Looking for the ultimate Christmas dessert? Try this gorgeous Baked Eggnog Cheesecake with a crunchy cookie crust, a creamy eggnog filling and a luscious maple caramel topping. It’s perfect for the holidays!
When eggnog met cheesecake ❤️
Say hi to my creamy, dreamy, Baked Eggnog Cheesecake covered in homemade maple caramel. With a crunchy cookie crust and a spiced eggnog filling, it’s a collision of festive flavours.
It’s served with a rich and sticky maple caramel, made from scratch. You can easily make the cheesecake a day or two in advance, so it’s perfect for Christmas.
why you will love this recipe
- The cheesecake is ultra smooth and creamy
- It’s made using store bought eggnog
- The maple caramel takes only minutes to make
- You can make it ahead of time for easy entertaining
It’s that time of year when eggnog graces our shelves for just a few weeks, so let’s make the most of it! Last year, I was all about that Eggnog Cake, but this year, I’m head over heels for cheesecake.
When creating this recipe, I decided to take everything I love from my regular Sour Cream Cheesecake, and transform it into a spiced eggnog version. In addition to adding store bought eggnog to the batter, I also added ginger and cinnamon to really double down on those festive flavours.
Then I made a simple, four ingredient maple caramel to drizzle all over the top. The result is a stunning homemade cheesecake that’s sweet, creamy and perfectly spiced.
I gave my husband a piece of this Baked Eggnog Cheesecake for feedback. He said, “This may be the best thing you’ve ever made.” So if you won’t take my word for it, you can take his 😉
the cookie crust
The cookie crust for this cheesecake is made using store bought cookies or biscuits. I tested this recipe with a few different kinds but settled on Digestive Cookies. For those in America, graham crackers would be the closest thing.
In saying that, I have also tried this cheesecake with ginger cookies and Biscoff Lotus cookies and both work wonderfully well too.
A little butter and a pinch of salt is all you need to create the perfect cheesecake crust. Finely crush your cookies, add melted butter and pour the cookie crumbs into your pan to form one even layer.
The Eggnog Cheesecake batter comes together quickly using a hand mixer or stand mixer. The core ingredient is cream cheese. I highly recommend using full fat block or brick-style cream cheese if possible.
A little sugar and vanilla, plus eggs for creaminess make up the base. Then we add store bought eggnog, a little ginger and cinnamon to bump up the flavour, and full fat sour cream.
Because of the eggnog, the batter may seem a bit runnier than regular cheesecake, but that’s perfectly fine. It’ll still bake up beautifully.
do I need to use a water bath?
The short answer is no. You don’t have to use a water bath when baking a cheesecake. But it can help prevent any cracks or over-browning and it often results in a creamier texture – which I’m all for! So I do recommend it.
Other techniques like baking your cheesecake on a lower heat and letting it cool gradually can help with common issues like cracking. But in my experience, I’ve found that a water bath is worth the effort because of the superior texture.
how do I Make a water bath?
Essentially, you will need to place your cheesecake pan in a larger pan (e.g. a roasting pan) and then add boiling water. The water will need to go about halfway up the side of your cheesecake pan to help it heat evenly.
To ensure no water leaks into your cheesecake, you must first wrap your springform pan in multiple layers of aluminium foil (see photo above). There’s no elegant way to do it, just make sure no water can leak inside.
Quick tips for success
- Use full fat ingredients: For the best results, make sure you use full fat cream cheese, sour cream and eggnog – we need that fat to create that lovely, creamy texture.
- Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature: This is key to creating a cheesecake with a smooth texture without any lumps. If your cream cheese isn’t soft enough, you can risk over-mixing.
- Don’t over-mix your batter: Once you’ve added all your ingredients and your batter is combined, stop mixing. You don’t want to add any extra air to your cheesecake or it may rise and fall or deflate in the oven.
- Don’t over-bake your cheesecake: An over-baked cheesecake can be dry, crumbly or rubbery. Remember it will continue to cook as it cools and it needs time to firm up. So turn the oven off when it no longer wobbles around the edges – a small jiggle in the middle is ok.
- Let it cool gradually: Time is your friend when it comes to cheesecake. They take a while to bake, but even longer to cool. I recommend letting your cheesecake cool in the oven (switched off) for one hour with the door ajar. Then let it sit on the bench at room temperature for another hour, before giving it at least 6 hours (or even better, overnight) in the fridge to chill.
Easy maple caramel
You only need five ingredients to make this beautiful maple caramel. It’s sticky and sweet and it pairs perfectly with this Eggnog Cheesecake. It’s also surprisingly easy.
It only takes about 10 minutes to make it, and then you’ll need to chill it for a few hours to thicken. You can easily make ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Have it ready to go a day or two beforehand for easy entertaining.
frequently asked questions
I recommend using full fat brick or block-style cream cheese, if possible.
No you don’t have to, but I do recommend it! See above paragraph on water baths.
You can make this cheesecake ahead of time and store it in the fridge. I recommend making it the night before you are planning to serve it, to give it plenty of time to chill. You can also make the maple caramel up to a week in advance and keep it in the fridge. To serve the caramel, warm it up in the microwave for 15 seconds.
more Christmas desserts
Baked Eggnog Cheesecake served with homemade maple caramel sauce.
- 250 grams store bought cookies, finely crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 115 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 500 grams (2 and 1/2 cups) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) store bought eggnog, room temperature
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) full fat sour cream, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup
- 45 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) thickened or heavy cream, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 240 ml (1 cup) whipped cream, to decorate
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Line the bottom of an 8-inch round springform pan with baking or parchment paper. Wrap the outside (bottom and sides) of your pan with aluminium foil for your water bath, ensuring no water can leak into the pan. See below photo.
- Cookie crust
Place your cookie crumbs and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour over melted butter and mix well. It should resemble wet sand. Pour crumbs into your prepared pan and press down firmly to form an even layer. Pop in the fridge.
- Eggnog cheesecake
Add cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and beat using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. Then add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined.
- Add eggnog, sour cream and spices and beat until batter is smooth and creamy – but try not to over mix. Batter may appear thin and runny – this is fine.
- Pour your cheesecake batter over cookie crust and gently smooth the top. Add boiling water to a large oven tray or roasting tray. Place tray in the oven, then carefully place your cheesecake pan inside, ensuring the water comes only about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake.
- Bake cheesecake for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until it no longer wobbles on the edges – it may still have a very small jiggle in the centre. Try not to over bake it as it will continue to cook as it cools. Leave the cheesecake in the oven (turned off) with the door ajar for one hour.
- Remove cheesecake and leave to cool at room temperature for another hour before transferring to the fridge. The cheesecake is best left to chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours (or overnight) before removing from the pan and cutting into slices.
- Maple caramel
To make maple caramel, place maple syrup and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add butter and stir until smooth. Add cream and stir until smooth. Heat caramel for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Pour into a heatproof bowl and stir through sea salt. Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then place in the fridge for 1-2 hour to thicken.
- To serve
Use a piping bag and a large round tip to pipe swirls of whipped cream around the edges of the cheesecake. Cut into slices. Serve with maple caramel.
Cookies: You can use graham crackers or Digestive biscuits – any sweet, plain, store bought cookies will work.
Maple caramel: You can make this caramel ahead of time and store it in the fridge. When you are ready to use it, heat it in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds, until it’s warm enough to pour.