Well this dessert is simply a thing of beauty! I sliced into it this morning and served it to Brian after we ate breakfast and he said it was the best dessert I’ve ever made! He said that he hated that we had an entire cheesecake in our house now, but he also doesn’t want me to get rid of it. This is the problem with making holiday desserts early – you have a boat load of desserts because of it, yet you’re in a pandemic when it’s weird to give your neighbors food that you cooked. We are in this time where we trust no one, including our neighbors. Luckily I haven’t trusted anyone since 7th grade when a girl named Stephanie turned on me and showed the true nature of the sad human spirit, so this pandemic isn’t changing how I feel about humans. Trust em as far as you can throw em. So I’ll be keeping this cheesecake in our house around the people I can trust most. Meaning my dog.

This paragraph makes absolutely no sense. Wtf.

PaleOMG Apple Crumb Cheesecake

PaleOMG Apple Crumb Cheesecake

Did you hear the news? The really, really important news. The Jersey Shore cast is getting back together for a little family vacation!! I’m not even seeing family during the holidays this year so I’m really happy to see that the Jersey Shore family can still make things happen during a pandemic. I also haven’t watched MTV in years, but that is definitely going to change when that reality show starts back up. I think we are all looking for some sort of comfort during these uncertain times and the Jersey Shore takes me back to my college days, when life was simple and days were long, when me and my college BF would get so excited to watch that trash. Those were the simple days when your biggest worry was how you would go out on a Thursday night and still somehow make it to your job at 5am the next morning. Man, college was the best. Minus the whole studying part. As I’m sure you guessed, school wasn’t my strongest skill.

PaleOMG Apple Crumb Cheesecake

PaleOMG Apple Crumb Cheesecake

But I made things work! Now I spend my mornings making cheesecake and licking the crumbs off the plates that need to be photographed. Not a bad gig. I wonder if my college would want to have me back to speak with the students about how you can totally create a career simply by talking through your middle school torment while you bake for other people on the internet. They didn’t exactly teach that skill in college nor did they promote it, so maybe I could show a different side to a Health & Exercise Science degree. Probably not what they are looking for in terms of career inspiration for their students, but I may force my way into some sort of speaking event. That sounds fun. And super scary.

Anywho, the whole point of this post is to get you making something extra special for Thanksgiving. And if you don’t think a dairy-free and gluten-free cheesecake is special, you crazy, man. As crazy as Stephanie from my 7th grade class.

PaleOMG Apple Crumb Cheesecake

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Apple Crumb Cheesecake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: juli
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices 1x



For the crust:

  • 1 package of Simple Mills Crunchy Pecan Cookies
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (use coconut oil, for dairy-free)

For the apple topping

  • 1 tablespoon ghee (use coconut oil, for dairy-free)
  • 3 apples, peeled and diced (I used Honeycrisp apples)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cheesecake filling

For the crisp


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan.
  2. Add cookies to a food processor and pulse to break down. Then add ghee and pulse to combined until a crumbly mixture is created. Place crumbled mixture in the springform pan and press down until evenly throughout the entire dish. Using the back of a glass helps smooth out the crust evenly throughout.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, add ghee and apples. Cook apples for 7-8 minutes until tender. Then add maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon and cook for another 7-8 minutes, tossing every minute or so.
  4. As the apples finish cooking, add the softened cream cheese to a stand mixer and turn on low to whip the cream cheese until smooth. Then add sugar, vanilla extract, and whip to combined for 2 minutes. Lastly, add eggs and whip once more, scraping down the sides until completely smooth.
  5. Lastly, in the food processor, add all the ingredients for the crisp toppings and pulse until broken down into a crumble texture that sticks together.
  6. Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan, top it with the cooked apples, then use your fingers to place the crisp mixture evenly throughout the dish on top of the apples and cheesecake.
  7. Place in the oven in the middle rack and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes. Let cool on countertop for at least 30 minutes to an hour, cover, and place in the fridge overnight.
  8. Cut into 12-14 slices and serve chilled with almond milk whipped cream on top! You can also serve it with caramel sauce, as well!


*I used Kite Hill almond milk cream cheese

**If you want to make this paleo, simply remove the gluten free oats & 1 tablespoon of ghee from the crisp ingredients

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PaleOMG Apple Crumb Cheesecake

PaleOMG Apple Crumb Cheesecake


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Apple Pie Cookie Bars

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

Apple Crisp

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  1. Linda says:

    I would happily accept any food you cook.

    1. Dawn says:

      This looks soooooo good! Do you think it’s ok to sub regular cream cheese for the almond milk stuff?

      1. juli says:


  2. Jill says:

    This looks so delicious! I’m making for Thanksgiving!

    1. juli says:

      hope you love it!

      1. Katlyn Naylor says:

        Where did u find almond cream cheese?

        1. juli says:

          whole foods or natural grocers!

  3. Gen says:

    This looks amaaazing! Anyway to make this nut-free? My sister has severe nut allergies.

    1. juli says:

      i haven’t tested this recipe another way so i can’t say for sure

  4. Holly Petrilli says:

    Looks fabulous! Could I substitute regular cream cheese and granular sugar for the cheesecake and it will turn out the right texture? Can’t find the almond milk cream cheese…

    1. juli says:


  5. Kim Askey says:

    What about coconut sugar instead of maple sugar?

    1. juli says:

      yes, it will just change the color since coconut sugar is darker

  6. Montana says:

    Do you think it is okay to prep the crust and let it sit in the fridge until you make the rest?

    1. juli says:


    2. juli says:


  7. Emily Southern Garczynski says:

    Holy. Balls. I made this for my family dinner and it was the biggest hit! I couldn’t fine the Simple Mills cookies, so I used GF ginger snaps- so good. I made it into bars for easier service and it was amazing. Hands down my new favorite dessert and a staple at family gatherings!

    1. juli says:

      woooohooooo! so glad you guys loved it!!

  8. Diana Ramirez says:

    This looks so delicious. I’m excited to make it.

    What can I sub for the cup maple sugar? Will coconut sugar work ?

    1. juli says:

      yes! it will just be a different color in the final product since coconut sugar is much darker than maple sugar

  9. Dianne says:

    can you use vegan cream cheese in place of the almond milk cream cheese

    1. juli says:

      i’m sure you could, i just have never used vegan cream cheese on anything so i can’t say for sure!

  10. Samantha says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving dessert and subbed regular cream cheese and it turned out fantastic! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. juli says:

      awesome!! so happy to hear that!