December 7, 2022

Yes, you can make keto-friendly cheesecake cupcakes

Use almond meal, goat butter, cream cheese, eggs, sucralose, and a tad of vanilla. These are all stand-alone keto-approved ingredients. How much you use is up to you, depending on how many cupcakes you want to make. It’s best to go online and pick the proportions you think will work for you. Some people like cheesecake cupcakes that are almost ALL cream cheese, while others want their cheesecake mostly almond meal. Experiment to find what works for you. 

A little history

Ancient Cheesecake recipes abound. Ingredients distinguish cheesecakes from other types of cakes. Cheesecakes are made from cheese (the most commonly used are cream cheese, Neufchatel, cottage cheese, and ricotta.) Since the beginning, people have tried to improve cheesecake. But can you improve perfection? Only to make it keto-friendly, some would say. Cheesecake was popular in ancient Greece, even though its origins are unknown. The Romans obtained the information after conquering Greece. Romans called this cake “placenta,” borrowing from Greek. Like cheesecake, the placenta was baked on a pastry foundation or shell. Romans gave “libum” to their gods in temples. 

The inaugural Olympics held on Delos in 776 B.C. gave athletes little cheesecakes. 234 B.C.–149 A.D. Roman statesman Marcus Porcius Cato Farming, winemaking, and cuisine were among his topics. His libum recipe, a temple-gifted sweet cake, is: Before adding bread-wheat flour, crush 2 pounds of cheese in a mortar. Mix everything with one egg. Put the leaves under the loaf. Slowly cook with a brick over a hot fire. Add honey and spring wheat flour. Heat everything together, cool, and serve. 230 A.D.: Athenaeus, a Greek scholar, set down the first cheesecake’s ingredients and recipe, according to Cheesecake Madness by John J. Sergreto: Pound the cheese in a metal sieve until smooth and pasty. Roman legions conquering Western Europe and Great Britain brought cheesecake around 1000 A.D. Scandinavia, England, and northwest Europe craved cheesecakes by 1000. 

Today and in New York

New Yorkers like to argue about a lot of things, like where the edges of neighborhoods are, which subway line goes the fastest, and how great or bad Times Square used to be. But food may be the only thing that can really divide people. How do you make a New York bagel? How do you make the best bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from a bodega? Where in Chinatown can you find the best dim sum? The dessert that rules in New York is the cheesecake. There’s a good case to be made that no dessert is more linked to the city than cheesecake. 

The New York cheesecake is, without a doubt, delicious. It is made with cream cheese, which comes from New York, heavy cream or sour cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and graham cracker crust. But if you look more closely, is this really a cake? A tart? People who watch the Great British Bake-Off (now called the Great British Baking Show in the United States) know that dessert names are often changed. In the United States, a pudding means only one thing, but in the United Kingdom, it means about 11 different things.

A biscuit is like a cross between a cookie, a cracker, and a scone. But say ‘cheesecake’ to anyone from Beijing to Bemidji, and they think of New York cheesecake. With cream cheese.

Inspired by the gods of goodies, William Lawrence, a dairy farmer from the United States, created cream cheese in 1872 in New York. Lawrence decided to try to create the typically slightly sharp cheese a bit softer and creamier after purchasing a factory that had previously produced a soft cheese called Neufchâtel. In order to prevent any aging at all, he decided to add heavy cream to the recipe. It was once sold as Neufchâtel And Cream Cheese, but soon people omitted the first portion, and we were left with only cream cheese, possibly because it was a hassle to spell Neufchâtel. 

However, the New York style of cheesecake always requires cream cheese. Cream cheese from upstate New York has a sharper taste than the traditional cream cheese from Philadelphia. It gives the Big Apple version more of a kick. Around the world, there are numerous variations on cheesecake recipes. The main variations involve:

  • The kind of cheese used W
  • whether the cheesecake is baked.
  • The style of crust.
  • The thickener.

Thus in New York City, you can find dim sum cheesecake, kosher cheesecake, poppy seed cheesecake, cheesecake cupcakes wrapped in banana leaves, and so on. 

One last item on our entomology did-you-know list is that the denizens of New York City conflate paleo with keto when it comes to food. If you tell a New Yorker that a food item is paleo-friendly, it will also mean it’s keto friendly. Go figure.