This gorgeous Baked Honey and Pistachio Cheesecake is an easy but impressive gluten-free dessert with a fluffy cream cheese filling and a crunchy, nutty topping.
I’ve always loved the flavors of baklava, the traditional Greek dessert. Flaky, buttery layers of phyllo with sweet, sticky honey and plenty of creamy, crunchy nuts. But since I’m gluten-free, I wanted to experiment with those same flavors in a different, allergy-friendly way.
In my opinion, this layered cheesecake is the perfect way to enjoy crunchy pistachios and sticky-sweet honey. This dessert works all year long and is guaranteed to bring oohs and ahhs every time.
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 12-ounce box gluten-free penne
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon crushed chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups chopped swiss chard
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the butternut squash, onion, and garlic on the prepared baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast for 35 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool while you continue with the recipe.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
4. Cook the penne for 8-10 minutes, or according to the package directions. Reserve 2 cups of pasta water, drain the pasta and return to the pot.
5. In a blender, combine the roasted vegetables, 1 cup pasta water, heavy cream, chili flakes, and salt. Blend until smooth and fully combined. Add more pasta water if necessary.
6. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the swiss chard and cook for 1-3 minutes, until softened.
7. Pour the butternut squash cream into the saucepan. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the cooked pasta.
8. Toss everything together and transfer to a large bowl. Top with parmesan cheese and chili flakes. Add a drizzle of olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, and sea salt to finish, if you like.
How to Make Baked Honey and Pistachio Cheesecake
The best part about this impressive recipe is how easy it is to make. You don’t need any fussy water baths or careful temperature regulation to make this foolproof honey cheesecake.
Here are my top tips to make sure that your cake comes out perfectly from the start:
- It’s best to use room temperature cream cheese whenever you’re making cheesecake. It’s easier to blend and will give you a light and fluffy texture, rather than dense or chewy. If you forgot to take your cream cheese out of the fridge ahead of time, simply place it unwrapped on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 10 to 20 seconds, until it’s softened.
- I use coconut sugar for a more natural sweetener in this recipe, but you can use regular granulated sugar if you prefer.
- You also want to use room temperature eggs, as they’ll mix into the cheesecake batter more easily. If your eggs are still refrigerator-cold when you start making the recipe, simply place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes before using them.
- The gluten-free all-purpose flour is key to thicken up the cheesecake so it holds its shape well. If you’re not gluten-free, you can substitute it for regular all-purpose flour.
- Make sure to chill the cake for several hours before serving. Cheesecakes need time in the fridge to firm up so they’ll hold their shape when cut. For best results, chill your cake overnight.
For crunch, texture and visual appeal, I love to sprinkle this cheesecake with some pretty toppings just before serving. Try:
- Swirls of creamy pistachio butter
- A drizzle of honey
- Sprinkling of crushed roasted pistachios
Tip: Choose local honey if you can––it contains environmental compounds that may help boost your immunity!
More Delightful Dessert Recipes
Try These other favorite sweet treats from the blog next:
If you love this baked honey and pistachio cheesecake recipe, follow along on Instagram, where I’m always sharing new sweet and savory recipes.