Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Note: This is not paleo with the cream cheese & sugar, but it is gluten free.


A few months ago I found out I have I might have a gluten allergy my doctor told me to cut it out of my diet and see how it goes, and I've gotta say it's a big bummer.

It seems like wheat is hidden in everything — like just now I wanted to enjoy a pumpkin spiced Hersey's kiss. As I unwrapped the fall treat from it's smartly autumn colored wrapper a thought went through my mind, "I bet this has gluten in it," everything else I want to eat impulsively does. So off to the company website I go, and yep, it's got gluten. I sigh and place it back in the candy dish......bummer.

This is a typical day for someone with a Celiac Disease or Gluten-Intolerance and the Holiday's are definitely tormenting with the rolls, stuffing, cakes, cookies, pastries, and pies. Don't fret though, I have a cheese cake recipe that will make skipping Aunt Cara's Cinnamon Sugar Apple Pie with a scoop of Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream not seem so bad.


  • 7 oz of Gluten Free Ginger Snap Cookies

  • 1 cup Toasted Walnuts

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar

  • 5 tbsp. Butter (melted)

  • 1/2 cup Sugar

  • 1 tbsp. Orange Zest

  • 24 oz. Cream Cheese (at room temperature)

  • 4 Large Eggs (at room temperature)

  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

  • 1/2 tsp. Salt

  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream

First preheat the oven to 350F while the oven is heating up place the walnuts on a cookie sheet once the temperature in the oven has risen place the walnuts into the oven for about 8-10 minutes then allow them to cool. After the nuts have cooled for a bit place 1/2 cup of them and the ginger snaps graham crackers 2 tbsp. brown sugar into a food processor or blender and process the mixture until its finely ground. With the motor running, add the melted butter and continue to blend until the mixture is well incorporated. With a bit of oil and a paper towel oil the bottom of a spring formed pan. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan, and then bake it for about 8 minutes.


Combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the orange zest in a food processor or blender and process until combined.


Meanwhile, place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy it should take 3 to 4 minutes. Add the orange sugar mixture, remaining granulated sugar, and the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and beat again until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix until just incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Next, add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Add the salt and heavy cream and mix until just blended.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it.

Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until the water is halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake until the sides of the cake are slightly puffed and set and the center still jiggles, about 55 minutes.

Turn the heat off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon and allow the cake to cook in the water bath for 1 hour. Remove the cake to a baking rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours until chilled through.


Top with the warm apple topping, drizzle liberally with the caramel sauce and sprinkle with the remaining toasted walnuts. Serve additional sauce on the side.

Apple Mixture

  • 2 cups Apple Juice

  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar

  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

  • 1 tbsp. Butter

  • 3 Granny Smith Apples (peeled, seeded and thinly sliced)

  • 3 Gala Apples (peeled, seeded and thinly sliced)

  • 1/4 cup Calvados Brandy

Bring apple juice, sugar and vanilla to a boil in a large saute pan over high heat and cook until slightly thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in the butter until melted.


Next, add the apples and cook (I used the slicing blade of a box grater to cut the apples), stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized and soft. Then, add the apple brandy and cook until reduced by 1/2. Transfer the apples to a plate and let them cool slightly.

Apple-Caramel Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar

  • 1/4 Cup Water

  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream

  • Salt to Taste (I happen to like salty caramel)

  • 3 tbsp. Calvados Apple Brandy

  • 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Place sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a roaring boil, swirling the pot occasionally to even out the color, should be amber.

Meanwhile, warm the heavy cream and in the pan. When the caramel has reached the desired color, slowly whisk in the heavy cream and whisk until it is well blended and creamy.

Remove the blend from the heat and stir in the apple brandy, and vanilla extract, seasoning with salt to your liking. Keep warm. If you need to make the apples and caramel sauce ahead of time simply reheat them over medium heat in a sauce pan. I usually put the caramel in a glass container and reheat is in a pot of water.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know what you think and cue us in on your favorite gluten free desert.