Gluten free cheesecakes with pecan shortbread base and salted scotch caramel sauce

I posted photos of this bad boy a while back on social media, and the response was pretty overwhelming! I had lots of requests for the recipe and so finally here it is! I was home visiting my parents and asked what Dad wanted for desert for his birthday when he said "cheesecake". I don't think he was expecting this, and to be honest, neither was I! There are a few steps, but it's worth it, and it's definitely an adult desert not for the kids! Assemble as a full cake, or make into cupcakes, just amend the baking accordingly!

excuse the photo, this is the only snap I managed to get before these were swiftly devoured!

excuse the photo, this is the only snap I managed to get before these were swiftly devoured!


  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter cut into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 500 grams cream cheese (two boxes)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temp
  • 1 large egg yolk at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons scotch
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup thick cream


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in middle. Line an 8-by 8-inch baking dish with parchment or aluminum foil, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side.

  2. Combine the pecans, butter, flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is well combined and it resembles coarse crumbs.

  3. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared dish and bake until golden brown on the edges, about 25 minutes; meanwhile, make the filling.


  1. Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and blend with a mixer until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the processor then add the eggs and the yolk one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and salt and pulse until blended.

  2. Pour the mixture over the shortbread and bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean and the center of the cheesecake is just set (it will look like custard), about 40 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the cheesecake cool for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove cheesecake from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Coat a butter knife with oil or butter (or run it under very hot water) and then run it around the perimeter of the cheesecake. Let the cheesecake cool completely, about 1 hour.


  1. Once the cheesecake is cool, make the caramel. Stir together the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely moistened. Brush the insides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar granules then place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

  2. Without stirring but swirling the pan occasionally, let the sugar boil until it turns turns amber in color, about 5 minutes. Give the pan a few good swirls to make sure it’s evenly cooking, remove from heat, and carefully add the whiskey. (The caramel will seize but just keep swirling the pan until the alcohol smell is cooked off.) Immediately add the butter and cream, and swirl until the caramel is smooth and uniform in color. Set aside to cool to room temperature, at least out 15 minutes.


  1. Pour caramel over the cooled cheesecake and pop into the fridge to set. Or eat it straight away whilst it's still a little warm and delicious. 

Sit back and relax eating your cheesecake, you deserve it!

- Ka xx