Peppermint Cheesecake is the most festive Christmas dessert with a beautiful green color and a delicious mint flavor! This show-stopping mint chocolate cheesecake has a chocolate wafer cookie crust, a chocolate cookie swirl, and is covered in silky chocolate ganache for one amazing minty dessert.
In my world, New York cheesecake is the fluffiest, richest dessert there is. And this Peppermint Cheesecake brings the same deliciousness with a mint chocolate twist! Covered in homemade chocolate ganache, this show-stopping Christmas dessert is packed with peppermint flavor. Even the light green coloring is festive for the holidays!
I absolutely love that I can transform my favorite cheesecake recipe into a dessert like this one! Not only is this cheesecake full of minty flavor, but it’s also got a ripple of chocolate wafer cookie crumbs running through the center as well as a decadent cookie crust. Talk about a recipe transformation!
This is the basic shopping list for my Peppermint Cheesecake recipe. You’ll use some of these ingredients twice, like the sugar and heavy cream, so be sure to check the recipe card at the bottom of this post for all your measurements and steps!
- Chocolate wafer cookies (either store bought or homemade wafers)
- Cream cheese
- Vanilla extract
- Peppermint oil
- Creme de menthe liqueur — you can swap this for green food coloring too!
- Heavy cream
- Sour cream
- Bittersweet chocolate
How to Make Peppermint Cheesecake
STEP 1: First, prepare your cheesecake pan. Preheat the oven and butter your springform pan. I also use a little parchment paper on the bottom! On the outside, wrap the bottom of your pan with foil and let it creep about 3/4 of the way up the sides.
STEP 2: Next, make your crust. Process your chocolate cookies until finely crumbled. Mix some of the cookie crumbs with sugar and salt. You can toss the rest or use for additional decoration!
STEP 3: Then, add the melted butter to the crumb mixture and stir until everything is uniformly moist. If you’re using homemade cookies, you can use a little less butter here. Add the crumb mixture to your greased pan and form into an even layer that slightly creeps up the side of the pan. Bake it for about 10 minutes and let it cool completely.
STEP 4: Now, time to make the cheesecake! Beat your softened cream cheese until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and salt and beat for another few minutes until its light and fluffy and then add the vanilla and eggs one by one, beating for a minute between additions. This helps make the final cheesecake super aerated and fluffy, so don’t skip this step!
STEP 5: Then, reduce the mixer speed and add the sour cream, heavy cream, peppermint oil, and creme de menthe. You want the batter silky smooth and completely green by the time you’re done mixing.
STEP 6: Time to assemble! Put your springform pan with crust in a large roasting pan and layer the cheesecake batter with a layer of cookie crumbs in between. Add some boiling water to your pan once its in the oven. Make sure not to splash any water into the springform pan! Slow and steady here.
STEP 7: Next, bake the peppermint cheesecake and leave the oven door closed — no peeking! Once it is very lightly browned, prop the oven door open and let it rest another hour with the oven off.
STEP 8: Then, out of the oven! Remove the foil and dry the pan carefully. Let your cheesecake cool and then chill overnight.
STEP 9: The day you’re serving this mint cheesecake, make the ganache. Warm the cream in a saucepan and once the cream begins to steam, pour it over the chocolate in a bowl. Set aside for a few minutes. Then, stir the cream and chocolate together and let the ganache cool about 10 minutes.
STEP 10: To decorate and serve, release the pan from the cheesecake and pour your ganache over the cold cheesecake, letting it drip down the sides. Let the ganache set in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before slicing.
Cheesecake Crust Alternatives
Or, if you are looking for a gluten free dessert, simply swap the chocolate cookies or graham crackers for gluten free versions of whichever you choose to use.
How to Store Leftover Cheesecake
It’s hard to eat an entire homemade cheesecake in one day — trust me, we’ve tried.
This Peppermint Cheesecake recipe will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer!
I recommend storing refrigerated cheesecake in the springform pan to help keep its shape.
If your mint chocolate cheesecake is frozen, simply thaw and eat! This can take up to a couple hours for a single slice or overnight for a whole cheesecake.
Cheesecake Tips and Tricks
- Make the crust in advance. You can store your pre-baked crust in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for up to 2 months! Keep it in an airtight container and skip the first few steps for a quicker cheesecake!
- Skip the low-fat ingredients this time. Without the extra fat in your cream cheese, sour cream, or heavy cream, this cheesecake recipe can be very dry and crumbly. I’m all for cutting calories, but not when it comes to my cheesecakes.
- Store your cheesecake in the pan. This helps keep the sides upright and your shape as beautiful as the first day!
- Wrap the springform pan in heavy duty foil. Without this step, the water from the bain marie water bath during baking would seep into the pan and ruin the cheesecake. You want a tight seal between your beautiful mint cheesecake and the water, which helps keep it moist during baking.
- Get those clean slices. To cut cleanly, warm up a long, sharp knife and cut into slices. You can also do this with dental floss!
What to Serve with Peppermint Cheesecake
Peppermint is my favorite holiday dessert flavor! I eat peppermint all December long, and both of these Homemade Peppermint Patties and these Sparkling Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are super simple but still so flavorful.
Sometimes I don’t want (or really, need) a whole peppermint cheesecake, but these Oreo Cheesecake Bites are just as delicious with a lot less work! You could even add some peppermint oil to the batter to add some holiday flare!
Need a lot of options for your holiday desserts this year? This DIY Holiday Charcuterie Board is perfect for the family where no one agrees! Add your favorite Christmas cookies and holiday treats for a smorgasbord of deliciousness.
For a traditional dessert table, a pot of coffee or tea would be really nice. Or, if you want to elevate things – it’s the holidays, right?? – try my Eggnog Latte, my spunky Gingerbread Latte, or a Vanilla Latte made from my latte recipe with some vanilla syrup added in.
For the crust and cookie layer:
- 12 oz store-bought or homemade chocolate wafer cookies, divided
- 3 tbsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 to 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
- 2 lbs (four 8 oz packages) cream cheese, at room temperature (see Note below)
- 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp peppermint oil
- 6 tbsp creme de menthe liqueur (Optional for color and extra mint flavor. You can replace the liqueur with a couple drops of green food coloring.)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup sour cream
For the ganache:
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
- Prepare the crust: Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. You can slip a 9-inch round of parchment paper on the bottom and butter that too if you have one handy - it will help to keep the crust from sticking when serving. Wrap the bottom of the pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil or 1 layer of wide heavy-duty aluminum foil. The foil should reach ¾ up the height of the pan. ½
- Process the wafer cookies in a food processor until finely crumbled. Transfer 9 oz of the cookie crumbs to a medium bowl and stir in the sugar and salt. Set the rest aside.
- NOTE: If using homemade wafer cookies, use only 1 tablespoon of melted butter in this step. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and stir with a fork until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. Pour the moistened crumbs into the springform pan and use your fingers or the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to pat an even layer of crumbs over the bottom of the pan and just about ½-inch up over the lip of the bottom of the pan where it meets the side. (At this point, the crust can be covered and frozen for up to 2 months.)
- Place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely on a wire rack while you make the cheesecake. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F. Put a full kettle of water on to boil.
- Prepare the cheesecake batter: Add the cream cheese to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer in a large bowl) and beat at medium speed for 4 minutes, until soft and creamy. With the mixer running on low, pour in the sugar and salt and continue to beat at medium speed for another 4 minutes, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition – you want a well-aerated batter. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after you add the first two eggs, then again after beating in the last. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and mix in the sour cream and/or heavy cream, peppermint oil, and creme de menthe (if using) until completely combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again and give the batter one or two big stirs to ensure the batter is silky smooth and the batter is completely green.
- To assemble and bake: Place the springform pan in the bottom of a large roasting pan and pour the ⅔ of the batter into the springform pan. Sprinkle the remaining cookie crumbs in an even layer over the batter. Carefully pour the remaining batter over the crumb layer. The batter will nearly reach the top of the pan.
- Place the roasting pan on the center rack of the preheated oven and slowly pour the boiling water from the kettle into the bottom of the pan, taking care not to splash the water up on the springform pan. The water should reach about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes - do not open the oven door during this time. The cheesecake should be very lightly browned. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with the handle of a long wooden spoon - don't open the door more than a couple inches to slip the handle in. Leave the cheesecake in the oven like this for 1 hour, during which time it will continue to cook through from the residual heat of the oven and water bath.
- After 1 hour, remove the roasting pan from the oven, gently lift the springform pan out of the water and set it on a kitchen towel. Remove the foil - there may be a little condensation water in there so be careful - and dry the bottom and sides of the pan. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely then cover with a piece of lightly greased aluminum foil and chill for at least 6 hours - overnight is best.
- To make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Warm the cream in a small saucepan just until it starts to steam and tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap. Let sit undistrubed for 3 minutes. Remove the plastic and gently stir the cream and chocolate together until the ganache is completely smooth. Allow the ganache to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- To assemble, slice and serve: Open the springform pan and gently release the sides of the pan from the cheesecake - you may need a sharp knife to run around any sticky spots. Carefully pull the released pan up over the cheesecake and set aside. Pour the ganache over the cold cheesecake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the top, if necessary. Stick the cheesecake back in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the ganache to set up before slicing.
- With a very hot long, sharp knife, cut the cheesecake. I usually use a very long piece of dental floss to slice the cake into wedges instead of a knife - it makes for a clean cut every single time and allows for you to easily cut evenly-sized slices, but you'll need to sort of saw it through the crust to cut that too. Serve cold or at room temperature. If you plan to refrigerate the leftovers, slip the springform side back over the cheesecake and re-cover with foil.
Leave the cream cheese and eggs at room temperature for at least 4 hours to soften and warm up before making the batter. Cold cream cheese will lead to lumpy batter and lumpy cheesecake.
If you plan to make this at night, be sure to get the cheesecake in the oven by 4:30 or 5pm. It needs nearly 1 ½ hours to bake, 1 hour to sit in the turned off oven (don't skip this step), and at least 2-3 hours to cool at room temperature before moving to the fridge overnight. The Bake Time above reflects the active baking time for the crust and cheesecake.
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Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan, 10 Cup, 9 Inch
KitchenAid 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Di Oro Seamless Series 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set - 600F Heat Resistant Non Stick Rubber
Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Dental Floss, Original Floss, 50m, Pack of 6