We’re huge fans of a cheesecake, but this Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cheesecake received high praise from everyone, including gluten-eaters. The cheesecake filling is not very sweet; its filling is light yet rich; and the caramel topping is to die for! This recipe is also fairly easy to make!
Links You May Need:
Feel free to choose any of the Gluten Free Cheesecake Crusts you desire. My favorite is the classic Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust (as shown in the photo) as well as this faster One-Step Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust. If desired, you can also make this Gluten Free Flax Graham Cracker Crust.
For Dairy Free:
Use Tofuti dairy free sour cream or Trader Joe’s and dairy free cream cheese.
Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cheesecake
A lightly sweetened cheesecake filling over an apple-pie-filling-lined gluten free graham cracker crust topped with more apple pie filling, topped with to-die-for dulce de leche (caramel) topping.
For the Crust:
- 1 recipe Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust (see above link)
For the Cheesecake Filling:
- 1 20-ounce can gluten free apple pie filling (I used Great Value Sugar-Free), divided
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (I used Philadelphia), at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons full-fat sour cream or your favorite, including dairy-free: Tofuti or Kite Hill
- 1/2 cup sugar 100g
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
For the Caramel Sauce:
- 1/2 recipe Dulce de Leche* Mexican caramel sauce
To Make the Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust:
Follow the instructions at the above recipe link and press just enough dough into the bottom of a 7-1/2 or 8-inch spring form pan to line it. Be sure to press the dough thinly into the corners where the bottom meets the sides of the pan, as well as all of the way up the sides. Freeze the remaining dough For a future mini cheesecake. Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil to prevent leakage of butter from the crust as well as preventing water from getting into the cake later during baking. Place the pan on a cookie/baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a metal rack.
To Make the Filling:
Spoon some of the apple pie filling onto the cooled crust and distribute evenly. Set the remaining filling aside to top the baked cheesecake.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sour cream and beat until fully combined.
Add the sugar, vanilla, and eggs and beat until smooth. Pour this over the pie filling.
Place the cheesecake pan in a larger baking dish or roasting pan and place in the oven with the shelf halfway outside of the door. Fill the pan/dish halfway up the side of the cheesecake with boiling water. Carefully slide the shelf fully inside of the oven.
Bake until the center of the cake is set, about 55 minutes.
Turn off the oven and remove the pan and cheesecake; place them on top of the stove. Return the cheesecake to the center shelf of the oven and the baking dish of water to a lower shelf. Close the door and allow to bake and slowly cool for 20 minutes.
Crack open the oven door and allow to cool for 40 minutes.
Set on a cooling rack, still inside the pan and cool for 4 hours on top of the stove.
Remove the ring from the springform pan by loosening any stuck-on cheesecake using a plastic knife or spatula to prevent scratching your pan. Using two spatulas (offset spatulas work most easily), loosen the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan and transfer to a cake board or serving dish.
At this point you may freeze the cheesecake, before adding the toppings, for future use. Just freeze the cheesecake as is and then wrap thoroughly with plastic wrap, as tightly as possible and then with foil. Then, the day before the event defrost overnight in the refrigerator and a little longer, if necessary, at room temperature. However, make the caramel topping the day before serving the cheesecake allowing the caramel sauce to cool.
Fold in about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dulce de leche to the remaining apple pie filling and add this mixture to the top of the cheesecake.
To Make the Caramel Topping:
Follow the recipe for Dulce de Leche, but only use half the amount of ingredients. However, you can make the full recipe and use the leftovers to simply eat by the spoonful or as an ice cream topping. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. (If making in advance, refrigerate and bring to room temperature when ready to serve by microwaving in 10-second intervals, stirring in between.)
Just prior to serving, drizzle on top of the cheesecake. You can also drizzle over individual slices, if some people prefer less sweet desserts. Just realize that the cheesecake filling is not very sweet, allowing the sweetness of the apple pie filling and caramel topping to sweeten it perfectly.
*To make dairy-free dulce de leche, you’ll need to make dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. See the link above this recipe for Homemade Dairy Free Sweetened Condensed Milk.