This gingerbread cheesecake has a gingersnap crust with a baked creamy gingerbread cheesecake. It is topped with salted caramel.
This gingerbread cheesecake has a gingerbread crust and gingerbread cheesecake and has a homemade caramel on top.
I was inspired to make this recipe for the holiday season because gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite things. This gingerbread cheesecake recipe reminds me of Christmas day and is a new favorite holiday dessert.
The best part about this cheesecake is the crust! It uses Tate's Bake Shop Gingersnap Cookies for the crust.
Why This Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe Works
- Fluffy cheesecake- Cheesecake was my first real baking love. You will love the fluffy texture guaranteed.
- Gingerbread flavor- This cheesecake tastes like Christmas! There is even gingerbread flavor in the delicious crust!
- Easy Recipe- This recipe is written to be an easy cheesecake with simple steps so you can have a perfect cheesecake even if you don't often bake desserts. I include the perfect way to do a water bath!
Ingredient Notes for Gingerbread Cheesecake
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- The butter is melted for the gingersnap crust. You can melt this in the microwave.
- Tate's Bake Shop Gingersnap Cookies- These cookies are thin and crispy and smell like Christmas morning. Use 2 bags of cookies.
- Sour Cream- Use full fat sour cream or greek yogurt. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking so they are room temperature. I use whole egg, not egg white for the fatty yolk.
- Molasses- Don't use blackstrap molasses. It is more bitter and will change the flavor.
- Dairy free- You can use your favorite dairy free options for this recipe!
- Gluten free- I haven't tested this gluten free. Let me know if you do.
The Best Gingersnap Crust
Tate's Bake Shop has the best quality for making cheesecake crusts. The cookies are thin, crispy, buttery, and full of flavor. Especially their gingersnap cookies.
When I opened the package a big gingerbread smell came through. It smelt like heaven.
Step By Step Instructions
Here is how to make and bake this cheesecake. You will need a 9-inch parchment paper circle, 9-inch spring form pan, a rubber spatula, and an electric mixer, either hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
STEP 1: Make the crust. Using a food processor, blend the Tate's cookies into fine crumbs. Mix them together with the melted butter using a fork.
STEP 2: Bake the crust. Pour the mixture into the bottom of 9-inch springform tin and use your hands to press the crust halfway up the sides of the pan. Then, use the back of a measuring cup to really compact the crust down.
Bake the crust for 14 minutes at 325 degrees F.
STEP 3: Beat the cream cheese and sugar. Beat the cream cheese and sugar with your mixer in a large bowl on high speed for 2 minutes.
STEP 4: Add wet ingredients. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the cream cheese mixture. Mix on medium speed until combined.
Add in the eggs to the mixing bowl one at a time while mixing on low speed. Finally, stir it with a rubber spatula.
STEP 5: Bake gingerbread cheesecake. Pour the cheesecake filling onto the crust. Place the pan in your water bath using one of the hot water bath methods listed below.
Bake cheesecake for 70-80 minutes. It is done when you can shift it and the middle only has a slight jiggle.
STEP 6: Cool cheesecake. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door. Let the cheesecake slightly cool for 30 minutes.
Then finish cooling on a wire rack until room temperature. Cover (I use aluminum foil) and chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
Decorating the Cheesecake
Once your cheesecake is cooled you will need to make the salted caramel. See this post for more tips and tricks for caramel.
STEP 1: Melt the sugar. First, pour in the white sugar and let it start to melt over medium heat. Don't touch it until it melts.
Then, use the whisk to stir the sugar. It will be clumpy. Keep stirring until all the sugar crystals melt. It will be smooth and very light orange.
STEP 2: Cook the sugar. Let the sugar sit until it turns amber in color. Now, this process takes no time at all. It is really easy to burn the caramel at this stage. I let the caramel sit for 10-15 seconds. It turns amber quickly.
As soon as it turns amber, take it off the heat. Otherwise it will burn.
STEP 3: Add butter and cream. Both of these will be added in half batches. It also needs to be added very quickly, otherwise the sugar will seize up.
Start with the butter (make sure the butter is cubed) and half of it in. The caramel will bubble dramatically, but keep stirring until all melted. Then, add the rest of the butter.
Repeat this process with the heated heavy cream. It will also bubble a lot, but keep stirring!
STEP 4: Add the salt and vanilla. Once you have added these in you have a delicious caramel sauce. Pour it in a glass container and let it cool.
STEP 5: Top the cheesecake. First, remove the cheesecake from the pan. Tilt it on it's side to remove the parchment paper.
Next, pour the caramel over the top of your cheesecake. You may need to heat the caramel for 10 seconds so it is pourable.
I used about half of the caramel batch, use as much as you prefer.
I also love whipped cream on top as an option!
Water Bath Tips
The water bath provides a moist environment for the cheesecake. This is because of the steam. When it is too dry, it will create cracks in the cheesecake.
Here are two techniques to try. They both use a roasting pan with hot steaming water.
- Place the springform pan inside a 10 inch cake pan. Place the cake pan in the roasting pan. Fill the pan with the hot water (about halfway up the cake pan)
- Wrap the springform pan with foil twice very tightly. Place the springform pan inside the roasting pan. Fill the pan halfway up with hot water.
My favorite method is the first one. This won't let any water at all get into the crust. It makes baking cheesecake so easy!
The second option gives the chance to get water inside and create a soggy crust.
Preventing Cheesecake Cracks
Beat the wet ingredients minus the eggs on high speed. Everything need to be super creamy and smooth. Chunks of cream cheese can cause cracks.
Add eggs on low speed. The goal is to have as little air as possible when mixing the eggs. Too much air can cause big bubbles in the cheesecake batter. It will make the cheesecake rise and fall too quickly when baking. Which causes cracks.
Use a water bath. This is essential! See below for cheesecake tips.
Cool the cheesecake. Once the cheesecake is done baking, it needs to sit in the hot oven for 30 minutes. This lets it cool slowly.
If you were to put the cheesecake on the counter right after done baking, it will be too quick of a temperature change, which cause cracks.
How To Easily Remove The Cheesecake From The Pan
First, spray the springform pan with baking non stick spray. Next, line the bottom of the pan with 9 inch parchment paper circle. Make sure to spray the pan again.
Then, after the cheesecake has chilled overnight. The springform pan should pop right off. If it doesn't very gently use a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to pop it off.
Then, you should be able to lay the cheesecake on it's side to take off the bottom of pan and the parchment circle.
Divide this recipe into thirds to make 12 mini cheesecake. Bake in a muffin pan for 18-20 minutes. Follow this Mini Oreo Cheesecakes for detailed instructions for mini cheesecakes.
You can halve the recipe to make these into cheesecake bars using 8X8 or 9X9 inch baking pan (use 16 oz of cream cheese). You can also use a 8 inch springform pan. If you want to use a 6 inch springform pan, half the recipe, but use 16 oz of cream cheese.
For best results make sure the cheesecake is very cold. Then, use a sharp knife to cut the slices. Clean the knife after every slice.
- You top the cheesecake with whipped cream!
- You can crumble the gingersnaps used for the crust and put in the middle of the cheesecake batter.
- Springform pan: I use a good quality 9-inch springform pan. Sometimes I will use an 8-inch springform pan if I want a taller cheesecake.
- Parchment paper circles: I used 8-inch parchment paper circles for the bottom of the pan. I love to use the premade circles, so I don't have to cut it out of regular parchment paper.
- Baking spray: I use the nonstick spray that has flour in it.
- Offset spatula: I use this to easily spread the frosting or fillings.
Storing and Freezing
Store this gingerbread cheesecake in the fridge in an airtight container like a cake carrier. Chill up to 5 days.
You can freeze the cherry cheesecake in individual slices. Store in an airtight container and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.
You can also freeze the cheesecake before decorating. Wrap the cooled cheesecake (it needs to chill in the fridge overnight first), in plastic wrap and freeze up to 30 days.
Thaw for 1-2 hours before decorating.
Other Cheesecake Recipes To Try
Try These Christmas Recipes
- Christmas reindeer cupcakes
- Mini gingerbread cheesecakes
- Grinch cookies
- Chocolate peppermint cookies
- Snowman cookies
- 3 cups Tate's Bake Shop Gingersnap Cookie Crumbs 2 full bags of Tate's cookies crumbled to a fine crumb
- 6 tablespoon Unsalted butter melted
- 24 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
- ¼ cup Heavy cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup Molasses Don't use blackstrap.
- 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon Ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- 4 Large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup White granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature and cubed
- ½ cup Heavy cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch or 8-inch springform pan with baking nonstick spray. Line the pan with a parchment paper circle and spray again.
- Using a food processor, blend the cookies into a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and mix using a fork until combined.3 cups Tate's Bake Shop Gingersnap Cookie Crumbs, 6 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Pour the crumbs into the pan. Use your hands to press the crust ⅔rds up the pan. Compact the crust using the bottom of a measuring cup.
- Bake for 14 minutes.
- Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on high speed for 2 minutes. Then, add the sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla extract, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix on medium speed until smooth.24 oz Cream cheese, ¾ cup White granulated sugar, ½ cup Sour cream, ¼ cup Heavy cream, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ⅓ cup Molasses, 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, 1 ½ teaspoon Ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- Then, add in the eggs and mix on low speed until just combined. Take off the mixer and stir using a rubber spatula.4 Large eggs
- Pour the batter on top of the crust. Prepare a water bath.
- Water bath. Use one of these methods for a water bath. Both methods use a large roasting pan and hot steaming water.1. Place the springform pan in a 10 inch cake pan. Place the cake pan in the roasting pan and fill with hot water halfway up the cake pan. This method prevent water getting into the crust.2. Wrap the springform pan tightly twice in aluminum foil. Place the springform pan inside the roasting pan. Fill with hot water halfway up the springform pan. This method works great, but can sometimes leak water into the crust.
- Bake for 70-80 minutes until the edges are set and the middle has a slight jiggle.
- Turn off the oven, crack open the door, and let it sit for 30 minutes to slowly cool. Then, place the pan on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Cover with foil and chill overnight or at least 6 hours in the fridge.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar. Use a whisk to mix the sugar. It will be clumpy, but it will start to melt. Stir until every sugar crystal is melted.1 cup White granulated sugar
- Let it sit on the heat until it turns amber in color. This is a quick process, takes less than 30 seconds. Take off the heat.
- Add half of the cubed butter and whisk until melted. Repeat with the rest of the butter. It will bubble up a lot.4 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for 30 seconds so it is hot. Slowly pour in the cream and whisk until combined. Add the salt and vanilla.½ cup Heavy cream, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon Salt
- Pour into a glass container and cool completely.
- Take the pan and parchment paper off of the cheesecake. Top with the caramel. Heat the caramel for 10 seconds so it is pourable if needed. I used about half of the caramel.