Grain Free Lactose Free Refined Sugar Free Cheesecake bars?! WHAT?! As if the gluten free cheesecake bars I've made this year weren't exciting enough, now I've gone and made a grain free lactose free version of this low FODMAP dessert for all my grain free friends out there!
You guys have been loving on my gluten free lactose free classic cheesecake bars and gluten free lactose free salted caramel cheesecake bars so much that I wanted to create a third flavor option for you just in time for the holiday season. I originally adapted the classic cheesecake bars from a King Arthur Flour recipe to be gluten free, lactose free, and refined sugar free cheesecake bars and it has morphed into a beast of its own that you all seem to be LOVING as much as I am, which obviously makes me SO happy I can't even begin to tell you!
The most fun part of this job is seeing what you guys enjoy. I have so many low FODMAP desserts available to you and it's very easy for me to get caught up in what I love and go down a rabbit hole of gluten free dessert making, but to be able to see what you're truly enjoying is a priceless thing, because there's no more guessing game. I want to bring you what you want when you want it - to the best of my one woman team abilities! - so whenever I can offer additional flavor options to your favorite low FODMAP dessert recipes, you better believe I'm going to do just that!
Here is what you need in order to make this low FODMAP dessert grain free, lactose free, and refined sugar free. I highly recommend stocking your pantry with these items so you have what you need ready to go anytime you're ready to make a grain free dessert or low FODMAP dessert!
Almond Flour - I have a few favorite brands of almond flours at various price points, but my new favorite is quickly becoming Blue Diamond Almond Flour. You can snag a 3lb bag for just under $14! This usually lasts me a few weeks to a month, but I'm assuming you're not baking as many low FODMAP desserts as frequently as I am, so this is the best way to get the most bang for your buck when making paleo grain free desserts.
Granulated Monkfruit - First, let's discuss. What IS monkfruit anyway?! Monkfruit, or Luo Han Guo, is actually a gourd native to Southern China + Northern Thailand. The plant is harvested for its fruit extract, called mogrosides, which create a sweetness almost 200 times sweeter than regular cane sugar. The benefits of using monkfruit sweetener as opposed to white cane sugar are plentiful! Monkfruit sweetener is an unrefined sugar, meaning it has not gone through a chemical process which generally removes any nutrients the sugar cane provides. Unrefined sugars still maintain their nutritional profile, though it should be noted, sugar is sugar! Unrefined sugars generally have a lower glycemic index, however, and monkfruit in particular contains 0g of calories + carbohydrates, making this appropriate for all diets including paleo + keto.
Suntella - Another amazing product made with monkfruit sweetener, Lakanto Foods Suntella is an amazing low FODMAP friendly dessert addition and substitute for everyone's favorite chocolatey hazelnut spread, Nutella. While this isn't entirely necessary for use in this grain free dessert, I highly recommend adding it to get the full chocolate hazelnut flavor profile experience! One jar has lasted me through countless low FODMAP dessert recipes, including my Gluten Free Biscotti recipe that is an absolute must-bake in my opinion!
Lactose Free Dairy - This is the most important piece of this lactose free cheesecake recipe! I have tested this recipe using both regular dairy and lactose free dairy and honestly it makes no difference to the flavor and texture of the grain free lactose free cheesecake, so if you do tolerate lactose in your low FODMAP desserts, then you're able to substitute with no issues. If you do not tolerate lactose, my favorite lactose free cream cheese, butter, and sour cream to use comes from Green Valley Creamery, but any lactose free dairy will work here.
Hazelnuts - Hazelnuts are considered low FODMAP friendly at a serving size around 10 nuts or 1/2 oz. They can become high in ogliosaccarides and fructans at around 3oz according to Monash University. That's kind of a big and confusing range though, right?! My best advice is to always test these things ahead of time to determine your tolerance. The good news is, 3.5oz of hazelnuts is about 1 cup. This entire recipe contains one cup of hazelnuts, so unless you're going to eat the whole thing (in which case the hazelnuts will be the least of your stomach's issues I'm sure!) you should be just fine, unless you're aware of a serious issue with ogliosaccarides in particular. If you do not tolerate hazelnut, you can sub in any nut you do tolerate. I have not tested this recipe without nuts, so while I don't recommend doubling up on the almond flour to make this grain free dessert, if you're up for the experiment make sure to let me know how it goes in the comments!
I cut this grain free lactose free cheesecake into 16 pieces instead of my typical 9 bars this time around. It's a pretty rich low FODMAP dessert, so creating smaller triangular pieces not only made for a less filling lactose free dessert, but it also created a gorgeous presentation! Another benefit to slicing this grain free cheesecake into 16 triangles is that each slice only has around 5g net carbs, so if you're following a low carb diet and looking for a keto friendly dessert option, look no further! I decided to drizzle some Suntella and add extra chopped hazelnuts on top for a little extra decadence, but it's not necessary!
Did you get a chance to make this recipe? Don't forget to leave me a love note in the comments and let me know what you think! And don't forget to tag your images #PDLrecipes on Facebook and Instagram so I can see how your creation turned out!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but rest assured these are all products I personally use and very highly recommend. I will never link to anything on this site unless it is something I love!
For the Crust
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup almond flour
5 tbsp lactose free butter, softened
For the Filling
16 oz lactose free cream cheese
1 cup granulated monk fruit
1/4 cup lactose free sour cream
3 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup high quality cocoa or cacao powder
2 tbsp Suntella (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F, grease an 8x8 baking pan, and prepare crust first.
To prepare crust, toast hazelnuts in oven for 5 minutes, then transfer to a food processor + blitz until coarsely chopped.
Add almond flour + blitz again, being mindful not to create too fine a mixture. You should still have chopped pieces of hazelnut throughout.
Add in the softened butter and blitz until a paste-like mixture forms.
Firmly press hazelnut mixture into the bottom of the pan, ensuring you've covered it evenly.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes to set.
After 10 minutes, remove the crust from the oven, reduce heat to 325F, and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and granulated monk fruit until smooth.
Next, add sour cream, eggs, vanilla, cocoa or cacao powder, and Suntella continuing to mix until fully incorporated, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as you mix.
Spoon the filling into the pan with your pre-baked crust, smoothing it out evenly with a silicone spatula or spoon.
Bake the cheesecake bars for 40-50 minutes or until set. Allow bars to cool for 30 minutes prior to serving.
Cheesecake should be stored in the fridge.