Maple Cheesecake (Grain-Free)

Maple cheesecake (Grain-Free) |

Did you know that nearly 17 million children in America, almost one in five, faced hunger at some point last year? Today’s post is a part of the first ever Virtual Progressive Dinner. Food bloggers are coming together during the month of December to help raise awareness and money for the non-profit organization Share Our Strength.

It’s likely children who have limited access to nutritious foods will endure lifelong consequences. Not only can hunger have long-term health consequences, but emotional consequences too. My friend Brooke wrote a very honest post about her own story of being hungry. Many of us are far enough removed from the childhood hunger issue we have a hard time understanding that people in our neighborhood could look fine from the outside, but be struggling to put food on the table.

Grain-Free Graham Crackers |

Share Our Strength aims to provide all children with a healthy breakfast, encourage healthy food choices, increase families’ access to fresh, affordable produce in their own neighborhoods, and ensure access to nutritious food in shelters and food pantries. We can all help by contributing money to this fantastic organization. Just $1 can help connect a child to 10 healthy meals. This is a wonderful way to give back during the holidays where a little bit can make a huge difference in a child’s life.

On top of making a donation, let’s keep a watchful eye out and see where we can help make a difference in our neighbors’ lives. Maybe share a casserole with someone you know who is going through a tough financial time, help out at your local shelter, or find out how to get involved with the local school’s lunch program. There are so many ways we can all pitch in.

Maple cheesecake (Grain-Free) |

For many of us, the Holidays are about entertaining as well as helping others.  This cheesecake screams Christmas to me. The pure maple flavor intertwined with cream cheese and sour cream make for a knock-out dessert. I tried it out at a dinner party last week. The entire cheesecake was gone in a matter of minutes and the compliments overflowed. Please enjoy, and please look for ways to help those around you.
Maple Cheesecake

Maple Cheesecake

Cheesecake freezes very well. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then a layer of foil and it will keep in the freezer for 2 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before serving.

Adapted from Bon Appetit


  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup

  • 17 5 x 21/2-inch grain free graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour)

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2/3 cup sour cream

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


Pour maple syrup into a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Place graham crackers, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of a buttered 9-inch diameter spring form pan with 2 3/4-inch sides. Bake 10 minutes, until crust darkens slightly. Cool completely. Reduce oven to 300ºF.

Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment until smooth. Add maple sugar, arrowroot and salt. Beat on medium until blended and smooth. Add 1 cup reduced maple syrup, sour cream and vanilla. Beat until just blended. Add eggs, 2 at a time, and beat just until blended after each addition. Tap bowl on counter to release any air bubbles. Pour filling into cooled crust and pop any bubbles on top with the tip of a paring knife. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until cake is slightly puffed around the edges (the center will jiggle slightly when pan is gently shaken). Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to serve, drizzle melted chocolate over top. (If you choose to freeze the cheesecake, then drizzle with chocolate after thawing.) The cake keeps for 3 days in the fridge.

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  1. This cheesecake looks so amazing! Though this might sound silly, last year my husband and I started a tradition of saving all of our change throughout the year and then donating it at the end of the year. I hope that eventually we will be able to make larger financial contributions, but all that change does add up. This year, just like last year, we plan to donate it to an organization helping to alleviate hunger (probably share our strength) Thanks for reminding us that it is always important to think of those in need, and I will definitely look for ways to get involved locally.

  2. I love being a part of this wonderful cause for share our strength, with all of you whom I admire and adore. We may want to think about what we can do all year around and not just at holiday time. The holidays makes it very easy for us to want to give to those around us. I think we are all starting a trend…let’s keep this alive.

    Your cheesecake is beautiful. I love the photos. Happy Holidays, Carrie! xx

  3. Brooke@FoodWoolf

    Carrie, what a thoughtful post. Thank you so much for mentioning me in your post, it’s an honor to be able to tell my story in hopes of empowering people to action. Even better, this wonderful recipe is the perfect gift this holiday! Thank you for sharing such great ideas on how to give back.

  4. Carol Peterman/TableFare

    That is a stunning cheesecake! I really liked your comment about looking around at your neighbors and offering help to those close by as well. The No Kid Hungry ad running on FoodNetwork makes the point that hunger is invisible and can be as close as someone living next door without anyone noticing.

  5. I love your comment about keeping an eye out for your neighbors. Sometimes the people who are in need the most are right in front of our eyes and we don’t even notice them. Thank you for the reminder!

    I’m so honored to have participated in this event. It is such an important cause.

  6. Steph

    This looks so good! If I wanted to change up the flavor and just use this as a base recipe for the cheesecake, would it be alright to leave out the maple syrup? Would that affect the way the filling turns out?


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