Ginger Snap Cheesecake

Brianna Bannach, Staff Writer

They say necessity is the mother of invention; well, in the case of this cheesecake, it’s true! A couple of years ago my family was having a houseful of guests but no dessert to serve. We looked in the fridge and found that we had a lot of cream cheese, so we decided to make a cheesecake. The only problem was that the graham cracker box we thought was full actually only had one cracker in it! It was around Thanksgiving so we had a lot of Ginger Snaps, so we went for it and used them instead, and now it’s our go-to crust!

So, for your baking pleasure, here is a modified version of the classic Philadelphia Cheesecake recipe perfect for the holiday season.


2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs

3 tbsp. sugar

7 tbsp. melted butter

4 8 oz. packages of softened cream cheese  

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. ginger

2 shakes allspice

4 eggs


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Usually to make cookie crumbs, I use a rolling pin, but since ginger snaps are extremely hard for this crust, I take about one sleeve of ginger snap cookies and put them in a ziplock baggy and smash them with a hammer. If you are feeling less aggressive, a food processor will probably work just as well.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the gingersnap crumbs, 3tbs. sugar and butter. Then press the mixture into a 9-in spring-form pan.  If you want your cheesecake to have crust on the sides you can just make a little more of this crust recipe and press it up against the sides.   I would recommend this because it helps to prevent the cheesecake from sticking to the pan.

Beat the cream cheese, remaining sugar, vanilla and spices until blended.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing at low speed after each until blended. Do not over mix at this stage.

Pour the batter over the crust.

To help prevent the cheesecake from cracking we put our pan in a water bath.

Bake for 55 min or until the center is almost set. Do not overcook because this can also lead to cracking.

Loosen the rim of the pan, and let cool before removing rim. Avoid drastic changes in temperature to prevent the cake from cracking. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

For presentation you can smash some more ginger snaps and sprinkle them on top.

Enjoy the recipe as the fall season ends and the winter season begins!