SCD Holiday Cheesecake Bars
We created these smooth and dreamy SCD Holiday Cheesecake Bars with Christmas in mind, but they are perfect for anytime! Use fresh cherries, strawberries or blueberries in place of the cranberries as your topping- you can’t go wrong!
| SCD Holiday Cheesecake Bars | Happy Saturday friends and hooray for a holiday post! Something about me that you probably already know is that I’m an absolute sap for all things holiday and Christmas-time, Hallmark movies included (I know, ugghhhh). What can I say? I love all things sweet– whether it’s a cake or a corny movie, these things temporarily lift the weight of day to day troubles, offering a bit of both magic and distraction. And speaking of distractions, creating this recipe was the perfect excuse to stray from the usual tedious work and instead wander into the land of holiday dessert and decor possibilities. I’ve actually been wanting to create an SCD cheesecake for some time now and the bright colors from the cranberry and mint just seemed appropriate for the coming season.
Have I mentioned that I’m a big fan of Farmer Cheese? It’s such a gift to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I love that it’s pre made–no yogurt making and straining involved! It has a ricotta-like texture and taste and can be found in most grocery stores. We love it in the “cream cheese” frosting from our iced pumpkin bread recipe. And it works just beautifully here too as well as many other recipes as a cream cheese replacement.
There are a few steps to this recipe- with the crust, filling and topping- but I think you’ll find it goes surprisingly fast. This recipe includes our quick-graham crust, so there is no cookie making/ cooling /crushing to deal with. Just press the graham crust dough into the pan with the filling over top. And man, it’s crazy how simple cranberries are, just a matter of minutes and they are reduced to a thick and deliciously tart topping.
Well I have gone on long enough, let’s head to the recipe! And if you love these delicious cheesecake squares we think you’ll also love our SCD Gingerbread Bars!
SCD Holiday Farmer Cheesecake Bars
- Total Time: 90 min
- Yield: 8 large, 12 medium 1x
Easy Graham Cookie Crust
- 1 3/4 cups almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 1/8th teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons chilled butter, cubed
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1.5 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 packages Friendship brand Farmer Cheese (7.5 oz each package) found in most groceries.
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (Whole Foods brand has no additives)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter or ghee
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1.5 teaspoons gelatin
- 2 cups (8oz) frozen or fresh cranberries
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- mint leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Start with your graham crust: In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, gelatin and salt. Cut butter into flour thoroughly with a pastry cutter.
- Add honey, water, vanilla extract and start working the wet ingredients into the flour/butter mixture by hand. At first it will feel dry, but as the butter and liquid are incorporated, it will become softer and dough-like. Form the dough into a ball- it will be sticky. Wash hands from excess dough.
- Then line your 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and press your graham dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- Start your cheesecake filling: Unwrap your Farmer Cheese packages and place all three in a large mixing bowl. Add honey, melted butter, eggs, coconut milk and vanilla. Stir with a whisk for about a minute and a half–it will be very thick at first but will loosen up as you go. Sprinkle gelatin over top and blend in quickly and evenly with whisk.
- Pour your cheesecake batter into a blender and pulse until smooth. Farmer Cheese is grainier like ricotta and this will help to smooth the texture a bit.
- Then pour the blended batter over the graham crust and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula.
- Place in preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour (some ovens take 1 hour and 10 minutes). It cooks just like a regular cheesecake, you’ll see it’s done when the top is set but still a bit jiggly when moved.
- Place cheesecake on wire rack to cool 20-30 minutes, then transfer to the freezer for an additional 30-40 minutes to fully set up. (If you cool it in the fridge instead of the freezer, cover with plastic wrap first. It will take about 3 hours in the fridge to set up).
- While you’re waiting for your cheesecake to cool, go ahead and make your cranberries: Pour your cranberries, water and honey into a medium sized pot on medium heat. Stir frequently and bring to a boil-about 5 minutes. (If the cranberries are frozen, it’ll take just a touch longer for them to thaw).
- Let the cranberries boil for a few minutes then reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes, checking in to stir fairly often. The cranberry sauce will thicken a bit. (You are welcome to add orange zest, a touch of vanilla and or cinnamon. They are also amazing just as is as.) Remove from heat, the sauce will thicken up further upon cooling.
- Lift your cooled cheesecake from the pan by picking up the sides of the parchment paper and place on counter or cutting board. Cut into squares, serve on plates and spoon cranberry over top, garnish with a piece of mint if desired.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container, enjoy!
- Prep Time: 30 min
- Cook Time: 60 min
Keywords: specific carbohydrate diet, cheesecake, cranberry, holiday baking, Christmas dessert, Thanksgiving dessert, gluten-free, grainfree, scd
Such a bright, vivid, and delicious looking cheesecake Catherine! What a wonderful holiday dessert, we will for sure be trying this one. And I have to say I had to laugh when I read about the hallmark channel, my family knows I’m such a sap for them too. Thanks for the delicious recipe
Haha! I know right? It’s such a guilty pleasure, but so worth it! And thank you for your kind words my friend, it’s truly a delicious + healthy treat, I hope you guys will love it.
The holidays are here Catherine and this recipe is the best way to kick it off in the kitchen! I haven’t tried Friendship Farmer’s Cheese, but I am certainly going to after seeing the perfect texture in these cheesecake bars. So exciting! I know these will add to the fun as we enjoy the traditions of the holiday sesaon!
Three cheers for the holiday season, woohoo! 😀 And thank you so much my friend, I hope you will love the Farmer Cheese Cheesecake!!
I’m SUCH a sap for the holiday things too Catherine, especially the sappy movies haha! These bars have my name on them. I adore cheesecake!!
Oh haha yay!! I’m so glad I’m not alone, I drive my husband nuts with holiday madness, Christmas tree goes up Thanksgiving! 😉 And thank you so much my friend, cheesecake really is such a special treat.
WE have so much in common! Huge fan of Hallmark movies, lover of super yummy desserts and this is definitely a dessert I can sink my teeth into. So lovely for the holidays Catherine! Pinning! xo
Awww haha thank you so much my friend, you are so kind!! Nothing better than a Hallmark movie and a slice of something sweet during the holidays! 😀
Hi Lila*, I made the cheesecake but the “cheese filling” came out very dry after refrigeration. What do you suggest so that it stays more creamy rather than crumbly?
Hi Maryam, thank you for your comment and review. 🙂 I’m sorry this dried in the fridge for you! If you’re letting this set in hte fridge instead of the freezer, wrap the cooled cheesecake tightly with plastic wrap before placing it into the fridge. It’ll help it stay nice and moist. And making sure to use the full fat coconut milk and gelatin in the recipe just in case a lighter substitute was used. Hope this helps!
Is there a way to use eggs instead of gelatin?
Thank you for your comment, I have not tested this recipe without the gelatin so I cannot 100% guarantee it, but based on my experience, I feel fairly confident that the cheesecake will set up without the gelatin and the crust will be ok without it as well. The texture won’t be quite as smooth and dense, but it should still be very yummy. Hope this helps, let us know how it goes if you try it this way! 🙂
I tried this and it’s delicious! I couldn’t find farmers cheese locally or online, so I made SCD yogurt with half and half and strained it. Do you know if it can be frozen?
Thank you so much, I’m delighted you’re enjoying the cheesecake with the strained SCD yogurt! 😀 I think the texture may suffer with freezing because of the delicate nature of yogurt, so in this case I wouldn’t recommend freezing.