A fall and holiday favorite recipe! These gluten free apple cranberry cheesecake bars are made with a crumb crust, filled with a cinnamon cheesecake filling, topped with fresh apples and cranberries, and finished with leftover crumble. It’s a great recipe to use up leftover fresh cranberries or even some cranberry sauce!
Move over pumpkin, I’m back to apple desserts.
Ok, apple season might be about over here, but there’s really never a bad time to bake with them. So today I’m breaking out this recipe for Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars!
I’m not kidding when I say that everyone who tried them absolutely loved them. These bars start with a flaky crumb crust, are filled with a cinnamon cheesecake filling, and are then topped with fresh apples and cranberries. Finally, they’re finished with leftover crumble from the crust.
Just look at how gorgeous they are.
How to Make Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars
The cheesecake layer needs to cool and firm up first before you can slice, so once the bars have cooled completely make sure to place them in the refrigerator to chill at least 1 hour before slicing. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Start by preheating the oven to 350℉ and lining a 9×9” square baking dish with parchment paper on all sides.
- In a food processor fitted with the metal S blade, pulse 1 cup of oats for 10-15 seconds until it becomes oat flour. Stop the machine. Add in the remaining ½ cup of oats, gluten free flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, and pulse a few times to combine.
- Whisk together melted butter and vanilla in a small bowl, add it to your crust mixture, then pulse again a few times until everything comes together. The crust should resemble wet sand. Press about ⅔ of the crust mixture evenly across the bottom of the square baking dish.
Next, it’s time to make the filling.
- Beat cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.
- Finally, mix together the apples, cranberries, cinnamon, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the lemon juice and cornstarch mixture and toss to combine.
Time to assemble!
- Spread the cheesecake batter evenly over the crust. Gently place the fruit mixture over the cheesecake so it’s all in one layer, then sprinkle the remaining ⅓ of the crust over the top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, then place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cutting into 12-16 squares!
Can I Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce?
Yes! This recipe uses fresh cranberries, but you can easily use cranberry sauce instead. Simply remove the fresh cranberries from the recipe and toss only the apples in the sugar mixture, then lay the apples on top of the cream cheese filling as instructed.
Now grab about ⅓ of a cup of leftover cranberry sauce. Instead of spreading it all over the top of the apples, just drop small spoonfuls between some of the crevices – try not to go all the way to the edges (leave some apples as the border) so the cranberry sauce doesn’t ooze out.
Top with your crumble and bake as directed!
What Kind of Flour Can I Use?
I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour for the crust and crumble for these apple cranberry cheesecake bars. It’s my favorite gluten free flour and I use it in almost all my recipes! A 1:1 flour generally means it has xanthan gum mixed in, which helps to create structure in baked goods without gluten. Without it, your crumb crust may crumble or fall apart
You don’t have to use Bob’s Red Mill, just any gluten free 1:1 flour will do for these bars! Namasté has a great 1:1 flour and so does Pilsbury.
I didn’t measure the flour by weight for this recipe but do recommend using a spoon to “spoon and level” the flour into your measuring cup. Scooping the flour out with your measuring cup can lead to using too much.
I truly hope you enjoy these gluten free apple cranberry cheesecake bars as much as my family and I did!
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