Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar
By: Srikala Appana
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! With it being such a popular day across the world, I feel like so many of us lose sleep over finding innovative, creative ideas for that special person each year. If my mom taught me anything in life, it is that nothing screams “I love you” louder than the effort one puts into cooking for someone. I hope this easy Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar recipe adds just the right oomph to your Valentine’s menu this year!
Stand or hand mixer
Blender or food processor
4 single-serving jars or clear plastic cups
1 large Ziploc bag
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup coconut sugar (or white sugar)
1 cup graham crackers
1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil or butter
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup (or 1 ½ tablespoons sugar)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
“Chocolate Covered Strawberries” Crust:
6 tablespoons oat flour
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
2 teaspoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped strawberries
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or sugar)
In a bowl, carefully mix the strawberries and sugar and set aside. Doing this first will let the strawberries release juices while you prepare the rest.
Using a stand or hand mixer, whisk the whipping cream until small peaks form. Add the remaining ingredients for the cheesecake mixture and whisk again until smooth and even.
Place in the fridge until ready to use.
If you opt for the traditional crust:
In a blender or food processor, place all ingredients for the crust and pulse until small, even crumbs are formed.
If you opt for the “chocolate covered strawberries” crust:
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Mix everything but the chocolate chips together until smooth and even. Gently add in the chocolate chips. Psst… this is edible vegan chocolate chip cookie dough (if you use vegan chocolate chips)!
Make 1-inch cookie dough balls and bake on a greased baking sheet for 11 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes before crumbling the cookies for the crust.
Place the cheesecake mixture in a Ziploc bag, remove excess air, and seal.
Place 2-3 tablespoons of the crust mixture in each jar and press down to form a firm layer.
Cut a small corner of the Ziploc bag to pipe the cheesecake mixture into each jar halfway. Using the bag is important to keeps the walls of the jar clean so all the layers show when done.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of the strawberries on top.
Repeat steps 7 and 8 one more time (now, the jar should be full).
Refrigerate the jars overnight (or at least 2 hours) before serving cold.
The coconut oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup are healthier substitutes to butter and refined white sugar (the more traditional ingredients in this recipe). Because cheesecake is already high in bad fats and sugars, I substituted healthier options when possible. However, this is not required!
When putting the cheesecake mixture into the Ziploc bag, try to do it in a corner so it is already all where you need it to be. This is less messy, and you lose less of the mixture to the walls of the bag.
If you are short on time, an easy hack is to use cool whip from the frozen aisles (not the spray cans) instead of whipping cream. However, by using whipping cream, you control the type and amount of sugar. If you are like me and don’t like extremely sweet things, the cool whip might disappoint you.