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Gingerbread Cheesecake

  • Servings: 10
Gingerbread Cheesecake

Photography: Sang An

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2007


  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/2 recipe Molasses-Gingerbread Cookie Dough (use remaining dough to make gingerbread men or reserve for another use)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 pounds (four 8-ounce bars) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 Gingerbread Men, for decorating


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a 13-by-10-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 14 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. Break into large pieces, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.

  2. Combine butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom and one third of the way up side of springform pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Wrap exterior of a 9-inch springform pan with a double layer of foil. Set a kettle of water to a boil. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and the vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in molasses, salt, spices, and zest. Pour filling into cooled crust.

  4. Set springform pan in a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up side of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until set but still slightly wobbly in center, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer springform pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).

  5. Before serving, run a knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen; remove sides of pan. Arrange gingerbread cookies in center of cake in a circle.

Reviews (20)

  • Felix CQ 22 Dec, 2013

    Just made this yesterday. Used a 9" springform pan by Kaiser. Added a couple tablespoons of ginger juice. Baked it 80 minutes or 65+15 minutes extra. Chilled for at least 10 hours. Turned out great. Tastes of molasses and cheese and the spices hit right after. Very delicious and easy to make. Found a variation at might give it a try sometime to mix things up but Martha's recipe is really good :) Thanks Martha!

  • ladytiffany 29 Dec, 2010

    I made this cheesecake for Christmas 2010. It was very tasty. When I make it again, and I will, I'll try the honey gingerbread crust. The molasses gingerbread was great, I'm just curious to see what the honey gingerbread would taste like. It did make a load of crust crumbs. Wasn't sure what to do with rest of crumbs as they were baked. Could've sprinkled on top, but didn't. Filling fit in 9" pan fine. Cooked 18 minutes longer. Had cracks near edge, but it's a cheesecake...and it tastes great!

  • cec22 26 Dec, 2010

    This cheesecake is amazing! It does need to be baked a little longer than the recipe says - for me it took about 10-15 min extra. Also, I used a 10" pan and I think that works better, not sure how all of the filling would fit in a 9' pan. For a shortcut, use store-bought ginger snaps for the crust. Everyone raved about this cheesecake and begged to take a piece home. This will become a go-to Christmas recipe for me!

  • katevl 24 Dec, 2010

    Just took mine out of the oven after 20 extra minutes (entire cake was wobbly prior to that time). Unfortunately despite using a water bath the cheesecake cracked. It also rose above the pan, weird and dissapointing. I will let it cool as instructed and see if I can creatively cover the cracks. Hope it tastes as good as it smells.

  • katevl 24 Dec, 2010

    Just took mine out of the oven after 20 extra minutes (entire cake was wobbly prior to that time). Unfortunately despite using a water bath the cheesecake cracked. It also rose above the pan, weird and dissapointing. I will let it cool as instructed and see if I can creatively cover the cracks. Hope it tastes as good as it smells.

  • poiema 18 Dec, 2010

    I made this cheesecake for a party this was WONDERFUL! A friend said it was absolutely the best cheesecake he's ever had. It does need to bake a little longer--at least 10 min. I'm making another today--will probably cook at least 15 min longer, as it was not quite solid in the center. But the flavor is amazing!!

  • She77ie 18 Sep, 2010

    I have been making this cheesecake every Christmas since it was featured in the 2007 magazine. I made 4 of them one year! It has become a family favorite and a very impressive dish to bring to parties. Love, love, love it!

  • abellina82 1 Jan, 2009

    Just a quick update - my cheesecake was a total hit. My family ate up every last bite. I kept mine in the fridge overnight and cooked it the recommended time and everything turned out just fine. Looks like I was a lucky one!

  • chelseaday 31 Dec, 2008

    Yikes. I made this for Christmas dinner dessert ... horrible, would never make again. I added extra bake time as suggested, otherwise followed this recipe to a "t". Normally love Martha's recipes, but this one was a real dud and remained largely un-eaten by my normally-voracious family. So many better cheesecake recipes on this site.

  • Hillyo 24 Dec, 2008

    Delicious! I had gingersnaps handy, so I used those for the crust (yum!). I had it in the oven about 65 minutes. This one is a new favorite!

  • abellina82 24 Dec, 2008

    I skipped the step on making the dough and just bought some pre-made ginger bread cookies and crumbled them in a food processor. I have not tried mine yet but am a little concerned about the doneness and also some water got into my foilwrap and I fear leaked into the cake! Keeping my fingers crossed for Crhistmas day tomorrow...

  • mn_baker_brrrr 24 Dec, 2008

    Yup, this one is a keeper! I did leave it in the oven an additional 30-45 min and it set up beautifully. I brought it to a holiday party for work and wow did people love it. I added some pumpkin pie spice mix and ground my own cloves. Yum!

  • piccadilley 19 Feb, 2008

    I loved this! The first time I made it, I didn't have a big enough baking pan to fill with water and bake the spring form in. It didn't set in the middle, but still was delicious on the outside. Last week, I found the right sized baking pan, and it turned out perfectly! I had so much gingerbread left over (for the crust) that I baked and crumbled it, and put it in the freezer for future cheesecakes.

  • nosubstitutes 14 Feb, 2008

    The cooking instructions for this cake are incorrect. I left it in for an additional 40 min. using an oven thermometer. I tested the center of the cake to 150F. with a thermometer reader to ensure doneness, as instructed from another cooking show. It turned out beautiful, and was appreciated by all.

  • MRoadsterLvr 3 Jan, 2008

    The first one I made was perfect. I made sure to leave it in long enough because I recently had some runny pies and it came out just right. A major hit. Everyone who tried it loved it! I made another one last night and didn't leave it in long enough. It definitely needs an extra few minutes (especially in our old oven). Make sure the top is golden brown and it seems pretty firm when it comes out of the oven. When cooked correctly it is definitely worth the time. De-lish!!

  • kimberleyamanda 2 Jan, 2008

    This cheesecake did not set, even after baking it an extra 30 minutes it was gooey on the inside. I could not serve it. It was a waste of time and money.

  • dee5280 26 Dec, 2007

    I made this cheesecake for Christmas dessert. I was not able to serve it. I have been making cheesecakes for years and this was the worst experience. I followed the recipe exactly - the inside was completely runny! Martha REALLY needs to quality control and test her recipes! I am very dissapointed that I wasted money and two days of baking. I will only visit this site for ideas and will stick with tried and true Debbie Fields.

  • brearmamma 19 Dec, 2007

    Very Yummy!! Worth the time. Cookies are fun too! How do I modify for an 8 inch spring form pan?

  • Catherine_Joy 6 Dec, 2007

    I made this cheesecake for a dinner party and it was a BIG hit !!! Came out beautifully, great flavor, creamy

  • erinmiyu 22 Nov, 2007

    This recipe is a bit time consuming, but the cheesecake is amazing!

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