Creamy Gingerbread Cheesecake with a graham cracker crust is the perfect holiday dessert! Full of gingerbread spices and rich molasses flavor, it is sure to be your new favorite Christmas dessert!
I love cheesecakes, and I might have actually outdone myself here! This recipe is SO good and following the tips I’ll share here you’ll perfect it. If you are a cheesecake lover like me, then you have to try this Absolutely Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake, it’s so easy you’ll find yourself craving it often. If you want to try some more adventurous flavors, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is always a hit, and this Churro Cheesecake is to die for!
Gingerbread is a holiday favorite at my house. Cheesecake we eat all year ’round. There are so many fun flavors of cheesecakes I have to have them for every season! At first I was nervous about making cheesecakes. They can be a little intimidating because there is a lot you have to get right for it to turn out perfectly. So I started with a simple key lime no-bake cheesecake. It was delicious! And it made me want to make it the traditional way. Let me tell you, it’s so much easier than I thought it would be! It turned out great and I know yours will too.
This gingerbread cheesecake recipe is great if you are making your first one or your one hundredth! The flavor is off the charts delicious and the gingerbread spice is everything you want in a holiday dessert. You can also make some cute gingerbread cookies to go on top for extra flavor and decor. A gingersnap cookie would also make a great topper, or you could blend it up and make the crust out of it!
This gingerbread cheesecake is the most festive cheesecake you can make this holiday season! It is full of warm spices like ginger of course, and has plenty of molasses which gives it the nice brown color. Molasses has such a nice rich flavor, and it really works so well in this cheesecake! You can find the exact measurements below in the recipe card.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: You can use your food processor to blend the graham crackers into crumbs, or you can even buy them pre-crushed! Growing up I would put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Granulated Sugar: Your pantry sugar will work great.
- Ground Nutmeg: Ground nutmeg has a warm nutty flavor. It is in all gingerbread cookies and cakes, and you will want to use it here in this crust!
- Ground Ginger: Ground ginger is a warm spice that is used in all kinds of holiday desserts, and is what makes this gingerbread cheesecake, well, gingery! It’s obviously a must for this recipe!
- Butter: I used unsalted, and you want to make sure to leave it out for a few hours before you start baking. Room temperature butter is important for creaming the sugar.
- Salt: A little salt helps to balance out the sweet flavors in the crust.
- Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is sweet and tangy, and has the perfect consistency for cheesecake. You obviously need to add it in order to make the cheesecake!
- Sour Cream: Sour cream adds a nice tangy flavor that is perfect for balancing out all of the sweet flavors in the cheesecake.
- Granulated Sugar: Your pantry sugar will work great.
- Eggs: I always use large grade A eggs in my recipes.
- Molasses: Molasses is like thick honey that is really dark in color and is used as a sweetener in gingerbread. You really need to use it to get the true gingerbread flavor and color.
- Ground Ginger:Ground ginger is a warm spice that is used in all kinds of holiday desserts, and is what makes this gingerbread cheesecake, well, gingery! It’s obviously a must for this recipe!
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon is warm and earthy, and leaves a little spice in your mouth that is perfect when paired with the sugar and ginger.
- Nutmeg: Ground nutmeg has a warm nutty flavor and is used in all kinds of holiday desserts, especially gingerbread!
- Ground Cloves: Cloves are a little fruity and have a warm earthy flavor. You definitely want to add some to this recipe!
- Vanilla: Vanilla extract is great at adding a little vanilla flavor and helps to bring out all of the other flavors in the cheesecake.
Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe
Making gingerbread cheesecake is pretty simple. I love to make some whipped cream and cookies to go on top to make it look festive. There’s no reason the cheesecake can’t look as beautiful as a cake! I have full confidence that using all of my tips and tricks, you will make the most delicious and creamy cheesecake you’ve ever eaten!
How to Make Graham Cracker Crust
- Prep: Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Prepare your springform pan by spraying with cooking spray, placing a parchment round on the bottom then spraying the top of the parchment with cooking spray.
- Mix: Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and seasonings together. This should resemble damp sand.
- Press: Pour your crumb mixture into the prepared springform pan and press evenly into the pan. You can use the bottom of a flat glass or a flat measuring cup to really press it in well and get a nice, even crust.
- Bake: Bake for 10 minutes.
- Cool: Allow to cool completely before adding gingerbread cheesecake filling.
Make Cheesecake Filling
- Beat Cream Cheese: Add your softened cream cheese to the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and beat with a paddle at medium/high speed for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for a few seconds more.
- Mix: Add sugar and sour cream and mix at medium/low speed until just combined. Scrape the bowl again and mix for 10 seconds.
- Beat: Add eggs and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds-1 minute. Scrape the bowl again.
- Add Molasses: Add molasses, seasonings, and vanilla, and beat until just combined. At this point, your batter should be smooth and fairly runny.
- Prep: Prep the pan for baking.
- Wrap Foil: Using 18-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap the outside of your springform pan with 4 sheets of foil. You can use regular foil, but it may take a couple more sheets to ensure the water does not get into your pan.
- Put in Roasting Pan: Place your wrapped pan in a deep roasting pan. You can alternatively use a baking sheet, so long as the sides are about 2 inches deep.
- Add Batter: Add your gingerbread cheesecake batter to the springform pan.
How to Bake Cheesecake
- Add Water: Using very hot water, add water to the baking sheet until there is about 1 ½ inches of water around the springform pan. On a rack in the lower 3rd of the oven, carefully move your pan into the oven.
- Bake: Bake for 1-1 ½ hours. After about an hour of baking, check the cheesecake’s consistency. A slight jiggle of the pan (while still in the oven) should tell you if it’s ready or needs more time. The cheesecake should be jiggly, but not liquid. If it seems very liquidy still, give it 15 more minutes and check it again.
- Turn Off Oven and Cool: Once the cheesecake is firm, yet jiggly, turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour or so, until the oven has cooled down. Resist the temptation to open the oven during this time! The purpose of this step is to allow the cheesecake to cool slowly as the oven cools. Doing this will prevent it from cracking, as one of the biggest reasons cheesecakes crack is the drastic temperature change going from the hot oven into the much cooler kitchen.
- Remove From Pan: Once the oven and the gingerbread cheesecake is cooled, remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil lining the pan.
- Chill: Chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
- Run Knife Along Edge: Before serving, run a knife around the edge of the pan to ensure an easy release when the springform is removed.
- Garnish: Top with desired toppings and enjoy!
Quick Tips Title
Cheesecake seems intimidating for some because you have to pay attention to a few different things. You definitely don’t want a cracked, lumpy, and dull cheesecake. Here are some helpful tips to get a perfect and creamy cheesecake every time!
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Using room temperature ingredients will help you achieve a silky smooth cheesecake batter. I usually get the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs out of the fridge a couple of hours before I’m ready to start baking to ensure they have enough time to soften.
- Scrape the Bowl: Scrape down the bowl several times between each step. Doing this will prevent the thicker batter from sticking to the sides and bottom of the bowl, only to end up making your batter lumpy.
- Aluminum Foil: Heavy-duty 18-inch aluminum foil is one of the secrets to making cheesecake that not only bakes evenly in a water bath but prevents ANY water from getting in and making the crust soggy. I’ve tried with 2-3 layers of foil, but have found that this can still sometimes leak. Best to go with 4 layers of foil, making sure it is a big enough piece to go ALL the way up each side of the pan.
- Cooling: Letting the cheesecake cool in the oven as the oven cools will prevent it from cracking. You don’t want to poke it or stick a thermometer in it either! That will greatly increase the risk of the cheesecake cracking as it cools down.
Cheesecake makes great leftovers! It’s just as creamy and delicious the next day, so it’s a good one to make ahead. Follow these tips to get the most out of this recipe.
In the Fridge: The cheesecake by itself is best stored covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
In the Freezer: You can freeze this cheesecake for up to 6 months, just cover it in plastic wrap or an airtight container. Let it sit out on the counter for a few hours before eating.