Gingerbread Cheesecake is another great holiday cheesecake with the bright flavors of one of the season’s favorite cookies! Spiced graham cracker crust is topped with soft, silky, luscious gingerbread cheesecake filling and topped with maple whipped cream cheese frosting. Decorate it with your favorite gingerbread cookies for the perfect little touch!
If you’re looking for an amazing Christmas dessert, I have another holiday cheesecake for you! A beautiful cheesecake packed with Christmas flavors is always a huge hit with my family and friends! Especially when that cheesecake is rich with such a beloved holiday flavor like gingerbread. I tend to switch up the holiday flavors of cheesecake year to year to keep things interesting. But, whether it is cranberry white chocolate cheesecake, eggnog cheesecake, of gingerbread, they are always well received.
I always make a holiday cheesecake as the centerpiece of my holiday table for several reasons. First off, when decorated just right, they’re gorgeous and impressive! Secondly, everyone gathered in my home during the holidays loves cheesecake. You can take your time and make this dessert over 2-3 days. (This definitely helps with holiday prep!)
The gingerbread flavor here isn’t just in the luscious cheesecake filling itself, either. It all starts at the base of the dessert – the graham cracker crust! Ingredients like molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and more spice the buttery graham cracker crust and make it the perfect base for the gingerbread cheesecake. Then, the whole thing is beautifully decorated with piped maple frosting and cookies.
Ingredients for Gingerbread Cheesecake
For the crust:
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – Make sure they’re plain with no extra flavors.
- Dark Brown Sugar – dark brown sugar has a deeper molasses flavor.
- Butter – it’s best to use unsalted and make sure to melt it.
- Molasses – This is essential in creating that rich gingerbread flavor.
- Spices – you’ll need a medley of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.
For the cheesecake filling:
- Cream Cheese – use full fat, original cream cheese.
- Eggs – large eggs will work just fine.
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Heavy Whipping Cream – This is what creates that truly silky, luscious consistency in the cheesecake.
- Molasses – No gingerbread recipe would ever be complete without this ingredient.
- Sour Cream – Sour cream may seem like an odd ingredient for cheesecake, but it provides a wonderful amount of moisture and slight tangy flavor.
- Cornstarch – This is vital for the consistency of the cheesecake and will help prevent it from cracking.
- Vanilla Extract – for the best flavor, make sure you’re using pure vanilla extract, not imitation.
- Spices – The same spices that were used in the crust should be used in the filling as well.
And for the frosting:
- Cream Cheese
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Maple Syrup – For the best flavor, use real maple syrup, not artificial pancake syrup.
- Maple Extract – This is optional, but will enhance the maple flavor if desired.
- Powdered Sugar
How to Make Gingerbread Cheesecake
Before Starting the Cheesecake:
Pull cream cheese and eggs out of the refrigerator about 30-45 minutes before starting to make the cheesecake.
Prepare the pan by wrapping outside of the pan in aluminum foil. Many springform pans, especially ones that have been used quite a bit, have a chance of leaking water inside. Wrapping the springform in foil will help keep water out.
If you can, get wide aluminum foil so that you will only use one soli piece of foil to wrap the pan. Less cracks for the water to get in.
Preheat the oven to 325° and take out a roasting pan that is large enough to comfortably fit the cheesecake springform inside. (You can even use a large aluminum pan if you don’t have a roasting pan.)
Making the cheesecake:
Let’s start by making the crust! Mix all of the ingredients for the crust together very well. Grease the inside of the springform pan with some cooking spray and spread crumb mixture in the bottom on the prepared springform. Press the graham cracker mixture all over the bottom and a little up the sides.
For the cheesecake filling, you’ll want to start by beating the cream cheese until it’s fluffy. Give it a good 2-3 minutes. Then, beat in the sugar and eggs, adding each egg one at a time until incorporated. Beat in the molasses, sour cream, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla. Once it’s all combined, lower the speed and beat in the cornstarch and spices.
Transfer the filling into the springform pan and make sure it’s spread evenly. Place a large roasting pan into the oven and place cheesecake springform inside the roasting pan. Carefully add hot water to the roasting pan, about half way up the side of the springform.
Bake for 85 minutes. Once the time is up, turn off the oven and open the oven door half way. Let cheesecake rest for 10-15 minutes and take it out of the oven. Take off the foil wrap off the pan. Let it rest for another 10 minutes on the counter and then, run a butter knife along the edge of the springform. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature and then, cover and cool it for at least 6 hours or overnight in the fridge.
Make Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Make sure the cheesecake is cold before you frost it!
- Prepare the frosting right before you will be frosting the cheesecake.
Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Pour in the heavy whipping cream as you beat the ingredients together, then add the maple syrup and extract. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. When you’re ready to decorate the cheesecake, transfer your frosting to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate your cheesecake.
Storing The Cheesecake
This gingerbread cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Make sure to cover it air-tight with plastic wrap or keep it inside a cheesecake pan so it doesn’t dry out. Re-wrap it after taking out slides if needed.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Absolutely! There is really no other way to make a cheesecake, unless you plan to work on it all day. You can bake the cheesecake one day and then store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. When you’re ready to frost and serve it, prepare the frosting and frost.
You can also prepare the cheesecake completely a day or two ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Just do NOT add cookies or they will soften and be soggy. Make sure to cover it air-tight!
The reason I don’t usually frost and decorate until I’m ready to serve is that it’s harder to store frosted cheesecake and keep it night and pretty.
How to freeze it?
First of all, make sure to completely cool the cheesecake and freeze it without frosting. Once cheesecake has been cooled to room temperature, run a butter knife gently along the inside of the springform pan to separate the cheesecake from the pan. Place the pan with cheesecake in the freezer and freeze it for approximately one hour.
Next, carefully take off the side portion of the springform. At this point, you can either keep the bottom of the springform with the cheesecake, or transfer it onto a piece of thick cardboard cake holder covered with aluminum foil. Either way, it’ll work!
Wrap the gingerbread cheesecake with the bottom of the pan in plastic wrap. Use about 2-3 layers of plastic wrap. Then, wrap the whole thing with aluminum foil. As an added protection from air, you can place the whole cheesecake in a large, zip-lock freezer bag, but you shouldn’t need to.
Cheesecake will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To thaw frozen cheesecake, make sure to do it slowly. Place cheesecake from freezer into the refrigerator and slow-thaw overnight.
How to Take the Cheesecake Out of the Springform Pan
Separate the springform side and bottom part. Then, take the bottom part of the pan and lay it down on a sheet of parchment paper. Use a pencil to trace around the bottom of the pan. Keep in mind that the circle will need to be just a little bigger than the bottom of the pan.
Cut out the circle you traced. Put the springform back together.
Spray the springform with cooking spray and fit the parchment paper circle on the bottom.
When you are ready to take the cheesecake out, make sure to use large, hard spatula. Have the serving dish or the cardboard cake circle ready.
Carefully slide the spatula in between the parchment paper and the bottom of the springform pan. Gently pull the cheesecake off of the springform and right onto the serving dish. Keep them side by side, and make sure you don’t tilt the cheesecake pan!
More Holiday Cheesecake Recipes!
Peppermint Cheesecake – this holiday cheesecake is made with an Oreo cookie crust, filled with smooth peppermint cheesecake, and topped with light and airy peppermint frosting.
Eggnog Cheesecake – this cheesecake has a smooth and creamy eggnog filling, sweet graham cracker crumble, and light eggnog whipped cream on top.
Christmas Cheesecake – this heavenly dessert is a vanilla bean cheesecake layered with an easy cranberry jam and smooth white chocolate mousse.
Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake – This Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake has a cinnamon flavored crust, smooth cheesecake filling, bit of cinnamon filling throughout, and cinnamon icing on top.
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 32 oz cream cheese softened
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp maple extract optional
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9 inch springform pan.You will need a large roasting pan that’s bigger and longer than the springform pan. (I use the aluminum foil disposable ones).If you are not sure about your springform holding up in water, you can wrap the outside of the springform pan in heavy duty aluminum foil from bottom up to the sides. (I recommend wrapping the outside of the springform in foil before adding the crust and cheesecake batter.)
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, molasses, melted butter, and spices. Stir very well, until all incorporated.
- Grease the inside of the springform pan with some cooking spray and spread crumb mixture in the bottom on the prepared springform.
- Press the graham cracker mixture all over the bottom and a little up the sides.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed for about a minute, until smooth and fluffy. Scrape sides and bottom on the bowl and beat for another minute.
- Beat in sugar and then and add eggs, one at a time. Beat it until smooth and stop to scrape bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Beat in molasses, sour cream, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract.
- Lower the speed and mix in spices and cornstarch. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for a few more seconds to make sure everything is evenly mixed.
- Transfer batter into the springform and spread in evenly.
Baking the Cheesecake:
- Place a large roasting pan into the oven and place cheesecake springform inside the roasting pan. Carefully add hot water to the roasting pan, about half way up the side of the springform.
- Bake for 85 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the oven door half way. Let cheesecake rest for 10-15 minutes and take it out of the oven. Take off the foil wrap off the pan.
- Let it rest for 10 minutes on the counter and then gently run a butter knife between sides of the cheesecakes and the springform to carefully separate it. (You don’t actually have to take the cheesecake out of the pan until ready to serve.)
- Cool cheesecake for an hour and then cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Tips: Make sure to soften the cream cheese for about 30-45 minutes on the counter first but keep heavy whipping cream cold. Use a whisk attachment on the mixer.
- Start beating cream cheese and powdered sugar for about a minute on medium-high speed.
- Slowly pour in heavy whipping cream while it's mixing. Add maple syrup and maple extract (if using). Continue beating until frosting is whipped into stiff peaks and waves. (It won't take long so don't walk away.)
- Transfer the frosting onto a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate the top of the cheesecake.
- Frost and decorate the cooled cheesecake as you wish!