Gluten-Free Cheesecake – better than the original!

While I posted about this gluten-free cheesecake last year when I made it for Thanksgiving, I made it again for the holidays this week. My brother (who does not bestow praise often) declared it the best cheesecake he has ever tasted. It’s a great example of simple ingredients bringing out spectacular results. I hope you are enjoying some time with family, friends and perhaps some deliciously simple food.

I live in New York City, a place known for its cheesecake. Before I had Celiac disease, a trip to Carnegie Deli for cheesecake was taken with each new visitor I helped to explore Manhattan. Carnegie Deli cheesecake is delicious, but I was never a fan of the crust. To me a cheesecake needed a graham cracker crust pure and simple.

One of the first gluten free treats I set out to conquer was crust. Pie crust and cheesecake crust – I needed to be a part of the holiday tradition. Well, much to my surprise, I was able to make a crust that is even more delicious with cheesecake than the graham cracker crust for which I had longed. Who knew that eating gluten free would keep delivering these small gifts at my door?

I served this cheesecake for dessert at Thanksgiving this year. I just wish it had fewer calories so I could indulge on a more regular basis!

Gluten Free Cheesecake with Nut Crust Supreme (Cheesecake recipe is from my Aunt Barbara, the crust is adapted from Bette Hagman’s “The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Dessert”)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Gluten Free Nut Crust Supreme
2 cups Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix
½ cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Spray cheesecake pan lightly with vegetable oil spray. In a medium bowl stir together the flour mix and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until fine crumbs form. Stir in the nuts and pat into your pan. The crust will be “crumbly” but will hold together once pressed into the pan. This will be more than enough for one large cheesecake and perhaps for a second smaller pie. Though it tastes so good on it’s own you may just end up eating it!

Barbara’s Classic Gluten Free Cheesecake
4 – 8 oz bars of gluten free cream cheese, softened
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla

Mix all of the ingredients with a beater until smooth and pour into the unbaked crust. Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

While that is baking, prepare the topping.

2 cups gluten free sour cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon of gluten free almond extract
Juice from ½ a lemon

Mix the topping ingredients in a bowl. After the first 30 minutes of baking, remove the cheesecake and spoon the topping onto the cheesecake. Be careful not to overfill the pan. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes. You may want to place a piece of foil under the cheesecake just to catch any drippings. Cooking times can vary dramatically depending upon the amount of topping you choose to use. Watch to see when it starts to solidify but don’t let it stay in so long that the crust begins to burn.

This recipe is easy to make but incredibly scrumptious, I promise.

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Lynn Barry said,

December 1, 2006 @ 11:29 pm

I am glad you found this recipe and can enjoy a luscious dessert again. You should check out Mike Eberhart’s Gluten free Gourmet Cookbook. I bought one recently, and it is a fantastic must-have for gluten intolerant folks who still want to make and enjoy fine desserts.

Catherine said,

December 4, 2006 @ 2:24 am

I will add it to my amazon wish list. I love new cookbooks.

Sheltie Girl said,

December 26, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

You did a fabulous job on the cheesecake. It looks so delicious. Cheesecake is my husband’s most favorite dessert in all the world…which I’m sorry to say I haven’t made since I’ve been gluten free. I’ll give your recipe a try.

Happy Holidays!

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

Melissa said,

December 27, 2007 @ 2:26 am

Cheesecake is a holiday tradition in my family and I will add this recipe of yours to my growing list of cheesecake variations. It looks wonderful and your photos are great. Thank you.

I use GF graham crackers, Pamela’s GF pecan shortbread cookies, or homemade granola for different crust mixtures. No-crust cheesecakes are also easy to make.


Rodolphe said,

December 27, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

I love cheesecake !!!

Dianne said,

December 28, 2007 @ 10:37 am

I cant remember the last time I ate cheesecake because of the crumb base, but that one looks heavenly!


Sea said,

January 5, 2008 @ 6:02 am

Ooh, this is extra exciting because I have lots of bags of Pamela’s baking mix in my pantry that are rapidly approaching their expiration date- one can only make so many pancakes and waffles and cheesecake sounds WAY YUMMIER! I haven’t had cheesecake in forever… I think it’s time…


» Gluten-Free Pizza Takes Manhattan | A Gluten Free Guide said,

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» Gramercy Tavern Mixed Spiced Nuts Recipe | A Gluten Free Guide said,

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Kathy G. said,

May 13, 2008 @ 1:46 am

How did I ever miss your blog and this wonderful recipe for cheesecake? All that matters now is I DID find it! Thanks!!!

Karina said,

May 13, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

Cook’s magazine has just come out with their spring …light recipes magazine. In it is a most wonderful New York – STYLE CHEESECAKE recipe. Using 1% cottage cheese, 1 lb light cream cheese & 8oz. low fat yogurt cheese.

I reduced the sugar from 1 1/2 cups to 2/3 cup.

Am going to make today with nut crust

Katherine Skye said,

June 3, 2008 @ 3:52 am

Hi Catherine,

I really enjoyed your culinary intervention at Per Se, everything looked delicious. I’m a vegan GF, and I don’t eat dairy,sea food, sugar, meat, or poultry, eggs, & More. Almost all the gluten free cookbooks I have found all contain ingredients I can’t have, so it’s not much fun for me anymore, as a former chef, and caterer, I’m kind of getting bored with cooking, except for the tons of chick pea dishes I prepare, I’m dying for something that satisfies the palate, while it keeps me out of trouble, any ideas for my sweet tooth? Thank You for the wonderful blog.

A Gluten-Free Guide said,

June 15, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

Kathy – thanks for reading!

Karina – hope you report back how it turned out!

Katherine – can you eat soy? I would look into some of the silken tofus. Perhaps mixing a little with cinnamon and sugar or stevia might satisfy your sweet tooth.


David said,

September 10, 2008 @ 10:51 pm

When you call for gluten-free cream cheese/extract/sour cream, is that just “playing it safe” or is there typically gluten in those products? I’m not gluten-free, but I wanted to make a cheesecake for a friend who is.

A Gluten-Free Guide said,

September 11, 2008 @ 2:51 pm

Hi David –

You friend is very lucky. Please report back on the results!

As to your question, it’s not typical in any of the mainstream brands that I have seen but in any generic brand especially in reduced fat versions there may be additives or flavorings that could be derived from a gluten containing source.


Eileen said,

October 17, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

You don’t mention what size pan you use. Please tell what you use. I notice that you don’t bake your crust first. Have you tried baking this crust before filling? I’ve read that you should bake and let it cool completely before filling.

A Gluten-Free Guide said,

October 25, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

Hi Eileen,

I used a ten inch pan and still had leftover filling and topping. With this recipe I didn’t pre-bake the crust because the filling takes so long to set. But I have made other gluten-free cheesecakes with a pre-baked nut crust.

Louise Rzentkowski said,

November 6, 2008 @ 9:07 pm

I use this crust for many other recipes that call for graham crackers, oatmeal, etc. like lemon squares, rhubard torte and it is great. I’m actually going to try adding chocolate powder to the leftover crust and see how that works.

A Gluten-Free Guide said,

November 7, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

Sounds yum Louise – let me know how it turns out! I haven’t tried it with lemon squares, that will have to be my next project…thanks for the tip!

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Zoe said,

January 12, 2009 @ 2:38 am

I just want to thank you immensely for this recipe. I made it as the dessert this year for our first gluten free Christmas. I am the Celiac in the family. Indeed, this was the best cheesecake I have ever had. And I am not a cheesecake person. It was very simple to make. I followed the recipe to the letter. I even called a friend to inquire about the sour cream topping because that sounded odd. Yet, it was my favorite part of the cheesecake. My 24 year old son loved it so much, he has asked me to make it again for his birthday. God Bless You!

A Gluten-Free Guide said,

February 1, 2009 @ 5:25 am

Zoe – that’s so good to hear. I really appreciate you reporting back, I can’t tell you how much that means to me!

Hanna said,

February 18, 2009 @ 7:41 am

Someone made this for a group dinner tonight; I’m not even a fan of cheesecake, but this was amazing. It really is better!

Joanne said,

February 22, 2009 @ 1:32 am

I just tried this recipe yesterday for my husband B-Day cake and it was delicious! I am a novice baker so it did not turn out quite as beautiful as yours but it tasted lovely!

Vrinda D. said,

May 2, 2009 @ 2:45 am

Hi, my name is Vrinda, and I’m ten years old. My mom just found out she has a gluten sensitivity, but she loves cheesecake. So, I tried this recipe out, and it worked great! Thanks so much for adding it. My whole family enjoyed it.

Danielle said,

July 28, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

This looks delicious-can you tell me what temp you baked the cheesecake at? Thanks!

helen herbertta said,

September 18, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

my family loved this cheesecake even my sister who is so skeptical about gluten free anything. I told her she could adapt using graham crakers for the crust and she said no way. I made my own baking mx as suggested in one of your blog with without xanthan using brwn rice flour and cream of tartar,baking poder and baking soda for the crust instead of using pamela’s baking mix. do you by any chance remember what the recipe was for the baking mix (no xanthan or garbonzo beans. I mispalced it.

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Faye said,

July 5, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

Delicious cheesecake. Probably the best homemade cheesecake I’ve ever baked! There is hope for dessert lovers with wheat and gluten allergies.

Alan C irvine said,

October 27, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

Absolotley delicious tank you so much for sharing

Ima Sudonim said,

December 7, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

Thankyou so much for this recipe! Soooo delicious! Better than any of the non-gluten-free ones I’ve tried.

I tried a couple of variants with other kinds of nuts in the crust – but none match up to pecans.

Josephine said,

December 24, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

This is the second year I am making this cheesecake for Christmas. I’m nine months pregnant and exhausted but I had to make it since it was such a hit last year. I think this just may be a family tradition! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.

Barbara Hatton said,

January 13, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

How is the Crust made for the Gluten Free Cheesecake?

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Jan said,

December 9, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

Would it be possable to get the carb count on the cheesecake recipe? I plan to make the cheesecake for Christmas for my Grandaughter who is dibedic and has celiac.

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