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Grandma’s Dream Cheesecake has been a staple in my mom’s family for years at special gatherings. Beaten egg whites give it a uniquely fluffy texture, and the simple crust and crumb topping are very like the original graham cracker version. Now we can enjoy this delicious cheesecake in a healthier way! THM S, low carb
Family cheesecake memories
I don’t know where my grandma came across this recipe, but she entered it into an old faithful church cookbook that I grew up using and this dreamy cheesecake has been an integral part of Yoder family Christmas and birthday celebrations for as long as I can remember. The extended family has a week-long vacation together every year and each of the women is responsible for dinner one night. My mom always makes this cheesecake for her dessert!
How this cheesecake is special
This cheesecake calls for more eggs than is typical. They are separated, then the whites are whipped and folded into the cream cheese, egg yolk, and sour cream mixture right before the cheesecake goes into the oven. This makes for a much fluffier cheesecake than normal.
Pair a luscious, creamy vanilla interior with a simple graham cracker-esque crust and a sprinking of crumbs over the top and you have something truly special!
Perfect for guests and parties
In my experience, cheesecake is one of the best things to feed guests because it doesn’t rely on large amounts of alternative flours, which can take some getting used to. Everyone is impressed with a good cheesecake.
I would for sure serve this to company (as long as they’re not allergic to any of the ingredients). In fact – I have! And they loved it.
I did use xylitol for an extra punch of sweetness in addition to the THM Super Sweet Blend in this recipe. If you’re serving guests who aren’t used to alternative sweeteners you may wish to avoid the risk of universal gastric upset and use something like THM Gentle Sweet in an applicable amount instead. (Check the sweetener conversion chart for help adjusting, or just sweeten to taste, which is the most foolproof method!) I do find that I like a less concentrated sweetener in addition to or in place of the Sweet Blend for the most balanced sweetness.
MY FAVORITE TOPPINGS:
- Sugar free caramel sauce
- Blueberry sauce
- Homemade sweetened whipped cream
- Chopped pecans
- Sugar free chocolate syrup
I used this sugar free caramel sauce recipe from Nana’s Little Kitchen and loved it! It’s so easy to make. I used 1/2 cup of xylitol for the sweetener. Tip: use a large bowl as the caramel bubbles up when cooking in the microwave. I microwaved for four minutes, added the xanthan gum, then microwaved for another two minutes.
- To help prevent cheesecakes from cracking, use full fat cream cheese and sour cream and make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing. I don’t mind cracks, so I always use reduced fat cream cheese. Full fat cream cheese will give you a denser cheesecake, whereas reduced fat cream cheese will give you a less stiff result (which I prefer). Sour cream and Greek yogurt can be interchanged in cheesecake recipes, but I think full fat sour cream gives a creamier texture than Greek yogurt does.
- Cheesecake gets even better with age. 2 days after baking is when it peaks, in my opinion. But it stays good in the fridge for even longer than that. You can try freezing cheesecake but it does get a bit more watery when thawed.
- My mom has had success making my grandma’s original recipe in a 9” x 13” pan, and I’m sure that would work for this recipe as well. You may need to make more crust mixture, and if there’s too much cheesecake batter just pour a small amount into another small baking dish. Skip the water bath unless you want to get fancy and just bake until the cheesecake is set. I would check at 30 minutes and then check at 5 minute intervals until done.
EGG WHITE TIPS:
- Eggs are easiest to separate when cold, so if a recipe asks you to separate eggs but wants the eggs to be room temperature, consider separating FIRST, then letting the whites and yolks come up to temp.
- CLICK HERE to see a nifty video of my favorite way to separate eggs.
- Make sure NO yolk contaminates the whites. Fats keep egg whites from whipping properly. For this reason, make sure the bowl for your egg whites is completely clean.
- Cream of tartar helps stabilize whipped egg whites.
- Don’t overbeat egg whites: this will make them too stiff to easily fold into batter later.
- When folding egg whites into a batter, add half the egg whites first to “temper” the batter, then add the other half. Fold in gently by hand with a spatula using a figure 8 motion. Only mix until the mixture is JUST homogeneous. A few little streaks here and there are usually ok.
As always, check out the Notes section of the recipe for helpful info and answers to frequently asked questions!
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New and improved
You can find an older version of this recipe on page 352 of Necessary Food. The new recipe here on the website has an almond flour crust and topping that are more like the original graham cracker crust. Try the cookbook crust if you need a nut free option! (That one may not be as great for crumbs on top, so I’d just use it all in the crust.) The only other major change here on the website is a change in sweeteners and an increase in vanilla.
This recipe was originally published to the blog in November 2014 under the name “New York Style Cheesecake.” The recipe was updated and republished in December 2021. I changed the name to “Grandma’s Dream Cheesecake” to more accurately reflect its origins – and because it’s really not a New York style cheesecake. Sorry – I’ve learned a few things over the years….