Rootitoot Gingerbread Cheesecake

Rootitoot Gingerbread Cheesecake


1 cup crumbs: Speculaas, gingersnap, shortbread or graham
1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
3 Tbsp melted butter

2 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar (or white sugar)
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
4 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger, divided (optional)

1 to 2 cups lemon curd (optional)
1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 tsp milk powder or cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla


Warm the cream cheese: Put the cream cheese (still in its foil or plastic wrapper) in a ziplock bag, but don't seal it. Submerge it in a sink or bowl of hot tap water to force the air out. Close the ziplock bag and leave it to warm for 15 - 30 minutes. It's much easier to blend when it's warm.

Make the crust: Spray the cheesecake pan with baking spray. Mix the crust ingredients with a fork and gently press it into the bottom of a cheesecake pan. Don't press down too firmly or the crust will be hard to slice and serve. Just pat it into place.

Options: Set it aside on the counter or put it in the freezer while you make the filling. If you prefer a baked crust, put it in a 350 F oven for 8 minutes and then cool completely.

Make the filling: Beat the warmed cream cheese with all ingredients except the eggs, yolk and crystalized ginger until completely smooth. Add the eggs/yolk and gently blend only until incorporated. Do not overbeat once the eggs are in. That can cause cracking on the surface when it's done. (Not a big deal if it happens. Don't fret about it. The topping hides any cracks.) Fold in about 3 Tbsp of the crystallized ginger, if using. Save the rest for garnish.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust. No need to cover the pan with tinfoil. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water in the Instant Pot. Put the cheesecake on the trivet and lower it into the pot.

Close the pot and set the valve to Sealing, Press Pressure Cook (or Manual). Use the + or - button to get to 29 minutes for a 7” cheesecake. Other pan sizes and filling amounts here:


6-inch pan --- 32 minutes

7-inch pan --- 29 minutes

8-inch pan --- 26 minutes

Individual ramekins or mason jars --- 10 minutes

For 1 1/2 times the filling:

7–inch pan --- 33 minutes

8-inch pan --- 30 minutes

For 2 times the filling:

8-inch pan --- 34 minutes

When it beeps that it's done, leave the pot closed for 15 minutes. Then flip the valve to Venting and when the pin drops, open the pot and remove the cheesecake.

Don't worry if it seems jiggly. It will firm up as it chills. If there is some condensation on the surface, gently blot it off with paper towel.

Allow it to cool on the counter for an hour. Then cover and chill it in the pan for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Finish: Adding a little cornstarch or milk powder to the whipped cream stabilizes it and prevents it from sagging or melting all over the place. (There are other ways of stabilizing whipped cream but this is the easiest.)

Blend the powdered sugar with the milk powder or cornstarch to prevent lumps. Whip the cream until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar mixture and vanilla and continue beating until it forms firm or stiff peaks. 

How you finish and decorate it is up to you. Cover the entire top of the cheesecake with chilled lemon curd (recipe available HERE) and then pipe or spoon the whipped cream around the edge. Or cover the top with whipped cream and serve the lemon curd on the side. Decorate the top with the reserved crystallized ginger or ginger cookies, if desired.