Baked vegan gingerbread cheesecake which is utterly creamy, indulgent and perfect for Christmas. This festive dessert has no nuts and no tofu. And it's great for using leftover gingerbread cookies and even stale gingerbread houses!
Ingredients to make the vegan gingerbread cheesecake
Notes about the ingredients
Vegan cream cheese is our main cheesecake filling ingredient. If you can't access cream cheese, I'd recommend my Baked Vegan Cheesecake with Berries instead.
Brown or coconut sugar sweetens the cheesecake and provides lovely caramel undertones. Alternatively, you can use cane sugar or a liquid sweetener of choice.
Gingerbread spices and a lot of it! This includes ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Molasses (optional and not pictured) for extra flavor. This recipe is great for using the last bits of molasses in your jar at the end of the festive season! Note that it'll make your cheesecake filling a little darker.
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Making the ginger cookie crust
Simply add your ginger cookies to a food processor or blender and blitz until fine. My cookies were quite firm so processing them was very loud!
Add the melted butter (or alternative) and blitz until combined. It should resemble wet coarse sand!
I used an 8 inch (20 cm) loose-bottom cake pan for this vegan gingerbread cheesecake. A springform pan will be great too! I'd recommend lining the bottom and sides of the cake pan for 2 reasons:
- Easy removal
- Lessens the chance of cracking. When baking, the cheesecake will naturally shrink and move away from the sides. With parchment paper, the cheesecake won't stick to the sides and crack in the middle.
Scoop the crust mixture into your cake pan and press it down firmly with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Then set aside!
Making the cheesecake filling
First, make sure all your filling ingredients are at room temperature. This will make it easier to mix all the ingredients together (which reduces the chance of cracking)!
Simply add all the filling ingredients to a large bowl (if using an electric hand beater). The mixture also blends well in a food processor or blender!
With an electric hand beater, my cheesecake mixture came together in about 5-10 minutes including stopping and starting. It may sound like a long time but my mixture was never close to splitting. However, this may depend on your brand of cream cheese and cream!
Eventually, you'll have a slightly thick and creamy mixture that is free from lumps. The thickness of your unbaked cheesecake filling will absolutely depend on the temperature of your initial ingredients and how warm your home is!
Once you've mixed all the ingredients together, feel free to add more sweetener or spices to taste.
Pour the dreamy gingerbread mixture into your cake tin and smooth the surface. If there are a few air bubbles in your filling, firmly tap the cake pan a few times on your kitchen bench so disappears.
Your cheesecake is now ready to bake!
Cheesecake water bath tips and hacks
Traditionally, cheesecake pans are wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a large tray of boiling water. This is then transferred to a preheated oven. Of course, you can do that!
However, I don't trust myself moving a large tray of BOILING water anywhere. I also haven't bought aluminum foil for a decade (nor do I intend to buy any for the odd occasion I make cheesecakes).
However, I've figured out a few 'hacks' to make a safe, easy and zero-waste water bath for your cheesecake!
Instead of wrapping your cake tin with foil, you can simply place your cake tin in a slightly larger cake pan or tin. For example, if you have an 8-inch cake pan, place it in a 9 or 10-inch cake pan and place that in a tray of hot water! This is also demonstrated by Amy in the Kitchen.
Alternatively, you know how most ovens have 3-4 racks? We can place a tray of boiling water on the oven's bottom rack. And we can bake the cheesecake on a middle rack. The water can be poured into the tray before preheating the oven OR when you put the cheesecake in the oven.
The cake pan will never touch the water and the water creates the perfect 'steamy' environment for baking! This is also recommended by Sally's Baking Addiction.
How to tell if your cheesecake is ready
At around the 50-minute mark, jiggle your vegan gingerbread cheesecake slightly. The edges should look cooked (as they don't jiggle) but the middle of the cheesecake should wobble a little. That's when you can turn off the oven!
Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 1 hour. This will continue to cook the cheesecake and make sure the temperature doesn't change dramatically (which can cause cracks).
Remove the cheesecake then leave it on your kitchen bench until it reaches room temperature. Then chill the cheesecake overnight.
In other words, just WALK AWAY from your cheesecake, forget about it and pop it in the fridge when you remember.
Decorating the cheesecake
The cheesecake can be topped with:
- Whole or crumbled vegan gingerbread cookies
- Biscoff spread
- Whipped dairy free cream
- Drizzle of vegan chocolate
Customizing this vegan gingerbread cheesecake
Yes, simply use gluten-free gingerbread cookies!
Yes, use refined sugar-free cookies for the base. For the filling, you may use coconut sugar which will make the cheesecake darker. Alternatively, you can use maple syrup and bake the cake for around 10 minutes longer as maple syrup will make the filling more liquid.
You can substitute half of the cream cheese with firm silken tofu by weight. If you choose this option, your cheesecake filling will need to be blended in a blender or food processor. I'd also recommend adding more lemon juice and vanilla to balance out the flavor.
Alternatively, my baked vegan cheesecake recipe uses NO dairy-free cream cheese. Instead of topping it with berries, you can add gingerbread spices to the filling and base (or use the base from this recipe).
Yes, substitute it with firm silken tofu by weight and increase the amount of lemon juice and vanilla, to taste.
Yes, this will work if you add around ½ cup (120g) of coconut oil to the filling. You don't need to bake the cookie crust either! Chill it in the fridge for 4 hours or until set.
I haven't tested these tips for this exact recipe. My recommendations are based on my other no-bake cheesecake recipes.
More vegan gingerbread recipes
Vegan Gingerbread Cheesecake (baked)
Gingerbread Cookie Crust
Gingerbread Cheesecake Filling
- ~2 ¾ cups (675g) vegan cream cheese, room temperature (3 x regular tubs)
- 1 cup (240g) thick scoopable canned coconut cream, (note 2)
- 1 cup (190g) brown sugar, or cane sugar to taste
- ¼ cup (30g) corn starch / corn flour
- 3 tablespoons (45g) lemon juice and zest, to taste (around ½ lemon)
- 2 ½ tablespoons gingerbread spice, or 1 ½ tablespoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (note 3)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
- Pinch of any good quality salt
To decorate (optional)
- Gingerbread cookies
- Whipped dairy free cream, or biscoff spread
- Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F). Place a deep and large baking tray in your oven (or use the one that comes with your oven). Pour enough water into the tray so the water is about 1 inch (2 cm) deep.
- Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (20 cm) spring-form or loose-bottom cake tin with baking paper. Wrap your cake tin with foil OR place your cake tin in a 9 or 10 inch cake tin (pictured in the post above).
To make the crust:
- Add the ginger cookies to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of an 8 inch (20 cm) lined cake tin. Set aside.
To make the cheesecake filling:
- Add all the filling ingredients to a large mixing bowl and use electric hand beaters to mix until very smooth. Make sure there are no lumps of cream cheese! Alternatively, add all ingredients to a food processor and process until very smooth.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the cake tin. Bake the vegan gingerbread cheesecake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. The cheesecake is ready when the the edges are set but 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) of the middle is still jiggly (when you slightly shake the pan).
- Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for at least 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake and set it aside in the fridge overnight.
To decorate (optional):
- Just before serving, pipe some whipped cream or Biscoff spread on top of the cheesecake and decorate with gingerbread cookies, as desired (note 4). Enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer (without the whipped cream) for up to 1 month.
- You may also use ginger snaps or ginger nut cookies. If you don't have ginger cookies, you can just use plain cookies and add 1 tablespoon of gingerbread spices (½ tablespoon ground ginger, ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon), to taste.
- I was able to get this amount of cream from just 1 can of coconut cream. I recommend buying full fat coconut cream for this recipe as they contain more thick scoopable coconut cream than cans of coconut milk.
- If you'd like a stronger gingerbread flavor, you may add a pinch of cloves powder and add up to 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) of spices. However, it'll make the cheesecake much darker in color!
- The gingerbread cookies will soften after a couple of hours of being placed on the cheesecake. Most cookies won't collapse but if you'd like crunchy cookies, I'd recommend placing them on the cake just before serving!
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