If you love cheesecake and blueberries, you will love this gluten free blueberry cheesecake. This summery dessert is perfect for blueberry season. A buttery gluten free shortbread crust topped with a creamy cheesecake filling (which has a hint of lemon), juicy blueberries, and a simple crumble topping. It doesn't get better than that. Gluten Free Blueberry Cheesecake Bars are the perfect dessert if you ask me.
This Gluten Free Blueberry Cheesecake is made in a standard loaf pan (8.5 x 4) and will give you 4-6 gluten-free cheesecake bars (depending on how you cut them). Those mini cheesecake bars are the perfect summer dessert when you have some extra blueberries on hand.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- Equipment Needed
- Gluten Free Cheesecake Crust
- How to make a Mini Blueberry Cheesecake
- Assemble and Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Pro Tips for making Cheesecake
- FAQ about Gluten Free Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten-Free Flour: For the cheesecake crust and the streusel, I used my own gluten-free flour blend. This recipe works great Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1, King Arthur Measure for Measure or Cup4Cup, or any gluten-free flour blend you may have on your hands. Shortbread and Streusel are both very forgiving. Therefore use flour you enjoy the taste of and is not overwhelming in taste. All flour blends mentioned contain xanthan gum. I do NOT recommend using chickpea flour or coconut flour to replace a gluten-free flour blend.
Cream Cheese: In this recipe for gluten-free blueberry cheesecake bars I use a full-fat block/brick of cream cheese. My brand of choice if Philadelphia which is gluten-free according to the Kraft-Heinz website. I always recommend checking the packaging or the manufacturer’s website to ensure the products used are celiac safe. I have not tested any of my cheesecake recipes with fat-free or non-dairy cream cheese.
Blueberries: fresh, juicy blueberries will work the best in this simple cheesecake recipe but frozen work fabulous as well. If frozen, do not thaw before using them.
Vanilla Bean Paste: I love using Vanilla Bean Paste in this cheesecake recipe. Vanilla paste is a blend of concentrated vanilla extract and vanilla bean powder with the consistency of liquid glue. It is more intense than vanilla extract plus you will actually vanilla bean specs in your final product. Please be aware some brands like to add sugar or corn syrup to stretch out the vanilla paste (make it less flavorful and also cheaper) You can also use Vanilla Extract in this recipe.
Loaf Pan: This small gluten-free blueberry cheesecake is baked in a standard loaf pan (8-½ x 4-½ x 2-½ inches). If you use a larger loaf pan, the cheesecake will be thinner and will also bake quicker. I do not recommend using a smaller loaf pan since the crust will be too thick and the filling too tall. (I do not test my recipes in glass or silicone bakeware) If you like, you can double this recipe and bake it in an 8″ rectangular pan. I have not tested this recipe in a spring form pan.
Mixer: Since this is a small batch of cheesecake, the bowl of your KitchenAid Mixer may be too big to mix the ingredients. This should not be an issue if you have a smaller model but a 5-quart mixing bowl may be too big. I use an electric hand mixer for this recipe. Alternatively, you can also make the cheesecake filling in a food processor.
You will also need: a small bowl for the cheesecake crust and crumble topping, a flexible rubber spatula, a whisk, a small offset knife, a zester (for lemon zest)
Gluten Free Cheesecake Crust
Many traditional cheesecake recipes call for a graham cracker crust. While it is delicious, gluten-free graham crackers can not only be difficult to find but are also very expensive. This is why I prefer using a simple shortbread crust in this recipe for gluten-free blueberry cheesecake bars.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 325F and arrange the wire rack in the oven in the middle. Line a standard loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5 inches) with parchment paper. Make sure to leave some overhang on the sides of the pan to remove this chocolate cheesecake without any issues.
Step 2: In a medium bowl combine the crust ingredients (gluten-free flour, brown sugar, salt and butter). Cut your butter in small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Use your clean hands or two forks to work the butter into the flour until it is crumbly (alternativley you can also make this in your food processor)
Step 3: Using a small offset knife or the back of a spoon, press the gluten-free cheesecake crust mixture in an even layer into the prepared loaf pan.
Step 4: Bake the gluten free shortbread crust at 325F for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. It will lighly puff up which is normal. When done remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before topping with the cheesecake batter. Do NOT turn off the oven.
How to make a Mini Blueberry Cheesecake
While the gluten-free cheesecake crust is baking, make the gluten-free streusel topping and cheesecake filling. Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.
To make the Gluten-Free Streusel Topping combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, add butter, and with a fork or your hands crumble together until it resembles a streusel topping. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
For the lemon zest sugar, in a small bowl combine the granulated white sugar and lemon zest and with your fingers, work the lemon zest into the sugar. Most of the flavor of a lemon is found in it's zest and this way your blueberry cheesecake will have a little hint of lemon in every bite. Make sure to use an organic lemon or a very well washed regular lemon here. Combining lemon zest and granulated white sugar may seem like an extra step but it is so worth it.
To make the creamy cheesecake filling, combine the room temperature cream cheese, lemon zest sugar, fresh lemon juice, salt and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) Mix together until light and fluffy, around 2-3 minutes, stopping half way to scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl. Beat in the egg until incorporated. Do not overmix your cheesecake batter.
Assemble and Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Once your gluten-free shortbread crust is baked (and has cooled for a few minutes), it's time to assemble the blueberry cheesecake bars for baking.
Step 1: Pour the cheesecake filling over your prebaked gluten free shortbread crust and smooth out with a small offset knife or the back of a spoon. It’s okay if the crust is still warm when you do this.
Step 2: Top the cheesecake layer evenly with fresh blueberries and sprinkle with the gluten-free streusel topping. It's okay if some of the blueberries are peeking through.
Step 3: Bake cheesecake bars at 325F for 25-28 minutes until the streusel is golden brown and the filling looks set (this might be tricky to see because of the blueberries and the streusel topping). If you like, you can always check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer. It should be above 150F for a cheesecake.
Step 4: Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool for 10-15 minutes in the oven (with the oven door cracked open) before removing it from the oven. Allow for it to cool fully at room temperature before moving it to the refrigerator. Chill for at least 2-3hrs before serving.
When ready to serve, cut the cheesecake bars with a clean knife into pieces and serve. Since the crumble topping can make them tricky to cut, I like to use a serrated knife to cut them. This way I can carefully "saw" through the crumble without turning the blueberry crumble bars into a mess.
Pro Tips for making Cheesecake
Room Temperature Ingredients are the key!
It’s important to have the cream cheese and the egg at room temperature before making this blueberry cheesecake recipe. I recommend placing the unwrapped block of cream cheese on a microwave plate and nuking it at 50-70% power for 10-15 seconds on each side. As for the egg, place them in a bowl of warm water until ready to use.
Don’t overmix the filling
If you mix the eggs too long, the incorporated air will cause the cheesecake to rise too quickly while being baked and then collapses. The cheesecake will still be tasty but maybe have some cracks.
Allow the cheesecake to cool slowly and completely
Cooling this gluten blueberry cheesecake for 10-15 minutes in the oven will prevent cracking of the surface. A lot of times cheesecakes crack when they are removed from the oven too early. This is mainly an issue with full-sized cheesecakes.
Use high-quality fruit
I always recommend using high-quality fruit in its peak season especially when baking with it. Moldy blueberries should not be used (in any recipes). If fresh blueberries are too expensive, your next best (and delicious) choice is frozen blueberries. No need to thaw them.
How to cute the picture-perfect cheesecake
Because of the crumble topping, these gluten-free blueberry cheesecake bars can be tricky to cut. I like to use a clean serrated knife to "saw" through the crumble topping. This cheesecake will be a bit messy to cut.
FAQ about Gluten Free Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Can I double this blueberry cheesecake recipe?
Yes, you can bake this recipe for Gluten-Free Blueberry Cheesecake in an 8×8 pan. To double the recipe, please use TWO whole eggs and ONE egg yolk. And increase the baking time to 38-45 minutes. The extra egg yolk will make the cheesecake even creamier. I have not tested this recipe in a springform.
Why no water bath?
While traditional cheesecakes tend to be baked in a water bath, these cheesecake bars baked in a loaf pan bake so quickly, there is no need to mess with a water bath.
Can I use different berries?
This recipe will work as written with blueberries, wild blueberries, saskatoons, raspberries, and blackberries. I do not recommend using strawberries since they contain too much water and will release too much liquid. If you love apples, make sure to check out my Gluten Free Apple Cheesecake Bars.
How long can cream cheese and cheesecake sit out?
Food safety experts recommend that 2 hours is the maximum amount of time that cream cheese and a baked cheesecake should sit at room temperature. Other experts recommend no longer than 4 hours. I highly recommend storing this small cheesecake in the fridge and only allowing for it to sit at room temperature for up to 4hrs.
How should I store a cheesecake?
To store this cheesecake place it in an airtight container and store it in your fridge for up to 5 days. You may also freeze the undecorated cheesecake for up to 3 months. Thaw it in your fridge overnight or let it sit at room temperature (up to 4hrs).
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and very affordable. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to baking. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
Gluten Free Shortbread Crust
- 75 grams gluten free multipurpose flour
- 30 grams light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt
- 40 gram unsalted butter, cold
Gluten Free Streusel Topping
- 25 grams brown sugar
- 45 grams gluten free multipurpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 25 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
Gluten Free Blueberry Cheesecake Filling
- 226 grams cream cheese, full fat, at room temperature
- 45 grams granulated white sugar combined with the zest of one medium lemon
- 10 grams lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (vanilla paste would be amazing!)
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 150 grams fresh blueberries
Gluten Free Shortbread Cheesecake Crust
- Preheat the oven to 325F
- Line an 8.5 x 4 standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. Make sure to leave some overhang on the sides to remove the cheesecake easily from the pan.
- Whisk together the gluten-free flour, brown sugar and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- Cut your butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. You can use your clean hands or two forks to work the butter into the flour until it is crumbly.
- Press the mixture in an even layer into the prepared pan. I like to use an offset knife for this or the back of a spoon.
- Bake the crust at 325 F for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow for it to cool on a wire rack.
- When your crust is done baking, do NOT turn off the oven
Gluten Free Streusel Topping
- Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, add butter, and with a fork or your hands crumble together until it resembles a streusel topping. Store in the fridge until ready to use
How to make the Cheesecake Filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), mix together the room temperature cream cheese, lemon zest sugar, lemon juice, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy. This should take around 2-3 minutes. This can also be mixed with an electric hand mixer or made in a food processor.
- Scrape down the sides of your bowl with a spatula. Beat in the room temperature egg at a low speed just until combined; do not overmix once you have added the egg.
- It is okay if there are still a few smaller pieces of cream cheese in the batter!
How to assemble and bake Gluten Free Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Pour the creamy filling over your prebaked gluten free shortbread crust and smooth out with a small offset knife or the back of a spoon. It’s okay if the crust is still warm when you do this.
- Top the cheesecake filling evenly with the fresh blueberries (if frozen do not thaw)
- Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the blueberries. It’s okay if some of the blueberries are peaking through.
- Bake cheesecake bars at 325F for 25-28 minutes until the streusel is golden brown and the filling looks set (this might be tricky to see because of the blueberries and the streusel topping). If you like, you can always check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer. It should be above 150F for a cheesecake.
- Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool for 10-15 minutes in the oven (with the oven door cracked open) before removing it from the oven.
- Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature.
- Once fully cooled, move them to the fridge and allow them to cool completely for at least 2hrs, preferably overnight.
- When ready to serve, cut them cheesecake bars with a clean knife in pieces and serve. Since the crumble topping can make them tricky to cut, I like to use a serrated knife to cut them.
Lemon Zest Sugar: For the lemon zest sugar, in a small bowl combine the granulated white sugar and lemon zest and with your fingers, work the lemon zest into the sugar. Most of the flavor of a lemon is found in it’s zest and this way your blueberry cheesecake will have a little hint of lemon in every bite. Make sure to use an organic lemon or a very well washed regular lemon here. Combining lemon zest and granulated white sugar may seem like an extra step but it is so worth it.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350
Calories are a guestimate.