Gluten-Free Strawberry Cheesecake

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Our Gluten-Free Strawberry Cheesecake recipe is a total showstopper! Luscious gluten-free cheesecake with fresh strawberry topping. It’s as yummy as it looks!

gluten-free strawberry cheesecake topped with strawberry sauce

Need a show-stopping dessert for your next celebration? We’ve shared lots of fun recipes that would fit the bill recently, from Fudgy Pecan Brownies to a Fluffy Lemon Bundt Cake, but today I’m so excited to share our Gluten-Free Strawberry Cheesecake recipe.

It’s three delicious layers of goodness to love!

  1. A crispy gluten-free graham cracker crust
  2. Luscious cheesecake filling with hints of vanilla and citrus
  3. Vibrant fresh strawberry topping that adds a berry touch to every bite.

Are you ready? Let’s make one together! Here’s what you need to make our gluten-free cheesecake with strawberry topping…

Ingredients for gluten-free cheesecake
gluten-free cheesecake with strawberry sauce

Here’s What You Need To Make This Gluten-Free Cheesecake

  • Gluten-Free Graham Crackers. For the base of this cheesecake, I use a variation on our Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust recipe. We usually use Pamela’s gluten-free graham crackers, but there are lots of great brands out there!
  • Sugar. You’ll need a little granulated sugar for the crust, some for the filling, and another bit for the strawberry topping. Worth it!
  • Melted Butter. This helps hold the crust together.
  • Cream Cheese. We only recommend full-fat cream cheese (like Philadelphia!) for making cheesecake. Make sure it’s at room temperature so it blends well!
  • Eggs. Room temperature eggs give this dessert it’s custard-like texture. Again, make sure they’re room temperature! (Try this trick!)
  • Sour Cream. Room temperature sour cream gives our gluten-free cheesecake its signature tangy flavor and adds richness and smoothness.
  • Lemon Zest. One of my little flavor tricks! You’ll zest a lemon for a touch of brightness. Don’t worry, the strawberry flavor is still the star!
  • Vanilla Extract. This adds that luscious touch. Don’t skip it! If you want, you can use an equal amount of vanilla bean paste instead for little flecks of vanilla in the filling.
  • Cornstarch. Just a touch helps hold the filling together, and a bit more helps thicken the strawberry topping.
  • Heavy Cream. A tiny splash gives this cheesecake filling the most luscious texture. SO GOOD.
  • Our Easy Strawberry Topping. Made from fresh strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. It’s vibrant, beautiful, and so fresh!
  • A Springform Pan! You can’t bake this cheesecake without a 9-inch springform pan! This kind of pan has sides that detach from the bottom so the cheesecake can stay intact.
Making gluten-free strawberry cheesecake step by step

How To Make Strawberry Cheesecake, Step By Step

Start With The Crust:

  1. Preheat The Oven to 350 degrees F. and place a rack in the lower third of the oven. 
  2. Prep Your Pan. Set out a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the outside of the springform pan tightly with 2-3 layers of foil.
  3. Crush Graham Crackers. In a food processor, crush the graham crackers to crumbs.
  4. Coat The Crumbs. Add sugar and melted butter and pulse until combined and all the crumbs are coated in the butter mixture. 
  5. Pat Out The Crust. Pour the crumbs into the prepared springform pan and use the back of a measuring cup (easiest!) or your fingers to gently pat the crust into an even layer along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (The crust will reach about halfway up the pan)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown. Remove it from the oven and set the crust aside to cool while you make the cheesecake filling.
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F

Next, Make The Filling:

  1. Reduce The Oven Temp & Check Your Ingredients. If you haven’t already, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature, or they won’t blend well. Don’t rush this step!
  2. Bring A Pot Of Water To A Boil while you mix up the cheesecake. You’ll use this to make a hot water bath for the cheesecake, or at least to fill up a pan of water to place beneath the cheesecake. 
  3. Beat Cream Cheese & Sugar. To the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese and sugar. Mix for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is completely smooth with no lumps. 
  4. Mix in the eggs, one at a time on low speed, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next one.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add sour cream, cornstarch, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until just combined. 
  6. With the mixer on low speed (or by hand), gently mix in the heavy cream. The filling should be VERY smooth with no noticeable lumps. 
  7. Pour the cheesecake filling into the cooled graham cracker crust. It’ll nearly fill the pan to the top. Gently smooth the surface into an even layer or gently tap on the counter a few times to help any air bubbles release. 
  8. Prepare Your Hot Water Bath. Add about 3/4 inch of boiling water to your water bath pan (see notes below if you don’t have a pan large enough!) Carefully, lower your cheesecake pan into the hot water bath so that the water comes up about 1-inch on the sides of the cheesecake. 
  9. Bake The Cheesecake. Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the oven and bake at 325 degrees F. for 60-70 minutes, or until the edges look just dry and the center wobbles like jello. Err on the side of UNDERbaking rather than OVERbaking.
  10. Cool In The Oven For 1 Hour. Turn off the oven and crack the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven with the door cracked open for 1 hour.
  11. Chill 4-5 Hours. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator (uncovered) and let the cheesecake chill at least 4-5 hours to cool and set completely. 

Finish With The Strawberry Topping:

  1. Prepare The Strawberries. Start by slicing or dicing the strawberries.* Set aside 1/3 of the strawberries (8 oz.) for later. 
  2. Combine Strawberries & Sugar. Add 2/3 of the strawberries (about 1 pound) to a saucepan along with the sugar. 
  3. Make Slurry. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Whisk together until completely smooth, then add this slurry to the strawberries and sugar. 
  4. Bring To A Boil. Stir the mixture with a flexible spatula over medium heat until it begins to boil. 
  5. Stir To Thicken. Reduce the heat and stir 4-5 minutes, or until the berries have softened somewhat and the sauce has thickened. (Remember it will thicken more as it cools)
  6. Mix In Remaining Strawberries. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/3 of the strawberries. Stir to coat well. 
  7. Cool. Let the strawberry topping cool, then transfer to an airtight container or glass jar. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  8. Serve & Store. Store strawberry topping in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. You can freeze this strawberry topping in an airtight freezer bag up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator before using (the texture will soften slightly upon thawing). Enjoy this strawberry topping with waffles, ice cream, cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, pound cake, yogurt, and more!
  9. For A Smooth Sauce. If you don’t want any chunks in your strawberry sauce, puree the strawberries in a blender and strain them through a fine mesh sieve before you proceed with the rest of the sauce directions. (If you want to thicken the sauce more, you can mix up an additional teaspoon of cornstarch + 1 teaspoon of water and add it to the sauce as needed as it simmers)
Two cheesecakes - a browned one baked without a water bath, and a smooth creamy one baked with a water bath

Tricks For Using A Hot Water Bath For Cheesecake

Do you HAVE to use a hot water bath for cheesecake? It totally depends on the results you want! For a uniform white color and even texture across the surface, I recommend it. It’s an extra step, but it makes a HUGE difference visually. I know it can feel intimidating if it’s your first time making one, but a hot water bath (or bain marie) is easier than it seems!

  • BEFORE making the crust or cheesecake, make sure you have a pan large enough to hold the springform pan. This can be a braiser, roasting pan, etc. You want 1-inch of boiling hot water to come up the sides of the springform pan. It’s MUCH easier to test this with an empty pan than a full one. 
  • Wrap the springform pan TIGHTLY with foil. I usually use 2-3 layers and make sure that the bottom and seam of the pan where the sides meet the bottom is very securely covered. This can take 4-6 sheets of foil. The better you wrap the pan, the less likely you are to have water seep through. 
  • If you have a kettle, this can be the easiest way to fill the hot water bath, as the spout makes for easy pouring. If you don’t, you can add about 3/4-inch of water to the roasting pan/water bath pan and THEN add your springform pan to the hot water bath, rather than pouring the water around the springform pan. You want the water to come up about 1-inch on the sides of the springform pan.
  • If this will be too heavy for you to manage, fill the hot water bath IN the oven. Place your roasting pan/base pan into the oven, then pull out that rack slightly using oven mitts. Pour in the hot water, tuck in your cheesecake pan, then carefully scoot the rack back into place and close the door.

What Do I Do If I Don’t Have A Pan Large Enough For A Hot Water Bath For My Cheesecake?

If you do NOT have a pan large enough, you can use a 9×13 pan with 1-2 inches of boiling water and place it on the rack BELOW the cheesecake while it bakes. I use this method in my Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe and it works really well. 

Strawberry topping in a white bowl
gluten-free strawberry cheesecake with strawberry topping

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Strawberry Cheesecake

Want To Try Another Topping? This is a great gluten-free cheesecake recipe to serve with all kinds of toppings. Try it with Raspberry Sauce, Chocolate Sauce, or Salted Caramel Sauce. It would also be great with blueberry topping!

Use Room Temperature Ingredients!

One of the big keys to a smooth, creamy cheesecake filling that doesn’t crack or bubble is using room temperature ingredients and mixing on LOW speed. Our goal is to avoid adding extra air to the cheesecake filling as we mix, so low speed and room temperature ingredients will blend best. Be sure to set out the cold ingredients at least 30-60 minutes in advance and don’t start mixing until they’re room temperature. Then, follow the tips for baking with water (either a water bath or pan of water below), and gently cooling the cheesecake in the oven for an hour before chilling.

Can You Freeze Cheesecake?

Yes! Cheesecake actually freezes really well. You can freeze the entire cheesecake or individual slices:

  • Freeze Cheesecake Whole. Cool the cheesecake to room temperature, then remove the outer rim of the springform pan. Wrap the cheesecake with the bottom of the pan in a few layers of plastic wrap, then wrap the cheesecake in foil. Freeze up to 3 months, and thaw in the refrigerator before serving. If you need the bottom of the pan, you can use a sharp knife or cake lifter to carefully slide the cheesecake onto a piece of parchment paper or a plate. Then wrap with plastic wrap & foil.
  • Freeze Individual Slices. Place individual slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper inside the freezer until firm. Then wrap slices in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or defrost individual slices on the counter for about 30 minutes.
  • FREEZE WITHOUT TOPPINGS. Either way, do NOT freeze this cheesecake with the strawberry topping. Add toppings after thawing.

How Long Does Cheesecake Last? Our strawberry cheesecake will keep in the fridge 2-3 days before the crust softens too much. It will keep better if you serve the strawberry sauce on the side rather than pouring it over the whole cheesecake. Cover loosely to store in the fridge, or you can freeze it for later!

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gluten-free strawberry cheesecake topped with strawberry sauce

Gluten-Free Strawberry Cheesecake


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Emily Dixon, Sweets & Thank You
  • Total Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 1216 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Description

Our Gluten-Free Strawberry Cheesecake recipe is a total showstopper! Luscious gluten-free cheesecake with fresh strawberry topping. It’s as yummy as it looks!


Ingredients

Scale

For The Graham Cracker Crust:

For The Cheesecake Filling:

  • 4 (8-oz.) packages full-fat cream cheese (we recommend Philadelphia), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 8 oz. sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tablespoon zest)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature

For The Strawberry Topping:

  • 1 1/2 pounds (24 oz./680 grams) Strawberries, quartered, halved, sliced, or diced*
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar (67 grams)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • tiny pinch (less than 1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt

Instructions

Start With The Crust:

  1. Preheat The Oven to 350 degrees F. and place a rack in the lower third of the oven. 
  2. Prep Your Pan. Set out a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the outside of the springform pan tightly with 2-3 layers of foil.
  3. Crush Graham Crackers. In a food processor, crush the graham crackers to crumbs.
  4. Coat The Crumbs. Add sugar and melted butter and pulse until combined and all the crumbs are coated in the butter mixture. 
  5. Pat Out The Crust. Pour the crumbs into the prepared springform pan and use the back of a measuring cup (easiest!) or your fingers to gently pat the crust into an even layer along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (The crust will reach about halfway up the pan)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown. Remove it from the oven and set the crust aside to cool while you make the cheesecake filling.
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F

Next, Make The Cheesecake Filling:

  1. Reduce The Oven Temp & Check Your Ingredients. If you haven’t already, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature, or they won’t blend well. Don’t rush this step!
  2. Bring A Pot Of Water To A Boil while you mix up the cheesecake. You’ll use this to make a hot water bath for the cheesecake, or at least to fill up a pan of water to place beneath the cheesecake. 
  3. Beat Cream Cheese & Sugar. To the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese and sugar. Mix for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is completely smooth with no lumps. 
  4. Mix in the eggs, one at a time on low speed, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next one.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add sour cream, cornstarch, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until just combined. 
  6. With the mixer on low speed (or by hand), gently mix in the heavy cream. The filling should be VERY smooth with no noticeable lumps. 
  7. Pour the cheesecake filling into the cooled graham cracker crust. It’ll nearly fill the pan to the top. Gently smooth the surface into an even layer or gently tap on the counter a few times to help any air bubbles release. 
  8. Prepare Your Hot Water Bath. Add about 3/4 inch of boiling water to your water bath pan (see notes below if you don’t have a pan large enough!) Carefully, lower your cheesecake pan into the hot water bath so that the water comes up about 1-inch on the sides of the cheesecake. 
  9. Bake The Cheesecake. Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the oven and bake at 325 degrees F. for 60-70 minutes, or until the edges look just dry and the center wobbles like jello. Err on the side of UNDERbaking rather than OVERbaking.
  10. Cool In The Oven For 1 Hour. Turn off the oven and crack the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven with the door cracked open for 1 hour.
  11. Chill 4-5 Hours. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator (uncovered) and let the cheesecake chill at least 4-5 hours to cool and set completely. 

Make The Strawberry Topping:

  1. Prepare The Strawberries. Start by slicing or dicing the strawberries.* Set aside 1/3 of the strawberries (8 oz.) for later. 
  2. Combine Strawberries & Sugar. Add 2/3 of the strawberries (about 1 pound) to a saucepan along with the sugar. 
  3. Make Slurry. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Whisk together until completely smooth, then add this slurry to the strawberries and sugar. 
  4. Bring To A Boil. Stir the mixture with a flexible spatula over medium heat until it begins to boil. 
  5. Stir To Thicken. Reduce the heat and stir 4-5 minutes, or until the berries have softened somewhat and the sauce has thickened. (Remember it will thicken more as it cools)
  6. Mix In Remaining Strawberries. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/3 of the strawberries. Stir to coat well. 
  7. Cool. Let the strawberry topping cool, then transfer to an airtight container or glass jar. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  8. Serve & Store. Store strawberry topping in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. You can freeze this strawberry topping in an airtight freezer bag up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator before using (the texture will soften slightly upon thawing). Enjoy this strawberry topping with waffles, ice cream, cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, pound cake, yogurt, and more!
  9. For A Smooth Sauce. If you don’t want any chunks in your strawberry sauce, puree the strawberries in a blender and strain them through a fine mesh sieve before you proceed with the rest of the sauce directions. (If you want to thicken the sauce more, you can mix up an additional teaspoon of cornstarch + 1 teaspoon of water and add it to the sauce as needed as it simmers)

Notes

Hot Water Bath Tips: 

  • Wrap the springform pan TIGHTLY with foil. I usually use 2-3 layers and make sure that the bottom and seam of the pan is very securely covered. This can take 4-6 sheets of foil. The better you wrap the pan, the less likely you are to have water seep through. If you have oven bags or slow cooker liners, you can also tuck the wrapped springform pan into one before lowering it into the water bath.
  • Before making the crust or cheesecake, make sure you have a pan large enough to hold the springform pan. This can be a braiser, roasting pan, etc. You want 1-inch of boiling hot water to come up the sides of the springform pan. It’s MUCH easier to test this with an empty pan than a full one. 
  • If you do NOT have a pan large enough, you can use a 9×13 pan with 1-2 inches of boiling water and place it on the rack BELOW the cheesecake while it bakes. I use this method in my Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe and it works really well. 
  • If you have a kettle, this can be the easiest way to fill the hot water bath, as the spout makes for easy pouring. If you don’t, you can add about 1-inch of water to the roasting pan/water bath pan and THEN add your springform pan to the hot water bath, rather than pouring the water around the springform pan. 

Tips For Freezing Cheesecake:

  • Freeze Cheesecake Whole. Cool the cheesecake to room temperature, then remove the outer rim of the springform pan. Wrap the cheesecake with the bottom of the pan in a few layers of plastic wrap, then wrap the cheesecake in foil. Freeze up to 2 months, and thaw in the refrigerator before serving. If you need the bottom of the pan, you can use a sharp knife or cake lifter to carefully slide the cheesecake onto a piece of parchment paper or a plate. Then wrap with plastic wrap & foil.
  • Freeze Individual Slices. Place individual slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper inside the freezer until firm. Then wrap slices in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or defrost individual slices on the counter for about 30 minutes.
  • FREEZE WITHOUT TOPPINGS. Either way, do NOT freeze this cheesecake with the strawberry topping. Add toppings after thawing.  

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Chill Time: 5 hours
  • Cook Time: 80 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
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4 Comments

  1. We made this for a birthday celebration this weekend. It was Divine! I did have to pace myself – to not rush and add the ingredients that are supposed to be room temperature. And I’m so glad I did. It was silky smooth, and completely delicious! Thank you!






    1. Hi! There was a glitch in showing the topping ingredients, but I’ve got it fixed! You should see the strawberry topping ingredients in the recipe card now. Thanks for your patience! 🙂

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