So GoodJune/July 2010 Issue

3 Recipes for Creamy Gluten-Free Cheesecake

Plus, a delicious gluten-free brownie crust, cheesecake toppings, and more!

[Updated August 28, 2018]

Cheesecake, voted the No. 1 dessert choice of restaurant diners across America, is off limits to many of us on special diets. There’s gluten in the graham-cracker crust and dairy and eggs in the filling, not to mention wheat flour often added as thickener.

But here’s the good news: We’ve created delicious cheesecake recipes that are gluten-free, and some can be made dairy-free and egg-free as well.

The idea of a cheese-based cake came to America with the early immigrants. Traditional New York-style cheesecake—the slightly dense, moist, sweet dessert made with cream cheese—appeared in the 1870s. It was around this time that William Lawrence, a dairyman in upstate New York, developed modern cream cheese.

Lawrence's cream cheese was originally sold under the name Empire Cheese Company, later known as Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese. Today, cream cheese is the essence of this classic dessert.

Cool, smooth and creamy-rich, a slice of cheesecake is an ideal way to end a summertime meal. And these recipes prove there’s no longer any reason not to indulge.

GLUTEN FREE CHEESECAKE

1. Basic Gluten-Free Cheesecake

SERVES 12.

Modify this versatile recipe using different crusts and toppings to suit your needs. It’s fun to create different desserts using one basic no-fail cheesecake.

Each slice with graham cracker crust contains 581 calories, 44g total fat, 24g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 205mg cholesterol, 373mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate,1g fiber, 11g protein.

Dairy-Free Cheesecake

2. Dairy-Free Cheesecake

SERVES 8.

Can be made egg-free, too!

The texture of this cheesecake is silky-smooth. No one will guess it’s made with tofu.

Each slice with graham cracker crust contains 405 calories, 20g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 49mg cholesterol, 279mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate,1g fiber, 10g protein.

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

3. Dairy-Free Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

SERVES 12 TO 16.

This luxurious treat has a brownie crust, a creamy filling and two ganache toppings. For a dairy-free version, make Dairy-Free Chocolate Cheesecake with dairy-free variations of Brownie Crust and chocolate ganache toppings.

Each slice contains 614 calories, 36g total fat, 21g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 140mg cholesterol, 185mg sodium, 73g carbohydrate,4g fiber, 8g protein.

Cherry Topping

Toppings

1. Cherry Topping

MAKES 2 CUPS.

⅓ cup sugar
2 teaspoonscornstarch
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, defrosted
1 tablespoonfresh lemon juice
2 teaspoonswater

1. Mix sugar and cornstarch together in a saucepan. Add cherries, lemon juice and water, stirring over medium heat until mixture thickens.

2. Remove from heat and cool before spooning over cheesecake.

Mixed Berry Topping

2. Mixed Berry Topping

MAKES ABOUT 4 CUPS.

1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
cup blackberries, if available
2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
cup sugar
1 teaspoons white distilled vinegar

1. Pick through and wash the berries.

2. Place half the berries into a saucepan with sugar and vinegar. Bring mixture to a boil.

3. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Gently mix in remaining berries and spoon over cheesecake.


Sour Cream Topping

3. Dairy-Free Sour Cream Topping

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP.

1 cup sour cream or dairy-free sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Whisk together sour cream, sugar and vanilla.

2. Spoon topping over baked cheesecake.

3. Return cheesecake to 325-degree preheated oven and bake for about 8 more minutes or until topping is set.

4. Cool in pan on a wire rack. When cool, remove springform from pan, leaving cheesecake on the pan bottom. Set on a serving plate and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Ganache

4. Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Ganache

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS.

9 ounces milk chocolate,* chopped
cup heavy cream or coconut milk (not lite)
1 tablespoons cold unsalted butter or dairy-free margarine

1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium stainless steel bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour boiling mixture over chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes without stirring.

3. Swirl mixture until blended and smooth. Let sit until it begins to thicken. Pour over cooled cheesecake, spreading to cover.

*TIP For dairy-free chocolate, try Enjoy Life chocolate chips, enjoylifefoods.com.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

5. GF Dark Chocolate Ganache

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS.

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
cup heavy cream or coconut milk (not lite)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter or dairy-free margarine

1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium stainless steel bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour boiling mixture over chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes without stirring.

3. Swirl mixture until blended and smooth. Let sit until it begins to thicken. Pour over cooled cheesecake, spreading to cover evenly.

6. Dairy-Free Coconut Topping

MAKES 3 CUPS.

cup heavy cream or coconut milk
cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
cup unsalted butter or dairy-free margarine
1 (3-ounce) can flaked coconut, about 1⅓ cups

1. Over medium heat, bring the cream, brown sugar and butter to a full boil. Immediately remove from heat.

2. Stir in coconut.

3. Cool to room temperature. Pour over cooled cheesecake, spreading to cover.


Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust

Crusts

Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust

MAKES ONE 8- OR 9-INCH CRUST.

To vary the flavor of your cheesecake crust, substitute any type of crunchy gluten-free cookie. Try crushed gingersnaps, vanilla or chocolate sandwich cookies, biscotti, shortbread, vanilla cookies—even brownies!

Gluten-Free Brownie Crust

Gluten-Free Brownie Crust

MAKES ONE 9-INCH CRUST.

8 tablespoons butter or dairy-free shortening, of choice
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cups sugar
2 eggs
cup milk of choice (cow, rice, soy, nut, hemp)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup gluten-free flour blend of choice
teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

2. Melt butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.

3. Add sugar to chocolate mixture. Stir in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in milk and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir into batter until blended.

5. Spoon batter into prepared springform pan, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is firm to touch. Cool on rack before adding cheesecake filling.

Comments (13)

YES THERE IS A SOY-FREE CREAM CHEESE!!! Please spread the news that Daiya makes the best soy and milk-free cream cheese substitute I've ever tasted. No one else has ever guessed that it isn't really cream cheese when they eat my tea sandwiches or the gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake I made for Christmas dinner. Daiya makes their cheese substitutes with tapioca and other ingredients. I too am very, very soy intolerant and also gluten, milk and oats intolerant, so I just want to add that I have not been able to find a soy-free sour cream substitute, or a soy-free buttermilk substitute. I add lemon juice or vinegar to almond milk or coconut milk when baking a recipe that calls for buttermilk, but it never adds the tenderness nor the tang of real buttermilk. So there are still two niches, (at least in the Seattle area) that need to be filled for those who are milk and soy intolerant.

Posted by: Pippin Sardo | January 23, 2016 5:58 PM    Report this comment

Debra -
You could do it either way! It's a preference for your own tastes.

Posted by: Moderator | August 20, 2015 2:44 PM    Report this comment

So looking at the Gluten Free Brownie Crust -- do you spread it up the sides, the way the picture looks, or is it just for the bottom of the pan??

Posted by: Debra E. | August 20, 2015 2:31 PM    Report this comment

I cannot have any cow dairy products or soy (too estrogenic), but I have found goat milk to be a great substitute for cow milk. And soft ripened goat cheese is the equivalent of cow milk cream cheese for those who are able to eat goat dairy products. I find it tastes very similar as well. Eating gluten-free and cow-dairy-free have been relatively easy for me.... but I am 3 times more sensitive to eggs than gluten and cow milk. I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but almost all gluten-free store-bought products (including breads) all include eggs in the ingredients which can be frustrating for most people in my shoes. I am finding things more of a challenge to bake things using egg substitute and still come out tasting delicious. I am new on this site so hopefully I will find a recipe posted in here that is yummy and egg, cow milk and gluten-free.

Posted by: Unknown | September 24, 2013 2:22 PM    Report this comment

for rustydip and Ann W: I have seen "cheesecake" recipes on the web that use raw soaked cashews and no tofu or eggs. I haven't tried any yet, so I can't vouch for them, but try googling something like "raw vegan gluten free cheesecake" until Living Without posts a recipe that will work for you. Good luck!

Posted by: ajay | May 23, 2013 8:04 PM    Report this comment

I am diabetic so low carbs & sugar,
lactose intolerant so no dairy,
have Celiac Disease so no gluten,
thyroid disease so no soy or other similar enzyms.
I think that's all?
I do eat eggs with no apparent problem. So how do I work all that into a recipe?? Some of the substitutes I read are soy products. It gets very confusing & overwhelming! I hope someone can help.
Thanks & good luck to you all...

Posted by: rustydip | April 24, 2013 9:59 AM    Report this comment

Yes you can sub corn starch for tapioca starch.

Posted by: Marleena A | March 5, 2013 11:32 PM    Report this comment

I've noticed all the flour blends ask for tapioca. My daughter can't have tapioca starch. Can you use corn starch?

Posted by: Unknown | February 12, 2013 7:22 PM    Report this comment

I am also a dietabic what can you suggest for a dessert?

Posted by: Unknown | August 7, 2012 1:20 PM    Report this comment

Ann W, If you are not allergic to dairy ingredients, then just follow the instructions above for making an egg free filling and a gluten free crust. If you are allergic to dairy too, then I don't think there IS a soy free cream cheese style substitute available (if there is would you let me know--I eat soy cream cheese but it isn't all that great to eat straight). Maybe we should petition the folks at Mimic Creme to develop one!! Just an idea.

Posted by: robillm | July 25, 2010 11:14 AM    Report this comment

I am allergic to eggs and soy as well as being celiac. How about developing a yummy, creamy cheesecake for people like me?

Posted by: Ann W | July 16, 2010 5:17 PM    Report this comment

I am allergic to eggs and soy as well as being celiac. How about developing a yummy, creamy cheesecake for people like me?

Posted by: Ann W | July 16, 2010 5:17 PM    Report this comment

I am allergic to eggs and soy as well as being celiac. How about developing a yummy, creamy cheesecake for people like me?

Posted by: Ann W | July 16, 2010 5:17 PM    Report this comment

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