A vibrant lemon cheesecake topped with fresh blueberries Image Credit: Sawsan Abu Farha

Sawsan Abu Farha (also known as food blogger ‘chef in disguise’) shares her Middle Eastern take on a unique cheesecake recipe. The no-bake cheesecake features Labneh instead of cream cheese.


Ingredients for the crust
6 tbsp butter
½ teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
200 grams Graham crackers (or your favourite unfilled cookie)

Ingredients for the cheesecake
500grams Puck labneh
80 grams Puck Cream Cheese (optional)
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
85 grams Lemon flavoured gelatine
¼ cup hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 or 2 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Ingredients for the topping
1 cup blueberries
½ lemon – cut into thin slices
Mint leaves
Honey toasted coconut flakes (optional) - These can be store bought or can be easily made by tossing coconut flakes with honey and spreading them on a parchment lined pan and baking them in 150 C oven for 10 to 15 minutes then turning off the oven and leaving them in the oven until it completely cools down.


To make the crust:

1. Begin by processing the cookies in a food processor until finely ground, then add the cinnamon (optional) and drizzle in the melted butter. Blend until the cookie crumbs attain a breadcrumb like consistency and resemble wet sand.

2. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 7-inch spring-form pan.

3. Place the pan in the fridge to set.

To make the cheesecake:

1. Place the flavoured gelatine powder in a small bowl and stir until completely dissolved.

2. Now blend the labneh, ricotta, vanilla, lemon extract, sugar and cream cheese (optional) in your food processer/stand mixer.

3. Slowly add in the dissolved gelatine and blend the ingredients until you get a smooth and homogeneous texture. This step is very important; the cheese needs to be blended well to create a smooth and velvety cheesecake. 


1. Remove the crust from the fridge and spread the filling over it. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about 6-8 hours or overnight.

2. When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, run a knife along the edge of the pan before opening the spring-form pan.

3. Put the final touches and decorate with the blueberries, lemon slices, mint leaves and the coconut flakes.

4. The cheesecake should be served chilled, straight from the fridge.