Light Unbaked Cheesecake/Greek Yogurt Mousse with Passion fruit


Bored with lemons, oranges, apples and pears, I decided to experiment with something more exotic and discovered a new passion for the… passion fruit. Passion fruit macarons are one of my beloved Pierre Hermé’s creations, passion fruit chocolates are made by many chocolatiers in my city, passion fruit daiquiri is one of my favourite cocktails… and yet, I have never tried making a passion fruit dessert on my own. This first attempt felt like uncovering a whole new world of exciting culinary adventures. Topping a simple unbaked cheesecake with passion fruit pulp cannot really be called elaborate work in the kitchen, but it proved one of the most astonishing experiments I have ever made. The powerful, irresistible fragrance, the tangy flavour and crunchy seeds paired with the creamy, silky cheesecake created a complex and unusual combination. Since it was also one of the easiest and quickest sweet treats I know, I predict a bright future for this wonderful match, at least until strawberries appear.

I have already shared with you my enthusiasm about the unbaked cheesecake (see below). It becomes a staple in my house, especially when the weather gets warm and light, refreshing desserts are more welcome. I haven’t written about it for quite a long time, so here is a quick explanation of the unbaked cheesecakes I prepare. My unbaked – and also baked – cheesecakes have both Polish origins, i.e. they are not made with US cream cheese, but with natural fresh cheese (called curd cheese, quark or fromage frais). In the unbaked version this cheese is very smooth and can easily be substituted with Greek yogurt, similar in both taste and texture.

Apart from the taste, the main reason why I prepare unbaked cheesecakes so often is their healthy side: contrary to the US-style cheesecakes, these are low-fat, low-calorie and, I think, can be proposed to people on a slimming diet. I also love them for their instantly recognisable, slightly tangy taste and a light texture, close to a very dense mousse. In my opinion the basic unbaked cheesecake preparation (cheese, gelatin and sugar) is an excellent basis to play with different fruits, aromatic alcohols, spices and other seasonings (some cover them with a thick layer of fruit jelly, the item I have never liked). Many people prepare also a crust, but since I don’t like it in either baked or unbaked cheesecakes, I always omit it. Thanks to this my cheesecakes are even lighter and quicker to prepare. This slightly acid passion fruit version was excellent, but if you don’t like tangy sweets (or passion fruit), you might want to try other versions instead:








If you are a fan of passion fruit (or passionfruit), you might like this delicious cocktail:


Passion fruit daiquiri

TIPS: As I have mentioned the natural fresh cheese I use here can be perfectly replaced with Greek yogurt.

This cheesecake can be made in one big mould lined with plastic film, and then sliced into portions like a baked cheesecake, but I find individual portions easier to handle and much cuter when served.

You can of course prepare any baked or unbaked crust of your choice.

The amounts of gelatin depend sometimes on the brand. Leaves are sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller,   powdered gelatin sometimes contains other products and doesn’t set as well as pure gelatin in powder… In short, the aim here is to use here the amount of gelatin which sets 500 ml/2 cups/about 17 oz liquid.

Preparation: 15 minutes + 2 hours in the fridge

Ingredients (serves 4-5): 

500 g  (about 17 oz) very smooth (mixed) fresh cheese/curd cheese/quark/fromage frais or Greek yogurt 

1 tablespoon gelatin or 6 – 8 sheets, depending on the size/brand, so take the amount necessary to set 500 ml/17 fl oz of liquid, see TIPS above)

4 tablespoons warm water (I prefer to use hot water with powdered gelatin)

4 flat tablespoons confectioner’s sugar or sweetener of your choice

(2 tablespoons rum)

(white chocolate)

Dissolve the gelatin in 4 tablespoons warm or hot (not boiling) water. (If using leaves, proceed as indicated on the package).

Mix the cheese, the rum and the sugar in a food processor.

Add the dissolved gelatin and mix once more.

Pour the cheese mixture into individual bowls or glasses and put into the fridge for at least two hours.

Just before serving cut the passion fruits in two and pour the flesh over the cheesecakes (1 small or 1/2 big passion fruit per glass).

You can sprinkle them with grated white chocolate.

34 Replies to “Light Unbaked Cheesecake/Greek Yogurt Mousse with Passion fruit”

  1. I see a bright future for this unbaked cheesecake in my kitchen too Sissi. Seeing the versatility of it in all your various photos I am convinced that I must make this. It could be a way to incorporate some of the alcohol that I have just brought back from Jamaica — as you have suggested looking at different topping ideas. (Now you know why i have disappeared from commenting.) I also think I need to give passion fruit more of a chance!

    1. Thanks a lot, Barb. Jamaica sounds like dream holidays. I bet you have had excellent rum there! This unbaked cheesecake is versatile, so you can play with it almost without limits.

  2. What a lovely recipe and the colour combination is really beautiful Sissi; your description makes me almost able to taste the silky smooth cheesecake with the crunchy sweet topping. I haven’t worked with passion fruit either, what was the texture like? Sometimes these tropical fruits have a gelatinous texture that turns me off (like an egg white, oozy and snotty!). The grated white chocolate is also an interesting addition.
    Unfortunately it is STILL snowing here in the Big Smoke, yesterday it snowed almost all day, fortunately only a little bit stuck and today is partly sunny so hopefully it will melt before the next round of flurries. I am so tired of the layers and feeling cold to the bone. Next week it’s supposed to be warming up, so at least we might have a nice warm Easter. Have a lovely weekend Sissi.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva, for so many compliments. I bet you would love this super-light dessert. It’s such a pleasure to make a big batch, put into fridge and know that every day I can have a guiltless sweet treat (and delicious too!). Of course warm weather helps, but even though today is the first day I feel spring, I have stopped fatty/floury desserts for some time because I feel so heavy after winter…
      I love passion fruit so much, I even haven’t noticed what the pulp consistency is like because it’s with grains. Well, I wouldn’t compare it to an egg white, but it’s a bit like a thick coulis. Strawberries are certainly an option without risk (and you can incorporate them inside too, as I did; this is not really a good idea with passion fruit because of the grains). Have a lovely weekend too and I hope spring arrives to Canada soon!

  3. Sissi, this dessert looks great! I was just telling a client of mine who is about to fly to Taiwan, for a Seven Eleven Beverage Show to taste a fresh passion fruit, I can still remember the aroma and tangy taste, oh yummy!

    1. Thanks a lot, Jeno. I cannot even imagine how passion fruit tastes there… It’s such a wonderful fruit!

  4. Oh Sissi, you’ve got me reminiscing about our glorious trip to the Caribbean… we ate passion fruit multiple times while we were away – in fact my husband had a warm passion fruit bread pudding with fresh cream that was to die for!! It really is an extraordinary fruit isn’t it? This cheesecake sounds delicious and I love how you deliver your desserts in a glass – so pretty and sophisticated looking. By the way, the rum must be *so* good in this (that also reminds me of Jamaica mon! ;-)). Have a great weekend Sissi :).

    1. Thank you very much, Kelly. Don’t tell anyone, but making them in glasses is much easier than one big cake 😉 Your holidays sound extraordinary and I bet you have tasted marvellous food and drinks. I agree about the passion fruit. It’s so amazing! Have a wonderful weekend too. (By the way, rum goes perfectly well with passion fruit! Just add some ice and you are in paradise).

  5. Sissy, for a moment I thought that these lovely unbaked cheesecake dessert were your contribution for the Easter Round-up menu! I would take them all for a light, dreamy, creamy, and lovely dessert after a heavy meal…not necessary ‘heavy’ in a sense, but meaning after eating a lot of great food;

    Especially love, love the Vanilla version of the unbakeed cheesecake, and the blueberrry one in the glass. Totally a genius idea to have dessert in a glass…like your title name of your blog! I’m so happy you got the invite from Zsuzsa, you do not have to have specific traditional Easter dishes, just what you would like to suggest…which is your favorite that you would offer to family, and guests:)

    1. Hi, Elisabeth. Thank you so much for the compliments. I would definitely see it on Easter table! It’s so refreshing and light… would be a lovely alternative to cakes for those who seek a light end of the meal or who watch their figure.
      The vanilla version has a very bad photo… but it’s so good (especially with dark chocolate on top!) that I had to mention it. I am working on my Easter post… Not an easy task, but a delightful challenge! I am very proud to be invited! Thank you for the advice.

  6. It’s cold outside and the snow flurries don’t seem to be going away … cold desserts just don’t do it for me these days (making lots of soup) but when the summer comes, I’m going to look into making one of these.

    1. I have stopped heavy desserts for some time now (in spite of the cold weather) because, as I told Eva, I feel too heavy after the winter… I do make much more of these in the summer of course! They are perfect for hot days.

  7. This looks like a lovely light dessert, or actually even a lovely breakfast, dare I say it? I can imagine having something a bit heavy, like a good, buttery croissant, and then some hot coffee and this for afterwards. It looks so pretty, and passion fruit is my absolutely favourite fruit. It’s got that fantastic “tropical” flavour, although the seeds always throw me a bit. I like to crunch them up if eating it on its own but when mixed with something I find them a bit off-putting. What do you think to blitzing the pulp and seeds in a food processor and then straining the mess to get the juice only with no seeds and then setting just that instead? Would it ruin the effect of your lovely dessert?

    1. Thanks a lot, Charles. How have you guessed??? I actually had it yesterday for breakfast! It was such a healthy and awakening meal… I am recently particularly watching my weight, so croissants are out of question 😉 I didn’t mind the crunch of the seeds (as I said I even liked it here!) but I would mix it and then strain especially if I wanted to incorporate the passion fruit into the dessert. The seeds make sense when surrounded by the pulp, but alone in the creamy cheesecake they would just be a nuisance. When I make the daiquiri with passion fruit, I sometimes strain it when I don’t feel like finding seeds.

  8. Another beautiful dessert…and I love that they provide the flavor of a decadent cheesecake, but are lighter and healthier. Well done!

  9. I still haven’t tried any of your unbaked desserts. One day, hopefully in the very near future. Today I tried posset for the first time. Its made from heavy cream so its quite fatty/rich, but very very delicious. I has about 50ml!!! I suppose cream can be substituted for fresh cheese to make something similar to your unbaked cheesecake.

    1. Hi, Mr. Three-Cookies. I don’t think that cream could be used here instead of the fresh cheese (and even less heavy cream). As I have mentioned above, try Greek yogurt or any thick, rich yogurt instead because cream doesn’t have the required tanginess and is very fatty… If you use heavy cream it will be simply panna cotta, I think 🙂
      I have heard about posset but never tried it. Is it similar to kefir? (Well, apart from the fact that kefir is made from milk, not cream…).

      1. Sorry for confusion. I meant using fresh cheese instead of heavy cream to make posset, to make it lighter, so I can eat more:) Posset is very different from kefir. It sets, a bit like panna cotta. Imagine cream + sugar + lemon juice. Thats all that is required to make posset.

        1. Oh, I see! Sorry, I have understood the opposite. It would be a very curious experiment. I wonder if it would work because fresh cheese is a product of curdled milk, so it would be interesting. Otherwise, I’m always happy to discover lighter versions of every dessert (as long as they are tasty of course).

  10. What a gorgeous picture Sissi! I love the thin layer of passion fruit on top of the cheesy cake. I have never had passion fruit even though I see it in the produce section. I didn’t know what to do with them. Now I know! As always, I love your no cook, gelatin desserts! This looks delicious!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. You know, it took me quite a long time to buy the passion fruit too… even though it’s constantly available in all the supermarkets I know. It’s tangy and sometimes very acid (I suppose this might be due to the long trip and the fact it is sometimes picked unripe…) but I prefer it from all those exotic overwhelmingly sweet fruits and it has such an inebriating aroma, it’s really worth trying. If you don’t like the crunchy seeds, you can simply pass it through a sieve. Try it in a cocktail instead of lime/lemon. You will love it!

  11. That’s the dessert for me Sissi! Being constantly on a weight control diet I need sweets that are not loaded with calories! Perfect!

    1. Thank you, Katerina. Yes, I’m not a dietician, but I’m convinced it can be advised for those who are on diet or watch their weight. You can easily make it with Greek yogurt and enjoy it without any guilt. I hope you will try it one day.

  12. What a gorgeous cheesecake, Sissi! Great idea to use passion fruit! Unique, pretty, and I really want to taste this cheesecake. I am not a huge fan of heavy cheesecake, and this sounds perfect after meal or light dessert in the afternoon. 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Nami. I have prepared this simple light cheesecake already several times since I posted it and I love it every time. I am not sure if you would enjoy it (passionfruit layer is quite acid), but it can be topped with any mixed or cut up fruit! it’s more like a mousse than a cheesecake… You could try it with Greek yogurt. The taste would be very similar.

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