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How To Make Low FODMAP Cheesecake With Salted Caramel

April 4, 2022 (Last Updated: November 21, 2022)
low fodmap cheesecake

On the hunt for the perfect low FODMAP cheesecake recipe? Look no further because this low FODMAP cheesecake recipe works every time. And to make it even better, we’ve torched the top and topped it with a heavenly salted caramel sauce that can be made in as little as 3 steps. Need we say more? 

This is a New York cheesecake recipe with a touch of the burnt basque cheesecake style. Aside from making this delicious low FODMAP cheesecake, we’ll cover a few other topics that will help us through this cheesecake journey: 

It’s cheesecake week at Yummyble! This week we’re featuring our best cheesecake recipes with a twist:

With the introductions out of the way, let’s answer some important questions like, “can I eat cheesecake on a low FODMAP diet?”

Can I Eat Cheesecake On A Low FODMAP Diet?

The burning question on every low FODMAP diet follower: Can you eat cheesecake on a low FODMAP diet? Okay, maybe not every person but it was definitely a main concern of ours.  When we started a low fodmap diet we thought we would never taste cheesecake ever again. 

Having IBS and being lactose intolerant cheesecake lovers was a curse but the cure was simple. A lactose free cheesecake recipe! This is key because if you have IBS or adhere to a low FODMAP diet, you’ll know that not every veggie is a friend. 

A dairy based cream cheese lactose free cake was the way to go. Are you wondering why we’re specifying lactose free instead of dairy free? Here’s a little explanation on why it’s important to use lactose free instead of dairy free.

Is lactose free the same as dairy free

low FODMAP cheesecake

The one thing dairy free and lactose free products share in common is: both products contain no lactose. But lactose and dairy free are not the same thing.

Lactose free products are made from dairy products that have had the lactose removed. 

Dairy free products are plant based and made from plants, grains, or nuts. If you’ve been following a low FODMAP diet for ibs or a low FODMAP diet in general, then maybe you know what dairy-free options work for you. 

But to clarify, this is not a dairy-free cheesecake. This recipe uses a lactose free cream cheese base and is complemented by a plant based oat sour cream. Now that we’ve cleared that up, it’s time to get into some important know-hows before we get baking.

In the next section, we’re going to talk about the importance of a water bath and some less annoying water bath alternatives.

The Importance Of Using A Water Bath 

low FODMAP cheesecake

You want to make a low FODMAP cheesecake but don’t want to go through the trouble of setting up a water bath? Yeah, we get it. There have been plenty of water bath related mishaps in our kitchen. No one wants to mop up puddles of water and cheesecake batter. 

But before we get into cheesecake water bath alternatives, we have to understand why water baths are important to the cheesecake baking process.

A water bath ensures the cheesecake is protected while it’s baking. It prevents cracks from happening and regulates the oven temperature. This allows the cheesecake to bake gently and result in a smooth and creamy cheesecake. For instance, this cheesecake was ‘grilled’ at the end to give it a brown caramelized top but its crack free because of the water bath technique used.

But if not done properly, your cheesecake batter can leak into the water bath, or the water seeps into your cake tin, or you end up spilling water everywhere on the way to the oven. If you’re as clumsy as we are then try using ice cubes instead of water!

If you’re worried about placing your cheesecake in a pool of water then try these Wilton Bake-Even cake strips! The baking strips insulate the cake tin and ensure even cooking without any cracks or dome shaped cakes that are destined to sink. 

Speaking of sinking cakes and cracks, here are some additional tips to help you avoid those blasted craters.

Tips To Avoid Cracks

low FODMAP cheesecake

Cracks are not a big deal. They happen. It doesn’t affect the cheesecakes taste but if you’re hellbent on creating a crack-free cheesecake then here are a few tips that will help you achieve those results:

  • Temperature Check: Ingredients And Oven
  • Over Mixing
  • Baking Without A Water Bath
  • Over Baking
  • Cooling Down

Temperature Check: Ingredients And Oven

It’s important that the ingredients are room temperature. Dairy straight out of the fridge is firmer. Ingredients that are room temperature are softer and require a lot less effort to mix, less effort equals less air bubbles. 

Cold ingredients means more effort and when you mix the batter too much, you create an airy cheesecake batter that is prone to rise. Rising and falling of the cake can lead to cracks.

Another important factor when it comes to temperature is the oven. This is a burnt cheesecake recipe and it requires two temperatures. It’s baked at a higher temp first to give it a deep brown hue and then turned down to a gentler temperature to allow the cheesecake to cook.

Over Mixing

If your ingredients are already at room temperature, you can still run the risk of over mixing your batter. When you add your ingredients, try to do so in batches and make sure everything is easy to incorporate.

For example, beat your eggs before adding it into the batter to avoid mixing the batter too much. Switch from a whisk to a rubber spatula after everything is incorporated. This way you can mix the batter without adding more air into the mixture.

Baking Without A Water Bath

Technically, you can have a crack free cheesecake if you use a baking band or anything that regulates the oven temperature and insulates the cake the same way a water bath would. Alternatively, you could bake the cheesecake at a low temperature for a longer period of time. 

Over Baking

You may think your cheesecake is under-baked when you check on your cheesecake and the center is still a bit jiggly. That’s exactly what it should do. Cheesecakes need to cool and take time to set. That jiggly center is crucial and if you bake it until it’s completely firm, then you will over bake your cheesecake and give way to cracks.

Cooling Down

There are two cool down periods for a cheesecake, in the oven and outside of the oven. Removing a freshly baked cheesecake from the oven too soon can result in a temperature shock and lead to sinking and cracks. The only crack you want is to crack open the oven door and let the cheesecake rest in the oven until it cools down. About 30-45 minutes will do but an hour is better.

After that you can remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow that jiggly center to set in the fridge overnight for a few hours (2-4 minimum please). This will make a world of difference in the texture.

Armed with all these tips, it is finally time to learn how to make low FODMAP cheesecake.

How To Make Low FODMAP Cheesecake

low FODMAP cheesecake

This is a lactose free cheesecake using lactose free cream cheese, therefore removing the issue making it high FODMAP. Another factor that could tip the FODMAP scales is the biscuit base. But we’ll get to that in a moment. First, we need to talk about cartouches and how they will save you all the heartache of cake tin lining.

Making A Cartouche

If you’ve lined and baked enough round tins, you know the struggle of cutting parchment paper into a circle so it can perfectly line your baking tin. We’ve been there. The solution to this problem sounds difficult but it is actually quite simple: a cartouche.

A cartouche is a round sheet or parchment or baking paper that is traditionally used as a “lid” when cooking or braising submerged foods in a pan. We aren’t reinventing the wheel but we are repurposing it!

To make a cartouche, start by folding a sheet of baking or parchment paper in half (creating a triangle). Fold that triangle in half, and do that 3 more times. Lay the point of the  (isosceles/scalene?) triangle in the middle of your cake tin and cut it off where the cake tin ends.

Here’s a guide in case that was a bunch of nonsensical instructions:

After that, you should have something that fits perfectly into your cake tin.

Let’s get back on track and kick off this recipe with the crust.

The Crust

To adhere to the low FODMAP diet, we recommend using any low FODMAP approved cookie for the base. Try gluten free oat cookies! Feel free to use whatever low FODMAP cookies you like to make the crust. A lot of people prefer neutral flavored cookies* but where’s the fun in that?

Transform your cheesecake recipe by changing up the crust and the flavor combinations are endless. We used bastogne cookies (because we can tolerate them). They have a caramelized sugar flavor and pair really well with the salted caramel sauce.

*The traditional cheesecake cookie base are graham crackers but are they low FODMAP?

Are Graham Crackers Low FODMAP?

Graham crackers are made from a lot of things but they mainly contain whole grain wheat flour and graham flour. This and a whole bunch of other ingredients means that graham crackers may contain moderate or high FODMAP ingredients. So, like we mentioned earlier, use any low FODMAP or regular cookie as long as you can tolerate it.

Take your cookie of choice and grind it in a food processor until it is fine or place them in a ziplock bag and start pulverizing some cookies. This is great for any residual pent up anger you may have had. 

Melt the butter in the microwave and mix it through the crumb.

Dump the mixture into the cake tin and flatten it out with a mug, back of the spoon, or any flat surface.

Bake this in the oven for 5 minutes and allow to cool. While the biscuit base is cooling down, you can make the cheesecake mix. 

Cheesecake Batter

Whisk the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar, until combined to make this low fodmap cheesecake batter. Sift in the cornstarch, add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice, and whisk. Switch from a whisk to a spatula and add in the cream.

Pour the cheesecake mixture over the pre-baked biscuit base and place the cheesecake in the oven and bake at 180c or 356f for 30 minutes. After that, turn the heat down to 150c or 302f and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes.

When the cheesecake is done, crack open the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven before refrigerating. 

While the cheesecake is cooling, you have some time to whip up the salted caramel sauce. 

3 Step Salted Caramel Sauce 

low FODMAP cheesecake

Who said lactose intolerance desserts were boring? Jazz up any dessert with this vegan (YUP) salted caramel sauce. All you need is sugar, water, butter, and cream. We used oat cream but feel free to use any lactose free or plant-based cream of your choice.

Start by adding the sugar and water to a pot. Cook on medium-high for 2 minutes. When it bubbles, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes. The sugar will look crusty and crystallized but don’t worry about this. 

At the 10 minute mark, the sugar should be a deep amber color. Whilst whisking, add the cream into the sugar mixture. Cook the caramel for an additional minute to thicken. It may seem runny at first but it’s best to aim for a looser consistency than desired when cooking caramel. This is because the caramel will thicken as it cools. 

When the cream is fully incorporated, take it off the heat and add in the butter and salt. Stir everything with a spatula until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a container or clean jar to store and voila. 

All that’s left to do is cut a slice of low FODMAP cheesecake and serve with a generous helping of salted caramel. This may not be a diet cheesecake but it’s worth every bite. Let us know in the comments below what you think of this burnt low FODMAP cheesecake recipe. 

low FODMAP cheesecake

Here are some other cheesecake recipes with a twist:

Looking for more low FODMAP desserts? We’ve got 10 for you!

Low FODMAP New York Cheesecake & Salted Caramel

By Yummyble Serves: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This low FODMAP cheesecake is as delicious as any New York Cheesecake and has a basque burnt cheesecake style. Its also lactose intolerant, IBS, and low FODMAP diet friendly. One bite of this luscious cheesecake paired with rich salted caramel is definitely not enough.


  • Perfect for an 18cm or 7-inch cake tin
  • Biscuit base:
  • 160g biscuit of your choice (we used oat biscuits)
  • 60g vegan butter or margarine
  • Cheesecake:
  • All ingredients must be room temperature.
  • 400g lactose-free cream cheese
  • 200g lactose-free sour cream (or plant-based; we used oat sour cream)
  • 150ml lactose-free cream ((or plant-based; we used oat cream)
  • 120g fine caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • Vegan Salted Caramel:
  • 200g sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 180ml lactose-free cream ((or plant-based; we used oat cream)
  • 40g vegan butter or margarine
  • 1/2 tsp salt



Pre-heat oven to 180c or 356f.


Line cake tin with baking paper (we show you an easy way to do this using a cartouche in the post).

Biscuit base:


Melt the butter in the microwave.


Crush biscuits into small pieces with a rolling pin or place them in a food processor.


Combine the crushed biscuits and melted butter.


Place the cookie mixture in the cake tin and press down with the back of a spoon or a glass.


Bake this biscuit base in the oven for 5 minutes.


After 5 minutes, remove from the oven to cool.



Whisk the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar, until combined.


Sift in the cornstarch, add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice, and whisk.


Add in the cream and mix everything until combined.


Pour the cheesecake mixture over the biscuit base.


Place the cheesecake in the oven and bake at 180c or 356f for 30 minutes.


Turn the heat down to 150c or 302f and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes.


Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for about 30-45 minutes with the door slightly open before refrigerating.

Salted Caramel Sauce:


While the cheesecake cools, on medium heat, add sugar and water to a saucepan. This should take 2 minutes before bubbles form.


Turn the heat down to medium-low, after 5 minutes, the sugar will look crusty and crystalized but don't worry about this.


At the 10 minute mark, the sugar should be a deep amber color. Whilst whisking, add the cream into the sugar mixture.


Cook for an additional minute to thicken. *see notes


Take it off the heat, add in the butter and salt. Stir until combined.


Let the caramel cool before serving with a slice of cheesecake.


  • When cooking the caramel, aim for a runnier or looser consistency. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
  • We placed our cheesecake on the top rack in the oven the first 10 minutes to get the burnt top that basque cheesecakes are known for

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  • Reply
    Sharry McCann
    November 14, 2022 at 2:48 am

    I’ve looked all over for lactose free cream cheese and sour cream! Can you tell me what brand they are and where you found them?

    • Reply
      November 14, 2022 at 9:56 am

      Hi Sharry, thank you for your comment!

      I used Arla’s Lactose free cream cheese. It was the only brand my local grocers carried but I know PHILADELPHIA has lactose free cream cheese. You can use Green Valley’s Lactose free cream cheese and sour cream from Whole Foods. Walmart and Giant Food carry Lactaid’s lactose free sour cream. I’m pretty sure I saw these options on instacart too! Let me know if this helps 🙂

      • Reply
        December 23, 2023 at 4:14 pm

        Do you recommend using a water bath? It doesn’t say in the directions….

        • Reply

          April 16, 2024 at 7:59 am

          Hi Katie, this cheesecake recipe doesn’t require a water bath!

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