no-bake gingerbread cream pie

The way I see it, we’ve only two more weeks of peak gingerbread season. I was a little sad about the reality of this since gingerbread is one of my favorite spice combinations. Then I was talking to one of my best friends about panettone, a brioche-like cake studded with dried citrus fruits and raisins, and how it’s traditionally only eaten during Christmas time. The same goes for Galette des Rois, a puff pastry cake filled with almond cream, eaten to celebrate the Epiphany on January 6th. It used to be this cake was only available for a limited time. When I visited Paris last winter, it was still in pastry shops, well into the end of January. Something about seeing the cake available well far beyond its intended purpose made it feel less special. Don’t get me wrong—it’s a heavenly confection, when made well (many shops in NYC aren’t worth the hefty price tag). There’s something about the anticipation, though, of knowing that it’s only available for a brief window.

Gingerbread Cream Pie |

Perhaps that’s the purpose of gingerbread here in the U.S. It signals the arrival of winter, and preparation for a hibernation of sorts, and maybe even conjures up images of a jolly old man in a red suit. Much as I adore gingerbread, if I made it all year long, would my love for it wane? In a couple of weeks, once the tree is down, and the stockings packed away, my attention will turn to other baked treats. For now, though, I’m going to continue my seasonal affair, and share this new recipe for a gingerbread cream pie. You heard me right: gingerbread.cream.pie. I promise you, it’s as good as it sounds, provided you love gingerbread as much as I do.

The idea for this pie came about when Beth asked me to collaborate on a holiday project for Honey Maid. I wanted to do something unexpected, yet familiar. I also wanted an easy, no-bake recipe, since this is a busy time of year for everyone. One thing I do want to emphasize about making this, is that you don’t want to skimp on toasting the graham cracker crumbs. It accentuates the warm, nutty flavors of the graham crackers, and also helps the pie crust hold together better. There are a lot of possibilities for the filling, too. If you’re pressed for time, you can use it to fill store-bought cannoli shells, or simply spoon it into little shot cups, top with whipped cream, and some toasted graham cracker crumbs.

It’s time for me tuck into bed now, and let visions of all things gingerbread dance into my dreams. The girls and I have an early start to get back upstate after an action-packed weekend in the city. More on those adventures later this week, and yes, I even have at least one more gingerbread recipe to share with you all!

Gingerbread Cream Pie |

Last Year: Gingerbread Cake {a one bowl recipe}

Two Years Ago: Homemade Eggnog

Three Years Ago: Chocolate Gingerbread Doughnuts

Four Years Ago: Mom’s Gingerbread

Five Years Ago: Chocolate Orange Spice Cake

Disclosure: HoneyMaid provided compensation and product for this post, but the recipe and thoughts expressed are solely my own.

No-Bake Gingerbread Cream Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie

Music Pairing: Christmas Time is Here by Vince Guaraldi

For the crust

18 graham crackers (139 grams / 9 full cracker sheets)

Pinch of fleur de sel

5 tablespoons (70 grams) butter, melted

For the filling

2 cups (.5 L) heavy cream (whip)

1 tablespoon (8 grams) plus 3/4 cup (87 grams) powdered sugar

8 ounces (224 grams) cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground cloves

1/4 cup (80 grams) molasses

Add the graham crackers to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until they turn into very fine crumbs.

Heat an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the cracker crumbs. Toast, shaking the pan frequently so the crumbs don’t burn, until they deepen in color (they’ll also release a nutty, fragrant scent). Let cool a few minutes. Stir in the salt and melted butter until the crumbs are well coated. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate (regular, not deep dish). Set the plate in the fridge, and let cool while you prepare the filling.

Add the cream and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar to a deep bowl. Starting on low speed, and gradually increasing to high, beat the cream until it forms firm peaks when you lift the beaters from the whipped cream. Set aside in the fridge (no need to cover the bowl).

Add the cream cheese to a deep bowl. Beat on medium-high until creamy and smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar, spices, and molasses to the bowl. Beat until mixed well.

Spoon half of the whipped cream into the bowl with the filling. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cream. Pour the filling into the prepared pie plate.

The next step is to top with the remaining whipped cream. You can either spoon it on top, and spread with an off-set spatula, or place the cream in a pastry bag and pipe it on top. Once finished, place the pie in the fridge, and chill at least 4 hours, or overnight before serving.


  • Mallory @forkvsspoon

    I agree – when it is available for a limited time, it is somehow more special. Remember when Reese’s only had the eggs at Easter and now every holiday has an oversized Reese’s cup and somehow the specialness of them has dissipated.

  • Sue

    This sounds wonderful and easy! So if I wanted to put the filling in cannoli shells, should I use only 1 cup of whipped cream because I’m not topping the pie with it? On my list for this weekend!

  • Sally

    Although you are one of my culinary superheroes, I must disagree with you about the shelf life of gingerbread. February without gingerbread would for me be a wasteland. However, March 1, no more gingerbread. Meanwhile, this pie sounds yummy. Your superhero status is safe.

  • Kathy

    As someone who shares your love for all things gingerbread, I was so happy to find I had all the ingredients on hand to make this quick pie for dessert tonight. I just slid it in the frig to chill, making the 4 hour prechill requirement! Charlie Brown Christmas is one of our all time favorite cd’s, and I had it playing the whole time. While I should have been writing cards, it was fun to whip this pie up and will be even better later tonight with dinner. My family will be happy with my decision to let the cards wait until later!

  • Jennifer Perillo

    Hi Jess,

    I just checked with a few friends, as I thought, it’s digestive biscuits. One friend who lives, though, said you can find graham crackers if you look hard enough. Let me know how it goes!