Low Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

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If you need to make a healthier fall dessert, try this Low Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Low Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe from RecipeGirl.com

Thanksgiving in the USA is approaching quickly, and although we like to think about the turkey and the football and the vacation we have from work or school, we also should be remembering what we’re thankful for. Something I observed this week, has had me thinking about how fortunate I am to have a wonderful, healthy family.

Low Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe from RecipeGirl.com

I was at the gym the other day doing some stretching on the floor after a run, and next to me was a Mother with her daughter. The daughter was mentally disabled. This Mother was doing exercises with her daughter- which doesn’t seem like any big deal, except that this Mother was so loving and gentle and patient with her daughter… giving her kisses and praise throughout their time together. For some reason this scenario has stuck with me this week. That little girl is so very fortunate to have that Mother. Just think what her life may have been like had she been born to someone without those wonderful qualities?

It’s made me take a good look at my relationship with my own child… and how much time I spend with him, how much we talk, what we say to each other and and what our relationship is really like. It’s the time of year to think about what we’re grateful for, and I’m definitely grateful for my family.

Low Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe from RecipeGirl.com

I feed my family well. I make warm dinners and homemade treats almost daily. And I’m pretty sure they’re grateful for all of that. I’m even a little conscientious about making healthy things from time to time, like this Low Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Cheesecake is pretty much my favorite dessert of all time. It might sound a little out-of-sorts, but as food goes… I’m thankful for cheesecake. I like it plain and unadorned, and I often dream about that red velvet type.  I wanted to have cheesecake at my wedding, but it was nixed by my husband. Why I listened to him, I’ll never know.

Low Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe from RecipeGirl.com

I’m not the genius behind this cheesecake… Cooking Light is… but I have to say that I was pretty skeptical about how it would turn out. The crust is made from low fat vanilla wafers, and the filling has quite a lot of that fat-free cream cheese in it. How good could it be with all that reduced fat stuff in it, right?

But you know what’s great about this cheesecake? It’s creamy, it’s rich, and it’s delicious, EVEN THOUGH it’s low fat! I was surprised. Very surprised, in fact.  Remember… I’m a big cheesecake fan here, and this cheesecake turned out to be some pretty incredible stuff. It’s a nice “alternative” dessert to include at Thanksgiving (because I’m a firm believer that you should have at least a couple of dessert options on Thanksgiving Day!)  And if you have to eat gluten free, I’ve included tips on how to (very easily) adapt this recipe to be GF.

Low Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

This cheesecake is creamy and delicious. And it definitely feels like cheating.
Yield: 16 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Ingredients:

CRUST:

  • 56 reduced-fat vanilla wafers (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

FILLING:

  • 3 (8-ounce packages) fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (8-ounce packages) 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Prepare crust: Place cookies in a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Add butter; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes; cool on wire rack.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.
  4. Prepare filling: Beat cream cheeses with mixer at high speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and next 8 ingredients (granulated sugar through vanilla), beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin; beat well.
  5. Pour filling into prepared crust; bake at 325° for 1 1/2 hours or until almost set. (Cheesecake is done when the center barely jiggles when pan is touched).
  6. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around the outside edge. Cool to room temperature; cover and chill at least 8 hours.
Tips:
  • If you don't have access to a food processor, place cookies in a large zip bag & bang away at them until they turn into fine crumbs. Scrape them into a bowl and stir in melted butter.
  • If adapting this recipe to be gluten free, use a gluten-free cookie in place of the vanilla wafers, and use a GF flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. Adapting to GF will change nutritional information and WW points listed below.
  • *Cheesecakes are best when they're made ahead of time. You can prepare this one up to three days before the party; just cover and chill it until time to serve.
Nutrition:
  • Nutritional Information per serving (Serving size: 1/16th of the cheesecake) Calories: 282, Fat: 10.77g, Saturated Fat: 5.2g, Sugar: 19.47g, Fiber: .54g, Protein: 11.93g, Cholesterol: 84.77mg, Carbohydrates: 33.78g
  • WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS per serving:  Freestyle SmartPoints: 11, Points Plus Program: 7, Old Points Program: 6.5
SOURCE: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted slightly from Cooking Light)

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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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Comments

  • Christina wrote:

    First time trying this Low Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake. Batter tastes good.
    I made a different crust.

  • Angela wrote:

    Have you ever made these as cupcakes/ mini cheesecake? I’m thinking of trying that… just not sure on baking time… Thoughts?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I haven’t tried it, but let me know if you do!

  • Angel wrote:

    Hi, I have to watch my sugar. Do know if the truvia brown sugar blend and white sugar blend will work ok?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not familiar w/ Truvia.

  • Hose Jemanez wrote:

    PS I did not use the vanilla wafers but a couple of gram crackers and some almonds ground to a crumb, I removed all but one yolk from the eggs and I only used one 8 oz of the reduced fat and one no fat cream cheese. It still tasted real good but did not look as good as yours, not as creamy

  • Ruthanne wrote:

    Hi Lori!
    This recipe looks like a winner, so I’ll give it a try!
    However, when I make it, I’ll be using Splenda sugar replacement (they make both white and bown sugar substitutes), and Egg Beaters.
    Graham cracker crusts have never been my husband’s favorite, so I was happy to see that this recipe calls for vanilla wafers.
    I have type 2 Diabetes, so I try to omit or replace sugar in my cooking and baking.
    I’m 99.9 % sure (I’m never 100 % sure about anything!) that even with my substitutions, this Pumpkin Cheesecake will be a resounding success.
    If it’s not successful, it’ll be my own doing, but I’ll be sure to let you know either way.
    Thanks!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Sounds good- let me know how it goes!

  • Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine wrote:

    NO way! This looks wonderful!!! I will have to give it a try!

  • Neet wrote:

    Is there any way to subsititue the egg out ?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Use an egg substitute?

  • Kelly wrote:

    I made this over Christmas, but used a crust made out of ground up pecans and gingersnaps. (Since I was too lazy to go to the store for the wafers, lol) We loved it!
    As far as the other commenter griping about saturated fats, pffft. It’s low compared to typical American style cheesecake, which is what anyone looking for a ‘low fat cheesecake recipe’ wants.

  • Melissa wrote:

    I love this pumpkin cheesecake. I made it last year and it turned out great. However, I just HAVE to share this story. Last night I was making this to bring to Thanksgiving dinner this year. It looked great. I was letting it cool on my cooling rack and had covered it with a towel because I have a 4 month old kitten around the house who will get into things on the counter. I went to check on it and apparently he had walked across it somehow. There were two distinct large dents where he had walked. My husband and I decided it was salvageable of course since the cat had only touched the towel, but didn’t want to take it my aunts. Well I guess he was slightly upset and wasn’t thinking clearly. When he carried it over to sit in the microwave to let it finish cooling, he dropped it onto the counter. The whole middle fell out. I almost died laughing from this disaster. He scooped it back and I think we will have a cheesecake to ourselves. Man. I guess I will be trying again tonight.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      thanks for sharing your funny story 🙂

  • Christine wrote:

    Dear Lori,

    Perhaps you should be a bit more careful about advertising this as “low-fat”. In comparison to regular cheesecake, perhaps, but the fat (saturated), carbs (which can turn to fat if not burned off) and, in particular the cholesterol, for 1/16 slice are very high, especially for anyone who needs to watch their weight and/or are on a restricted diet… Cooking Light, I noticed, does not call it “Low Fat”… a little responsibility goes a long way.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      In comparison to regular cheesecake, it’s low fat. I believe that I did show responsibility by sharing the nutritional information so that those who are watching their intake of certain things can see for themselves if it’s an appropriate recipe for their diet.

  • Linda Hielscher wrote:

    Hi Lori, Have you ever baked this cheesecake in a water bath? I know in the past when baking a cheesecake, ones baked in a water bath come out so smooth and creamy. Just wanted to know in case you tried it and you prefer just baking without the water bath?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Hi Linda, Sometimes I bake cheesecakes in a water bath too. For me, the water bath helps to avoid cracking the top. This particular one I did without the bath. It worked out okay!

  • Bev wrote:

    How can this be Gluten free when you call for flour and vanill cookies that also have flour in them?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      @Bev, Please see tips below the recipe for how to adapt this to be GF.

  • Tricia wrote:

    I’m going to give this recipe a try…I also have an old Cooking Light recipe that has a cranberry/apple topping that makes it great. You say you like yours unadorned, would the topping be too much with this recipe?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      @Tricia, No, I don’t think it would be too much… I just tend to like things plain.

  • MuralMaker wrote:

    Thank you for this. First let me say, I’m not a good cook or great baker. But I try. I like that this is lowfat, but more than that the protein count is high – which is great for a dessert.