Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars

By ohioeggs  

December 20, 2023

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These Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars by Ohio food blogger What Molly Made feature perfectly rich and creamy cheesecake atop a rich spiced gingerbread cookie bar. Top them with adorable little gingerbread men for decoration! They're quicker and easier to bake than a full cheesecake and easy to cut and share with family and friends this time of year.

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • 30 mins

    40 mins

    1 hrs 10 mins

  • Yields: 18 Servings


Gingerbread Cookie Base

1 cup (2 sticks; 220g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup (200g) light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup (170g) unsulphured molasses

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups (281g) all purpose flour, gluten-free if needed

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cheesecake Filling

4 (8-ounces) packages full fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup (114 grams) sour cream, room temperature

6 large eggs, room temperature

1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Gingerbread Man Cookies (optional topping)

Click here for the recipe


Mini Gingerbread Man Cookies

Optional: Follow the instructions for the gingerbread snowflake cookies. They are a fun, decorative addition to the cookies! But you could leave them plain or decorate them with gingerbread man sprinkles.

Gingerbread Cookie Base

Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a metal 9x13-inch baking pan (Note 1) with nonstick spray and place a sheet of parchment paper in the bottom, leaving an overhang of excess paper on the sides for easy removal.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, and brown sugar together on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs, vanilla, and molasses and beat again for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

With the mixer running on medium-low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until combined. Turn the gingerbread dough out into the prepared baking pan and use a rubber spatula to press and spread it evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Cheesecake Filling

Clean the bowl of the mixer (or the main bowl you’re using to mix). Cream the sugar and softened cream cheese together on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Beat in the sour cream until combined.

With the mixer running on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl then add the vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Beat until just combined, being careful not to over mix.

Pour the cheesecake filling over the gingerbread cookie base. Lift and tap the entire pan against the counter firmly 8-10 times to release any air bubbles.

Bake in the preheat oven for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are puffed slightly and the center jiggles slightly. The outer 2-3 inches should be firm while the center should have a slight amount of wobble to it. If you made the mini gingerbread man cookies, remove the cheesecake from the oven with 5 minutes left and arrange them on top of the cheesecake. Place it back in the oven and continue baking. Bake for the full 40 minutes non-stop if you are not using the gingerbread men. Transfer the cheesecake bars to a wire rack to cool completely when they're done.

Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days before cutting. Store baked gingerbread cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.

Note 1. Metal Baking Pan. Metal pans are ideal for bars because they bake evenly. The baking time will be longer if you use a glass or ceramic baking time.

Square baking pan: halve the ingredients in the entire recipe and use an 8x8-inch baking pan. Reduce the bake time to 30-40 minutes, checking at the 30-minute mark to see if they're done.

Molly Thompson is the owner and operator of What Molly Made (WMM) along with her husband, Zach. Molly founded WMM in 2015 with the desire to share her recipes with the world as her personal journey changed and her family grew. Molly's mission is to offer recipes that will bless her readers' homes and nourish their bodies. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time in nature with her family, going to church, having game nights and watching Netflix.

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