also soy and egg yolk free by request!
I’m beyond proud of this baked cheesecake! The majority of gluten and dairy free cheesecakes are raw versions, or if baked, are made on cream cheese alternatives made from soy. There is nothing wrong with these types of cheesecakes however I was set the challenge by a lovely client (who loves to cook) to make a recipe to suit her list of intolerances. This included gluten, dairy and soy free as a starting point. I then thought, well if I am going to make a cheesecake recipe around Christmas time I should make it family friendly. This meant I had to get rid of the egg yolks as my sister would rather eat her own hair than eat something with egg yolk in it. Lets just say the challenge was set.
So how did I go? Well I think the results here speak for themselves!
As I mentioned, this cheesecake was requested by one of my lovely clients. Given I work with many clients with chronic gut and other health conditions at The JCN Clinic, dietary restrictions are quite common. Given also I am a passionate foodie who often attracts other passionate foodies, there is a lot of emphasis on having alternative delicious recipes that still keep clients engaged and content with food day upon day, year upon year. This Baked Cheesecake is a classic example of enjoying the beauty of food in all its decadence for those people who need to still eat with respect to their overall health.
You might ask or think, ‘geez its only a piece of cheesecake. You’re not eating it everyday, just have a normal piece of cheesecake when you want it! Stop being so damn fussy’. My friend, if only it was that simple. Most of the clients I see would end up sacrificing their health for not only the day of eating ‘normal cheesecake’ but also for the days and sometimes week to follow. Chronic gut issues are serious business and can have profound systemic effects. I’ve felt the brunt of it personally in the past which is what makes me so passionate about providing alternatives for people so they can enjoy the delights of food in all capacities.
When I set out to create a recipe like this, well its quite the science experiment. I’ll research other recipes for days looking at ‘normal’ versions from trusted sources through to alternative versions from once again, trusted sources. I say ‘trusted sources’ because there are some seriously shit recipes on the internet. Not recipe tested at all and it drives me nuts.
I take all those recipes and then spend time thinking about what I am subtracting and what I need to add to create say the lightness of gluten, or the creaminess of dairy. In this case I had to think about how I would create the creaminess and rising capacity of an egg yolk. There were many nights going to bed drifting off thinking about this. I am not joking. This is my brain before I go to sleep at night.
Finally it was D-Day and into the kitchen I went with a bundle of nerves. My nerves were on edge too after the initial fail of the Vanilla Protein Choc Chip Cookies. However, I stayed sharp and moved slowly. Thinking, stopping when needing and thinking more. Modifying as I went. Tasting. Tweaking. Praying.
Into the oven and the elephant sized butterflies begin in my gut. All I could do at this stage was cross my fingers and hope that the food gods were shining down on me with love. Thankfully, this time I was blessed. The cheesecake did everything in that oven I hoped for and more. What a way to end the years recipe blogging with this triumph!
Common cheesecake adaption questions I know you will ask…
Whenever I post a baking recipe there are questions (welcome questions!) from you all around substitutions. So, in advance, here are some suggestions for adaptions or swaps for the baked cheesecake:
- Base changes – Yes I used the old fashioned approach of biscuits and butter to make the base. Look, I already had a good challenge ahead with the cheesecake filling so I wanted to keep the base simple for me (and for you). However, if you are keen to step away from the bought arrowroot biscuits you could replace them with a 50/50 mix of ground almonds and ground oats or quinoa flakes.
- Egg free – so you can’t eat eggs at all? Firstly, some of you may be able to tolerate the egg yolk and not the white. If this is the case I would recommend swapping the egg whites for 2 egg yolks and then and additional tbsp tapioca flour and 4 tbsp water. If you need to eliminate eggs all together I would swap the egg whites for an additional tbsp tapioca flour and 6 tbsp water. Please note I have not tested these adaptions myself and am making educated assumptions of the best swaps. If you do make these swaps or any of your own for that matter let me know in the comments below.
- Caster sugar – you could swap this for a raw sugar if you like but honestly it really will change the texture and lightness of the cake. Its really not a lot of sugar so I’d just use it and enjoy your cheesecake!
- Macadamia nuts – this really is the heart of the cheesecake, but you can swap them for cashews if you want to try an alternative nut. You could also swap the nuts for a soy cream cheese of any bought dairy free cream cheese if you prefer.
If you have any more questions abut modifying this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below. I am always happy to help out and find a ingredient sub or tweak to make it work for you.
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The Best Baked Cheesecake (gluten & dairy free)
- makes 8 slices
- preparation time
- 60 min + overnight soaking time
- cooking time
- 50 min
- 260g gluten free arrowroot biscuits
- 100g dairy free butter, melted (or use coconut oil if preferred)
- 500g raw macadamia nuts
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
- generous pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Please see notes above on my recommendations for adaptions and swaps for this Baked Cheesecake
Start the night before with soaking the macadamia nuts in a bowl covered with water. If you forget to do this you can pour boiling water over the nuts on the day of baking and leave for 3 hours.
- Start with making the cheesecake base. Add the gluten free arrowroot biscuits to a blender and pulse to a rough crumb.
- Pour into a mixing bowl and add the melted dairy free butter. Mix well to combined.
- Grease a standard round springform baking tin with some of the dairy free butter. Spoon the base mixture into the tin and press the mixture down firmly and evenly into the base and about third of the way up the sides.
- Place the base in the fridge while making the macadamia nut cream and cheese cake filling.
- Preheat oven to 175c, fan forced.
- Drain the macadamia nuts and wash well. Add to an upright blender or high speed blender with the water, salt, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Blend well till smooth and well combined. It should be the consistency of a thick whipped cream. If you find the mixture too thick add a touch more water. Set aside.
- Add to a large mixing bowl the egg whites, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Use an electric beater to blend well to smooth and creamy, this should take 2 – 3 minutes.
- Now add the coconut oil, tapioca flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Mix once again for a few minutes until everything is nicely incorporated.
- Spoon in the macadamia cream from the blender. Fold the macadamia cream through the cheese cake filling until everything is lovely and smooth and combined. Taste the mixture for sweetness, tartness and saltiness and adjust to your liking.
- Take the cheesecake base out of the fridge and pour the mixed cheesecake filling into the base and evenly distribute it with a spatula.
- Place in the oven for 50 minutes. At the 40 min mark place a sheet of baking paper over the top of the cheesecake to protect it from over browning. Continue to bake for another 10 minutes (total of 50 minutes) or until the top is firm to touch with a wobble underneath. The cheesecake will rise with splits in the top, which is fine.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door open for 1 hour. The cheesecake top will slowly sink down over time.
- Remove the cheese cake from the oven after 1 hour and place somewhere safe to cool further to room temperature. Then place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready to eat, remove the cheesecake carefully from the springform pan, slice and enjoy!
nutritional information for The Best Baked Cheesecake (gluten & dairy free)
Nutritional information based on 1 slice.
|401 cal/ kj 1677
Jessica Cox is a qualified practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and over 15 years of clinical experience. She is the founder and director JCN Clinic, published author and established recipe developer. Jessica is well respected within health and wellness space for her no fad approach and use of evidence-based nutrition.