Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake with a gluten free option. Try it for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie. Or in addition to pumpkin pie! 

Gluten-free Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe for Christmas dessert on
As I write this post, my daughters are having a half serious half giggling cage match on the carpet behind me, so I’ll have to keep it short. They are home all week on Thanksgiving break, and even a few hours into it, they were already “SOOoooooo Bored!” Thus the giggle/wrestle fest on the office floor.


To keep them busy, for a half hour at least, I got them in the kitchen with me to make this gingerbread pumpkin cheesecake. Not only did I get them to chill/focus/stop cage matching for a few minutes, but I got them cooking. My older daughter made up a discordant song about how much she loves to cook, after we closed the oven door. Double win.


Then I sat down at the computer, and sitting right here in my email inbox was a note from Cabot Cooperative with an attached info-graphic about cooking with kids. {I’ve included it and you can see below the cheesecake recipe.} How funny that I used non fat Cabot cottage cheese in this recipe! I figured that was a sign I better share the info-graphic with you.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe on Healthy Seasonal Recipes with gluten-free walnut gingersnap crust

Anyway, about this recipe before someone gets poked in the eye again. This originally came from a healthy holiday dessert feature I did for EatingWell a few years ago. It was called Show Stopping Desserts. It was all about how to use natural ingredients for classic holiday desserts. There was a yule log, a trifle and a pecan tart. There was also a lightened-up pumpkin cheesecake recipe. I used that formula as the starting point for this recipe. But  then I added in a gingerbread twist, since I couldn’t decide which sounded better to me: Gingerbread cheesecake or pumpkin cheesecake. Much better to make gingerbread pumpkin cheesecake. Don’t you think?


How To Make Gluten-free Gingerbread Cheesecake

  1. I used pureed cottage cheese in the base.  It’s the same principle I used for this peppermint patty cheesecake too.I like using cottage cheese because it is neutral in flavor, very thick, and the proteins don’t break when it is baked.
  2. I thickened it up with ground tapioca, which really makes the texture smooth and creamy.
  3. If you have an old spring-form pan, lock the sides closed as tight as you can. Then wrap the outisde of the pan with a few layers of foil to keep the water from the waterbath from seeping into the pan.
  4. Which brings me to the water bath. The point of the water bath is to insulate the cake so that it doesn’t cook around the edges too fast. Don’t worry it isn’t scary.



Have you ever made a healthier cheesecake? Did you use cottage cheese?

Do you cook with your kids?

What are your strategies to keep your kids occupied during school break?

Did you notice my new header and logo revamp? My awesome graphics guy Tony whipped it up for me. A subtle change, but much needed. What do you think?


Make sure you come back on Black Friday for another drool-worthy gingerbread recipe. (Trust me, you’ll want it for the long weekend.)

Happy Cooking!



Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe on Healthy Seasonal Recipes with gluten-free walnut gingersnap crust

gingerbread pumpkin cheesecake with walnut gingersnap crust

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


A healthier alternative to cheesecake for a show stopping holiday dessert: Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Walnut Crust. Can be made gluten-free by simply using gluten-free gingersnaps.



  • 4 ounces gingersnaps cookies, such as Mi Del’s or Mi Del Gluten Free (about 1 ½ cups or 18 to 20 1 3/4 –inch cookies)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 12 ounces Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons tapioca pearls, ground to a powder in a coffee grinder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup unsulphered molasses
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 16-ounce container non-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 15-ounce can pureed pumpkin
  • Maple Candied Walnuts* for Garnish, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 10-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray. See note*. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.
  2. Grind cookies and walnuts to a fine meal in food processor. Drizzle in butter or canola oil and process, scraping sides as needed until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set the spring-form pan into a roasting pan and set aside.
  3. Beat Neufchatel cheese, sugar, tapioca, ginger, cinnamon and cloves with an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-low until the tapioca and spice is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually beat in molasses. Beat until completely smooth, stopping and scraping down sides occasionally. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides occasionally. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Clean food processor and add cottage cheese. Process the cottage cheese in the food processor until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Scraping down sides once. Gradually beat the cottage cheese and pumpkin puree into the cream cheese mixture on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat a final time to make sure no streaks remain.
  5. Pour the batter into the spring-form pan over the crumb crust. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan to create a hot water bath for the cake and carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until slightly wobbly in the center and not cracked, 80 to 90 minutes.
  6. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Let cake cool in the water bath until the water is room temperature. Remove the spring-form pan from the water bath and refrigerate until completely cold, at least 4 hours. For ease of cutting, wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Remove sides of the spring-form pan. Transfer cake to a cake stand if desired or just leave it on the pan bottom.


* To make Maple Candied Walnuts: Line a baking sheet with a silpat. Spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir 16 walnut halves, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, dark or amber, 1 tablespoon sugar and a pinch each of salt and pumpkin pie spice in a small dish. Spread out on the silpat. Bake until the maple is bubbling, about 12 minutes. Stir keeping walnuts separated if possible, and continue baking until the walnuts are coated and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Let cool completely.


  • Serving Size: 1/16 cake
  • Calories: 247
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Sodium: 239 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 8 g

Cooking With Kids Infographic

Gluten-free Gingerbread Sheetcake

Peppermint Patty Cheesecake