Dana Slatkin

Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake (gluten-free; dairy-free or vegan)

caramel apple cheesecake vegan gluten-free

Photo credit: Foodnetwork.com

Being a blogger, I am constantly reminded of what I’m good at and what I’m not. Coming up with new recipes to share each week? Pretty good. Giving you tips and techniques I’ve learned from experience? Not bad (I hope). Taking mouth-watering photos? Not so good.

When it comes to photography, let’s just say I’m seriously challenged. It doesn’t help that I’m still stubbornly attached to my Blackberry (but I won’t blame it on my sorry phone camera). Luckily, my kids occasionally step in to help.

Here’s another thing I’m not good at: following recipes. In fact, I’m such a tweaker that the other day I found myself blatantly rewriting a recipe…one of my own.

While I was searching for the ultimate fall dessert for my upcoming cooking class, I came across a recipe from my archives that answered all my cravings: apples, warm spices, nuts and creamy goodness…a decadent marriage of apple pie and cheesecake.

I decided to test it out to see if it still tantalized. But I couldn’t help making some adjustments. First, all that white sugar had to go: I substituted dates in the crust and maple syrup in the filling. This time around, I used full fat organic cream cheese (turns out nonfat and lowfat dairy do not do our bodies good after all). Next, I added some coconut milk for richness and cornstarch to keep it airy and silky smooth.

The baking process needed to be simplified, too. Instead of cooking the cheesecake in a water bath, which required a tightly sealed pan and some maneuvering with hot water, I opted to cook it on doubled trays, adding a bowl of hot water to the bottom oven shelf to keep the air moist. As for the apple topping, I decided to leave it alone, though I did double the batch to enjoy over yogurt the next morning.

The result? A new version of my cheesecake that’s light as fluff, with fall written all over it. It’s a winner for Halloween, Thanksgiving and any meal in between – even if you feel the urge to take it vegan (use chia seeds in place of eggs), dairy-free (use Tofutti cream cheese), nut-free (try pumpkin seeds), or as is.


Don’t miss out on your chance to win an adorable set of rainbow prep bowls! Enter my Fall Giveaway here.

You might also like:

Butternut Squash Soup with Scallion-Cilantro Oil

Seared Cauliflower with Mustard Caper Herb Sauce

Roasted Moroccan Vegetables and Tofu with Couscous

Flourless Cinnamon Citrus Almond Cake

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  1. Dori Schneider says:

    Hi Dana……..Your blog is wonderful……please add me to your email list. Hope to see you
    someday soon.

    Dori Schneider

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