Why have plain old gingerbread when you can have these gingerbread cheesecake bars? They are perfect for satisfying your holiday sweet tooth!
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It's currently just over one week until Christmas and for many people trying to stick to any kind of healthy diet, the struggle is real!
Around every turn you are likely faced with temptation. Combine that with a busier than normal calendar and it's a recipe for disaster.
Whenever I am invited to holiday gatherings where there will be food, I volunteer to bring a dessert. I do this for a two main reasons:
- Most of the time it is pretty easy to find low carb options for the main courses, but rarely for desserts.
- I LOVE dessert, and I never leave a party feeling deprived if I have "indulged" in a delicious treat.
I always try to take a dessert that everyone will enjoy, regardless if they are adhering to a low carb diet or not. Cheesecakes are absolutely perfect for this because once you swap out the sweetener, cheesecake is perfect for keto!
With the holidays in mind, I decided to give my traditional cheesecake a festive twist with a gingerbread cookie crust. It turned out great and I couldn't wait to share it with you!
I actually tweaked this recipe to make the gingerbread layer more cookie-like, so don't be alarmed if your bottom layer doesn't look exactly like the one pictured. I considered waiting to post until I had better pictures, but you remember how I said it was only a week until Christmas, right?
In the updated recipe, the crust is thinner and much more like a chewy cookie vs a cake. The recipe for the gingerbread was inspired by the amazing Carolyn from alldayidreamaboutfood.com and her recipe for
I modified the recipe a bit based upon what I had on hand and personal preference, and it turned out amazing! It's nice and crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside. Plus the gingerbread flavor is on point!
Ingredients and substitutions
I used almond flour in this recipe, and I don't recommend subbing with coconut flour. I also added a bit of flax meal to keep it from being too dry and to lend some more of the classic brown gingerbread color. If you don't have flax meal, you can skip it and just add a bit more almond flour .
For the sweetener, I like to use a brown sugar substitute in the gingerbread layer, but any bulk sweetener should work just as well. For the cheesecake layer, I use confectioners erythritol. The confectioner's variety is fine enough that it doesn't recrystallize when cold. If you only have granular erythritol, you can run it through a blender or food processor until it is a fine powder.
Now on to the elephant in the room - the Molasses. I know that I will get some comments about the sugar content in molasses. So save your breath. I tried it without the molasses and it was still good, but the molasses really gives it that great gingerbread flavor.
If you are opposed to using it, feel free to leave it out. The recipe will still work just fine without it.
Be sure to check out these other great recipes:
- Banana Bread Bottom Cheesecake | Low Carb, Gluten Free
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars | Keto
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake | Keto, Instant Pot
Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars | Low Carb, Gluten Free
For the bottom gingerbread layer:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13" pan with butter or non-stick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, flax meal, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and xanthan gum.
- In a separate bowl, combine the butter and the brown sugar substitute using an electric mixer until well combined.
- Add the eggs, molasses, and vanilla, mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. The mixture should be thicker than a typical cake batter and thinner than a cookie dough.
- Spread into the prepared dish and bake for 15 minutes. It will appear underbaked but don't worry, it will be going back in the oven once you add the cheesecake.
- While the gingerbread layer is baking, begin to prepare the cheesecake layer.
- In a large bowl, combine the erythritol and cream cheese using an electric mixer until well combined and smooth.
- Add the vanilla, sour cream, heavy cream, and egg and mix until well combined and smooth.
- When the gingerbread layer is done baking, pour the cheesecake layer on top. Loosely cover with foil and return to the oven for 40-45 minutes.
- When the cheesecake is finished baking it will still be slightly jiggly in the center but it will get firmer as it cools.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before slicing.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens.