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Light Cherry Cheesecake

This cheesecake boasts a velvety texture with less fat than the original, thanks to lighter versions of cream cheese and sour cream, plus plenty of cottage cheese.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10
  • Yield: Serves 10
Light Cherry Cheesecake

Source: Everyday Food, January 2008


  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 8 graham crackers (3-by-5 inch)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 3 cups low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat bar cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bags (12 ounces each) frozen cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with rack set in lower third. Assemble a 9-inch springform pan with the rimmed side of the pan facing down. Coat pan with cooking spray; line side with a long strip of waxed or parchment paper.

  2. In a food processor, grind graham crackers until fine crumbs form. Add oil, and pulse to moisten. Transfer crumbs to prepared pan, and press firmly into the bottom. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until crust is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, wipe bowl and blade of food processor. Blend cottage cheese and cream cheese until very smooth and glossy, scraping down bowl as necessary, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup sugar, sour cream, eggs, flour, vanilla, and salt; blend just until filling is smooth.

  4. Pour filling onto crust (crust can be hot or warm). Bake until barely set in center, about 1 hour. Turn oven off; let cake cool in oven 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

  5. Make topping: In a large skillet, combine cherries and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Boil over high heat until liquid is thick and syrupy, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

  6. To serve, unmold cheesecake (peel off and discard paper). Transfer to a serving platter; top with cherry topping.

Reviews (26)

  • t-dot-88 9 Feb, 2013

    so good even with out having a food processor and using my blender to cream the cottage cheese. came out great the boyfriend did not know it was light at all will make again :)

  • nt2swt67 15 Jan, 2009

    You can't expect their company to go out and get nutrional values for each brand for everyone and than have someone complain because they can't find a specific brand since most brands are different in values when dieting.

  • cookinincolorado 9 Jan, 2009

    This was the best "light version of cheesecake" I've ever had. I served it for a large family dinner last night and it was a big hit! It is very moist and the flavor is very good. Blueberries are also great!

  • tazz95304 6 Jan, 2009

    this is for mmsrjs: you really need to look on internet about carbs and diabetes, so important about diet and portion control, my email is

  • tgenadek 17 Oct, 2008

    I thought this was great. I think however, if anyone adds "extra" sugar - it defeats the purpose of a "lighter" version. I added some splenda and it satisfied my sweet tooth. Thank you Martha for the lighter recipees!

  • Deb 5 Aug, 2008

    We hear you! Beginning with the September issue all nutritional info will be printed with the recipe on page... we're working on getting it all online, too. Thanks for the feedback!
    Den Puchalla, EIC Everyday Food

  • walla 9 Jun, 2008

    this cake definitely needs more sugar. i made it without the cherry topping and added 1 cup of sugar (instead of 3/4) and it still needed more! i'd go for 1 1/3 cups of sugar at least. great cake!

  • tanea crawford 15 Apr, 2008

    I made this cheesecake last night. It came out exactly the way it was supposed to. I think that it is important to mention that it is more of a Italian style version (ricotta chesse). I adore the NY style cheesecakes so I was a little disappointed (wanted more sweetness). The topping makes it taste a little sweeter. All in all, a good recipe. I'd recommend it.

  • katkook 19 Feb, 2008

    This cheesecake is smooth, creamy, rich and wonderful! I made it for Presidents Day. My family truly enjoyed it. It is easy to make; the sauce made from frozen sweet cherries is a nice change from the usual canned pie filling.

  • Teapot_Collector 12 Feb, 2008

    I make my tried-and-true cheesecake I've made for years but for a new spin I put the cherry topping shown here on the top. We all gave it a thumbs up!

  • Champagne 5 Feb, 2008

    The nutritional info should be included on the recipe page, easily accessible. I do not want to have to flip back and forth searching for the info, particularly if I want to save only one or two recipes and give the magazine to a friend or put it in the recycle!

  • laurbrown 3 Feb, 2008

    nassauann --In Everyday Food magazine, all of the nutritional info is in the index towards the end of the magazine. As far as I can tell, Martha Stewart Living doesn't have nutritional info, so that may be where you can't find it? This cheesecake recipe is in Everyday Food, and the info is on page 158.

    From my experience, although it is not a "good thing" that MSL doesn't have nutritional info, the recipes there are so unhealthy compared to those in EF that they are sort of off limits anyways.

  • mmsrjs 28 Jan, 2008

    I have never eaten cheesecake before but this one is good. Since I did not go to the Doctor, I had no idea that diabetics and pre-diabetics must count carbs. Humm, well I'm still not going to the Doctor nor count. Diabetics is quite strongly in our family. But to me it just means --no sugar or very little. Now I guess I will have to take it easy on my carbs (if only I knew what "carbs" is?

  • nassauann 27 Jan, 2008

    im confused -- the last poster mentions that the actual magazine contains the nutritional info ---- WHERE??? I sure cant find it for any would be very helpful for diabetics and pre-diabetics as you must count carbs......

  • laurbrown 26 Jan, 2008

    The complainers are clearly not subscribers to Everyday Food. There is nutritional content for all recipes in every issue. M.S. is simply providing the nutritional info to the people who actually pay for the magazine. If you want the recipe for free off of the internet, as JaneBM says you can easily calculate for yourself. It will in fact be even more accurate, as the calorie count in light cottage cheese/sour cream/cream cheese varies from brand to brand.

  • itsagreatlife 23 Jan, 2008

    I agree, nutritional content most important!

  • JaneBM 23 Jan, 2008

    figure out the calorie content by adding up the ingredients.

  • AuntBobby 23 Jan, 2008

    I agree; I am more likey to try a recipe if the nutritional information is included.

  • kikiak 23 Jan, 2008

    I agree. Everyone is coming more health conscious so including nutritional information is very important. It will go along way in educating North Americans about what they are eating.

  • stellie 23 Jan, 2008

    I just made this cheesecake for my boss's birthday. All of my co-workers enjoyed it and so did he!!!! This recipe was very easy to make, as everything is done in the food processor. Not a lot of bowls to clean up. The next time I make it, I think I'll put a little cinnamon in the crust, but it certainly is a keeper.

  • kickypants 22 Jan, 2008

    COunt me in as a vote for wanting the nutritional info on all Martha Stewart recipes. I think she could make even more money (is that even possible) if she had all that info. That's one of the main reasons I subscribe to Canadian Living Magazine instead of M.S. . Although I do make some of them regardless!!

  • kimgear 22 Jan, 2008

    If you're doing WW, you can enter the recipe on eTools and find out the points per serving. Also, this recipe is in a past issue of Everyday Food (if you are subscribed) and the Nutritional info is always included for every recipe.

  • mimibuchanan 22 Jan, 2008

    Those of us doing WW must have the nutritional info in order to figure out our points!!! :) Can't wait to try it if it isn't toooo sinful.

  • domaidl 22 Jan, 2008

    I would have to agree with the previous comment. You should include the nutritional values with the light recipes. Unfortunately, although this sounds delicious as the other light recipes did, I will not make it without knowing the nutritional aspect of it. Please change this as I would really like to try some of these recipes.

  • mosimpkins 22 Jan, 2008

    I love that these lighter recipes are offered, but adding the nutritional values certainly would be helpful!

  • laurbrown 18 Jan, 2008

    Wow, this cheesecake is the best light cheesecake I've ever tasted, and my girlfriend concurs. She has already dictated, "you WILL make this again."

    No problems with these variations:
    - I accidentally left out the 2 tbsp flour
    -I used light cream cheese in a tub, not bar

    One problem:
    - The crust came out pretty burnt after the prebaking, worse during the cake baking. Nex time, I won't prebake the crust for more than 5-10 min.

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