Delectable Orange Almond Cheesecake (grain-free)

When you spend your days running a cake business, you tend to despise the taste of cake.  And perhaps become somewhat of a cake snob.  And, if you are on a diet, trying to lose those cake pounds that sneak up behind you (ha, ha), you tend to save your calories for something delectable, something fancy and worth the wait.  Hence my love for cheesecake.  When you have a serious allergy to peanuts and soy like I do, the cheesecakes in restaurants (or heaven help us, the frozen kind) are off-limits.  And the no-bake kind that have drippy fake fruit filling on the top…well, I am a snob.

A few years ago, Mr. stayed up late in the wee hours of the morning to make me a cheesecake for my birthday.  It was wonderful.  Sigh.  Delectable.  And the fact that he’d spent the time to make it was extra, extra special.

These days, with our daughter’s intolerance to dairy, gluten, and citrus, I have genuinely missed the taste of oranges and lemons.  There are so many wonderful citrus recipes out there, both sweet and savoury, that are created everyday.  It was time for a treat for mama.  Orange Almond Cheesecake – full of dairy and oranges, it was a pity I had to wait to eat it until the next day.

Delectable Orange Almond Cheesecake (grain-free)

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fluffier than normal, this cheesecake is the perfect dessert (for those of you who can handle dairy) with it’s light citrus taste blended with the nutty crust of almond meal. The effort to make it is well worth it. You will need to make it the day before serving.
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 12 slices
  • 1¼ cups almond meal
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar/brown sugar
  • 3 pkg full fat cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup full fat sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup xylitol/white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of one orange
  • juice of one orange (approx. ⅓ cup)
  • of one orange (approx. ⅓ cup)
  1. Line the bottom of an 8″ springform pan with parchment, and trim to fit. Wrap the entire pan with foil to protect it from water leaking in. Two sheets of foil may be necessary.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F and place the oven rack about ⅓ up from the bottom of the oven.
  3. Combine the ingredients of the crust together, and press into the springform pan. Trick: use the bottom of a flat 1 cup scoop to press the crumbs down and out to the edges of the pan. Have the crust rise up the sides a bit.
  4. Place the crust in the oven for 10 mins to firm up. Lower the oven temperature to 325F.
  5. In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese with the sugar, and slowly add the eggs. Add in the remaining ingredients and whip until no lumps remain (approximately 2 mins). You will need to scrape the sides down at least twice. Don’t be afraid of over mixing.
  6. Carefully pour the filling into the springform pan and level out. It should be the consistency of cake batter, and will fill your pan almost all the way up. Be sure to tuck the aluminum foil away from the batter.
  7. Gently place the pan into a larger roasting pan or other flat pan (I use my 12″x12″X3″ cake pan and pour in boiling water around the springform pan until about an inch high all around it. Be careful not to get water in the cake batter.
  8. Bake at 325F for approximately 1¾ hours, or until cooked through. The top may brown a bit.
  9. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly, and let the cheesecake cool for an hour. This will prevent cracking. Afterward, lift the pan out of the water, remove the foil and place in the fridge overnight. The cake should pull away from the sides of the pan once cooled.
  10. Once it is ready to serve, Pop off the sides of your springform pan, Slice and serve with sliced oranges and a cup of Earl Grey tea!!

The first time I made this, several people commented on how light and fluffy it is – not heavy like most cheesecakes.  The secret is the added sour cream!  I hope you take the time to make this – you may want to do a practice run before serving it as everyone’s oven is different. It is taking all the energy I have not to eat a piece for breakfast today!

Happy baking!

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