This creamy peppermint cheesecake has an Oreo cookie crust and chocolate ganache topping. The texture is smooth and velvety without being too dense, and the flavor is a delicious creamy peppermint that’s perfect for the holidays.
If you’re looking for a delicious, original dessert for Christmas – then this peppermint cheesecake is the way to go. It’s has a candy cane flavor that’s peppermint-y, creamy and tastes delicious with the chocolate ganache on top. The texture is velvety smooth without being too heavy. And I absolutely love the pink color and candy canes on top.
Making the Perfect Peppermint Cheesecake
The cheesecake starts with a crunchy Oreo cookie crust. I always use whole Oreo cookies, and pulse them in a food processor to create a fine crumb as opposed to using Oreo baking crumbs. I find the cookies with the filling hold together better. Then they’re mixed with melted butter and pressed into the bottom of the pan. I also recommend baking the crust for 10 minutes on its own because it makes the crust crunchier. You could skip this step and just place the crust in the freezer as you make the filling – but I really find that the crust turns out better this way.
Then it’s time to get on with the filling. The filling is made with cream cheese, sugar, peppermint extract, sour cream and eggs. The sour cream is key for making the cheesecake velvety smooth without being too heavy. I definitely recommend using peppermint extract instead of mint extract for the candy cane flavor. For whatever reason, I find the flavor is much better. You’ll notice (obviously) that I used red food coloring to tint the cheesecake pink. This is definitely optional – but I find it makes it extra pretty.
Pro Tip: You’ll use 1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract total, depending on how strong of a peppermint flavor you’d like. Add 1 teaspoon first, then taste test the cheesecake batter before adding in the eggs. If you feel the flavor isn’t strong enough – then mix in more peppermint extract.
The cheesecake is baked using the water bath method – meaning the springform pan is wrapped in aluminum foil and then placed in a large roasting pan. Then about 1/2 – 1 inch of water is poured into the roasting pan. This process keeps the cheesecake extra creamy because it locks moisture in, and it reduces the chance of your cheesecake cracking. Below is a quick video showing you exactly how to make the water bath. (Note – this video is using a New York cheesecake, but the process is the same).
Once the cheesecake is baked and cooled it’s topped with a glossy, creamy chocolate ganache topping and crushed candy canes. Not only does the chocolate taste delicious with the peppermint flavor, but it will also cover up any small cracks or imperfections on top of your cheesecake.
Variations & Adaptations
- Instead of a chocolate ganache topping, use a white chocolate ganache topping
- Tint the cheesecake green instead of pink, and make it for St. Patrick’s Day
- If you’d like to make a no-bake peppermint cheesecake:
- Make the Oreo crust as instructed in the recipe below
- Use this recipe for the no-bake cheesecake filling, but omit the lemon juice and add 1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract and a few drops of red food coloring when you add in the vanilla extract
- Do not add the chocolate ganache on top – it will melt the no-bake filling. Simply add the crushed candy canes on top of the cheesecake
- For a chocolate peppermint cheesecake – check out this recipe
This easy candy cane cheesecake is creamy, peppermint-y, and impossible to resist with its Oreo cookie crust and chocolate ganache topping. It’s such a beautiful dessert for Christmas, and a super original treat too!
Or for more candy cane recipes, make sure to try these favorites:
- 9-inch springform pan
- Large Roasting Pan
- 30 Oreo cookies wafers and filling
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 24 oz cream cheese* full-fat, brick-style
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch or 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream*
- 1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract to taste
- 2-4 drops red food coloring optional
- 3 large eggs*
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate* finely chopped
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 crushed candy canes
- whipping cream for decorating
For the Waterbath
- hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- Wrap the outside a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil at least 3 times so that the bottom and sides are covered with no seems are showing.
- Add the Oreo cookies (wafers and filling) to a food processor and process until fine crumbs. (Or place in a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pan).
- Mix in the melted butter.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, creating a slight lip around the edges.
- Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven to cool, but keep the oven turned on).
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft.
- Mix in the sugar and cornstarch.
- Beat in the sour cream, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and red food coloring (adding a little at a time). If the cheesecake isn't quite minty enough for you, beat in a little extra peppermint extract.
- Beat in the eggs 1 at a time until the mixture is just combined.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan on top of the crust.
Baking & Cooling the Cheesecake
- Place the cheesecake in the middle of a large roasting pan.
- Pour water into the roasting pan so there's about 1/2 - 1 inch of water in it.
- Place the entire contraption in the oven, and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the top looks just set (not shiny) except for in the very middle, and if you give the cheesecake a nudge it has a slight wobble in it.
- Remove the entire contraption from the oven.
- Cool the cheesecake in the waterbath until it's room temperature. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan (still in the springform pan), cover and place in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours.
- Add the finely chopped chocolate to a heatproof bowl.
- Add the heavy cream to a microwave safe measuring cup, and microwave for 30 second intervals until almost boiling.
- Pour over the chopped chocolate and leave for 2 minutes. Then whisk until smooth.
- Pour over the cheesecake, allow the ganache to drip over the sides.
- Sprinkle the cheesecake with chopped candy canes, and return to the fridge for the ganache to set.
- Because the cheesecake needs to chill for at least 6 hours in the fridge, I typically make the cheesecake the day before I want to serve it.
- Store the cheesecake covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.