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Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

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A holiday delight featuring creamy cheesecake, tart homemade cranberry sauce, and a crisp graham cracker crust. Key ingredients include cream cheese, fresh cranberries, graham crackers, and a hint of orange.

Remember those cozy holiday gatherings at Grandma’s? That’s where the magic of these Cranberry Cheesecake Bars began. Every year, as the festive lights twinkled, Grandma would unveil her secret holiday treat. The first bite was always a burst of creamy cheesecake and tangy cranberry, like a merry dance of flavors. Now, recreating this recipe feels like a warm hug from the past, bringing back those cherished family moments.

Why You’ll Love Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

  • Festive Flair: Perfect for holiday celebrations, bringing a cheerful splash of cranberry red to your dessert table.
  • Balance of Flavors: The tartness of cranberries pairs beautifully with the rich, creamy cheesecake, creating a symphony of taste.
  • Homemade Touch: The cranberry sauce, made from scratch, adds a personal, artisanal quality that sets these bars apart.

Ingredients Notes

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars are a holiday masterpiece, and the ingredients play a starring role. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Cream Cheese: The heart of any cheesecake. Ensure it’s softened for that smooth, creamy texture.
  • Cranberries: Fresh is best! They bring tartness and a vibrant color.
  • Graham Crackers: They make the crust crispy and delightful, a perfect contrast to the soft filling.
  • Orange Juice: A secret twist in the cranberry sauce, adding a subtle citrus note.

How To Make Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

  1. Preparation: Begin by preheating your oven. It’s all about precision here – the right temperature sets the stage.
  2. Cheesecake Filling: Mix your cheesecake ingredients with care. Remember, smooth and creamy is the goal.
  3. Cranberry Sauce: Simmer those cranberries to perfection. Patience is key – let them thicken into a luscious sauce.
  4. Crust Creation: Crushing graham crackers can be oddly therapeutic! Mix in the butter and sugar for that perfect crust.
  5. Assembly and Baking: Layer your components with love. The cranberry swirls aren’t just tasty; they’re your edible art.

Storage Options

These Cranberry Cheesecake Bars are like a fine wine – they need the right storage. Refrigerate them covered for up to 5 days, ensuring they stay fresh and delicious. Freezing? Wrap them tightly and they’ll be a treat even weeks later, just thaw in the fridge.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Dairy-Free? Swap cream cheese and sour cream with their dairy-free alternatives.
  • Gluten-Free? Use gluten-free graham crackers for the crust.
  • Berry Swap: Not into cranberries? Try raspberries or blueberries for a twist.
  • Sweetener Variations: Maple syrup can be replaced with honey or agave for a different hint of sweetness.

Each ingredient in this recipe has a role, but don’t be afraid to play around and make it your own!

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

A holiday delight featuring creamy cheesecake, tart homemade cranberry sauce, and a crisp graham cracker crust. Key ingredients include cream cheese, fresh cranberries, graham crackers, and a hint of orange.
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Chill Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes


For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 16 ounces of cream cheese softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A small pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of sour cream

For the Cranberry Sauce:

  • 7.5 ounces of fresh cranberries approximately 2 cups
  • ¼ cup of orange juice
  • ½ cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • ¼ cup of granulated sugar

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 package plus 3 graham crackers roughly 1 ½ cups when crushed
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar


  • Preheat Oven: Set the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare Cheesecake Filling: In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, cornstarch, granulated sugar, sour cream, and a pinch of salt. Blend these ingredients for 3 minutes until smooth. Sequentially incorporate the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each is fully integrated before adding the next.
  • Cranberry Sauce Preparation: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cranberries, orange juice, water, maple syrup, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low. Allow it to simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Once achieved, remove from heat and let cool.
  • Crust Formation: Utilize a food processor to pulverize the graham crackers into a fine consistency. Add the melted butter and sugar, blending until evenly mixed.
  • Crust Baking: Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray and lining it with parchment paper. Firmly press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the dish using the back of a measuring cup for even distribution. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven to cool.
  • Assemble Cheesecake: Pour the cheesecake filling over the prepared crust. Spoon dollops of the cranberry sauce onto the filling, placing them sporadically. Use a knife to gently swirl the sauce into the filling, taking care not to penetrate the crust layer.
  • Final Baking: Place the dish in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. It is advisable to place an oven-safe bowl of water on the lower rack to create moisture within the oven.
  • Cooling and Chilling: After baking, remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover the dish and transfer it to a refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 6 hours.
  • Serving: Once fully chilled, cut the dessert into square servings.
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