Ottolenghi’s Honey and Yogurt Cheesecake

Ottolenghi's Honey and Yogurt Cheesecake

Are you looking for a flawless dinner party dessert – something that brings wide eyes and open mouths to the faces of your friends and family? Then look no further than Ottolenghi’s Honey and Yogurt Cheesecake. It’s a simple make-ahead sweet that’s not too sweet.

I didn’t grow up loving cheesecake. I blame my grade-school cafeteria. The cheesecakes from the lunch-line were assembled on a large sheet pan and cut into gelatinous little squares that were topped with a single maraschino cherry. It was pathetically thin – no thicker than my child-sized thumbnail. And it was presented on a soggy base. No – not soggy – wet. What’s worse, and hard to fathom even now, the cheesecake of my youth was painfully sweet, even to my ten-year-old palate. I often ate the cherry but tossed the cake.

As a result I haven’t made a lot of cheesecakes during my years in the kitchen.

Sure there was the beautifully presented Chocolate-Cherry Cheesecake which remains one of my most visited posts all these years later. But truthfully, it’s a lot of work. A layer of ganache. A layer of cheese. An artful cherry swirl. Oh, and a bain-marie. It was spectacular but I’ve never made it again.

I also had artistic success with Dave Beran’s Burnt Basque Cheesecake. It was frightfully delicious. I say frightfully because I honestly feared I’d set the house on fire when I baked that cheesecake. I’m glad I made it, but the next time I get a hankering for burnt cheesecake I’ll fly to Spain.

Which brings me to Ottolenghi’s Honey and Yogurt Cheesecake. It’s so simple a child could make it. The bain-marie is banned, and there are no dangerous peek-a-boo dances with your oven. This Honey and Yogurt Cheesecake finishes in the fridge where it will keep up to two days. 

Even though the silky refrigerator cake is typically easier to make than its oven-baked brethren, sometimes it’s hard to achieve the perfect combination of a not-too-sweet filling sitting on a satisfyingly crunchy base. Ottolenghi’s Honey and Yogurt Cheesecake beats back this dilemma beautifully. He adds well-drained yogurt to the cream cheese. It adds serious tang. Enough to balance the sweetness. Surprisingly, despite its hours in the refrigerator, the base stays crisp. I think it’s the oat cookies. They hold their crunch longer than graham crackers or shortbread. GREG

Ottolenghi's Honey and Yogurt Cheesecake

Honey and Yogurt Cheesecake with Thyme 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8Source Yotam OttolenghiPublished
Ottolenghi's Honey and Yogurt Cheesecake


  • 500 gram Greek-style yogurt
  • 200 gram Hobnobs (or other oat flour cookie)
  • 60 gram unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (divided)
  • 400 gram cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 40 gram confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 150 gram white chocolate (chopped)
  • 60 gram honey


Line the sides a 9‑inch springform cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Line a sieve with a clean kitchen towel and set above a bowl. Spoon in the yogurt, then draw up the sides of the kitchen towel. Squeeze the yogurt into a ball, pressing out as much liquid as you can. You want to end up with about 1 2/3 cups of thickened yogurt. Set aside until required. Discard the liquid.

Place the Hobnobs in a clean plastic bag and crush them finely with a rolling pin. Mix with the butter and 1 tablespoon of the thyme and spoon into the cake pan, pressing it down to form an even layer. Set aside in the fridge.

Whisk together the cream cheese, strained yogurt, confectioners’ sugar, and lemon zest until smooth and combined; this can be done in a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer.

Next melt the white chocolate. This needs to be done in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (taking care that the base of the bowl is not touching the water). Stir the chocolate frequently for 2 to 3 minutes, taking care not to get any moisture into the chocolate as this will cause it to seize. Spoon the melted chocolate into the cream cheese mixture and whisk until combined.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cookie base evenly, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until set.

When ready to serve, warm the honey in a small saucepan with the remaining ½ tablespoon of thyme leaves until thin and runny. Remove from the heat and drizzle over the cheesecake.

Release the cheesecake from the pan, divide into 8 slices, and serve.