I wanted to make something different this holiday season so I made an orange flavored cheesecake with a gingerbread crust and honestly it came out REALLY good. Its packed with orange flavor with a crunchy gingerbread crust on the bottom and a silky smooth cheesecake. You can also use graham crackers if thats preferred.
Dont let the water bath scare you its SUPER EASY and makes the world of difference for your cheesecake. It prevents it from cracking and keeps it moist. This is the perfect holiday dessert!
Now LETS GET TO BAKING!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) gingerbread crumbs (about 15 cookies)
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 32 oz (4 8oz blocks) full-fat Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- Adjust the oven rack to the center position, with a lower oven rack in place for the water bath and preheat oven to 350°F.
- Make the crust: If your gingerbread cookies aren’t crumbs yet, use a food processor to pulse them into fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into a medium bowl and stir in melted butter until combined. Mixture will be sandy. Press firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. No need to grease the pan first. I use the bottom of a measuring cup to pack the crust down tightly. Pre-bake for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow crust to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.
- Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the orange juice, sour cream, vanilla extract, and orange zest then beat on medium-high speed until fully combined. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. After the final egg is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing. To help prevent the cheesecake from deflating and cracking as it cools, avoid over-mixing the batter as best you can.
- Pour cheesecake batter into warm crust. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to smooth it into an even layer.
- Prepare the simple water bath; Boil a pot of water. You need 1 inch of water in your roasting pan for the water bath, so make sure you boil enough. Place a metal baking or roasting pan (See video) on the bottom oven rack of the preheated oven. Pour boiling water into pan, about 1 inch deep. Immediately place the cheesecake on the center rack. Close oven to trap the steam inside.
- (Note: if you notice the cheesecake browning too quickly on top, tent it with aluminum foil halfway through baking.) Bake cheesecake for 45-60 minutes (depends on your oven, mine was done at 45 min) or until the center is almost set. When it’s done, the center of the cheesecake will slightly wobble if you gently shake the pan. Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven as it cools down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, then cool cheesecake completely at room temperature. Then refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Serve with whipped cream if desired!
- READY TO MUNCH!
- Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.