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I’ll admit, I couldn’t remember what breakfast cheesecake tasted like until this came out of the oven but as soon as I tasted it, I knew I got the recipe right.
My Aunt Charlene makes this a lot but it’s been over six years since my diagnosis and even longer since enjoying her recipe so I had to ask her how she makes it.
The filling pretty much stayed the same except I replaced the cream cheese and sour cream with dairy free alternatives. Even though it’s a cheesecake, the filling is less dense and reminds me of bread pudding – partially due to the texture and also because of the cinnamon and raisins on top. Speaking of which, the cinnamon on top is what gives this cheesecake a darker appearance. It’s not over-baked, I promise.
In the original recipe, the crust is made from crescent roll dough which I don’t really have an alternative for. Since I was already thinking of breakfast cheesecake flavor variations I could try later, I thought I’d title this one “cinnamon roll breakfast cheesecake” due to the cinnamon raisin topping. That made me think, maybe I could use a batch of my cinnamon rolls for the crust. Best decision ever!
The crust is my apple cinnamon roll recipe without the apples which makes them just plain cinnamon rolls. A fun alternative for pumpkin season would be to use my pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe, swap the cinnamon on top for pumpkin pie spice, and swap the raisins for pecan halves or pieces. You could also make my recipe for candied pecans to top it with:
In a skillet over medium-low heat, warm 1.5 C of pecans until they are slightly toasted and become fragrant. This does make a difference in the resulting flavor and texture but feel free to skip warming the pecans if you’re impatient. Whisk together 1/4 C of pure maple syrup and 3/4 tsp of cinnamon and pour this over the pecans after they’ve toasted a bit. Stir to coat the pecans then allow the syrup to cook down, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Once the syrup resembles granulated sugar, you can remove the nuts from the heat and allow them to cool.
A dairy free cinnamon raisin cheesecake with a crust made from gluten free cinnamon rolls typically served fresh for breakfast or brunch.
- 1 batch of multi-purpose dough plus additional tapioca starch for dusting
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 C coconut sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 4 oz (1/2 package) plain Daiya Cream Cheeze Style Spread, softened
- 1/4 C + 2 Tbsp plain dairy free yogurt (I used So Delicious coconut milk yogurt)
- 2/3 C sugar
- 1 Tbsp gluten free vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- additional cinnamon
- 1/4–1/2 C raisins
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease an 8×8 glass baking dish.
- Dust a work surface and rolling pin with extra tapioca starch from making the multi-purpose dough. Roll the dough out onto this surface to form a rectangle about 8X12 inches and 1/4-1/3 inch thick (doesn’t have to be exact). You’ll want the long end of the rectangle (12 in) closest to you.
- Melt the coconut oil and brush onto the dough. Mix the coconut sugar with the 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon and sprinkle this mixture evenly onto the dough.
- Beginning at the long end of the dough, tightly roll into a log shape, pressing together any breaks in the dough as you go.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the rolled dough into 20-24 slices or until you have enough slices to line the entire bottom of the 8×8 baking dish with them. The easiest way to do this is to cut the log in half then keep halving those pieces until you have enough. After lining the pan with the cinnamon roll slices, lightly press (don’t pack) them down with your hand to eliminate any gaps and height differences. Bake for five minutes.
- While the crust bakes, beat the “cream cheese” spread as smooth as possible. Add yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and eggs and continue to mix until smooth.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the par-baked cinnamon roll crust. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and raisins. The exact amounts may be to your liking. Return to the oven for 35-45 minutes. The center will be slightly jiggly when it is ready to be removed from the oven.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool (it may be served slightly warm) then cut into squares and serve. This dish is best served fresh.