Gluten Free Dutch Apple Cheesecake

Gluten Free Dutch Apple Cheesecake is the ultimate fall dessert. Creamy cheesecake is studded with soft cinnamon apples and finished with a crumb topping. The best of both worlds!

slice of gf dutch apple cheesecake with mound of piped whipped cream on white plate

Talk about a dream dessert of mine! Way back when my kids were little, there was a Cheesecake Factory Cafe in one of the local malls. It was right across from the play area where I’d take the kids when it was too cold outside for a park. My mom would often come with me (I was a single mom at the time) and we would eventually find our way over to the cafe for lunch.

Back then I could eat gluten, so there was no issue with eating out. I remember them having a very limited menu of salads, sandwiches, and, of course, cheesecake. And the cheesecake I always ordered was the Dutch Apple Cheesecake. It was so good, I could never veer from ordering it to try anything else. A graham cracker crust was the base. It was filled with a smooth and creamy cheesecake that was studded with swirls of apple pie filling. If that wasn’t enough, the top of the cheesecake had a layer of crunchy crumbs, just like you’d find on a Dutch apple pie.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

There are a few steps to this cheesecake, but it can be broken down into a couple of days so it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

Crust:

  • Graham cracker crumbs–you can use store bought or make your own here.
  • Sugar
  • Melted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

  • Cream cheese
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Sour cream
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla extract

Apple Filling:

  • Apples
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon

Crumb Topping:

  • Light brown sugar
  • Gluten free all-purpose flour–I’ve only tested this recipe with my all-purpose flour blend, but I’m sure a store bought blend would work fine.
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Melted butter
  • Vanilla extract
whole cheesecake with one slice cut out of it

Making the Cheesecake

The first two steps can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated

  1. Saute the apples: In a large skillet, melt butter with brown sugar and cinnamon. Add apple slices and saute over medium heat until apples are translucent and soft, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Prepare the crumble: In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Add melted butter and vanilla and stir with a fork until evenly moistened. Refrigerate until firm.
  3. Make the crust: Blend the graham crackers in a food processor (or crush them in a large ziptop bag with a rolling pin). Add the sugar and melted butter and pulse to combine until a wet sand texture forms. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and bake at 325 degrees F for 12 minutes. Cool.
  4. Prepare the filling: Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, cornstarch, and salt and mix until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing just until combined. Finish with sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla extract, stirring until smooth.

Assembly

  • Prepare the crust and allow to cool.
  • Prepare the filling and pour half the filling over the cooled crust.
  • Layer the cooled apples on top of the bottom half of filling.
  • Pour the rest of the filling over the apples.
  • Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
  • Bake and allow to cool properly. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  • Serve with freshly whipped cream.

Dutch Apple Cheesecake FAQs

What are the Best Apples to Use?

I’ll be honest with you. I’m not about using Granny Smith apples in anything cooked, unless I want the crunch to remain. I know this goes against popular opinion, but I want my apples in apple pie, cake, or cheesecake to be tender. That’s why my favorite apple to use is Rome. But if you can’t find Rome apples, Ginger Gold, Jonathan, Jonagold, or even Golden Delicious will also work very well.

Do I Need a Water Bath?

No! I can’t stand using water baths to cook cheesecakes, so here’s my tip. Fill a shallow oven safe pan with hot water and place it on the rack right below the cheesecake when baking. This will give the cheesecake a perfectly steamy and humid environment that’s the same as if it were baking directly in a water bath!

Can I Use Light or Fat Free Cream Cheese?

This recipe is developed using full-fat cream cheese, so I would stick with that. If you use a lighter variety, you may get a less than desirable result.

fork full of cheesecake on plate

If you love apple desserts like I do, you MUST try this Gluten Free Dutch Apple Cheesecake mashup. It’s the perfect mix of that wonderful fall fruit and a creamy cheesecake!

slice of gf dutch apple cheesecake with mound of piped whipped cream on white plate

Gluten Free Dutch Apple Cheesecake

Gluten Free Dutch Apple Cheesecake is the ultimate fall dessert. Creamy cheesecake is studded with soft cinnamon apples and finished with a crumb topping. The best of both worlds!
Print Recipe
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Keywordcheesecake, dutch apple, Gluten Free
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cooling3 hours
Total Time5 hours 30 minutes
Servings12 slices
AuthorKim

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

Apple Layer

  • 2 tbsp (28 g) butter
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 medium to large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼-½ inch slices

Cheesecake Filling

  • 2 lbs (906 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • cup (80 g) heavy cream, at room temperature

Crumb Topping

  • ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp (53 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend (a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn't been tested)
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp (42 g) butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For Serving

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 325° F.
  • Mix all ingredients in small bowl until well combined and press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Prepare the Crumb Topping:

  • Mix the brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Add melted butter and vanilla and stir using fork until evenly moistened. Place bowl in fridge until ready to use.

Prepare the Apple Filling:

  • In a large skillet, melt butter and add brown sugar and cinnamon. Add apple slices and cook over medium to medium-low heat until apples are soft and somewhat translucent, 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cool completely.

Make the Cheesecake Batter:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes. Reduce to low and add cornstarch and sugar. Beat until fluffy, 3-4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add sour cream, whipping cream, and vanilla, beating just until combined.

Assemble:

  • Pour half of cheesecake batter over prepared crust. Carefully place apples on top. Gently add the rest of the cheesecake batter. Remove crumbs from refrigerator and break up any large clumps. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake:

  • Pour boiling water in shallow oven-safe pan placed on lower rack. Bake at 325° F for 1½ hours. Turn the oven off, crack the door, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Without loosening the sides of the springform pan, run a knife around the outside edge of the cheesecake just to loosen it and prevent sticking. Allow to cool completely, 1-2 hours, before loosely covering and refrigerating at least 5 hours, or overnight.

Serve:

  • Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Remove sides of springform pan, cut slices, and serve with piped or dolloped whipped cream. Store in refrigerator, loosely covered.


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