This small-batch, refined sugar free gingerbread cheesecake is the perfect Christmas centrepiece dessert for a smaller family. The cheesecake batter is filled with aromatic, warming gingerbread spices and flavours and is paired with a gluten-free cinnamon hazelnut oat base.
A festive refined sugar free cheesecake recipe
Just because we’re having smaller Christmas gatherings this year, doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a real cracker of a holiday dessert. And I’m telling you, this refined sugar free, gluten-free take on Gingerbread Cheesecake is not one you want to miss out on!
Made in a small 6-inch springform pan, this festive cheesecake recipe is filled with all the heady aromatics of warm, spicy gingerbread. It’s BIG on flavour, yet surprisingly light in texture for a baked cheesecake. Plus, the oaty, cinnamony, hazelnut crust is the perfect crunchy accompaniment for the soft cheesecake filling!
Although it might use baking techniques you aren’t as familiar with (ie. a water bath), I promise this gingerbread cheesecake recipe is very easy to make. I’m giving you all my tips at the bottom of this post and in the recipe card so you can recreate it with confidence in your kitchen.
Ingredients in this gingerbread cheesecake recipe
Aside from the 4-ingredient spice mix, you only need 9 pretty staple ingredients to make this indulgent festive cheesecake recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Porridge oats: Normally I always suggest using rolled oats for baking recipes, but porridge oats work well for the base of this cheesecake because they soften and hold everything together as it bakes.
- Roasted hazelnuts: Hazelnuts are the perfect nutty flavour accompaniment to the gingerbread spices in the cake batter.
- Butter: Salted butter firms up in the freezer and helps keep our crust together.
- Agave syrup: The refined sugar free sweetener of choice for this recipe as it has a mild flavour that doesn’t compete with the spices.
- Full fat cream cheese: Can’t have a cheesecake without cream cheese! We’re using two full tubs (or one large one!) for this recipe.
- Full fat sour cream: Adds a little tang to our filling, which is necessary for that classic cheesecake flavour.
- Molasses: Gives the cake that traditional gingerbready flavour. In the UK, we use black treacle.
- Vanilla paste: Adds a lovely sweetness and aroma.
- Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice: Our quartet of gingerbread spices! Perfect for creating that classic flavour.
- Eggs: To set the cheesecake filling, eggs are used to bind everything together and slowly bake in the oven.
How to make gingerbread cheesecake
Although there are quite a few steps to this gingerbread cheesecake, the prep for it is fairly straightforward. Let’s start with the hazelnut cinnamon base!
1. Make the crust:
- Stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Tip the mixture into a prepared springform pan and press it into a base.
2. Make the cheesecake batter:
- Beat the cream cheese until smooth.
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients, except the eggs.
- Beat in the eggs briefly.
- Pour the batter on top of the frozen base and tap the air bubbles out.
3. Bake the gingerbread cheesecake:
- Bake the cheesecake in a water bath.
- Allow the cake to cool in the oven.
- Chill the cake overnight, top with whipped cream, and enjoy!
Full details are in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- Be careful when wrapping the tin in foil. If you notice any cracks or tears in the foil, you will need to use a new sheet. Any tears may allow water to seep into the cheesecake.
- Don’t be put off by the texture of the raw crust. The base isn’t super sticky, so simply do your best to press it into an even layer. If it starts sticking to your hands, lightly wet them with a bit of water. The freezer will take care of the rest.
- Beat the eggs into the batter last. Over whipping the eggs will cause air bubbles to form in the batter, which can result in cracks. Only beat them until just incorporated.
- Don’t over-bake it! You’ll know the gingerbread cheesecake is done when you can nudge the pan and there is a slight wobble in the centre and it is mostly firm around the edges.
- Once the cake is cooked, leave it in the oven to cool for 1 hour with the door slightly ajar. This will give the cheesecake time to cook through completely and the heat helps prevent cracking. Simply wedge a wooden spoon in between the oven and the door.
- Chill the cake overnight. This will help the cheesecake firm up and create a really creamy texture. Do not skip this step!
Looking for more holiday dessert options?
Vegan Gingerbread Cake
Cranberry Pear Crumble
Chocolate Orange Shortbread Bars
Red Velvet Cake
Mint Chocolate Brownies
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Chocolate Hazelnut Dipped Shortbread Biscuits
Mandarin Orange Cake
If you make this recipe, let me know by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @naturallysweet_kitchen. I love seeing your creations and sharing them in my Stories. Or let me know you love this Gingerbread Cheesecake recipe by leaving a comment and rating below!
A small-batch, refined sugar free gingerbread cheesecake featuring aromatic, warm gingerbread spices and a gluten-free hazelnut oat base.
- 25 g porridge oats
- 50 g roasted hazelnuts, very finely chopped
- 25 g butter, melted
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 350 g full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 100 g full fat sour cream, room temperature
- 125 ml agave syrup
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- Prepare a 15 cm (6 inch) springform pan by lightly greasing the base with butter and lining with circle of non-stick parchment paper. Grab a sheet of aluminum foil and place it shiny side up on a counter. Put the pan in the centre of the foil and carefully wrap the foil up the sides of the pan, ensuring there are no air pockets or rips in the foil.
- To a bowl, add the oats, hazelnuts, butter, agave, and cinnamon. Mix well with a fork to combine. The mixture should stick together slightly, but it will be quite loose.
- Tip the mixture into the pan and gently press it into the bottom and slightly up the sides to form the base. If it starts sticking to your hands, lightly wet them with a bit of water to keep the oats from sticking. Once the base is formed, place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to firm up while you make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
- Tip the cream cheese into a large bowl and beat on low speed using a hand mixer just until the cheese is smooth. Add the sour cream, agave, molasses, vanilla, and spices to the cream cheese and beat again on low speed until smooth and combined.
Add the eggs and beat slowly, just until they’re incorporated. Don’t mix too much at this point or too much air will end up in the batter and cause cracks in the final bake.
Give the batter a good scrape and mix with a spatula and then pour it on top of the prepared base. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any large air bubbles and then place the pan in a roasting tray. Fill the tray 1 to 1 ½ inches deep with hot water and place the tray on the middle rack of the oven.
Bake the cheesecake for 55-65 minutes. Check the cake at 45 minutes and if it is beginning to brown too much on top, cover very loosely with foil. You will know the cheesecake is done by gently nudging the tin; the cake should have a slight wobble to the middle.
- Once the time is up and you’ve checked for the wobble, turn off the oven. Leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool with the door slightly cracked open for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven and its water bath and foil lining. Allow to come to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve, run a knife along the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan and then pop it out. Top with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.
This cheesecake will keep for 3 days refrigerated and sealed in an airtight container.