Rich and creamy Gingerbread Cheesecake is nestled in a crisp gingersnap crust and topped with smooth, sweet, tangy glaze before being dressed with holiday gingerbread men. This easy to make dessert is great for a crowd and will definitely be the highlight of the party.
My gingerbread binge continues…..and I’ll actually be sad when Christmas arrives because I feel like it’s not socially acceptable to consume large quantities of gingerbread after the 26th. I say the 26th because that day is my extended Christmas day, the day I either a) stay home and relax in a new pair of pjs and socks while binge watching Christmas movies or b) go to the mall extra early and shop for bargains with what little money I have left while sipping a gingerbread latte. Since I already binge watched all the holiday movies this year I think I’m going with B. Option B sounds like the logical plan to me. Right?
So, that means one last splurge on some gingerbread where I will be sure to eat so much that I can’t even stand it anymore. Is that even possible? I don’t think so but one can wish….what I do hope is that there is a slice of this Gingerbread Cheesecake leftover from Christmas dinner. Because it’s simply amazing. Creamy, light and perfectly spiced with a crisp, sweet crust that’s just humming with snappy flavor. It’s easy to make…and completely fool-proof using just a few of my tips. I made this recipe so many times as a dessert to take to relatives houses for the holidays but before I did that….I screwed it up pretty royally quite a few times. So, I’m kind of a Gingerbread Cheesecake expert by now.
To start your Gingerbread Cheesecake you’re going to make the crust….it’s super easy and only three ingredients. Gingersnap cookies (I like to use these, they’re perfect but you can buy them at the store if you’re short on time), sugar and butter. Oh, and a pinch of salt. Crush up your cookies, stir in the sugar, salt and melted butter…the press into your springform pan. Bake for a bit until set and let it cool.
Now the filling, your Gingerbread Cheesecake has simple filling that’s creamy and smooth. Much less dense than many cheesecakes I’ve had before (or even MADE before). It’s just a few ingredients and a bunch of spices to get that burst of gingerbread flavor. Cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, molasses, spices and balsamic vinegar (don’t be scared, it’s sweet/tangy and heavenly)….beat until smooth. Try not to eat the filling with a spoon. It happens…nobody likes a half full cheesecake.
Pour that creamy deliciousness into your gingersnap crust and bake for about an hour or so in a water bath so your filling doesn’t dry out and crack. Sounds complicated but it’s not. I just wrap the pan in foil to seal the cracks…place in a deep baking pan (like a half sheet pan) and fill with about 4-6 cups of water. I fill the pan with water while it’s on the oven rack to prevent spills.
Last, whip together sour cream, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar….smooth that silky cream over the top of your now cooled Gingerbread Cheesecake. Decorate with Gingerbread Men.…and again, if you’re short on time there’s no shame in buying them at the store. Try not to eat them on the way home. Now watch as your friends and family gasp in amazement at your new culinary powers. And don’t be surprised if you’re assigned cheesecake duty for the rest of eternity. But that’s cool because now you know how easy they are and next time you can try these Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecakes or my favorite Bourbon Pumpkin Praline Cheesecakes.
- For the crust:
- 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (approximately 12 ounces whole cookies)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the filling:
- 4 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- For the glaze
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar, butter and salt until clumps begin to form.
- Press the crumb mixture into a springform pan firmly and evenly across the bottom and halfway up the sides.
- Transfer the crust to the oven and bake until set, approximately 10 minutes.
- Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with foil.
- Reduce the oven to 325 degrees.
- Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the sugar and vanilla scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed.
- Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in the molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and vinegar until combined.
- Pour the filling into the crust and set in a deep baking pan.
- Transfer the baking pan to the oven and fill with water. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until set but still wobbly in the center.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
- Whisk the sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Spread the mixture over the top of the cheesecake and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Decorate the cheesecake with gingerbread men, if desired. Or sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.
- Serve chilled.
Total time includes 8 hours of chilling time.