Simnel Apricot Cheesecake (Gluten free)

My super tasty Simnel Cherry Cheesecake has proved so popular, that I’ve decided to make a similar one, but gluten free, for a friend. But this time, rather than cherries, I chose apricots and made a few other changes too.

Time: Around 2 hours + cooling time, but this can be broken down over two or more days if necessary. (i.e. make the base one day, the cheesecake the next, decorate the next day.)

Makes: 10 slices

Level: A little challenging, but well worth it.

Need: 15cm/6” round, loose-bottomed cake tin, 1 or 2 Bake even bands*, a cook’s torch to burnish the marzipan balls, or use the grill. * I prefer to use these for cheesecakes rather than a bain marie.


Base layer*

  • 50g/1¾oz oat meal or oat bran (or grind 50g oats until fine)
  • 75g/2½oz oats
  • 25g/1oz ground almonds
  • 25g/1oz golden caster sugar
  • 60g/2oz unsalted butter

*These ingredients give quite a thick base layer, which I like, but for a thinner layer you could reduce the amounts proportionally.

Second layer (marzipan)

  • 125g/4½oz marzipan

Third layer (the cheesecake)

  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 175g/6oz full fat cream cheese
  • 175g/6oz mascarpone
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp GF plain flour
  • 75g/2½oz dried apricots, chopped quite small

Top layer

  • About 200g/7oz apricot glaze or jam*
  • 125g/6oz marzipan

* If you use jam you will need to sieve out the lumps

** These measurements are for a small cake, 15cm/6″. If you want the measurements for a larger cake have a look at my Simnal Cherry Cheesecake recipe using the link given below.


The method is the same as for both of my Simnel Cherry Cheesecakes, large & small versions, except for a couple of changes:

i. I simplified this version and didn’t sprinkle any biscuit crumbs around the inside of the tin prior to baking.

ii. The marzipan balls are a lot smaller – about 10g each – to fit all 11 on the smaller cake.

1. Grease and line the base and sides of the tin. Preheat the oven to 180°C / fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas 4.

2. Mix together the oat meal, oats, ground almonds and sugar.  Melt the butter in a saucepan then add into dry mixture. Stir well to coat all the pieces. 

3. Press the mixture into the base of the tin. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes then set aside to cool.

4. Roll out the marzipan and cut to size then press onto the cooled base.

5. Put all the cheesecake ingredients except the apricot pieces into a large mixing bowl. Mix until everything is incorporated and smooth. Toss the apricot pieces in a tsp of GF flour then stir them into the mixture.

6. Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the marzipan layer. Tap the tin firmly on a work surface to release any air bubbles then bake for around 40 – 45 minutes. (It needs to be almost set, with a slight wobble in the middle.) Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in for at least an hour to cool, with the door slightly ajar. When cool, place in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours. (If cracks appear, don’t worry, you can hide them with the jam later.)

7. While the cheesecake is baking, warm and strain the jam to remove any lumps, or use smooth apricot glaze.

8. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge. Gently spoon over the jam and spread it carefully to the edges, using an offset spatula. Put it back in the fridge again for a short time to firm up.

9. Make 11 small marzipan balls, by rolling 10g/¼oz of marzipan in the palms of your hands for each one.

10. If you choose to caramelise the marzipan balls it’s best to do it before placing on the cake. Use a cook’s blow torch or place them under a preheated grill for about a minute, but watch very closely.

Gallery 1 – Preparation and baking

Gallery 2 – The final layer

I hope you enjoy this super cheesecake. If you want to see lots more cheesecake recipes click here.  Or have a look at my site for lots of other recipes, sweet and savoury.

Two other cheesecakes that I’d love you to try are my Simnel Cherry Cheesecake and my White Chocolate and Blueberry Cheesecake. Both are luscious and lovely.

If you’d like to comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page.

Happy Baking