Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake for #CheesecakeDay

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Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake is a delicious adaptation of a classic cheesecake recipe with a graham cracker-pecan crust and apricot preserves swirling throughout. 

Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake for #CheesecakeDay

I’ve eaten plenty of cheesecakes in my life, but I’ve never made one. Not a real one at least. Sure, I’ve made those easy no-bake cheesecakes — but a real, legit, creamy cheesecake?! Nope. But today is Cheesecake Day, and a whole bunch of us food bloggers are getting together to share recipes for all things cheesecake, so I knew my time had come. Cheesecake was happening!  I seriously sat on Pinterest foreverrrr trying to figure out what I wanted to make. I could go super sweet and add chocolate, candies, cookies, peanut butter, Nutella, and whatever else, or I could stick to a classic. Since this would be my first cheesecake, I thought it’d be better to keep it simple. I found Martha Stewart’s recipe for Classic Cheesecake and went with that. Seemed easy enough… Although, simple is never really simple, is it? I added crushed pecans to the graham cracker crust, and topped the filling with some apricot preserves.

This Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake is exactly how I wanted to celebrate Cheesecake Day. Light, fluffy, smooth, delicious… My swirl didn’t turn out as pretty as I wanted it to, but hey, this is the first of many more cheesecakes to come!

Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake for #CheesecakeDay

Cheesecake can be one filling dessert. I know most of you would like to be able to enjoy ending the night on a sweet note without feeling weighed down from something super caloric and heavy. Although I wanted to keep things simple for this first cheesecake of mine, I also wanted to keep things light! I used fat-free Greek yogurt and reduced fat cream cheese for the filling, and you know what? I would never have known the difference! It was still as rich and creamy as ever. 

Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake for #CheesecakeDay

I was scared of making cheesecake before, but this Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake proved me wrong! I thought it was so difficult. The only hard part is that you need to plan ahead. Your ingredients need to be room temperature, and you need a full 24 hours before serving. But the actual baking part? Piece of cake…or rather, piece of cheesecake!

Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake for #CheesecakeDay


Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake for #CheesecakeDay

5.0 from 4 reviews
Lightened Up Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake
Apricot-Swirl Cheesecake is a delicious adaptation of a classic cheesecake recipe with a graham cracker-pecan crust and apricot preserves swirling throughout.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
  • For the crust
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • For the filling
  • 3 8 oz. packages reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp apricot preserves, plus 1 tbsp
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9x3 inch springform pan and set aside. Add graham cracker crumbs, pecans, melted butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until well combined.
  2. Press the mixture into the bottom and about 1 inch up side of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack and reduce oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy and gradually add sugar, continue to beat until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest, juice, and salt. Add eggs one at a time. Add yogurt and beat until smooth.
  4. Wrap the bottle half of the springform fan in tin foil and place into a large roasting pan. Pour half of the filling into the crust. Mix 3 tbsp of the apricot preserves with the remaining filling and pour on top. Melt 1 tbsp of apricot preserves and pour over top. Use a toothpick to make a swirly design.
  5. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan. There should be enough to come about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until set
  6. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 1¾ hours. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight before serving.



Celebrate Cheesecake Day with me and all my friends. I’m honored to be part of such an great group of bloggers sharing so many delicious recipes for one of the best desserts on the entire planet — CHEESECAKE! I wish I could have a taste of each and every single one of these.
Baked Cheesecakes:

No Bake Cheesecakes:

Cheesecake Beverages:

Cheesecake Cookies and Bars:

Cheesecake Desserts and Treats:

Frozen Cheesecakes and Treats:


  1. says

    I eat apricot yogurt nearly every day…I love this fruit!!! Your lightened up cheesecake is calling my name, Shaina…what a marvelous idea to swirl in some beautiful jam. Totally scrumptious!

  2. says

    Looks like your initiation into cheesecake making was a huge success! Congrats! The added pecans to the crust sounds delicious! I want to make this cheesecake because I have some homemade apricot jam made from apricots off of our tree. :)

  3. says

    Way to go, Shaina! Congrats on your first ever cheesecake – you could’ve fooled me, you conquered this like a total boss. I love that you lightened it up with Greek yogurt and low fat cream cheese. Now I won’t feel too guilty about eating several slices at once 😉

  4. says

    Your cheesecake looks divine. I like the fact that it is lightened up. Thanks for the great list of cheesecakes. So many new ones to try. Stopping by from Cook it! Craft It! Share It!

  5. says

    Love that you made your first real cheesecake and your can’t go wrong with a classic Martha Stewart recipe, I like the addition of the apricot swirl. I first cheesecake I made was almost 25 years ago when I wanted to impress my husband to be and it did.

  6. says

    This apricot swirl makes me so, so, so happy. Growing up, I absolutely needed fruit swirls to balance out the intensity of cheesecake, and now is no different! So glad to be celebrating cheesecake day with you :)

  7. Lora @cakeduchess says

    I just love your lightened up cheesecake! It is so decadent and soooo tempting me right now! It was so cool to get to meet you at the conf. We have to get together soon…we’re practically neighbors!!

    • says

      Thanks, Holly! I know what you mean about cheesecake being heavy, sometimes you really do need a lightened up version. And when it tastes just as good as the original, it’s even better!

  8. says

    Thank you for a wonderful (and heart-healthier) cheesecake. I never can resist, even when it is full fat!! Thanks for sharing at Happiness is Homemade. Love this. Pinned. Come back this Sunday!!

  9. says

    Your cheesecake is amazingly scrumptious looking, very pretty! I want some cheesecake now! I’m sorry I missed out on Cheesecake Day but what a fabulous collection!
    Thank you for linking up with us at The Yuck Stops Here #19. Please come back next week and link more of your fabulous foodies posts!


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