Woolworth’s Café Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust

4.5/5 rating (11 votes)
Woolworth’s Café Cheesecake

So many of us grew up sitting on café stools at the Woolworth’s Drug Store counter, feet dangling, waiting for a piece of this fluffy wonderfulness. I have fond memories with my mama and grandma at the one in downtown Raleigh — we’d end a day of shopping with this treat before our long trek back to eastern Wake County.

Note: We’ve stayed true to the original recipe aside from gingersnaps instead of graham crackers for the crust, and a dollop of egg nog whipped cream.


  • 1 (3-ounce) box lemon gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 can evaporated milk, well chilled
  • 1 pound gingersnaps, crumbled
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup (½ pint) heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup egg nog


  1. Combine crumbled gingersnaps and sugar. Add melted butter and mix together using fingers until butter is incorporated. Cover the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan with crust, reserving ¾ cup for topping.

  2. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Cool to room temperature just until slightly thickened, making sure it does not fully congeal.

  3. Using mixer, cream together cheese, sugar and vanilla for about 3 minutes.

  4. In cold mixing bowl using a chilled wire whisk attachment, whip milk until peaks form. Add gelatin and mix for about 30 seconds to incorporate. Blend in cheese mixture.

  5. Pour over crust and scatter with reserved crumbs. Refrigerate overnight.

  6. For egg nog whipped cream: Whip whipping cream and egg nog together until stiff peaks form. Serve on this or other desserts during the holiday season!

Recipe courtesy of

Wendy Perry, a culinary adventurist and blogger, chats about goodness around NC on her blog at WendysHomeEconomics.com.

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4.5/5 rating (11 votes)

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