17 June 2012

Greek Yogurt Coconut Not-Cheesecake

It seems that today is my birthday, I'm not exactly sure how that happened, but here we are. It's also Father's Day. Yup, that's right, every few years my father has the pleasure of sharing "his day" with my birthday. He's ecstatic :).

The last time this occurred was in 2007. I remember it vividly because my father had decided that he was going to do some laundry that morning. It was quite early, I was up eating breakfast but almost everyone else was sleeping. My brother had a friend staying over who had a cross country flight later that morning and who had arrived late the previous night. Suddenly an extremely loud crash could be heard as a laundry basket was flung from the top of a stair case to the floor beneath it. When we questioned my father as to why he would do something like that so early, especially when people were sleeping, his reply was:

"It's my day, I'll do what I want."

And I have yet to stop making fun of him :).

Normally I would have made my father a lemon meringue pie (his favourite) for Father's Day, but he loves cheesecake as much as I do and really enjoyed my first not-cheesecake a few weeks ago. So I decided to combine that with my discovery, over the last few years, that he also enjoys coconut, something I must have repressed as a child.

Once again I went to Kraft for the base recipe. My changes were pretty simple. In an effort to intensify the coconut flavour I altered the crust to make room for some extra coconut and increased the amount of coconut cream in the filling. However, because coconut cream (at least the one I purchased) is thirty-percent water, I tried to boil out as much of the water as possible. Other than that, it was once again a simple replacement of cream cheese with greek yogurt and then a sprinkling of toasted coconut before serving.

As much as I am now in love with greek yogurt, I am equally in love with these not-cheesecakes. My second one turned out similar to the first: super smooth and creamy, and really light. Even creamier and lighter this time because of the addition of coconut cream. The flavours in this recipe are kin to a combiner Transformer. Each part on its own has the subtle flavour of coconut, but when you combine the crust, the filling and the toasted coconut in one complete bite, the flavour is exceptional. Strong enough to let you know it's coconut but not enough to make you sick. Couple this with the balance created by the tartness of the yogurt as well as the texture variance from the toasted coconut, and you have a situation where I pretty much ate two pieces back-to-back. Yup, that good.

My only complaint is that despite prebaking the crust it still turned out quite soft. But I think this occured because I used my glass pie plate. I've noticed that it creates a softer graham cracker crust then my metal one, which I couldn't find. Regardless it was fantastic, and this is not something I can hold against the recipe.

I love this not-cheesecake. It's as simple as that. It's lighter and creamier than a standard cheesecake and with the perfect amount of coconut flavour. I really couldn't ask for anymore. This all serves to reenforce my obsession with this style of pie/cake and guarantee that more recipes will be coming. After all, it's my blog, I'll do what I want :)

Happy Father's Day Dad!


Greek Yogurt Coconut Not-Cheesecake

Adapted from Kraft

18 Graham Crackers (122g) or 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsweetened fine grate coconut
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (57g)

16 oz (by weight) 2% Plain Greek Yogurt (452g)
1 cup coconut cream, not milk
1/2 cup sugar (100g)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup medium grate unsweetened coconut

Have ready a 9” pie plate and preheat oven to 325F

Add graham crackers to food processor and pulse until only crumbs remain, crumble up any larger chunks by hand.

Add graham cracker crumbs, coconut and butter to a medium bowl and mix until moist.

Add crumb mix to pie plate and press evenly on the bottom and up the sides. Using a fork, poke a few holes into the crust to prevent bubbling.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before using.


Fill a 9x13 inch baking pan half way with water and set in oven. Preheat oven to 325F.

Add coconut cream to a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil stirring periodically until cream reduces in volume by 1/4 to 1/3. -- You will notice the bubbles will begin to combine into one large bubble and it will look as if the cream is forming a bit of a skin.

Set aside to cool until lukewarm.

In the bowl of a mixer, add yogurt and beat until completely smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

Slowly add cooled coconut cream until completely combined.

Add eggs one at a time and beat until each is just incorporated. Once all the egg is incorporated, stop your mixer immediately.

Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter a few times to make sure that there is no unmixed yogurt at the bottom of the bowl.

Pour filling into crust and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until center is just set (mine was perfect at 55 minutes). Allow to completely cool on rack before moving into fridge to chill for at least 4 hours (my suggestion is overnight).

Toast coconut:
Preheat oven to 300F and spread coconut over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place baking sheet in oven and bake, stirring periodically, until coconut is golden brown. This takes me about 5 minutes, stirring at the half way mark.

Remove from oven and place in a bowl to cool

To serve:
Once not-cheesecake is chilled, slice and sprinkle toasted coconut on top.


  1. Happy birthday and happy father's day to your dad! You know my feelings about coconut, but the cheesecake looks picture-perfect. There is something very 'dad-ish' (as in dessert, but not quite dessert) about cheesecake. I suppose because some people I know who won't eat dessert will eat cheesecake.

    I love your 'not-cheesecake' series! Perhaps you should call it 'un-cheesecake,' like 7-Up as the un-cola.

  2. Thanks Mary :). I pondered the un-cheesecake thing for most of the morning, I kind of like the sound of that :).

    And maybe it's time to give coconut a second chance :) ?