Every year for my birthday cake, I get a cheesecake. Since going gluten-free, the options were none and I had to make my own. Thinking of how impressive the Cheesecake Factory’s cheesecakes were, I figured I was in some serious trouble.
When I started looking into recipes, I realized cheesecake had like five ingredients… really? That’s it! I found a gluten-free crust online and it worked perfectly for the first four years, but it wasn’t great and I wanted something new this year. Since the basic cheesecake filling is gluten-free, I just needed a crust that had some flavor and didn’t just taste like pure sugar or gritty.
The gingersnap cookie, another one of my favorites, I thought would make an amazing crust. You can find the Best Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookie Recipe here. These gluten-free gingersnap cookies were delicious. Soft and chewy! So much better than some of the gluten-free gingersnaps I have tasted in the past. I knew I was off it a great start.
This recipe makes the cheesecake in a pie pan instead of spring foam, which I’d never done before and it would make a great change to the cheesecake. This cheesecake is quick to oven, but takes some time to bake and cool. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to cool the cheesecake, roughly about 5 hours.
This cheesecake tastes so sweet and has a hard crunchy layer on top, which is a bit unique. The warm caramel and sea salt accent the smooth and tasty cheesecake perfectly. It was a big hit and some even had seconds. Now, what am I going to do next year?
- 2 cups gluten-free gingersnap cookie crumbs, about 18 homemade cookies
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Cheesecake Filling:
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 jar caramel
- sea salt
- Place two racks in the upper and bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. You’ll need a 9-inch pie plate and a 9×13-inch pan for boiling water.
- To make the crust: Place gingersnap cookies into the bowl of a blender and grind to a fine crumb. (You can also use a food processor or crumble in a zip lock bag.)
- In a medium bowl, mix together the fine cookie crumbs, brown sugar, salt and butter until all of the gingersnap crumbs are moist.
- Pour the mixture into the 9-inch pie plate and press with fingers until sides and bottom are evenly coated with crust.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make the cheesecake filling.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Fill a tea kettle with water and bring to a boil. We're going to add hot water to the 9x13-inch pan to place under the baking cheesecake.
- To make the cheesecake filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Beat in the salt and vanilla until well incorporated.
- Add eggs, beating one at a time between each addition.
- Once creamy and smooth, slowly beat in the cream. Beating on medium high until creamy.
- Pour cheesecake mixture into the prepared cheesecake crust.
- Place the 9x13-inch pan on the bottom rack. Carefully pour in the hot water and fill to ½ full. Push in the oven
- Place cheesecake on the upper rack. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until cheesecake is browned and puffed. When the cheesecake is puffed and doesn't have a loose giggle in the center, turn off the oven.
- Using a towel, prop the oven open slightly. Let the cheesecake rest for another 45 minutes in the cooling oven.
- Remove from oven and cool completely, about 4 hours or overnight.
- Serve each piece with a drizzle of warm caramel and top with a small pinch sea salt. (I just warm the jar in the microwave.)