Low Carb Strawberry “Pretzel” Dessert | THM: S, GF, Keto

I’ve made this low-carb Strawberry Pretzel Dessert twice in five days. My whole family cannot get enough of it, especially my husband – he even licked the kids’plates clean “so it goes to waist and not to waste!” 😀

(Except, this low-carb Trim Healthy Mama version of the classic dessert is waist-friendly, as it’s free from both sugar and gluten!)

My favorite part of the traditional Strawberry Pretzel dessert is the pretzel crust, so I spent the most time trying to get that part juuuuuuust right. Nothing beats the sweet ‘n salty layer combined with the creamy middle, and sweet, Jello-set strawberry topping! 

Using sprouted pretzels might have worked, but they would have made this low-carb Strawberry Pretzel dessert a Crossover, which I wanted to avoid.

Instead, the winning combination ended up being made from melted butter, coarsely chopped pecans, almond flour, sweetener and salt. My kids didn’t even know I hadn’t used pretzels! The crunchy, salty, sweet layer is my favorite part and really makes the whole dessert. 

The creamy middle is made by simply beating a package of softened cream cheese and folding it together with sweetened whipped cream.

While the middle layer sets in the fridge, you can start working on the topping, which is my other favorite part! The naturally colored and flavored “Strawberry Jello” is made using Celestial Raspberry Zinger Tea, sweetener, lemon juice, and unflavored gelatin.  

I used one packet of Knox unflavored gelatin for the recipe to keep it free from special ingredients, but you can also use 1 tablespoon of Trim Healthy Mama’s Just Gelatin or Great Lakes

Both times, I served this low-carb Strawberry Pretzel Dessert on the same day I made it, and the baking dish got cleaned out. Like most desserts made with alternative sweeteners, I still think it tastes best the next day, but you can totally get away with serving it right after the “jello” has set.

Wouldja look at those sweet, creamy, and crunchy layers?!

Oh, so good together.

If you prefer, you could also use raspberries instead of strawberries in this dessert. 

I hope you enjoy the low-carb version of this classic as much as our family does! 

Yield: 9-12 servings

Low Carb Strawberry “Pretzel” Dessert | THM: S

Low Carb Strawberry “Pretzel” Dessert | THM: S

This low-carb Strawberry Pretzel Dessert is a deliciously slimming version of the classic, made without sugar, gluten, or artificial colors and flavors! A THM S with no special ingredients. Sweet 'n salty, creamy 'n crunchy goodness!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours

Ingredients

  • CRUST:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp xylitol
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
  • STRAWBERRY JELLO LAYER:
  • 1 lb fresh strawberries
  • 1 packet or 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 Raspberry Zinger tea bags
  • 1 tbsp xylitol
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, xylitol, and salt together until sweetener and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped pecans and almond flour until well combined. Press into an 8X8 baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely.
  3. To make the filling, beat whipping cream, xylitol, and vanilla extract together until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat softened cream cheese until light an fluffy. Fold in whipped cream until smooth. Spread over cooled crust. Chill in the fridge while you make the strawberry topping.
  4. Slice strawberries and arrange on top of the cream cheese layer.
  5. To make the Strawberry Jello, sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a bowl. In a second bowl, pour boiling water over xylitol and two Raspberry Zinger tea bags. Stir until sweetener is dissolved and water turns red. Discard tea bags. Immediately pour over softened gelatin and stir for 3 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in lemon juice. Thicken in the fridge for 10 minutes, stirring once after 5 minutes to keep glaze from setting. Pour over strawberries.
  6. Refrigerate for 3 hours until set. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

You may substitute raspberries for strawberries.

Gentle Sweet can be used in place of xylitol in half the amount, or Super Sweet in a quarter of the amount.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes | THM: S

It’s no secret that I’m one of those people. You know, the ones that start drinking PSLs and eating pumpkin everything when they see the first leaf fall to the ground? That’s me. I even posted a round-up of 50+ THM-friendly pumpkin recipes in August, because you can never be too prepared, am I right?

My original pumpkin cheesecake recipe is made frequently this time of year, but it makes a lot, and if you’re the only one eating it, well, it can take 2 weeks to git ‘er done! My goal with this recipe was to keep the same pumpkin cheesecake flavor, but make the cheesecakes in miniature so I could freeze the ones I’m not eating right away. I also wanted to lighten up the dessert; this recipe cuts down the amount of more calorie-dense cream cheese by substituting with lower fat cottage cheese and 0% fat Greek yogurt.

I’m so pleased with how these worked out! The are every bit as creamy as regular cheesecake, and the flavor is on point: mildly spiced with cinnamon and a tiny bit of ginger, cloves and nutmeg (or you could use a teaspoon of pumpkin spice blend instead), and not overwhelmingly pumpkin-y. An instant crust is made by pouring a spoonful of ground pecans in the bottom of each muffin liner before pouring the filling over top, but you could omit the crust entirely, if you want.

A swirl of naturally sweetened whipped cream (I use 1/2 a tablespoon of xylitol to 1 cup of whipping cream), and a dusting of cinnamon pretty these treats up. If you’re feeling adventurous, a teaspoon of maple extract is a delicious addition to the whipped cream garnish!

Yield: 12 servings

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes | THM: S

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes | THM: S

These individual mini pumpkin cheesecakes are a wonderful THM S dessert (or breakfast!). Easy to pack in lunches, or freeze for later use.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 1 days 20 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 1 days 21 hours

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ground pecans
  • 1 cup 1-2% fat cottage cheese
  • 4 Tbsp xylitol (OR 2 Tbsp Gentle Sweet)
  • 1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • GARNISH
  • naturally-sweetened whipped cream
  • cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place muffin-liners in a muffin tin. Divide ground pecans between each muffin liner (approx. 1/2 Tbsp each).
  2. Add sweetener and cottage cheese to a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Beat in cream cheese, yogurt, and xanthan gum. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Stir in pumpkin and spices until well blended. Pour evenly over ground pecans in each muffin tin.
  3. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes. Cool. Chill for 3 hours. Pipe a swirl of naturally-sweetened whipped cream on top of each cheesecake. Dust with cinnamon.

Notes

Optional: add a little maple flavoring to your whipped cream garnish for wonderful flavor!

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake | THM: S

This low-carb, sugar-free THM S Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake is a perfect marriage of cream cheese and coffee. Rich and filling, you’ll be completely satisfied with a small piece. I love cheesecake for breakfast; baking just one of these cheesecakes ensures my morning gets off to a good start for 2 weeks straight!

Alternatively, you could share this cheesecake with company, you know…if you’re that kind of person.

A smooth, chocolate ganache keeps the cheesecake moist and, as a bonus, hides any cracks that might occur during baking. I used 85% Lindt chocolate in this recipe, but you could also use 100% baking chocolate and increase the amount of sweetener. Or, try using a bar of Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate if you like things really sweet!

Xylitol is my sweetener of choice because it tastes the most to me like real sugar and I can buy it locally. If you have pets, or can’t tolerate xylitol, feel free to use Super Sweet instead. Simply quarter the amount of sweetener called for and it will still taste fabulous.

Yield: 12-16

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake | THM: S

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake | THM: S

You'll only need a small piece of this decadent Chocolate-Cappuccino Cheesecake! It's rich and filling, and completely satisfies a coffee-lover's sweet tooth. A smooth ganache keep the cheesecake moist and as a bonus, hides any cracks that might occur during baking! A show-stopping THM S.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • CRUST:
  • 2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup xylitol
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 bar of 85% Lindt chocolate
  • FILLING:
  • 2 8-oz pkgs. cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup xylitol
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cold coffee
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 bars of 85% Lindt chocolate, melted
  • GANACHE:
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/8 cup xylitol
  • 1/4 bar of 85% Lindt chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. To make the crust, pulse pecan pieces and xylitol (or other sweetener) together in blender until crumbs are fine. Stir in melted butter, and press into a 9" spring-form pan. Drizzle melted Lindt chocolate on top, and refrigerate until hardened.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the filling, beat cream cheese and sweetener together until smooth. Add eggs, coffee, sour cream, and vanilla, and beat again. Stir in melted chocolate until completely combined. Pour filling over crust and bake at 300 F for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. To make the ganache, melt whipping cream, sweetener, and remaining chocolate together over low heat, whisking constantly until smooth. Cool and pour over cheesecake.
  5. OPTIONAL: garnish with grated chocolate.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Whipped Cream & Toasted Pecans For Two | THM S

pumpkin-cheesecake-thm-2

My husband isn’t normally a Pumpkin Spice lover (say what?!), so I was a bit hesitant to have him sample a bite of these cheesecakes and turn up his nose on account of them being too pumpkin-y spicy.

I love Pumpkin Spice. I’d probably even like fried eggs with Pumpkin Spice, so alone, my conclusion that this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Whipped Cream Topping & Toasted Pecans were indeed the very best THM friendly pumpkin dessert I had ever tried, was probably not a sufficient analysis in determining whether the recipe was worth putting up on the blog.

My hypothesis was that if I gave a bite to my Sweetie, his opinion mixed with mine, would probably be equivalent to the average person’s reaction.

So I gave him a taste.

pumpkin-cheesecake-thm-1

This is actually good. Really good. It’s amazing. Can I eat the whole thing?

pumpkin-cheesecake-thm-4

Happy dance.

It wasn’t just me who loved it; a Pumpkin Spice naysayer loved it too. Maybe it was the maple-flavored whipped cream, maybe it was the toasted pecans, maybe it was the whole conglomeration; in any case, this dessert is perfect for an autumn date night.

One for him and one for you.

Yield: 2

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Whipped Cream and Toasted Pecans For Two | THM S

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Whipped Cream and Toasted Pecans For Two | THM S
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours

Ingredients

CHEESECAKE:

  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix
  • 3 Tbsp xylitol
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp baking blend (OR 1 tsp golden flaxseed meal, 1 tsp coconut flour, 1 tsp almond flour)

TOPPING:

  • 1/2 cup whipped cream
  • 1 Tbsp xylitol
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a water bath to keep the cheesecakes from cracking by filling a 9x13" baking dish 1/4 of the way with water.
  2. In another bowl, beat together cream cheese, pumpkin, pumpkin spice mix, and sweetener. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add baking blend and mix thoroughly. Pour into two, lightly buttered ramekins or souffle dishes. Set ramekins inside prepared water bath and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set. Cool. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. For the topping, beat together whipping cream, sweetener, and maple extract. Pipe onto each cooled cheesecake.
  4. Toast pecans by baking them on a cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes at 350. Cool. Sprinkle on top of whipped cream.

Notes

This recipe can easily be tripled and baked in an 8x8 to serve six.

pumpkin-cheesecake-for-2-thm