Gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake recipe – a combo of my two favourite desserts: apple crumble and cheesecake! No-bake, super easy to make and of course, Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free as always.
Gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake recipe, anyone? When you need a dessert that’s capable of getting ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from both gluten-eating and gluten-free dinner guests, look no further than this beauty. It even has a super simple (store-bought and ready to go!) caramel drizzle for good measure too.
No matter how many years that go by, dessert always seems to be a bit of a gamble when you’re gluten-free. For example, if you’re dining out in a restaurant… is there even a gluten-free dessert option at all?
If there is, is the gluten-free dessert a fruit salad or a brownie? Then, how intense will the dessert envy be when everyone else’s desserts turn up? I feel like I’m making a flow chart of gluten-free dessert disappointment as I type this!
The ‘gluten-free dessert gamble’ is a game that I don’t particularly enjoy playing at the best of times so I always make sure that, in my house, dessert is the best course and certainly one that everyone can enjoy. For starters, this one can be easily made both dairy-free and vegan too – just see the FAQ section below for the swaps you’d need to make.
Here’s all the simple supermarket ingredients you’ll need to make it possible:
Gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake recipe: What you’ll need…
- Bramley apples: Any type of cooking apple will do, but Bramleys are always my go-to when making any kind of apple crumble or pie.
- Light brown sugar: Light brown sugar’s natural, caramel-like molasses is a match made in heaven when paired with apple and cinnamon… which is exactly why I use it!
- Ground cinnamon: Both a little warming and fiery, if I’m using apple, there’s a 99% chance I’ll pair it with cinnamon. Feel free to leave it out if you’re not a fan, like I do whenever my Mum is at the table!
- Gluten-free shortbread biscuits: You can find these down the free from aisle in nearly all supermarkets, but here’s a link to what I used so you know what you’re looking for.
- Butter: As we’ll be melting the butter, you can use either cold (straight from the fridge) or room temperature (softened) butter. Salted or unsalted is fine too. I melt mine in the microwave, mixing in between 10-20 second bursts.
- Full-fat mascarpone: I use mascarpone for this one, but Philadelphia cream cheese works great too and sets a little softer. Low fat cream cheese doesn’t have a high enough fat content to set in the fridge, so don’t sub this!
- Icing sugar: This sweetens the cheesecake filling and simply vanishes when mixed in, meaning no grainy texture and no need to bake the cheesecake.
- Vanilla extract: The better quality yours is, the better the filling will taste!
- Double cream: Only double cream has the adequate fat content to whip and set in the fridge, so single cream won’t work here.
- Caramel sauce: This is just for a finishing touch, making the entire cheesecake into more of a caramel apple crumble cheesecake. But it’s essentially optional! I used this.
So, what does my gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake taste like?
The base is super buttery and crunchy and a little thicker than most too – just the way I like it.
The vanilla cheesecake filling is soft, light and creamy packed with chunky, cinnamon tinged apple. Of course, who could forget that arrangement of caramelised apple and buttery crumbled shortbread on top for the ultimate (yet very easy to do) finishing touch?
All that’s left to do is drizzle over some store-bought caramel!
It’s everything I want a dessert recipe to be – irresistible to look at and eat! Here’s a few frequently asked questions before we get started:
Gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten-free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten-free products.
Can I make your gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake recipe dairy-free?
Easily! Here’s the swaps you’d need to make:
- Instead of using cream cheese/mascarpone, use: Violife Cream Cheese (easily found in your supermarket’s free from chiller section)
- Instead of using double cream, use: Elmlea Plant Double Cream
- Instead of using butter, use: Stork hard margarine.
- Ensure your shortbread is both gluten-free and dairy-free.
Can I make your gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake recipe vegan?
Follow the steps above to make this dairy-free (using the free from shortbread linked above) and it’ll be vegan-friendly too!
Is this recipe low FODMAP?
Since this recipe revolves around using a lot of apple, this unfortunately can’t be made FODMAP friendly without changes that are so big… it’d essentially be a different recipe entirely!
Do I need any special equipment to make your gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake recipe?
You won’t need anything in particular apart from a deep, loose bottom tin – here’s the one I use. It’s important to use a deep one as this is a tall cheesecake! It’s 20cm (8 inch) in diameter, so remember if your tin is wider than mine, your cheesecake will end up looking a lot flatter!
A springform tin is fine too – here’s the one I sometimes use. I don’t use it all the time because it’s next to impossible to get the entire cheesecake off the base at once. That’s because the base has always has a lip that makes sliding a palette knife underneath the base to release it impossible (without damaging it!). And ideally, I don’t want to be serving the cheesecake and slicing it on my springform base because it’ll get all scratched. So I much prefer to use a loose bottom tin.
But definitely don’t make this in a normal cake tin without a loose bottom/springform mechanism. You won’t be able to get the cheesecake out or cut it and it likely won’t be deep enough!
Can I make your gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake using light cream cheese or reduced fat mascarpone?
Definitely not – and the reason isn’t just for the sake of flavour, it’s far more important than that! Using light cream cheese or reduced fat mascarpone is a very quick way to ensure that your cheesecake is an instant disaster.
As the fat content is much lower, your cheesecake won’t ever have a hope of setting in the fridge. It’s full-fat or nothing, I’m afraid!
Gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake recipe: Tips for the perfect no-bake dessert every time
- Don’t overmix the cheesecake filling. It can split, become very grainy-looking, thin and won’t ever set in the fridge. In this case, you can always try freezing it to make it set (it’ll still taste the same!) but ideally, avoid overmixing entirely.
- Give the cheesecake filling a generous amount of time to set. There’s no baking required for this recipe, so the chilling stage becomes even more important! Don’t remove from the tin until the top looks lovely and firm.
- Use an 8in loose-bottom tin – see the FAQ section for a link to the one I use. A smaller tin will result in a cheesecake that’s too tall and a larger tin will result in one that’s flatter than mine. Loose-bottomed tins (or springform) are important here, otherwise you’ll never be able to get the cheesecake out of the tin in one piece!
- Keep chilled and covered before serving. This especially applies if you used cream cheese as the cheesecake will begin to soften and melt slightly at room temperature after an hour or so. So store it in the fridge until serving!
- Use a large palette knife to remove the cheesecake from the loose-bottomed base. Don’t cut the cheesecake on the base of the loose-bottomed tin because you’ll scratch it! Using a large, long palette knife and gently (but firmly) easing it underneath the cheesecake base is an easy way to remove it in one go. Then carefully slide it onto a serving plate or cake stand.
Gluten-free Apple Crumble Cheesecake
For the apples:
- 600 g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced into small chunks (weight once peeled and cored)
- 80 g light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the biscuit base:
- 280 g gluten-free shortbread biscuits
- 85 g butter melted
For the filling:
- 650 g full-fat mascarpone cheese
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 300 ml double cream
For the crumble topping:
- 140 g gluten-free shortbread biscuits
- 5 tbsp store-bought caramel sauce
- Place the prepared apples into a large saucepan alongside the light brown sugar and cinnamon. Place over a low heat (stirring regularly) for 10-15 minutes until softened and a little caramelised. You want the apple soft but not too mushy.
- Drain off any of the apple juices and allow to completely cool.
- Either blitz the shortbread in a food processor (or place into a ziplock bag and bash with a rolling pin) until you achieve a breadcrumb-like consistency. Transfer to a medium bowl and then mix in the melted butter until well combined.
- Spoon the crushed biscuit mixture into a circular 20cm (8in) loose bottom or springform tin. Compact it into the base using the back of a metal spoon then place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill and firm up.
- To make the filling, grab a large (cleaned) mixing bowl. I use an electric hand whisk or stand mixer for this next part. Whisk together the mascarpone, icing sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract briefly until combined – about 20 seconds using an electric mixer.
- Add in the double cream and keep mixing until it firms up a little – this should take about a minute using an electric mixer.
- Fold in about half of the cooled apple mixture carefully using a silicone spatula; cover the rest of the apple mixture and store in the fridge for later. Remove the chilled biscuit base from the fridge.
- Spread the filling on top of the biscuit base and place into the fridge to chill overnight or for no less than 4 hours.
- Once set, remove from the loose-bottom or springform tin and transfer to a cake stand or serving plate.
- To finish, spoon the rest of the apple mixture on top of the cheesecake. Crumble the extra shortbread biscuits on top by hand and then finish by drizzling caramel sauce over the top so that it drips down the sides too. Slice and enjoy!
Thanks for reading all about my gluten-free apple crumble cheesecake recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!
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