It’s February, and that means a certain day is coming. You know the one, with the pink and red and hearts and chocolate and roses and all that. And while this recipe is certainly perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy this keto strawberry cheesecake any day of the year with your favorite person. Even if that person is you!
At Christmas, my friend Steph gave me these adorable mini heart pans, so I knew that I had to come up with something really cute for Valentine’s Day. And since cheesecake is pretty much my favorite, it was a no brainer!
This keto strawberry cheesecake has a chocolate crust, so you get all the traditional flavors of romance (I’m sorry– I can’t say that with a straight face! 😂) without sending you into sugar shock.
Keto Strawberry Cheesecake Step-by-Step
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Because these pans are so small, we’re making small quantities of the crust and filling to make two mini cheesecakes. But this recipe is easily scaled up to make more. If you want to make a full-sized cheesecake, I’d suggest quadrupling the recipe.
I adapted this crust from Up Late Anyway. She uses unsweetened chocolate with sucralose in her recipe, but I don’t like using sucralose so I just used very dark chocolate. If you’d prefer, you can use unsweetened chocolate with a few drops of stevia and it will still work well. Melt the chocolate, then mix the rest of the crust ingredients into it with a fork. It’s such a small amount, it doesn’t need any large equipment.
The raw crust dough is softer than what you’d typically find in a traditional crust, but it it still bakes up nice and firm so don’t be concerned. It will be a thick paste. Spread it as evenly as you can between the two pans.
For the swirls, I just used a few frozen strawberries (fresh will work, too) that I cooked down into a jam-like consistency. It will take a little time over low heat, stirring and mashing with a wooden spoon, but after a few minutes it should look like this. Then it’s time for the secret ingredient! Balsamic vinegar! I know, it sounds super weird. But balsamic vinegar will kick up the flavor of the strawberry without tasting at all vinegary. We’re using such a small amount here that it’s not noticeable other than making the strawberries taste more intensely like strawberries!
When it comes to putting the cheesecake filling together, you want to scrape down the bowl way more times than you think you should. It’s a tip I learned from following Zoe Francois on Instagram. She’s an amazing local pastry chef I’ve had the privilege of meeting a couple of times at some food events in the Twin Cities. If you want some fantastic baking tips, give her a follow! Scraping down the bowl often will make your batter really smooth.
After you’ve mixed your cheesecake batter, it’s time to get the strawberry component ready. You’re going to take your cooked strawberry mash and measure out two tablespoons. If you don’t have that much, it’s fine, but you don’t want to more than that. Mix it with two tablespoons of the cheesecake filling. The next step is optional, but will make the marbling cleaner in the following step: hit this mixture with an immersion blender or in a bullet-style blender until it’s smooth. Like I said, it’s not strictly necessary, but the marbling is a bit messy otherwise because of the bigger chunks of strawberry.
Divide the plain cheesecake filling between the two pans. Be careful that you don’t overfill them– there might be a small amount of filling left, and that’s ok. You can either eat it with a spoon, or bake it in a little muffin tin along with the other cheesecakes. This can be a good plan if your children get a little upset that these cheesecakes are for you and your spouse. Not that I’d know about that.
Drop a few small dollops of the strawberry mixture on top and swirl lightly with a skewer. You could also use a knife, but given how small these are, a skewer is preferable.
Next all that’s left is to bake! I put these on a small pan to keep them from tipping on the oven grates. These cook up quickly– only 15 minutes or so, but after they’ve baked, they need to chill overnight in the fridge or for at least 2 hours in the freezer before you try to take them out of the pans. This is easiest if they’re frozen.
To remove from the pans, run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan. If they’ve been in the freezer for 2+ hours, you may find that you can easily pop them right out by applying a little gentle leverage to the knife. But if this isn’t the case, turn a stove burner on low and rotate the pan over the burner for a few seconds and try again. (Another tip I learned from Zoe!) Please use an oven mitt for safety.
Aren’t these adorable? A perfect ending to a romantic meal. Each of these has 7.6 net carbs, which is still a little high for a strict ketogenic diet, but if you plan for it you can still fit it in.
Or, since these are a fairly large serving for one person, you can opt to share one and save one for the next day. The only thing better than cheesecake is cheesecake twice!
What’s your favorite way to spend Valentine’s Day?
Strawberry Cheesecake For Two
0.5 oz (14g) 85% Dark Chocolate (or sugar free chocolate), chopped
1 Tbsp (14g) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup (25g) Almond flour
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 tsp salt
4 oz (113g) full-fat cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp low-carb sweetener, such as allulose, Swerve, or erythritol
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 egg yolk
(Optional: a few drops stevia if you want it sweeter)
6 medium-sized strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/8 tsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).* In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Return to microwave for 10-second intervals as needed until melted. Once melted, add the rest of the crust ingredients and stir together with a fork until well mixed. Mixture will be thick.
Spread evenly into 2 heart-shaped pans, or 2 mini springform pans. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set. For best results, after baking, press down crust with the back of a tablespoon while warm. Allow crust to cool completely.
While crust is baking, heat strawberries in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stirring occasionally, allow the berries to break down into a jam-like consistency, mashing a little as you go. Continue cooking until any excess liquid is absorbed. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and allow to cool completely.
Beat cream cheese together with sweetener in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Scrape down bowl often and keep beating until very smooth. Add egg yolk and sour cream and continue to beat, scraping down bowl often, until completely smooth and incorporated.
Measure out 2 tablespoons of strawberry mixture (if you don’t have quite that much, it’s ok) and mix with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture. For best results, blend with an immersion blender or a small bullet blender until smooth. Divide the rest of the cream cheese mixture between the two pans, making sure not to overfill (you may have a small amount of filling left) and then dot the top with small dollops of strawberry mixture. Swirl together with a skewer or knife to create a marbled pattern.
Place pans on a cookie sheet or small pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until set but still slightly jiggly. Don’t overbake or the cheesecake will turn brown.
*Note: If your oven runs hot, bake at 325F (160C) instead.
Nutrition per cheesecake: Calories: 366 kcal; Fat: 36.2g; Total Carbs: 10.3g; Fiber: 2.7g; Net Carbs: 7.6g; Protein: 9.3g