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Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

By March 11, 2013December 3rd, 2020Desserts, Holiday Recipes, Vegetarian

Testimony of the Day

“I wanted to give a new updated testimony. The pictures on the left side are me about 5 years ago before I had kids. I worked out like crazy and ate 800 calories a day and still felt unhealthy and uncomfortable. The pics on the right are me after 2 kids and perfecting my ketogenic eating habits thanks to you! You have made it possible to eat delicious food and be healthy, happy, and comfortable. (Well along with Jillian Michaels)! Please know how many lives you are changing for the better. Thank you!” – Emily

If you want to get started on a path to health and healing, click HERE. You will not regret it!


Craig’s Before/After Photos

“This is a partial before after photo of me.  I couldn’t find any photos of me at my highest weight (185 in college).  On the left I was about 170 and today I am 145.” Craig


Anti-Aging Tips: Fructose and Glycation

Do you complain of sagging skin or cellulite? One of the big contributors to the aging process and development and perpetuation of degenerative diseases is Advanced Glycation End Product (AGEs) glycation. Glycation is where a chemical reaction occurs between proteins and either sugars, lipid peroxidation products (free radicals from oxidative damage), or the breakdown products of sugar. So sugar plays a big role in glycation as does oxidative damage (think PUFA oils and sugar inflammation).

Glycation is the forming of sort of a crust around our cells. Many different studies have shown that this crust contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, asthma, stroke, cataracts, glaucoma, PCOS, autoimmune disease and much more.

So what role does fructose play here? Studies have shown that fructose enables glycation reactions ten times more rapidly than glucose!A high carbohydrate diet causes this glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products, AGEs. The more carbohydrates you eat, the more AGEs you develop. As AGEs accumulate, they damage neighboring proteins in a domino-like manner. Collagen and elastin are the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic are most venerable when you are eating a high starch diet. Once the damage has been done, the supple and strong collagen and elastin become dry and delicate, leading to wrinkles and sagging.AGEs deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage. Adding in 400 to 600mg of  alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) can help repair the skin from your past years of being a sugar burner.

If you are going to spend the money on ALA supplements and serums, make sure to get it from a quality source from Germany. Chinese ALA is processed with harsh and toxic chemicals. Click HERE to find the oral supplement I prefer. 


It is our 9th wedding anniversary today on August 11th, so I wanted to make Craig’s favorite dessert…Vanilla Bean Cheesecake! I brought this to a gathering with family and friends and everyone loved it. No one knew it was “healthified!”

1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 cup coconut oil or butter
1 cup Swerve (or erythritol)
2 tsp stevia glycerite
1 tsp Celtic sea salt

OPTIONAL: add 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder

(UPDATE: This makes a very thick crust! In the future, I would do 1/2 the batch and add one egg to the dough. This makes for a better crust that isn’t so thick)

6 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
3 eggs
3/4 cup Swerve confectioners
1 vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the “crust” ingredients and then press into bottom of spring-form pan.

Cut a vanilla bean open through the middle and scrape the beans out of the inside with a sharp knife.

Mix cream cheese, sweetener, vanilla bean with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low after each, just until blended. Pour over crust. I use a water bath to create a more even baking process. To prevent water from seeping into the removable bottom of the springform pan, wrap aluminum foil completely around the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Place the cheesecake into a jellyroll pan (or any baking pan with sides) and place the pans into the oven. Use a teakettle to fill the outer pan with hot water. Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center is almost set.

Run knife around the rim of the pan to loosen cake and allow to cool before removing the spring-form pan ring. Refrigerate overnight. We cut the cheesecake into 18 pieces, which were so satisfying!

Cheesecake Factory Vanilla Bean = 869 calories, 3 protein, 72g carbs, 1g fiber
“Healthified” Cheesecake = 407 calories, 42g fat, 3g protein, 4.8g carbs, 1.2g fiber (93% fat, 3% protein, 4% carbs)


Vanilla beans are high in phenolic compounds which are potent antioxidants (as well as anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory). Most people often use vanilla extracts rather than the bean because it is easy to find and affordable. But if you are sidestepping using real vanilla beans, you are missing out on some awesome antioxidants.cheesecake

Extracts are made from infusing the bean in alcohol for an extended period of time. The process of infusion does allow antioxidants to seep into the alcohol extract so you are losing out on a lot of phytonutrients when you skip using the actual vanilla bean.

Vanilla was traditionally used as an aphrodisiac, and is also reputed to help patients with erectile dysfunction and loss of libido. Because of its calming properties, it’s thought to help reduce inflammation due to fever, and because of its high antioxidant content, may also be effective at fighting off the free radicals that can lead to cancer.

Benefits to the Skin

The benefits of vanilla in skin care products go far beyond the amazing scent. It is also great for:

Healing wounds: Historically vanilla was used to help heal wounds, and we now know that it has anti-inflammatory properties that may help to soothe and calm inflamed areas on the skin.

Antioxidant: As you can see on the chart above, vanilla is a great source of antioxidants. A 2007 study that profiled the extract found that the antioxidants were significant, stating, “The present study points toward the potential use of vanilla extract compounds as antioxidants for food preservation and in health supplements as nutraceuticals.” These antioxidants can also help protect skin from environmental dangers that can accelerate aging.

Acne and Antibacterial: Vanilla can help reduce skin infections and can reduce the bacteria that cause acne.

B vitamins: There are a lot of b-vitamins in vanilla, including niacin, which is a key nutrient in the maintenance of healthy skin. Thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid are also found in this tasty extract.

I keep a large pack in my fridge sealed tightly at all times for additions to desserts and even vegetables like my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Vanilla-Pecan Butter.

Click HERE to find some on sale!


Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • DoubleE says:

    Hey Maria, I just made this, and it seems the ratio of cream cheese to eggs is VERY off. My cheesecake is very eggy, hardly cheesy at all!

  • DoubleE says:

    oh my! I thought it meant use 6-8 ounces

  • The A Team says:

    Maria – Thank you so much for all of your info and recipes! I have been learning about the healthier way of eating and low carb – no processed food – for about 4 months now. I’m obvoiusly loving the change my body has gone through in this short time. Anyway, this recipe is my most favorite thing. The crust – I could go with just eating that! Delicious! Helps the cravings for salty and sweet at the same time. Thanks again so much for sharing all of your knowledge! Its so helpful to get the reasoning behind the change of ingredients in your posts! I look forward to each post so I can see whats new to learn from you!

  • The A Team says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have been living and learning about the low carb and healthier non-processed way of eating for about 4 months and your posts have helped me in so many ways. This cheesecake is delicious! It helps so much with my cravings of sweet and salty! What about peanut butter on this? As I said above – I am still learning about this way of eating – is an all natural peanut butter an okay topping?

  • Anonymous says:

    What is in “swerve”

  • Tammy O. says:

    Would unblanched almond flour be ok? I just bought some (never have used tried it). Do you always use blanched?

  • Lisa DeLuca says:

    This may be a silly question but, do I use the vanilla bean or the seeds? Also I wanted to make this today and would have to order the Swerve online since no stores carry it here, can I substitute Xyla (xylitol) instead?

  • Ella says:


    I am trying to avoid dairy, but love cheesecakes…how to substitute cream cheese, any recipes ? thanks

  • d.o.wife says:

    Ok two questions! 🙂

    If I use swerve in the crust, do I still need the stevia?

    Second, instead of blending the swerve to a fine powder, would it be the same using swerve confectioners sugar instead?

    Thank you!

    • You can omit it if you like. I sometimes find a combination works better, but some people like their baked good less sweet. Yes, you can use Swerve Confectioners instead. 🙂

  • YoshiMoo says:

    I have a question about Swerve. I used it to make lemon curd, lots of egg yolks and lemon juice in it of course. It came out great but after a couple days in the refrigerator the swerve turned into hard little crystal chunks!! So a bite of lemon curd was very crunchy and weird. Why does that happen and why would it not happen in this cheesecake?

  • fabricpixie says:

    Hi Maria, I hate to be a pain in the neck .. but when you give these wonderful recipes, could you give a nut-free alternative too? My family has nut allergies and I know that substituting coconut flour or flaxmeal can change the outcome if used in the exact measurements as the almond flour.

    Just a suggestion, no criticism intended. These allergies are so inconvenient, but also life threatening.

    Thank you

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

  • Rettakat says:

    I wanted to thank you for this recipe, Maria. My husband’s favorite dessert is cheesecake, and he fancies himself an “expert”. So for our 35th anniversary yesterday, I made him your Vanilla Bean cheesecake… it turned out wonderful!

    I made it Saturday (so it could “ripen” overnight) and he kept protesting: but I NEVER use 6 packages of cream cheese in one recipe; but you’re supposed to turn down the oven after the first 15 minutes; but I put the water in a separate pan underneath… on and on. Too funny!

    Yet… at the first bite, his eyes lit up, and he admitted he LOVED it. 😀
    Thank you!

  • Samantha says:

    Yuuuum! Feeling a cheesecake thing tonight!! The only thing I have in the fridge is philaedelphia, some goats cheese and a tub of cottage cheeese.. will any of these do? I also have some cherry juice.. and coffee.. and just two xylitol packets left (gotta get some swerve next! hope I can find this in a store in Canada here..?). What can I concoct? 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    I made this cheesecake over the weekend, my picky daughter even loved it! I don’t use alot of coconut flour, but it was really nice in the crust! I thought I would not be able to have crust withe a cheesecake!! And it was also the first time using Swerve! I’m hooked!! This is beautiful! I’m bringing it to my family’s for Thanksgiving!

  • Mandie says:

    Hi Maria, if I were to use organic cane sugar, would I use the same amount as swerve?


  • Probably a little bit too late to ask, since the cheesecake is in the oven, but what size springform pan do you use? I used a 9.5 inch pan and the crust seemed a bit thick. We can’t wait to taste it tomorrow!!

  • Hi: I realized that with all the craziness of Thanksgiving I didn’t thank you for your great recipes and for getting back to me so quickly!! This cheesecake is a winner!! I have made it three times now and everyone loves it!! I have cut the crust recipe in half, since we like the crust a little thinner. I have also found that if I leave the cream cheese out of the refrigerator for about an hour before making the cheesecake, it blends easier with the eggs and the the cheesecake results in a taller, fluffier cheesecake. Love it!!

  • Amy says:

    This was amazing! Totally made our New Years Eve!

  • Jen S says:

    Made this for Easter dinner tonight.. EVERYBODY (diabetics, low-carbers, and normal eaters) LOVED IT!!! I have also found the crust recipe I will now use for every cheesecake, pumpkin pie, etc.. DELISH!

    Maria, thank you for a WONDERFUL dessert that everyone could enjoy equally!

  • Anonymous says:

    One of the best crusts ever! Loved it!

  • L.D. says:

    I miss cheesecake! I’m definitely making this:) for how many days can the cheesecake be stored in the fridge? I want to save time and make it ahead.

    • cemmerich says:

      It should keep for about a week. It keeps in the freezer for longer. 🙂

      • L.D. says:

        I made crustless cheesecake with 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, 1 egg and 50gr erythrit. I baked it for 1 hour and let it cool over night in the fridge. It was yummy but a bit dense and the top of the cake was dark brown!
        So the second time I made crustless cheesecake again, with 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, 1 egg and 25gr erythrit to see if the egg would help. After 30 min. in the oven it turned really dark again… What am I doing wrong? I guess the cheesecake in your photo is baked with a water bath so it does not turn dark brown on the top? Or is it the erythrit?

        • cemmerich says:

          What temperature are you using? Maybe your oven is hotter. Also make sure it is on the lowest rack. 🙂

          • L.D. says:

            Temperature was at 180°C, I think that is equal to 350°F? And yes, it was on the lowest rack;)
            Hmmm. I know my oven is brand new and has different options for the heat, like air circulation, upper and lower heat and other symbols.. I often don’t know what would be best for the baking process! I need to find the instruction manual..

  • Layla says:

    Hi Maria, thank you for all your amazing recipes. I am currently reading the secret to a healthy metabolism on E book and I have to say it is truly life changing. I am going to try my hand at making this fantastic cheesecake over the weekend and I was wondering would the crust still work out the same if I used all almond flour instead of the 1/2 cup of coconut flour. And also in your opinion what taste better for the crust butter or coconut oil?
    I look forward to your reply layla 🙂

  • Beth says:

    Made this, this weekend for daughter #2’s (Alisha) birthday dinner. It was a huge hit! Everyone loved it! About the only word out of her boyfriends mouth was, ‘delicious’! I will definitely make this again, in a regular spring form pan. She wanted individual ones so I just baked it on two large sheet pans. Made a mess in the oven but – yumm!!! A definite keeper! Thanks Maria! You are awesome!!

  • Robin says:

    I made this for today (Christmas) and it turned out so delicious!! Some of my family said they could taste the Swerve in it, but I couldn’t. It tasted like sugar to me. Thank you for the delicious recipe! BTW, this thing is BIG and a little goes a long way. I’m going to freeze some.

    • Tara says:

      Hi Robin,

      Can you tell me whether you used the crust recipe as written, or if you followed Maria’s subsequent update and halved the recipe and added an egg? It sounds like yours turned out great!


  • Elizabeth says:

    Hi Maria!!!

    I just made this for the second time in 2 weeks and everyone that has tried it can’t believe that it’s healthy. I’ve been making different versions of sugar free cheesecakes for years now and none of them even come close to this one. Oh yeah, that crust is AWESOME as well!!!

    Thanks so much for the awesome recipe. Now if you could figure out how to make a flan with an actual caramel sauce (not xylitol maple syrup or caramel syrup) that would be awesome. Oh yeah, also a butterscotch pie!!! My mom used to make them all the time, but I have no healthy alternative. In fact – butterscotch anything would be greatly appreciated :0)

    Thank you for all you do!!!

  • Linda says:

    Hi Maria,
    I don’t have any vanilla beans. Can you use vanilla extract instead? How much would you use?

  • LynnC says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I am very new to this and I saw this receipe and thought that my husband would love it. My question is where can I buy Swerve, is it only online?

  • MichelleJ says:

    Hi Maria,

    I made this cheesecake to bring to my parent’s for Easter and it was a great success! However, I do have one concern. After enjoying a slice I found that my sugar cravings came back for at least three days! I have been eating grain/sugar free since around January and I just felt like I was starting all over again with my unquenchable cravings!!!! Any ideas? I just thought that couldn’t happen if using Stevia and Swerve! Help!

    • cemmerich says:

      Well everyone is different but over time this should be less and less of an issue. But it can happen earlier on in the first few months.

  • Lynn says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that sugar glycation is not a good thing — however, I do not believe that omitting ALL carbs is good for your body as you are missing critical nutrients when you omit food groups. while it is good to limit carbs severely while trying to lose weight, eliminating low glycemic carbs forever is not good for your health (also read that eliminating all carbs can cause hormone problems – which happened with my daughter. There’s a great source of information on glycation, and a great product called GLUCOTOR that you take before eating even the low glycemic carbs to eliminate the problem and still get the nutrients your body needs from good carbs.

    • cemmerich says:

      What nutrients are you referring to? I assure you that you can eat very low carb and still get all the nutrients you body needs. Herbs and spices are the most nutrient dense foods around and they have little carbs.

  • Stacy says:

    Are you using liquid or powder Stevia? I just purchased the packets made by SweetLeaf, do I measure 2 tsp or this? Or do I need the liquid? I also have Splenda powder. What do you recommend?

  • Helga says:

    I want to make this cheese cake but I am still confused as to how many packages of cream cheese it takes. Can you please clarify? I saw your comment on the crust, but I wonder about the quantity of cream cheese. Thanks!

  • Hélène says:

    I used to make the most delicious nut crust for all my cheesecakes (I got it out of the old Rodale healthfood cookbook). It had sugar but I know now it could easily be made with a different sweetener (yay for stevia glycerite & to a lesser extreme, erytritol). I’ve been making sugarless, crustless cheesecakes for awhile also–I was going keto-adapted b4 keto was in LOL
    Too bad I didn’t go all the way into keto-adaption back then and not blow up to be obese!
    Will be making this yumminess this week 🙂

  • Helen says:

    The coupon code MARIA10 for the Swerve sweetener didn’t work.

  • Angela says:

    Can you please let me know what ALA supplement you use? The link you provided is no longer working. Thank you! “If you are going to spend the money on ALA supplements and serums, make sure to get it from a quality source from Germany. Chinese ALA is processed with harsh and toxic chemicals. Click HERE to find the oral supplement I prefer.”

  • Michelle says:

    Hi Maria!

    They don’t sell stevia glycerite at the whole foods by my house, all they have is stevia extract… Can that be substituted? I’m so excited to make this tomorrow! 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    Hi Maria!

    Another question… About how many servings should you get from one recipe? Thanks so much!

  • Michelle says:

    hi there again!

    One more question… Is the water bath absolutely necessary? I’m making a big batch of this & don’t know if I’ll have a pan big enough to create a water bath… Just curiousn! Thanks so much for all your help!

  • Michelle says:

    Thanks so much for answering all of my questions! 🙂

  • Jamie Rebecca says:

    If I’m using a sweeter that isn’t swerve in the crust … is it still one cup? I know swerve is 1 for 1 but all I could get last minute was truvia. Poor substitute, I know.

  • Ann says:

    Maria….. can you make a lovely cheesecake like this with coconut oil to set it up instead of baking it ?
    of course… you wouldnt use eggs but…. vanilla, cream cheese and perhaps heavy whipping cream ? then add the melted coconut oil ? i dont know….. i’m not good at this….. just guessing at what you would put in there..

    do you have a recipe for a cheesecake like that ?

    i have seen cheese cakes using soaked cashews on raw web sites…… but what about using dairy… like a real cheesecake ?

    if you can give me measurements… maybe i can figure it out on my own. i have no idea how much coconut oil it would take to set up a block of cream cheese. lol

    i wouldnt want to make a big one…. just a small one would do.

    thanks for your thoughts on this.


    • Maria Emmerich says:

      I don’t but let me know if you try it. 🙂

      • Ann says:

        OK thanks….. i’ll have to try it and see what i come up with. i really would like something like that… simple, easy and ready after its been in the fridge for a while. lol

  • Jenny says:

    This cheesecake turned out delicious, thank you for the recipe! I was entering this recipe into my meal calculator and it came up as over 14 carbs per serving (18 servings per recipe). This is with the crust recipe cut in half, which is the way I made it. I’m new to tracking what I eat and would love to know how your carb count so much lower? The carb total is similar if I don’t count the carbs in the swerve, which the package labels as 5 carbs per 5gr/1tsp. Do the carbs in swerve not count when we use it? Thanks for helping!

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Thanks you! I don’t count the carbs in Swerve as they are not digestible (and thus the calories are 0). 🙂

  • Jenny says:

    Thank you for your explanation. I look forward to exploring your site as well as trying out more “healthified” recipes. Much appreciation.

  • Aurora says:

    What size pan?

  • T1Dia_Beat_This says:

    Hi Maria ~
    I love your cookbooks and turn to them often in feeding my family. Our daughter has been recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes so we try to eat a low carb higher fat diet. I’m making your vanilla bean cheesecake and am wondering if I should have baked the crust first? I didn’t see that in the instructions and when I just loosened the spring form pan, the crust still looks wet and light yellow in color. Any suggestions? I sure hope its salvageable because it looks amazing!! Thank you!!

  • Jeanna says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m going to make it tonight but would live to just use sweet leaf stevia instead of swerve. What would the substitution be? 1/8th of a cup?

  • Stephanie says:

    I was wondering how large of a pan you use for this. A friend made it for me and gave me a HUGE piece and it was delicious! I cannot wait to make it, I have not had sugar in weeks and my husband is Diabetic, so it is a wonderful treat for both of us.

  • Cheryl says:

    We make this all the time, absolutely love it however, we make it without the crust!! Don’t tell anyone….we have it for breakfast too😍

    • Kelly says:

      I was just about to ask if is good without the crust…I’m making it tomorrow but didn’t want to have the crust. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Molly says:

    Hi Maria! I am obsessed with your blog and all your recipes! I was wondering about Swerve and carbs… is it esentially carb free because of its makeup. I know sugar alcohol can be subtracted from carbs like fiber, but my body doesn’t respond to that. Is swerve like that? Or, how does it work with the carb count?

  • Jules says:

    Hi Maria,

    I am trying to make a chocolate version of this delicious cheesecake without using a choco perfection bar – can I add cocoa powder to the filling and then cover it with a chocolate sauce (similar to the one from the turtle cheesecake? Thank you in advance!

  • Cheryl says:

    Maria, if I wanted to make this cheesecake into a pumpkin cheesecake how can I change it?

  • Natalie says:

    Hi Maria

    I just made this tonight and am waiting for it to set overnight. I looked at the macros you listed for this healthified cheesecake and I think it is off. I calculated, just for the SWERVE, not even including the cream cheese or nut flours, 11 grams of carbs for 18 slices (even only 1 tsp of swerve has 5 grams of carbs!!!)….. Once again this is only for the SWERVE in the batter and I did not even use the one cup in the crust. Only the 3/4 cup in the batter. So, with just 3/4 cup swerve there is 11 grams carbs for 18 slices (not including cheese, nut flours etc…)….Can you clarifiy how you only calculated 4.8 grams of carbs including all of the ingredients? I am confused. Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sara says:

    Is there a difference between Swerve and Swerve confectioners?

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Confectioners is the same ingredients just ground into a finer powder.

      • Sara says:

        In the recipe are you using granulated in the crust and confectioners in filling? By the way LOVE your recipes, husband turned me on to keto, probably because he wanted to eat better. 😉

  • Becki says:

    Do I need to do the water bath for the spring form pan?

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