This gingerbread cheesecake tastes like classic Christmas spices—cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove—in each and every bite. A simple yet stunning holiday dessert.
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 gingerbread sugar and spice and everything nice-ness playing a role not just in the cheesecake filling but in the cookie crust and the stylish cookie toppers. Originally published November 14, 2014.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Why This Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe Is Simpler To Make 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. Oh, and if you really must cut corners due to time constraints, you could omit the cookies. But please don’t. They’re pretty darn adorable. And addictive.
Special Equipment: 9-inch springform pan
- Quick Glance
- 50 M
- 3 H
- Serves 10 to 12
- 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 gingerbread 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.