Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Say Cheese(cake)!

"Here is something to smile about: luscious, lemony, no bake cheesecake squares with less than 5g of fat"... well, that's what it used to be... before I changed it!  I found this recipe by Janet and Greta Podleski a couple years ago in a Taste of Home {Healthy Cooking} magazine and I fell in love with it the moment I read it! I followed the recipe precisely a couple times (which is kind of a big deal for me) and it turned out really yummy but my husband pointed out a few problems: the crust was seriously crumbly, and the cake itself was almost too light -like flavored whipped cream- delicious, but not very satisfying.
So, with the help of my chefly husband (and a little extra butter), I believe I made a good recipe even better! And I really didn't change that much... I promise.
This doesn't have to be low fat, you can use regular cream cheese and cool whip... hey, it doesn't even need to be lemon! I've changed the Jell-O and juice to lime which tastes awesome! Oh, and I also want to do strawberry and maybe raspberry... the possibilities are endless! Well, as long as they make that flavor of Jell-O... anyway, on with the recipe!
    1. Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened, but not set (about 45 minutes).
*if you are making this at midnight and you really don't want to wait 45 minutes, you can put the bowl in the freezer, but don't fall asleep! I assure you, the Jell-O will be thickened AND SET in the blink of an eye.
And then it will be Jell-Oooocrap*
2. For the crust: combine graham crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. 
Press the crumb mixture into one 9x13 or six(ish) ramekins, depending on the size of your ramekins.
don't forget to use your sieve thingy when you squeeze the lemon!
for the filling: beat together cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla.

Check your Jell-O! It should be slightly thick but not set. Once your Jell-O is finally thick enough, blend it into the filling mixture.

*you might be a wimp if: your arm gets worn out just folding in whipped topping*
pour the filling onto the crust and spread evenly to the edges of the pan. Refrigerate for approx. 4 hours or until set. 


1 pkg. (3 oz) lemon Jell-O
1 cup boiling water
1- 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (the original calls for 1-1/2cups)
6 tbsp butter, melted (the original calls for 3 Tbsp)
1 tbsp brown sugar
8 oz light (not fat free) cream cheese brick, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups light whipped topping, thawed

1. Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened, but not set (about 45 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, prepare crust. In a medium bowl, combine graham crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. Stir well, using a fork. lightly grease a 9x13" baking dish with butter or baking spray. Press crumb mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Refrigerate while you make the filling.  

3. To prepare filling, beat together cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla on high speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add thickened  Jell-O and beat on medium high speed until well blended. 

4. OK! This is the part we changed the most. If you want the original, super-light dessert, simply fold all the whipped topping into the filling, pour filling onto prepared crust, spread evenly to edges of pan and chill for several hours.

OR if you want a slightly richer dessert with two distinct layers, fold 1/3 of the whipped topping into the filling until smooth and creamy. 
Pour approx. 2/3 of the filling mixture onto crust. 
Chill for an hour. 
Again, fold 1/3 whipped topping into remaining filling and pour onto thickened layer of cheesecake. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.
Garnish with remaining whipped topping and something pretty~ maybe a curl of lemon peel...
...or a random slice of strawberry?



  1. wow, those look amazing! i am going to have to try this - thanks for sharing!

  2. mmmmm looks delish! and great food pics :)

  3. I told my sister, "We need to make this..." It looks awesome!