Classic Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust and Citrus Topping

Classic Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust and Citrus Topping - Christiann Koepke

In this cheesecake recipe with a gluten free hazelnut crust, I took the citrus puree concept to a new level by adding an extra component…you’ll see below in the recipe! I wanted a gorgeous topping to a classic cheesecake, and this was the perfect addition! Not only was it stunning, but incredibly delicious.

This spring I also discovered what can happen when you put oranges into a blender and puree. Just in case you’re wondering what that might be like, well…it’s basically heaven. Think citrus cream that’s velvety smooth. Like the best smoothie you’ve ever had times ten.

My first attempt to make citrus puree was for this dark chocolate waffle recipe, where I drizzled it over the waffles and yogurt. If you haven’t made it yet, please do yourself a wonderful favor and make the recipe this weekend for breakfast.

I hope you enjoy making this classic cheesecake, and a quick tip for you: if your cheesecake ever doesn’t turn out perfectly (otherwise known as the “almost un-achievable feat in life”), just sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or cover with a delicious topping like this citrus puree, or even melted chocolate. You’ll have an instant winner. 🙂


5 from 1 vote

Classic Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust and Citrus Topping

Servings: 8 slices


Hazelnut Cardamom Crust

  • 190 g 1 ½ cups hazelnuts, raw
  • 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large medjool dates pitted
  • 50 g ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons Honey


  • 450 g 2, 8-ounce bars cream cheese, room temperature
  • 160 g 2/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 50 g 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 113 g 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Orange Puree

    Makes 12oz of puree

    • 2 cara cara oranges
    • 1/2 t. lemon juice
    • 3 T. aquavit
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
    • Pinch himalayan salt


    Prepare Crust

    • Lightly grease an 8” tart pan with a removable bottom and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • In a food processor, combine the first 5 ingredients and pulse until the nuts are almost finely chopped, enough so that it sticks together when pressed. In a small bowl, melt coconut oil in microwave. Add honey and stir to combine. Slowly pour into food processor to coat mixture, pulsing as you pour. The mixture should start to stick together and form almost like a dough shape. Once this consistency is reached (it won’t take but a few seconds), place in tart pan, pressing in and up the sides. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool for 30 minutes.

    Prepare Filling

    • Preheat oven to 325°.
    • In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip cream cheese on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes or until light and creamy. Add creme fraiche and whip another minute. Scrape bowl regularly, making sure the cream cheese is completely mixed. Add sugar, maple syrup and then eggs, one at a time, ensuring each element is incorporated, one after the next. Add salt, vanilla and lemon zest to finish. Do one final scrape around the bowl after all ingredients are mixed together.
    • Scrape mixture into cooled, baked crust. Wrap pan in double foil, reflective side in to prevent any potential spills through bottom of pan. Bake cheesecake until edges are set but center is still wobbly, 35–40 minutes. Open oven door and turn oven off, allowing to cool for 30 minutes without being moved. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool inside pan. Cover cheesecake carefully with foil, ensuring not to let it touch the top and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.

    Prepare Orange Puree

    • Mix all ingredients in a high speed blender (blendtec or vitamix preferred for level of creaminess desired) until well blended, almost velvet like texture. Citrus will turn bitter after a few hours, so use immediately.

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