Gingerbread Cheesecake

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This Gingerbread Cheesecake recipe is made with a delicious shortbread crust, gingerbread cheesecake filling and a molasses mousse topping! It’s the perfect easy dessert recipe for the holidays!

If you need some other great dessert recipes that are perfect for family holiday gatherings, take a look at this Eggnog Cheesecake, my Cranberry Fudge Swirl Cheesecake, and my Classic Cheesecake Recipe. They are sure to please!

This post is sponsored by Walkers Shortbread, but all opinions are my own.

Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe Easy Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe

November is in full swing and I feel like the end of the year is moving quickly! We had a baby shower this past weekend in Charlotte with family and friends and it was wonderful. It was not only beautifully done, it was also very special. We celebrated with a group of people that I’ve known most of my life and are very familiar with our journey to getting pregnant and it was so wonderful to feel everyone’s excitement and be able to celebrate with them.

But now things really feel like they are moving! We’ve been busy getting ready to move into our new house, our current house is under contract and the holidays are fast approaching. Before we know it, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us. It’s such a fun time of year and a great time for baking – I can’t wait!

A Fun, Festive and Easy Gingerbread Cheesecake

Gingerbread is one of my favorite flavors of the season. All the spices are just what this time of year is about. And this cheesecake has three great components that make it especially delicious – the shortbread crust, the thick and creamy cheesecake filling and the smooth mousse topping. So fun!

Best Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe Holiday Dessert Idea

How to Make Shortbread Crust for a Cheesecake

To get started with the crust, you’ll want to get your hands on a couple boxes of Walkers Shortbread. I used the shortbread fingers, but feel free to use one of the other varieties. If you’ve never tried their shortbread before, you really should. It’s the best! So buttery and delicious – it’s hard to stop eating. And it makes a delicious crust. Pop the shortbread into a food processor to grind it into crumbs. It’s combined with a little sugar, cinnamon and butter and then pressed into a springform pan and pre-baked.

How to Make the Gingerbread Cheesecake Filling

The filling is flavored with brown sugar, molasses and lots of tasty spices! Of course ginger is the star of the show here, but there’s also a good bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as some cloves. All the spices are what makes gingerbread so darn tasty! Be sure not to mix the filling at too high of a speed, as it can add extra air to the filling and can cause cracks during the baking and cooling process.

Once the cheesecake is baked and cooled, you’ll want to add the mousse. It’s a molasses mousse with some cinnamon and nutmeg. You’ll add the mousse topping to the cheesecake while it’s still in the springform pan, then allow it firm up a bit before removing the sides. The cheesecake is then finished off with some swirls of whipped cream and a few gingerbread men.

The final cheesecake is fun, festive and delicious! It was a big hit with all my taste testers and is perfect for the holidays – whether for a party or for your dinner table. I can’t wait for you to try it!

Holiday Dessert Recipe Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe

More Great Gingerbread and Christmas Recipes:

Best Gingerbread Cookies (Soft and Chewy Cutouts)
Moist Gingerbread Layer Cake
Gingerbread Cookies with Eggnog Icing
Gingerbread Cheesecake Cookie Cups


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Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe
Recipe

Gingerbread Cheesecake

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 1 Hr. 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 Hrs. 30 Minutes, Plus Cooling
  • Total Time: 33 minute
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Gingerbread Cheesecake recipe is made with a delicious shortbread crust, gingerbread cheesecake filling and a molasses mousse topping! It’s the perfect easy dessert recipe for the holidays!


Scale

Ingredients

CRUST

  • 1 3/4 cups (255gWalkers shortbread crumbs (two 5.3 oz packages)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp (28g) butter, melted

CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • 24 ounces (678g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (225g) packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp (25g) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (173g) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 eggs

MOUSSE TOPPING

  • 1 1/4 cup (300ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) molasses
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, softened

WHIPPED CREAM

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tbsp (44g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

CRUST

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
4. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in. Set prepared pan aside.

CHEESECAKE FILLING AND TOPPING

5. Reduce oven to 300°F (148°C).
6. In a large mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour until well combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
7. Add the sour cream, molasses, vanilla extract and spices and mix on low speed until well combined.
8. Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
9. Pour the cheesecake filling into crust and spread evenly.
10. Place springform pan (covered with aluminum foil) inside another larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
11. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
12. Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 30 minutes.
13. Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
14. Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
15. When cheesecake has chilled and is firm, make the mousse topping. Add heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, molasses and spices to a large mixer bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
16. Set the whipped cream aside and in another bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
17. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese until well combined.
18. With the cheesecake still in the springform pan, pour the mousse on top and spread into an even layer.
19. Set in the fridge for another 1-2 hours, until mousse is firm, then remove from the springform pan.
20. Add the ingredients for the whipped cream to a large mixer bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
21. Pipe whipped cream around the edges of the cheesecake and decorate with gingerbread men.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Keywords: cheesecake recipe, holiday desserts, gingerbread recipe, shortbread crust, how to make cheesecake, easy cheesecake

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cheesecake - A great holiday dessert, full of flavor and spices!

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Recipe rating

89 Comments
  1. Katie

    Hi!! Thank you for the recipe! I was wondering – how would you convert this into a six inch cake? I can’t seem to find a good way to convert a nine inch down to a six inch. Thank you!!!!

  2. Lisa

    Can you make the mousse a day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to decorate?  I made the cheesecake and I would like to make the mousse while the cheesecake is baking and finish it tomorrow. 

    1. Lindsay

      I wouldn’t really recommend it. The whipped cream might deflate if you try to restir it and then add it to the cheesecake later.

    1. Lindsay

      Anytime should be fine really. As long as you’re using the powdered sugar in it, it should stay stable for several days.

  3. Alheli

    This nails the flavor of traditional gingebread cookies, and the mixture of textures is perfect!

    However, for my taste, it was too sweet. I would get rid of the tbsp of sugar in the crust and I would cut in half the powdered sugar that goes into the whipped cream.

    Also, if your pan is not non-stick, don’t forget to use parchment paper or to oil it. The cheesecake is very rich and creamy, and it will stick to the pan if you don’t do something to prevent it.

  4. Jess Witty

    Making this today! Perhaps someone can answer whether this is baked with foil over the top? I understand covering the sides to prevent water leakage but it’s not clear as to whether the top is covered…

  5. D. Suzanne Cox

    I am trying to make the mousse. I have combined the whipping cream, molasses, spices and powdered sugar according to the recipe. It will NOT thicken let alone form stiff peaks! What now?
    This is for the Gingerbread Cheesecake.

    1. Lindsay

      There really isn’t any reason I can think of that it wouldn’t thicken. Heavy whipping cream is made to do just that. Are you able to make just whipped cream?

  6. Sadie

    Excellent!  The filling is dense and creamy, but not heavy.  It’s not cloyingly sweet.  The spices are well balanced.  I added a pinch of salt, grated lemon zest, and black pepper.  For the crust, I subbed homemade gingersnap cookie crumbs for the shortbread and added some grated fresh ginger.  The cheesecake baked for 1 hour 30 minutes.  I left it in the oven with the door closed, then cooled it completely in the oven with the door open and the light off.  The top was completely level and smooth.  For the water bath I set the 9″ springform pan inside a 10″ cake pan, then set the cake pan in a large roasting pan.  No need to wrap the springform pan in foil.  I love a make-ahead dessert and this was perfect!  Made it 2 days ahead and it was still excellent on day 3.  I didn’t make the mousse, but covered the filling with dark and white chocolate curls instead.  At serving time I added a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream and drizzled with a bourbon caramel sauce.

    1. Alyssa

      I loved this, however… I discovered that using dark brown sugar changed the color quite a bit and didn’t look as pretty. I wish the recipe had specifically said light. And having baked my own gingerbread men for the top I wish I had just used them in the crust too.
      I agree with other comments to half the powdered sugar in the whipped cream–it is really sweet. I also wish the mousse wasn’t so soft, as it started to lose its shape when the cheesecake was cut. That said, this is definitely a crowd pleaser.

      1. Lindsay

        I’m glad you enjoyed it overall. The mousse should stay plenty thick. Mine was thick for days without any issues. My guess is it had something to do with the whipped cream (adding the powdered sugar helps stabilize it) or the cream cheese being too soft or perhaps reduced fat cream cheese.

  7. Maureen

    I have made a lot of cheesecakes, but had trouble with this. The cheesecake part pulled away from the pan while cooling and when I put the mousse on it oozed down into the sides of the pan and looks like a mess.It tastes great but the cheesecake is very dense. I think it was over cooked. Is there a certain temp that it should be cooked to? Should it still be a little jiggly in the center?
    I was going to take it to a dinner party but was embarrassed to present it as it was. Had to whip up a cake to take instead. My husband wants me to give it another try for Christmas.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s possible that it was over baked. I don’t test the temperature of my cheesecakes, but you do want the edges of the cheesecake to be set and center still jiggly. It’ll firm up a good bit more during the cooling process, so it will over bake if it’s too firm before cooling. For the mousse topping, it sound like the whipped cream wilted. The powdered sugar is used to stabilize it, so if you happened to reduce that at all, it wouldn’t stay firm. Be sure to use the full amount and whip the cream until nice and stiff and it shouldn’t deflate. I hope that helps!

  8. Sadie

    How many days in advance can you make the cheesecake if you’re not planning to freeze it? (I’m sorry if I missed the answer to this in the comments!)

  9. Diane

    I like to take my cheesecakes out of the refrigerator for about an hour before serving. Would that amount of time cause the mousse layer to become too soft?

  10. Kajsa Midhall

    I would like to make this recipe but half of it and i wonder if you know the size for my cake pan that would fit and the how long it should be in the oven ? Thanks.

  11. Shannon

    Hi I’m just wondering about the gingerbread men decoration is there a recipe to make them or are they store bought? 

  12. Kat

    Woot! I pulled up cheese cake on Pintrest for my hubby to pick a new one. Oh Batman! So yum! Bad news, Walkers is not available where I am at. Ridiculous right?!? Made due with homemade Walkers copycat recipe. I had no cracks and my kids loved licking the mousse bowl clean. Amazing holiday cheesecake. Served it with French vanilla coffee. It was loved by everyone who ate it. Including my 2 year old. Thank you!

  13. Denise

    Hi Lindsay, I made this and am concerned that the cheesecake portion is soft, almost a whipped mousse like consistency. Is that how it should be? Thank you

  14. Pat.

    Hi Lindsay! I want to make this to send home with some dinner guests we’re having this weekend for their Christmas dinner. Will it freeze well without the whipped cream?

  15. Missy

    I can’t find the shortbread crumbs at my super market, do you think I could just make my own using shortbread cookies? 

  16. Pam

    Hi I just made this cheesecake, it tastes delicious but the mousse is tricky. I was wondering what the other commenter that mentioned problems with the mousse had issues with. Mine was very lumpy when you fold the whip cream mixture into the cream cheese. I had to beat it with my mixer and it still has little lumps throughout. It’s fine but not what I’d really like. The cream cheese was quite soft so  I think next time I would mix the molasses and spices with the cream cheese and fold whip cream into that. It hopefully would make it easier to fold together. Otherwise a nice recipe.

    1. Lindsay

      My guess would be that the lumpiness is from the cream cheese being a little bit cool still. You are right though that you could change up the order of mixing things to thin out the cream cheese and achieve the same result, perhaps without lumps.

      1. Frank Schaefer

        Hi Lindsay, I had the same issue with the mousse as Pam. I expect it is probably because of the cream cheese not being fully warmed…but since the mousse doesn’t get (re)pasteurized via baking, I stuck with FDA guidelines–specifically about not letting dairy sit at room temp more than 2 hours.

        I can report that mixing the molasses with the cream cheese first did the trick: let the cream cheese sit out for an hour, whip it on low-medium speed for 5-7 minutes, then blend in the molasses for 3-5 minutes. The mousse folded together easily and ended up with much better texture and volume.

        I’ve made this cheesecake twice now, and it’s been very well received. 🙂

  17. Issia

    Hi! Made the cheesecake part already! Looks great! I’m excited…the part I️ keep failing at is the mousse 🙁 Ive already screwed it up twice! Any tips? Thank you!

  18. Katie Luke

    Hi! I’m currently baking this at 300F like the recipe and it’s been in there for an hour and 20 minutes and hasn’t baked at all! Is something wrong?

    1. Lindsay

      It would seem like something isn’t right if it truly hasn’t baked at all. However cheesecakes will still look jiggly in the center and be set around the edges when they are baked to that point in the process. When you turn off the oven and let it sit for another 30 minutes, it’ll continue baking and continue to firm as it cools. So it might just seem like it’s not baked, but it might be right on track.

  19. Gemma

    Hi, I’m in Scotland (just down the road from the walkers factory actually!!). When you say molasses, is that what we would call black treacle? 
    Looks a fab recipe! 

    1. Lindsay

      How fun that you’re so close to the factory! I hadn’t heard of black treacle, but did some googling. They do appear to be quite similar. It should work fine as a substitute in the cheesecake. I hope you enjoy it!

  20. Pam

    Thanks for the recipe!  I’m planning on making it for a fundraiser.  Do you have any tips on how to remove the cake from the pan onto the cake plate without getting the parchment paper too?  Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      I can usually remove the parchment paper if I want to try, but it can be a little tricky to not hurt the cheesecake in the process. I usually use an offset spatula (9 inch) to wiggle between the cheesecake bottom and parchment and then remove the spatula and insert a cake lifter (affiliate link) that will allow the cheesecake to rest on it so it doesn’t break. Push that lifter between them as you remove the parchment and it should come off fine and the cheesecake shouldn’t be damaged. I hope that helps!

  21. Cat

    Can this be made a head of time and put in the freezer? I love to bake and have a few people who want one. Id like to do them in advance, like a week..

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t tend to freeze things much, but I think the cheesecake would be fine. I might suggest adding the mousse topping only after it’s been defrosted though, just to be safe.

  22. Eileen Schopf

    This is a beautiful work of art! I have made several of your cheesecakes and they are delicious.
    Forgive me if this question has been answered somewhere…how do you get your cheesecake OFF the springform pan bottom? The two times I tried…I broke it! Do you have a giant spatula or special tool?

    The times I have gifted cheesecakes, the bottom of my springform pan has been returned with scratches 🙁 I greatly appreciate your advice! Thank you & God bless!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the cheesecakes!

      I can usually remove the parchment paper if I want to try, but it can be a little tricky to not hurt the cheesecake in the process. I usually use an offset spatula (9 inch) to wiggle between the cheesecake bottom and parchment and then remove the spatula and insert a cake lifter (affiliate link) that will allow the cheesecake to rest on it so it doesn’t break. Push that lifter between them as you remove the parchment and it should come off fine and the cheesecake shouldn’t be damaged. I hope that helps!

      1. Eileen

        It does indeed help, Lindsay! Thank you so much for your reply!

        Now I know what I want for Christmas!
        God bless you and the babies!

  23. sue winters

    Hi Lindsay from New Zealand 🙂

    I discovered your site today and am already in lurvv with the gingerbread cheesecake recipe!

    May I ask why you use a waterbath? And if not, would the cheesecake be OK just baked on its own, and at what temp? Thanks so much, kind regards,

    Sue.

    1. Lindsay

      For the cheesecakes on my site, water baths are necessary in my opinion. There are some cheesecakes that can bake fine without one, but often not using one lends a drier cheesecake that falls in the middle and cracks. I hope that helps!

  24. Jeannie

    I am not a big fan of cheesecake but my family is and this recipe has really peaked my interest… it looks deliciously fabulous! I LOVE ginger so I am excited to try this recipe. Thank you!

  25. Theresa

    Looks soooo yummy! Where do you get those cute thin little gingerbread men? Are those Walkers brand as well? I must make this!! I guess ginger thins would be ok ! Thank you! 

    1. Lindsay

      I just get them at the grocery story on the cookie aisle, right by the Walkers Shortbread actually. 🙂 They are Pepperidge Farms.

  26. C Lange

    Hi! I really really love reading your stories and trying your recipes, and hope all is well by you.
    In the past for events, I’ve made mini carrot cake cheesecakes with maple frosting and they were outstanding. Could I also use the recipe above to make mini versions? Can’t wait to try this one out, it has HOLIDAYS written all over it. We are hosting a catered, British-themed holiday party for clients at my NYC office  in a few weeks and this would be so perfect (I bake a lot so everyone agrees I should bring something homemade in addition to the catering items)
    Thanks for everything.
    Cheryl

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, they’d be great as mini versions. I have several mini cheesecakes around the blog. Feel free to check those out to get an idea of instructions and such, if needed. Usually bake time is roughly 18 minutes with some cooling time.

  27. Shirley Firak

    Looking forward to making this cheesecake! I love the little gingerbread men with the sanding sugar on them. Were those purchased or could you direct me to the recipe for those? Thanx much!!!

    1. Lindsay

      I just get them at the grocery story on the cookie aisle, right by the Walkers Shortbread actually. :)???? They are Pepperidge Farms.

  28. Suzy-q

    Another keeper, Lindsay! I will definitely try this for Thanksgiving. I love spices and the aroma that
    fills the air as the desserts bake.
    Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your new home and good luck with the
    move.

  29. Melinda

    I’ve never tried to make a gingerbread cheesecake before, but these photos are inspiring me to try it soon!  I love the cute little gingerbread men on top. 🙂

  30. Ruth

    Hi Lindsay – can I just ask a question? I’m trying to master the art of frosting a cake as well as you do (I’m still a long way off!). In your videos (which are really helpful by the way), you often use a fondant smoother and paper towel – can you use these tools to smooth a cake with butter icing? I always thought they were just for fondant icing, so haven’t invested in a fondant smoother (I’ve never used fondant icing as I don’t like the texture). I just can’t seem to get the same standard of finish as you do, and thought perhaps these tools would help me?

  31. Hannah

    A gingerbread cheesecake sounds so fun and festive. I had never heard of that brand of shortbread and I will need to try it!

  32. Ava Vivion

    I so look forward to making this! It is beautiful and ginger is simply one of the greatest flavors. Thank you for your fantastic recipes, Lindsay!

    1. Lindsay

      Not quite. You’d also want to remove the sour cream and depending on how soft it was with the molasses, you might also want a little gelatin to firm it up.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12