Monday, August 11, 2014

Gluten-Free Lemon Zested Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

I am in love with this cheesecake. It was very therapeutic to create, with such pure and straightforward ingredients: the creaminess meeting the lemon zest, served with another level of deliciousness by the homemade caramel sauce being poured over the tender cake. I also love eating a cool dessert in the middle of a hot summer, and up the ice cream factor by freezing it first then serving. Give it a try. You will be wishing you made a double batch. 

Oh yeah, I've been getting serious about making gluten-free food because one of my new roommates is a highly sensitive celiac. I will be getting edits from them and I am so appreciative to get to learn from them first hand about gluten-free baking. 

Of course if you are not gluten sensitive, sub in regular graham crackers or ginger snaps. This dessert is best served the day after it's evening chill, and by day two freeze it or eat it (which shouldn't be a problem). Enjoy. 

Gluten-Free Lemon Zested Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce
(Printable Recipe)
Prep Time: 1 hr 15 min. Bake Time: 1 hr. Chill Time: 4 hrs or overnight 
Gluten-Free | Soy Free
Cook's Note: Double check all ingredients especially when baking for a Gluten-Sensitive/Intolerate person. Be aware that some Gluten-Free flours contain Soy. Another common food allergy.
Adapted from Joy the Baker

Ginger Snap Crust:
2 cups ginger snap cookies, gluten-free and soy-free
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt, Himalayan

Lemon Zested Cheesecake:
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract, gluten-free check the type of alcohol used
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
zest from one lemon
Caramel Drizzle:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp filtered water
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
Special Equipment:
Food Processor
6-inch Spring Form Cake Pan, with 4-inch sides
9-inch pan, or one big enough to fit the 6-inch pan
How To:
1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare a 6-inch spring-form cake pan (one with about 4 inch-high sides). Place a large sheet of foil beneath pan and wrap up around the base to protect any moisture from seeping in from the water bath. Wrap foil around the outside and along the edges without going into the inside of the pan.

2. Prepare the Ginger Snap Crust: In a food processor add ginger snap cookies, brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Process for a couple minutes until the mixture is well blended and moist. Pour mixture into the cake pan and press the mixture down and up the edges a little bit. Tamp down with the back of a glass or tight (yet gentle!) fist. Place crust in oven to brown a little bit, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Turn oven down to 325ºF. Boil about 4 cups of water for the water bath. Set aside.

4. Prepare the cheesecake filling: Beat the cream cheese and sugar for about 3 - 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in salt, vanilla, and one egg. Once mixed, add the other egg. Continue to beat until very smooth, for about another couple minutes, add in cream. Beat until smooth and thick. Add lemon zest, stir to incorporate. Pour into the prepared crust.

5. Place the 6-inch prepared cheesecake pan into the empty 9-inch pan. Place both pans into the oven. Carefully pour the prepared boiled water into the 9-inch pan on the bottom, trying not to splash into the cheesecake.

6. Bake for an hour or until cheesecake is browned and puffed. You may need to check it ten minutes early, or keep baking it for 10 - 15 minutes more, depending on elevation. Turn off oven and crack the door allowing the cheesecake to cool slowly without cracking due to excessive temperature changes. Let rest in oven for an hour. Remove from oven and set on counter. Let it continue to cool for another hour or more at room temperature. Set in fridge to cool overnight (or four hours).

7. Make the Caramel: In a medium saucepan, add sugar, water, and corn syrup. Turn to medium heat and allow mixture to boil. Stir occasionally. Once sugar has slightly browned, without being burned, take pan off of heat and add cream and butter. Stir until incorporated. Add salt. Pour mixture into a lidded container. Let cool overnight (or four hours) with cheesecake.

8. The next day, run a knife around the circumference of the cheesecake, gently remove from pan and plate. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the cheesecake. Garnish with the salt and a few lemon slices if you so desire for presentation. 

Good luck, and most of all, good eats!


  1. Looks absolutely delicious!!! Luv ya Rachel you are awesome! Luv Ada

    1. Aww thank you! Miss you ~ can't wait to see you guys again!!!


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