It's hard to beat a classic dessert like this Gluten Free Vanilla Cheesecake. It's rich, creamy, and super simple to make (no water bath required!). Serve it with a generous scoop of roasted strawberries or your favorite cheesecake topping. Creamy Cheesecake Filling and sweet, roasted strawberries with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon... such a special dessert.
This gluten-free 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). It's the perfect dessert for small gatherings, birthdays, and dinner parties.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- Kitchen Tools needed to make a Gluten Free Cheesecake
- Shortbread Cheesecake Crust
- Step by Step Instructions for Gluten Free Vanilla Cheesecake
- Roasted Strawberries
- How to make roasted Strawberries
- How to Serve
- Pro Tips for making the perfect Vanilla Cheesecake
- FAQ about Gluten Free Vanilla Cheesecake
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten-Free Flour: For the cheesecake crust, I used my own gluten-free flour blend. This recipe works great with any gluten-free flour blend you may have on your hands. 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 vanilla cheesecake with roasted strawberries 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.
Sour Cream: The sour cream gives this vanilla cheesecake a little tang and also makes the cheesecake batter smooth and creamy. You can also use greek yogurt.
Vanilla Extract or 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 have 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.
Strawberries: I use fresh strawberries to make roasted strawberries. You can also use Frozen Strawberries. They will release a lot more liquid than fresh strawberries.
Kitchen Tools needed to make a Gluten Free Cheesecake
Loaf Pan: This small gluten-free vanilla bean 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)
Mixer: Since this is a small batch of cheesecake, your KitchenAid Mixer may have issues mixing 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 a hand mixer for this recipe. Alternatively, you can also make the cheesecake filling in a food processor.
Non-reactive pan: for roasting the strawberries I recommend using a non-reactive pan like a 9x13 or 9x9 cake pan.
Shortbread Cheesecake Crust
This simple shortbread crust is very sturdy which makes it perfect for cheesecakes. Gluten-Free Graham Crackers are sometimes hard to find and expensive, this is why I prefer using a shortbread crust.
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 vanilla bean cheesecake without any issues.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: Press the mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the pan. I like to use an offset knife for this or the back of a spoon. Bake the cheesecake crust at 325F for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.
Do NOT turn off the oven.
Step by Step Instructions for Gluten Free Vanilla Cheesecake
Make sure to set out your cream cheese and eggs in advance so they have enough time to come to room temperature. Cold cream cheese will not whip up smoothly and leave you with a lumpy cheesecake batter.
Since it can take some time to get the cream cheese to room temperature, I recommend placing the unwrapped block of cream cheese on a microwave-safe plate and carefully nuking it at 50-70% of power for 10 seconds. Turn the block over and nuke for an additional 10 seconds. This should help speed up getting the cream cheese to room temperature.
Step 1: Combine the room temperature cream cheese, granulated white sugar, sour cream, and vanilla paste in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl and mix until light and fluffy (around 2 minutes). Turn off the mixer, and scrape down the sides with a flexible spatula. Make sure there are no large lumps of cream cheese batter.
Step 2: Beat in the egg and the egg yolk one at a time, just until combined; do not overmix once you’ve added the eggs. Too much air will cause the cheesecake to deflate and crack.
Step 3: Pour the creamy cream cheese mixture on top of the pre-baked gluten-free cheesecake crust and with a small offset knife or the back of a spoon, smooth out evenly.
Step 4: Bake the vanilla cheesecake at 325F for 25-28 minutes or until the dessert is set around the edges but still jiggles in the middle.
Step 5: For best results turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely at room temperature before transferring it to the fridge. Allow the cheesecake to fully set up in the fridge for at least 2hrs before serving.
Store this gluten free vanilla cheesecake in an airtight container 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).
If you have never roasted strawberries before, you are in for a treat. While strawberries are full of flavor and sweetness during their peak season, they can be a bit "blah" at other times of the year. If you live in the Midwest, you know what I am talking about. But roasting strawberries in the oven for just 30 minutes brings out all their sweetness and flavors we all love so much.
Roasted Strawberries can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 7 days. IF they last this long. Aside from using them as topping for this gluten free vanilla cheesecake, serve them warm over ice cream, pancakes, or waffles... oh and they make a delicious topping for toast topped with ricotta, roasted strawberries, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction.
How to make roasted Strawberries
Making roasted strawberries is fairly simple. Start by washing and cleaning the strawberries, and removing their green tops. Cut them in quarters or halves (depending on their size) and place them in a non-reactive baking dish like a small roasting pan, glass, or ceramic baking dish. Toss them with sugar (coconut sugar or date sugar works well here too) or drizzle them with some maple syrup. Add a pinch of kosher salt, some cinnamon sticks, and if you like a split-half vanilla bean. You can also use some vanilla extract or vanilla paste instead. Add some lemon juice which brings out the sweetness and flavor of the strawberries.
Roast the strawberries at 350F for 30 minutes, stirring them once or twice along the way. Make sure to keep an eye on the edges of the pan and don't allow for the juices to burn. The berries are done when they are fork-tender and swimming in a pool of juices.
Remove the berries from the oven and while they are still warm, transfer them to a small bowl. Make sure to remove the vanilla bean (if using) and cinnamon sticks before serving.
Enjoy these oven-roasted strawberries over cheesecake, ice cream, waffles... or by themself. Store any leftovers in your fridge for up to 7 days.
How to Serve
A cold, well-set cheesecake and a sharp chef's knife will make the cutting of the cheesecake a lot easier. Slice the cheesecake into 4-6 individual slices and top each slice with a generous dollop of roasted strawberries
Some of my favorite toppings aside from roasted strawberries are fresh berries, caramel sauce, or a generous pour of my Bourbon Hot Fudge Sauce.
Pro Tips for making the perfect Vanilla Cheesecake
Room Temperature Ingredients are the key!
It’s important to have the cream cheese and the egg at room temperature before making cheesecake. 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 eggs, place them in a bowl of warm water until ready to use.
Don’t overmix the cheesecake filling
If you mix cheesecake batter too long once you added the eggs, the incorporated air will cause the cheesecake to rise too quickly. This will cause the cheesecake to collapse. It will still be tasty but maybe have some cracks (which you can always cover up with some roasted strawberries)
Do not open oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking. The sudden change of temperature can cause the gf cheesecake to deflate.
Allow the cheesecake to cool slowly and completely
Cooling this gluten vanilla bean cheesecake for at least 30 minutes in the oven will prevent cracking of the surface.
FAQ about Gluten Free Vanilla Cheesecake
Can I make the crust with Almond Flour?
Yes, you can make this gluten-free cheesecake crust recipe with almond flour. Please be aware the crust might be crumbly. I do not recommend using coconut flour.
Why not a water bath?
Traditional cheesecake is often baked in a water bath. Cheesecake bars baked in a loaf pan bake so quickly, that there is no need to mess with a water bath.
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 easy to use. 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 gluten-free baking or baking in general. 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. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
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 Cheesecake Crust
- 75 grams gluten free multipurpose flour
- 30 grams light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt
- 40 gram unsalted butter, cold
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- 226 grams cream cheese, full fat, at room temperature
- 65 grams granulated white sugar
- 30 grams sour cream or greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 400 grams strawberries, washed and tops removed
- 40 grams granulated white sugar *see note
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste
- pinch of salt
Gluten Free 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
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), mix together the room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, granulated white sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. This should take around 2-3 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of your bowl with a spatula. Beat in the egg and the egg yolk one at a time, just until combined; do not overmix once you’ve added the eggs.
- Pour the vanilla cheesecake filling on top of the gluten-free crust. With the back of a spoon, a spatula or an offset knife spread out the batter evenly.
- Bake cheesecake at 325F in the middle of your oven for 25-28 minutes. No peaking!
- The vanilla bean cheesecake is done when it is set around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the middle.
- When you feel like your cheesecake is done, turn off the oven but leave your cheesecake in the oven to cool for at least 60 minutes
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool it completely before placing it in the fridge for at least 2 hours before cutting.
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Cut the strawberries in quarters (if they are small, cut them in halves) and place them in a nonreactive baking dish. Sprinkle them with the sugar (or your sweetener of choice).
- Add the lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, pinch of salt, and vanilla bean or vanilla extract/paste. Toss to coat strawberries evenly.
- Roast the strawberries for 30 minutes, making sure to give them a stir halfway. The berries will start to release their juices and flavors.
- Remove the berries from the oven and allow for them to cool to room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
To serve the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, slice it into 4 to 6 pieces using a hot, clean knife. Top each individual slice with a generous serving of roasted strawberries before serving.
Sweetener for Strawberries: Coconut Sugar, Date Sugar or Maple Syrup can be used instead of granulated white sugar
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 403
Calories are a guestimate.