If you want to make a Fourth of July dessert, consider whipping up these red, white and blue cheesecake parfaits. They will be an attention getter on a holiday dessert table.
I was thinking about desserts (no surprise!) for the holiday. I wanted a healthy change from the traditional high sugar cake or cookies, something that was special but not off the charts in carbs.
Then I remembered the mini cheesecakes I made for New Year’s. What if I used the same cheesecake filling, only this time layering it with fresh raspberries and blueberries in a clear cup?
The result – cheesecake parfaits, perfect for the Fourth of July. The generously-sized parfaits contain about 240 calories and 25 grams of carbs – considerably lower than the typical slice of frosted cake or wedge of pie. However, no one would ever guess this is a lightened up dessert.
While this recipe has a few steps, they are simple ones. Have fun making cheesecake parfaits, and be prepared for compliments!
A Few Tips
1. I found plastic, 5 ounce trifle cups at my local party supply store; if you can’t get those, any clear 5 ounce container will work. Amazon offers plenty of choices, or use clear plastic cups from the grocery store.
2. It doesn’t matter what baking dishes are used for the cheesecake filling. The key: Use an inexpensive food thermometer to tell when the cheesecake is properly cooked, to 150 F. Since cheesecake is done before it solidifies, it’s very easy to over- or undercook the mixture. Food thermometers are available in the kitchen utensils sections of many stores.
3. I used fresh fruit in this recipe; frozen berries will release too much moisture. Feel free to sub fresh sliced strawberries for the raspberries – they cost much less and are easier to find.
4. To save time, the cheesecake parfaits can be made a day ahead, leaving off the whipped topping. Add topping just before serving.
5. About the whipped topping: I use Redi Whip because it contains no unhealthy oils and also has much less saturated fat than whipped cream. You can also skip the topping and top with fresh berries. A few extra berries will slightly up the carbs.
Fourth of July Cheesecake Parfaits
- baking dishes
- Mixer or immersion blender
- 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese Softened
- 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt, plain I use Fage brand
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla use full amount
- 3 Full sheet graham crackers crushed
- 1 Tbsp butter or butter-oil blend regular is preferable, not light
- 1 Tsp sugar
- 1 Cup Fresh blueberries rinse, then dry thoroughly
- 1 Cup Fresh raspberries (sliced strawberries are OK) rinse, then dry thoroughly
- 12 Tbsp Canned whipped topping can use substitute, or omit entirely
- Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. In large mixing bowl put yogurt, cream cheese, sugar. Mix well until creamy, making sure there are no visible specks of yogurt.3. Add beaten egg, salt, vanilla to mixture. Bend until mixed, but don’t overmix.4. Pour mixture into baking dish or dishes (mixture should be about 2 inches deep).5. Bake about 15 - 18 or until instant read thermometer reads 150 F. (Do not use toothpick as gauge of doneness.) Be careful not to overbake.6. While cheesecake is baking, mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter or butter/oil blend and sugar in small bowl. Spread mixture in a metal pan.7. After cheesecake tests done, remove from oven and cool. Then put metal pan in oven and bake for about 3-5 minutes, stirring once, until crumb mixture is toasted. Remove pan from oven and cool.(Both cheesecake and crumb mixture can then be refrigerated for a few hours or overnight.)8. When ready to assemble the parfaits, line up dessert cups on the counter. In each cup, layer in the following order: 2 tablespoons graham cracker mixture, spoonfuls of cheesecake, mixed berries, then final cheesecake layer. Cover parfaits and refrigerate until dessert time.9. Just before serving, top parfaits with whipped topping and garnish with a berry and/or a tiny flag. If not using whipped topping, then sprinkle a few berries on top of parfaits. Serve immediately.