To make gluten-free cheesecake crust, I’m giving you two totally homemade options. One is like a cross between a graham cracker and an oatmeal cookie crust, and the other is a classic shortbread crust that tastes like a sugar cookie. You can make them in a bowl or with the help of a food processor – whichever you prefer!
I haven’t posted many full-sized cheesecakes because I’m rarely completely happy with the crust. They’re often too wet or not very flavorful.
I’m not a huge crust fan in general, unless we’re talking about cookie-like crusts. And both of these recipes qualify as cookie crusts!
So I’m very excited to share these two recipes with you. They’re both super versatile, and I think they would suit almost any cheesecake recipe.
With both recipes, you simply process everything in a food processor (or mix in a bowl) and pat the dough over just the bottom of the pan, which makes things easy. With many recipes, when you pat the crust up the sides of the pans, it slumps back down during baking.
Or sometimes you pat the crust into the pan, fill with cheesecake batter, and then bake. Then you get a soggy crust.
So let’s bypass all that fussiness and sogginess by patting the crust over only the bottom and pre-baking!
Classic shortbread crust
This one tastes like a sugar cookie, but denser. It’s a crust, after all. :)
The flavor is really perfect. If you’re tired of bland crust recipes, try this one!
I used King Arthur Flour Gluten-free Measure for Measure Flour (which is what was used in the photos) and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. Both work great.
I preferred King Arthur. The texture was smoother, but neither crust tasted weird or gluten-free.
Bob’s had a bit of sandiness that I don’t love in this recipe.
I can’t say if other brands of gluten-free flour work as well without trying them myself.
But whatever brand you use should be a 1:1 replacement for all-purpose flour. So – no almond flour and no coconut flour.
How to make it
You don’t have to use a food processor for this recipe, but it’s quicker and easier.
If you don’t want to use a food processor, add everything but the butter to a large bowl, stir, and use a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter until you have crumbs.
If you want to use a food processor, add all the crust ingredients except for the butter to the bowl.
Pulse a few times to combine the dry ingredients.
Add the butter.
Pulse until you have fine crumbs. It shouldn’t form a dough – just crumbs!
Press into a greased 9″ springform pan, making sure it goes all the way to the very edge of the pan, but it shouldn’t go up the sides.
Poke holes, about every 1”, with a fork over the crust.
Bake for 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Place on a cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes. While it’s cooling, prepare the filling.
That’s a lot of sugar and butter!
Yes, it is, and that’s why it tastes so good. :) I do not recommend making any changes to this recipe.
Crusts are super finicky. If you want to decrease the amount of salt, omit the lemon zest, or use a different type of extract – that’s fine.
Changing the amount of butter, sugar, and flour is not.
Graham cracker-like oatmeal cookie crust
This is the crust I used for my gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake that you see below, which I’ll be sharing with you tomorrow.
I used the same crust in my Eggless Cheesecake Recipe, but today’s version is a scaled-down version.
The crust tastes a bit similar to a graham cracker crust, but the texture is more like an oatmeal cookie crust. And it also tastes similar to an oatmeal cookie. It sounds weird, but it’s delicious.
I used coconut sugar to mimic the taste of a graham cracker crust. If you prefer, you can use brown sugar instead. But then it’ll taste less like a graham cracker crust.
This recipe is 100% whole grain and uses coconut sugar, so if you’re avoiding refined sugar and flour, then make this crust and not the shortbread crust above.
If you’re gluten-free, you need to use gluten-free oats. If you’re not sure what I mean, check out my post on → Are Oats Gluten-free?
If you’re not gluten-free, you can use regular oats.
How to make it
And like with the other recipe, you don’t have to use a food processor here.
If you don’t want to use a food processor, you have to use quick oats and not rolled oats. If using a food processor, you can use either.
To do it without a food processor, add everything but the butter to a large bowl, and then use a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter. You might need to use your hands to get it combined properly.
If you want to use a food processor, all you do is put everything into the bowl of a food processor.
Process for about 30 seconds or until it easily holds together when pinched together.
Pat over the bottom of the prepared springform pan.
Bake! It’s okay if it looks a little “fried” around the edges.
How to use them
I would really recommend pre-baking both crusts and letting them cool, as instructed, before filling. This prevents them from getting soggy.
Then bake according to the directions of whatever cheesecake filling you’re using.
Make in advance
While working on the recipes, I had several crusts sitting on my countertop for days. They hold up great!
Just cover them up and they won’t soften or go bad.
I didn’t have this issue with either of the crust recipes, but to be on the safe side, you might want to put a baking sheet on a rack near the bottom of the oven. Because a smoking oven is never fun.
Other cheesecake recipes
If neither of these crust recipes is for you, here are some other ideas:
I would love to hear from you if you try either one of my gluten-free cheesecake recipes! Please leave a comment below or on social media, mention @texanerinbaking or tag #texanerin so I can be sure to see them. Thank you!
Gluten-free Cheesecake Crust
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 1 crust per recipe
- 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) King Arthur Flour Gluten-free Measure for Measure Flour or 1 1/2 cups (207 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (168 grams) cold unsalted butter
- 1 2/3 cups (153 grams) gluten-free oats1
- 1/3 cup (66 grams) tightly packed coconut sugar2 or brown sugar3
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Oatmeal cookie crust:
- Grease a 9" springform pan. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (176 °C).
- If you don’t want to use a food processor, add everything but the butter to a large bowl, and then use a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter until you have crumbs.
- If you want to use a food processor, add all the crust ingredients except for the butter to the bowl.
- Pulse a few times to combine the dry ingredients, add the butter, and pulse until you have fine crumbs. It shouldn’t form a dough - just crumbs!
- Press into the prepared pan, making sure it goes all the way to the very edge of the pan, but it shouldn’t go up the sides.
- Poke holes, about every 1”, with a fork over the crust.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Place on a cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes before filling. Then fill and follow your cheesecake filling recipe.
- Grease a 9" springform pan. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (176 °C).
- If not using a food processor, add everything but the butter to a large bowl, stir, and then use a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter. You might need to use your hands to get it combined properly.
- If you want to use a food processor, all you do is put everything into the bowl of a food processor.
- Process for about 30 seconds or until it easily holds together when pinched together.
- Pat over the bottom of the prepared springform pan.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned. It’s okay if it looks a little “fried” around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before pouring in the cheesecake filling and continuing with your cheesecake recipe.
- Both recipes can be made up to 4 days in advance. Cover the top of the pan tightly with foil or place in a large Ziploc bag so it doesn't dry out.
For the shortbread crust:
For the oatmeal cookie crust:
- For the oatmeal cookie crust, if using a food processor, you can use rolled or quick oats. If making the crust by hand, you need to use quick oats.
- Note that it's best to weigh coconut sugar! Some brands are light and coarse and some brands (like the one I use) are very fine and dense.
- The oatmeal cookie crust is more graham cracker-like when using coconut sugar. Brown sugar works and is still delicious.