts for the spices?


  • Luqman says:

    Looks Delicious :)

  • Steve says:


    I'm not sure how ALL greek yogurt would bake in the oven, you might end up with pudding rather than cake!

    I have always used 1 whole can of pumpkin. Just make sure to get pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling.

    Cheers! :)

  • Vivien says:

    Did everything. It made the top part hard. Next time will only bake it for 20 mins. Then refrigerate overnight.

    • Kristin says:

      That's great to know! Thanks for sharing, and let us know how it turns out!

      -Kristin Rooke, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  • Pruitt says:

    I was wondering what kind of whey protein you us (Mostly interested in the macros, but also the brand and flavor). I was also wondering if the serving size you have on your example is 4 or 8 oz, it says both. My macro's came out differently than yours, though I did add a low fat gram cracker crust, but it shouldn't have halved the protein, and my carbs were about the same. (for 100g which is fairly close to 4 oz). I also noted that my cake came out fairly not sweet, is that intentional or maybe you used a sweeter protein than I did? I used two random vanilla protein samples I got from the fit expo, was like 40g of protein. I think I'll add more stevia to my next cake.

  • Heather says:

    How much pumpkin?

    • Kristin Rooke, CPT says:

      The recipe recommends 1/2 a cup of pumpkin. But I recommend testing it out, and then adjusting as necessary if you make the recipe multiple times. If you try the recipe, let us know how it goes!

      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor