The Great British Bake-Off is back and I have been recalling that time four years ago when I undertook the ridiculous task of developing a new baking recipe and blogging it each week to coincide with that week’s Bake-Off theme. This meant a lot of baking and a lot of eating baked goods. I also decided that each recipe would be free of refined sugar, dairy and wheat. What was I thinking? I enjoy a ‘free-from’ dessert very much, but certain desserts don’t lend themselves well to alternative recipes and I am beginning to think cheesecake is one. My more mature-self has decided against trying to make every dessert a free-from concoction of another more indulgent one. Although I am still a big proponent of cutting back on sugar in desserts. Mainly because so many taste just of sugar and other flavours are lost.

This Lemon, Honey & Rosemary Cheesecake was originally supposed to be next Monday’s weekly blog recipe. But posting this on a Monday would be just plain wrong. This is a Friday afternoon, make over the weekend dessert. Also, the citrus flavour will make up for any sunshine vibes we lack in terms of weather this weekend. And not to worry… I have a beyond healthy lentil stew pencilled in for Monday instead.

Using full fat cream cheese and mascarpone cheese makes for a deliciously cheesy and creamy cheesecake that sets well when refrigerated. No cream nor gelatin required. During the summer, I made Sabrina Gaynor’s Raspberry & Mascarpone No-Bake Cheesecake a few times and it is delicious. It is another great recipe from her cookbook Bazaar, a purchase that has been more than worth it. Many no-bake cheesecake recipes use a similar recipe. So while this isn’t an honest project invention, it is my take on it. Instead of using the usual digestive base, I’ve a base made from cashew nuts, almonds and oats. And instead of using the usual icing sugar to sweeten the cream cheese mixture, I use honey.

Keep scrolling for this delicious Lemon, Honey & Rosemary Cheesecake.

Lemon, Honey & Rosemary Cheesecake

Makes 8-10 slices


For the base

1 cup raw cashew nuts

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup oats

100g butter

Pinch of sea salt

For the filling

500g full fat cream cheese

250g mascarpone cheese

5 tbsp honey

Zest of a lemon

Juice of a lemon

1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

For the honey & rosemary syrup

¼ cup honey

1 tbsp water

1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary


Line a springform cake tine with baking paper. I usually add a little butter to the base and side of the tin before lining to keep the baking paper in place.

Place the cashew nuts, almonds and oats on a large baking sheet, also lined with baking paper and roast in the oven for five minutes. The oven should be medium in temperature. Transfer to a food processor and blend into ground nuts and oats. Melt the butter and add it and a good pinch of sea salt to the ground nuts and oats and mix well. Transfer the mixture into the lined baking tin and flatten it out into the bottom of the tin to create the cheesecake base. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set while you make the filling.

Use either a food mixer or processor for the next part. Place the cream cheese, mascarpone, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and chopped rosemary in the bowl and whisk or blend until combined. Taste and if you wish, add extra lemon zest or juice for taste.

Remove the nut and oat base and add the cream cheese filling. Use a spatula to smooth the surface to ensure it’s evenly spread. Place in the fridge for at least six hours before serving.

Before serving, make the honey and rosemary syrup by placing all the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and heating over a medium heat for about fifteen minutes, stirring regularly. Pour into a jug and place in the fridge for about ten minutes to cool. Remove the cheesecake from the cake tin, remove the baking paper and place the cheesecake on a stand or plate. Pour the cool syrup over the top of the cake and serve immediately. If the syrup has become sticky, just add a few tsp of hot water to it and mix well before pouring.