This no-bake keto mocha (chocolate + coffee) cheesecake is deliciously creamy and silky, and the ganache topping makes it a really decadent dessert… and even more if you add some rum 😉
This keto cheesecake is high protein with vanilla whey protein powder and nut-free with a sunflower seed crust – but you can totally use almond flour instead.
Adapting the recipe
This is a coffee cheesecake sandwiched between an amazing keto chocolate crust and a super creamy sugar-free ganache topping. But if you want just the coffee cheesecake, that’s fine, too. Just make it crustless and topless! It’s still wonderful, and you’ll cut over half of the calories (the macro count for both recipes is on the card with the recipe summary).
If making it crustless you can use a silicone pan make serving easier. You can also divide the no-bake cheesecake in individual portions, inside small bowls, ramekin dishes or paper cups.
For no-bake crust
1. Sunflower seed flour (or almond flour): You can use either, but in this recipe I went with sunflower. If you need a nut-free version of a keto recipe that takes almond flour, sunflower seed flour/meal is your best bet. Sunflower has nearly the same macros and can be subbed 1:1, so no changes to the recipe are needed.
The only downside to sunflower meal is that it can give a greenish hue to baked items, because of the way it chemically reacts with the chemical leaveners. Which makes it perfect for use in no-bake recipes, or recipes with dark chocolate to disguise the green color…
2. Egg white protein powder (optional): As this is a no-bake crust, I use egg white protein powder to help bind it together. It helps solidify the crust and keeps it from crumbling away as you slice it. If you don’t have this ingredient, it’s okay to leave it out. The crust will just be a little more crumbly.
3. Powdered keto sweetener: To avoid chewing on sweetener crystals, use a powdered keto sweetener. You can also powder your own crystal sweetener very easily! See my instructions for homemade sweetener, also in powdered version.
4. Dutch processed cocoa powder: To make the crust look really dark like in these pictures, I used a Dutch process cocoa powder instead of natural cocoa powder. You can still use natural cocoa powder for this recipe, but the color will be lighter brown.
For the coffee cheesecake and ganache topping
1. Cream cheese and sour cream: Full fat, full flavor, am I right? Make sure they are at room temperature for easier mixing.
2. Vanilla whey protein: a good quality vanilla whey is key to best flavor. Use your favorite whey, the recipe takes 4 scoops. I added no extra sweetener, as this whey is sweet enough (with natural stevia and monkfruit). I recommend you taste the cheesecake batter and add more sweetener if needed.
3. Instant coffee or espresso powder: You can use either, but espresso powder has a deeper, richer taste that’s a bit less acidic. Also, you can use less of it.
4. Sugar-free chocolate and heavy cream: choose a dark or semi-sweet keto chocolate to mix with heavy cream and get a luxurious, creamy keto ganache topping!
To give it a hint of boozy sophistication, I also like to add some dark rum or essence of rum to the ganache.
How to make
It can’t possibly be easier: just mix the dry ingredients and then add the melted butter.
Just make sure you don’t boil the butter while melting. You can melt it gently in a double boiler or in the microwave, on a low power setting.
After you mix the powders and the melted butter, just press the mixture onto the bottom of the cheesecake pan. The no-bake cheesecake crust is ready! Leave it inside the fridge while you prepare the keto cheesecake batter.
It’s better to start off with the cream cheese and sour cream at room temperature. So leave them outside the fridge for a few hours, or mix them in a bowl inside a pan with hot water, until they are smooth and free of lumps.
1. Bloom the gelatin
Hydrate the gelatin first, sprinkling the unflavored gelatin powder over cold water. Then warm it up in the microwave (at low power), or in a double boiler, until it’s completely melted – you don’t want to see the gelatin crystals anymore.
Do not boil the gelatin mixture, or it will lose its setting power.
2. Coffee cheesecake batter
To make the high protein keto cheesecake batter, mix the softened cream cheese and sour cream with the vanilla whey protein powder and the diluted instant coffee or espresso powder, until it’s creamy and smooth.
Then add a little of the batter to the liquid gelatin preparation and mix, then everything back into the cheesecake batter bowl and mix until perfectly combined.
This gelatin mixing technique might feel more complicated than just straight up adding the liquid gelatin to the cheesecake batter, but it ensures that it will be thoroughly mixed in – so no lone strings of unmixed gelatin can ruin the smoothness of the cheesecake!
3. Refrigerate until set
Pour the no-bake mocha cheesecake batter into a springform pan (for easier unmolding), cover it with cling film, and leave it in the coolest part of the fridge for around 6 hours or overnight before adding the sugar-free ganache.
Or, you might prefer to serve the no-bake protein cheesecake in an easier and lower in fat/calories version. Just make it without the ganache. That’s good, too!
It’s easy to make a keto friendly ganache topping: you just need to use a sugar-free chocolate! I like the taste of semi-sweet chocolate chips for this mocha cheesecake. Not too sweet, just enough to compliment the coffee.
If using a bar chocolate instead of chocolate chips, shave the chocolate or chop it in very, very small pieces.
Heat up the heavy whipping cream on low heat, and watch it closely. Turn off the heat the moment you see bubbling on the edges of the pan.
Submerge the keto chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate into the hot cream, and after it melts some you can start gently mixing, to spread the transfer of heat and fully melt the chocolate and combine with the cream.
If the ganache breaks – if you notice that the mixture is not smooth and small oil puddles form – don’t despair, you can fix it. Add a little bit of the cold whipping cream, about half a tablespoon, and continue mixing until it comes together.
After the keto chocolate ganache cools down, spread it on top of the mocha cheesecake and refrigerate just until set.
How to make sunflower seed flour
I just don’t use sunflower flour more often in my keto baking because it’s not available where I live, which makes it less convenient as I have to grind the sunflower seeds myself.
If you are in the same predicament, know that it is actually quite easy to do it: you just need to use a food processor and grind the seeds until they become flour!
A quick tip: I sieve through the processed sunflower meal a couple of times to catch the largest bits and re-process then separately, because if I keep the processor running until all bigger pieces are gone the sunflower seeds could get overdone and start turning to butter.
No-bake cheesecake decoration ideas
Get your keto cheesecake looking gorgeous! Sprinkle with cocoa nibs or chocolate shavings, top with whipped cream and add some decorative coffee beans.
Storing and freezing instructions
You can leave the mocha cheesecake in the fridge for up to a week. I think that’s too dangerous though, because it’s SO GOOD that it’s really hard to resist.
Happily, this no-bake mocha cheesecake freezes perfectly! Slice the cheesecake as you like, than wrap each slice well in cling film. Put the wrapped slices inside a sealable freezer bag or airtight container, and into the freezer for as long as forever.
When you feel like cheesecake, just remove the slice from the freezer and wait for some time for it to thaw. You don’t need it completely thawed, it’s delicious even semi-frozen. Like a mocha cheesecake ice cream!
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