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close up shot of cheesecake with cherries on white plate with fork

Meaningful Eats

Gluten-Free Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

The BEST Gluten-Free Cheesecake you'll ever try! The texture is smooth, rich, and creamy, and served over an easy, gluten-free walnut brown sugar crust.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 16


For the Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups walnuts
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted

For the Sour Cream Topping:

  • 16 oz sour cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Cheesecake:

  • 32 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean cut down the center and the seeds scraped out
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy cream


Make the Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  • Add the nuts, brown sugar and butter to a food processor. Process the mixture until it resembles sand.  Mix together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla for the topping and set aside for later. 
  • Press the cheesecake crust into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.

Prepare the Sour Cream Topping:

  • Mix together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Set aside while the cheesecake bakes to be sure it is at room temperature when you need it.

Make the Filling:

  • Add the cream cheese and sugar to a mixing bowl. Mix on medium-high speed until totally smooth and combined.
  • With the mixer running on medium, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix briefly again.
  • Add the vanilla bean, vanilla extract and almond extract. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Scrape down the sides and bottom once more to make sure everything is evenly mixed.
  • Pour the filling over the crust. Bake for 65-70 minutes until set, but the center jiggles just slightly in the middle.
  • Pour the sour cream mixture over top the cheesecake and spread to combine. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes cut along the sides of the pan so the edges can release as it cools.
  • Let the cheesecake cool completely at room temperature for about 2 hours. Then transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. Serve chilled with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!


Tips for Gluten-Free Cheesecake that turns out perfect every time:
  • Be sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before mixing the cheesecake together. 
  • Don't overmix filling - use low or medium speed as instructed in the recipe. 
  • Bake the cheesecake in a 10-inch springform pan
  • No peeking! Keep the oven closed while the cheesecake bakes. 
  • After the cheesecake has been out of the oven for 10 minutes, cut around the edges of the pan so it can release as it cools. 
  • Cool the cheesecake completely before transferring to the refrigerator. 
  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. It's even better the second day!


Calories: 453.54kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.14g | Protein: 5.8g | Fat: 37.09g | Saturated Fat: 17.93g | Cholesterol: 92.94mg | Sodium: 227.69mg | Potassium: 176.74mg | Fiber: 0.73g | Sugar: 25.08g | Vitamin A: 1113.02IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 105.82mg | Iron: 0.61mg