Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe

This gingerbread cheesecake boasts classic Christmas spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove in each and every layer of this simple yet stunning dessert.

Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe

Just wait until your guests get a glimpse of this stunning gingerbread cheesecake at the Christmas table. They won’t be disappointed and neither will you. The spiced cheesecake is thrice as nice as most cheesecakes thanks to the familiar sugar and spice of gingerbread playing a role not just in the cheesecake filling but in the cookie crust and the stylish cookie toppers. This recipe has been updated. Originally published November 14, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

Why This Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe Is Simpler Than It Appears

This gingerbread cheesecake isn’t complicated to make. It simply takes a little planning ahead. The ease with which the recipe comes together has a lot to due with those cute little gingerbread man cookies garnish being made from the same gingerbread dough as the cookie crust for the cheesecake. And since the recipe makes ample cookie dough, you’ll have sufficient to roll out and bake a few extra gingerbread man cookies and send them home with guests. If you really must cut corners due to time constraints, you could omit the cut-out cookies. But please don’t. They’re pretty darn adorable.

Special Equipment: 9-inch springform pan

Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 50 M
  • 3 H
  • Serves 10


  • For the gingerbread cookie crust
  • All-purpose flour, for the work surface
  • 1 recipe unbaked Gingerbread Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • For the gingerbread cheesecake filling
  • 2 pounds (four 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap molasses)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, preferably organic (optional)


  • Make the gingerbread cookie crust
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • 2. Place 1/2 gingerbread cookie dough on a generously floured piece of parchment paper and roll it out to a 13-by-10-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Dust off any excess flour. Slide the parchment and dough onto a baking sheet and bake the entire cookie until it’s firm and golden brown, about 14 minutes. Transfer the parchment and cookie to a wire rack to cool completely. Roll, cut, and bake the remaining 1/2 gingerbread cookie dough as directed in the Gingerbread Cookies recipe.
  • 3. Break the entire rectangular cookie, when cool, into several large chunks and then pulse them in a food processor until finely ground. Measure 2 cups gingerbread crumbs and dump them into a bowl. Reserve the remaining crumbs for another use (we’re quite fond of simply nibbling them although you could sprinkle them over ice cream). Add the butter and sugar to the crumbs in the bowl and mix until combined. Press the mixture gently and evenly onto the bottom and 1/3 of the way up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of aluminum foil. Bake until the gingerbread cookie crust is set, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the cheesecake filling
  • 4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (163°C). Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
  • 5. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the molasses, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and zest.
  • 6. Scrape the filling onto the cooled gingerbread crust. Place the springform pan in a large, shallow roasting pan. Pull out the center oven rack and set the roasting pan on the rack. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan and then push the rack back into the oven. Bake the cheesecake until the filling is an even, gorgeous, pale shade of brown and appears set but is still slightly wobbly in the center, 60 to 70 minutes. (We had the best results when we took the cheesecake out at 65 minutes.) Transfer the springform pan to a wire rack and let the cheesecake cool completely.
  • 7. When the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, slide it in the refrigerator, uncovered, and come back for it 8 hours later.
  • 8. Before serving, run a knife or an offset spatula around the edge of the gingerbread cheesecake to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Carefully remove the pan and arrange the gingerbread cookies, if using, in a ring in the center of the cheesecake.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Trudy Ngo-Brown

Dec 19, 2015

If you love gingerbread, you have to make this gingerbread cheesecake recipe. The cookie dough is pretty standard and makes a tender cookie on its own. I included the lemon zest in the cheesecake filling, and I liked the little zip it added. I did think there was a tad too much nutmeg, and next time would cut back a little. The double layer of foil seemed to keep water out pretty well. My cheesecake baked for about 65 minutes, with the top turning a very pale brown and the edges slightly darker. It was really hard waiting overnight to taste this! The final product was smooth and not overly rich. Although I could have easily eaten the entire thing by myself, I gave half away to a friend and stored what was left, tightly wrapped, in the freezer. I cut myself a slice last night, and even after a week, the flavor and textures are still great. I might actually like it just as much frozen as I do at room temperature. I will definitely make this again and highly recommended it to gingerbread lovers!

Testers Choice
Larry Noak

Dec 19, 2015

This is a brilliant gingerbread cheesecake recipe and one which I will certainly use during the holidays. This cake will EASILY feed 10 hungry dinner guests. First let me say, the cookies make a WONDERFUL crust. I would also like to add that I added an extra tablespoon butter to the crust, which made it PERFECT. I decided not to use the lemon zest and found that it was not missed. I also highly suggest baking the cheesecake for the entire 65 minutes. My oven runs a little hot, yet 60 minutes was still not quite enough. I also recommend chilling the baked cheesecake for 24 hours. Honestly, the texture only improved with a bit of time. I sprinkled some of the unused cookie dust on the top of each slice as I served it. This may very well be the finest cheesecake that I have ever made. This would be a great option in place of pumpkin pie. I LOVE THIS CAKE!

Testers Choice
Adrienne Lee

Dec 19, 2015

This gingerbread cheesecake recipe is quite good. The recipe is involved because you have to make a separate gingerbread cookie for the crust; however, each portion isn't difficult to make. I made the honey version of the Gingerbread Cookies and the cookies were beautifully light. I had enough cookie dough left to make small heart-shaped cookies and I used those on the cheesecake. (These looked really cute and I could see making this recipe for Valentine's Day.) The cookies were quite tasty and were great on their own and delicious in the crust. I think that you could use purchased gingersnaps or even another cookie entirely for the crust, though. The ingredient list says 2 cups, which weighed about 8 3/4 ounces. We had very fresh ground ginger, so the ginger flavor was a bit strong. So I'd guess that if you like a strong ginger flavor, this is perfect; otherwise, you need to adjust based on the freshness of your ground ginger. I think the lemon zest adds a bit of brightness to the batter but could be omitted. I used it, but the ginger flavor definitely is the predominant one. A hint for the filling is to make sure the cream cheese is room temperature and that you beat it long enough. If you don't, there might be lumps. The cheesecake was in the oven for about 70 minutes. There was a light browning all over the top. That is, the color of the batter was slightly caramel-colored all across the top. It looked beautiful. A simple topping for this cheesecake would be whipped cream. Its lightness contrasts with the denseness of the cheesecake. Also, if you do not use the lemon zest, it might be really nice to have a thin layer of a sour cream topping mixed with lemon juice and zest on top. We make gingerbread cookies every year (classic Swedish, very thin, more like gingersnaps) and use a lemon juice-based royal icing. The lemon gives a brightness to the cookies and the frosting. Another topping I'd recommend is chocolate coins (chocolate drops or you can make these yourself by dropping chocolate in circles onto parchment and setting them in the fridge.) The taste of chocolate and gingerbread is great and produces contrasting color to the top of the gingerbread. I'd make this recipe again, reducing the amount of ginger.

  1. Diane Perkins says:

    I am originally from Philadelphia where they make Ivan’s gingersnaps. As luck would have it I order a few boxes at Thanksgiving every year (on Amazon) and I made the crust with them substituting for the home made gingerbread—for a crunchier crust I also added 1/2 C medium chopped (not processed) New Mexico (where i now live) Toasted Pecans. I did not have unsulphured molasses, so I used Grade B Maple Syrup in the same amount as the recipe—and eliminated the cloves. Why no cloves? They are too darn difficult to make smooth in a filling that is supposed to be smooth and I also don’t think the flavor is that great. Instead of gingerbread men on top I crumbled Amaretto cookies on top and added a dollop of whipped cream flavored with coffee, Amaretto and 10 X. I like crunch and I especially like it against the smooth creamy filling—thus the nuts and the Amaretto cookies. Next week I’m going to try this with an added 1/4 tsp. dried ground Chimayo red chili (remember I’m working in New Mexico). Why chili ? Because everything is better with chili and I think it would elevate the spice profile—like it does with chocolate. I have expensive, professional spring form pans but they all leak. Wrap the pan in a double layer of large format aluminum foil to prevent water leaking into the pan. This cheesecake takes 24 hours t set up in the frig. Don’t even think about cutting it before then, and use a small offset spatula dipped in hot water around the edge instead of a cold knife before you loosen the collar of the pan. You’ll get a prettier edge.

  2. CakeSpy says:

    I’ve been told that I’m “one of those people who only eats beige desserts.” Well, this beige wonder is like a heaven-sent masterpiece to me! Let’s see, it’s festive, it’s cute (this matters), it includes CHEESECAKE, and many hues of my beloved beige. Looks like a winner to me.

  3. Gillian says:

    I made this over the weekend and it is a winner. This will become part of my yearly Christmas baking routine. Thanks for sharing!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You’re welcome, Gillian. Lovely to hear the recipe had its intended effect! Thank you for taking the time to let us know.

  4. Yummy!

  5. ruthie says:

    Is that photo from the book or is it yours? I ask because I love those plates and would love to know where to get them. The cheesecake is nice, too. LOL!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Aren’t they gorgeous?! The photo is from the book, ruthie (and used with permission from the publisher). And having worked at Martha Stewart Living, I suspect the plates were taken from the props warehouse there, which is, in and of itself, a most glorious place to wander if you’re into tableware and dinnerware.

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