Happy Valentine’s Day! Chocolate Cheesecake with a Cocoa Pebbles Crust

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“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a
good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked”  – Bernard Meltzer


Happy Valentine’s Day my dear friends! In the spirit of this mushy, gushy day, I’d like to thank every one of you for reading my blog and listening to my podcast, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your thoughts, and for allowing me the pleasure of getting to know you and your “gluten free” stories. You rock my world!

My hubby and I will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in the exact same fashion as we have for the last 11 years. It sounds a bit unimaginative, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! Our very first date was Valentine’s Day 1997. Not planned intentionally, it just sort of happened to fall on the holiday for lovers (ahem, awkward!). With every restaurant in the tri-state area booked, we decided to stay in and cook Fettuccine Alfredo together.  So much has happened over the years including our marriage (not on Valentine’s Day) and the birth of our beautiful daughter and amazing son. Throw into that equation a blind dog, a couple of house moves, and a little ol’ Celiac Disease for good measure. Twelve years later (holy moly!) our meal essentially remains the same. The only difference is the fettuccine noodles will be gluten free!

Without further ado, here is my Valentine’s gift to you:

Chocolate Cheesecake with a Cocoa Pebbles Crust

Gluten Free Crust:

25 Health Valley Rice Bran crackers
2 cups Cocoa Pebbles cereal*
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter (melted)

In a food processor grind rice crackers and cereal until crushed & crumbly in texture (resembling ground almond meal). Add brown & white sugar and butter. Mix thoroughly. Press crumbs against the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Place pan in freezer while you prepare cheesecake filling.

*Note: I have had no reaction to Cocoa Pebbles. However, Nature’s Path Koala Crisp Cereal is gluten free as well.

Cheesecake Filling:

1 1/8 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 squares baker’s chocolate
1 teaspoon chocolate extract

Using a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly incorporate 1 1/8 cup of white sugar, 1 whole egg, 4 egg yolks, whipping cream, cornstarch, cocoa powder, melted baker’s chocolate, and chocolate extract. Mix well.  Add batter to springform pan. Bake in center of oven for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I placed a pan filled with water on the rack beneath the cheesecake to eliminate cracking and maintain moistness. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool for at least 1/2 hour.

Chocolate Topping:

4 squares of baker’s chocolate melted
4 tablespoons whipping cream

Combine baker’s chocolate and heavy cream.  Whisk well.  After cooling cheesecake (still in springform pan) for at least 1/2 hour, spread chocolate topping over cake and refrigerate to chill.

Cool cheesecake for at least an hour before removing from pan. Refrigerate prior to serving.

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Maureen Stanley was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. Way back before gluten-free was “mainstream“. Maureen created Hold The Gluten blog and podcast in 2008 as a way to connect members of the gluten-free community across the world.


  1. Brilliant idea to use Cocoa pebbles. It has become pretty much the staple cereal in our household.

    If Post would officially declare it GF, the sales would go through the roof!

    Happy Valentine’s day

  2. Yum! I love staying in on Valentine’s Day! However, last year Parrish and I did go eat crab legs at this little restaurant. It was really good, except that we smelled like butter the rest of the night.

  3. Oh wow, that cake looks DELICIOUS! I had no idea that we could eat Cocoa Pebbles! That would make a great crust! Perfect. 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Aww…I remember the days when hubby and I would cook together :)! Now, he does the eating and I do the cooking (and eating) :D. This is such a yummy recipe! My husband might consider cooking with me again if I made this for him, he loves chocolate and cheesecake. I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  5. Wow! Looks good and I had no idea Cocoa Pebbles were gluten-free. Have had the Koala Crisp before, but it’s too sweet for me. Don’t like sugary cereal for breakfast, although I will fight for the last cookie for breakfast. Who can understand the mind of this woman?

    Thanks for the yummy-looking post!

  6. This would cost about a million dollars to make with goat cheese cream cheese from the health food store. But if I made my own goat cheese, I’d be more tempted to try making a cheesecake. Still looking for friends with goats!

  7. That is a gorgeous cheesecake! However, I have to tell you that I have tried Cocoa Pebbles several times and had severe gluten reactions EACH time. Why did I try again? Because people keep saying that they are GF and no gluten shows on the label, plus I liked the idea of being able to eat a sugary cereal from the regular grocery store now and then, but I sincerely believe that there is cross contamination going on or something. The reaction is unmistakeable for me. It is not on any GF lists (e.g., Clan Thompson) that I am aware of.


  8. This looks wonderful! What could be better than soft chocolate sandwiched by more chocolate? Absolutely nothing I tell you!! Unless of course you found a way to squeeze more chocolate in there:)

  9. Whoah! My mom never let me eat sugar cereal when I was a kid, and with all my food allergies, I have tended to stay away from processed and sugary cereals. I had no idea that Cocoa Pebbles is gluten-free. I wouldn’t eat it for breakfast, but what a great idea to use it for a crust.
    My mom makes a mean Mud Pie and the crust is made of those chocolate cookies – don’t know the brand – but this would be a great replacement for them. Of course, I can’t have ice cream either but coconut ice cream is just as good in my opinion.
    thanks for the great idea!

  10. Love the idea of a cocoa pebble crust! I do something similar, but instead of cocoa pebbles I use the other main stream G-F cereal, Rice Chex (blue box).

    Smash 3/4 cups rice chex, add 3 Tablespoons melted butter, 2 Tablespoons sugar, a little cocoa (if you want it chocolate) and you’ve got a totally delicious base for any cheesecake. 🙂

  11. I don’t think the Pebbles cereal is truly gluten free due to the fact that it contains malt in the ingredients which I believe is not gluten free.

  12. Brilliant idea with the Coco Pebbles crust! It opens up a lot of GF pie options.

    My daughter LOVES Coco Pebbles cereal and hasn’t had a reaction – thankfully.

    Thank you for the recipe.

  13. I love chocolate cheesecake with a cocoa pebbles crust. The recipe sounds tempting to taste. Perhaps, everybody else who comes across this blog will like it. I find your Valentine’s Day celebration admirable.

  14. This looks delicious – oh, how I like cheese cake. I am allergic to the malt in the cocoa pebbles, but could find something else. Thanks for this.

  15. Cocoa Pebbles is now labeled “gluten free” as is Fruity Pebbles. Also, for a tastier crust that actually tastes like graham cracker crust, use General Mills Honey Nut Chex, butter or margarine and sugar (less than normal since the chex are coated with honey) and you will have one tasty delicious cheese cake crust. By the way, I have also used the same ingedients for other pies such as pumpkin pie when I am out of ginger snaps. Yummy!

  16. Very tasty delicacy! You have just taught me a very romantic way on how to surprise my husband. He’ll surely love this. This is a perfect gift to our anniversary. Thank you for sharing.

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