Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake is a twist on our classic No-Bake cheesecake. This recipe showcases two delightful flavors, a layer of our traditional favorite cheesecake topped with a layer of cranberry flavor. An easy recipe, with a mousse-like texture, over a delicious gingersnap cookie crust, will absolutely thrill your guests! It’s very light, oh so creamy, and heavenly in every bite!
Topped with sugared cranberries as a garnish, this No-Bake Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake is a perfect dessert to complement your festive dinner.
It’s so darn easy! A perfect “make-ahead” dessert for the holidays and one you can make and chill for up to two days.
I have a weakness for cheesecakes … can you tell? Well, this recipe is totally adapted from my all-time favorite, Best No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake. If you haven’t tried it yet, you’ll have to try this one too!
Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake is a fabulous dessert! And a great way to use up any leftover cranberry sauce, or cranberry puree you might have.
For this recipe, I used canned whole-berry cranberry sauce for the second layer. But if you have any leftover cranberry sauce, by all means, use it in the recipe.
You’ll enjoy its thick layer of creamy cheesecake with a second layer of cranberry cheesecake on top, along with an additional flavor of gingersnap cookies on the bottom, which makes this dessert truly mouthwatering.
It will be the “star” on your dessert table this holiday season. Guaranteed!
Best of all, no baking required… what-so-ever!
Great Tips for No-Bake Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake…
To achieve its beautiful height with this dessert, it’s best to use a smaller-size springform pan, as I have done here. (link to Amazon: 7-inch leakproof springform pan, or an 8-inch pan)
First, you will need to make some room in your freezer for your springform pan to fit on a shelf somewhere.
For this no-bake Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake, the quickest solution (and a great trick) to firming the crust is to place the crust into the freezer for at least 10 minutes before adding the filling. And it works every time.
Before you begin, remove the brick of cream cheese from the refrigerator and place it on the counter and open the package to warm up for a few minutes. Slice the brick into 4 equal parts. It’s best to have the cream cheese at room temperature so it will blend easily with the other ingredients.
Also, for my 2-layer filling: you will need only 1 envelope of the powdered gelatin, some heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, sour cream, ground nutmeg, 1 block of cream cheese, and canned whole-berry cranberry sauce.
Oh, and take out your blender, because you are going to need it to blend the filling for both layers.
*Full recipe card below!
Easy Steps to Make this Cranberry Cheesecake:
Make the Crust…
1. Crush gingersnap cookies (or Gluten-Free gingersnap cookies), and blend them with sugar and butter, and press down on the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
2. Then transfer the pan into the freezer.
Make The Filling…
1. In the meantime, in a small saucepan, pour in the heavy cream and sprinkle ONLY 1 + 1/2 teaspoons of the gelatin over the cream. Let it sit for about one minute.
2. Turn on low heat and stir the cream. Add in the sugar, vanilla, and continue to stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat.
3. Next, place 3/4 of the cream cheese (reserve the remaining 1/4 for the second layer), sour cream, and ground nutmeg into the blender. Turn the blender on the lowest speed, open the top and slowly pour in the hot cream mixture, and continue to blend until well incorporated.
4. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling into the crust. Transfer back into the freezer once again.
5. Repeat the same process for the second layer, the cranberry filling, only with slightly different ingredients. No need to rinse the saucepan or the blender. Follow the remaining directions in our recipe card below.
6. Transfer the cheesecake to your refrigerator (uncovered) and chill for a few hours, or overnight is best.
When Ready to Serve…
Run a clean knife around the edge of the springform pan to loosen the cake from the sides. Do it again, twice, to be sure. Then pop open the clip and gently lift up the pan.
Garnish on top with either sugared cranberries (recipe included below), or with plain fresh cranberries, and do this only when you are ready to serve. Then transfer to a serving plate. It’s best served chilled.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. But it’s not necessary, this dessert is delicious all by itself. 😉
Your family and friends will love this Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake.
This is such a delicious dessert and a showstopper. I bet it will probably be the first dessert to disappear from your table.
For me, a dessert that’s literally “no-fuss” to make, and can be made up to 2 days ahead – is a win-win in my book! … don’t you agree?!
Try my recipe, and send us a photo!
More Festive and Easy Desserts…
Additional “NO-BAKE” Festive Desserts!
Silky Chocolate Cream Pie (Dairy-Free!)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
For the CRUST
- 1 + 1/4 cups ( 251 grams) (GF or original) Ginger Snap Cookies- finely crushed (about 22 to 25 small cookies).
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- 4 Tbsp. butter - melted
For the CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 3/4 cup (180 grams) heavy cream
- 1 + 1/2 tsp. of unflavored gelatine powder (I used Knox)
- 1/2 cup (100.5 grams) of granulated sugar
- 1 (8-ounce) (226 grams) cream cheese - at room temperature (Divided, see my notes)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (180 grams) sour cream
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
For the CRANBERRY LAYER:
- 1/4 cup ( 60 grams) of heavy cream (or half & half)
- 1 + 1/2 tsp. of unflavored gelatine powder
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2-ounces (1/4 of the remaining brick) cream cheese
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) sour cream
- 3/4 cup (150.5 grams) of canned Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
- Optional: Fresh or frozen cranberries to decorate, as a garnish
MAKE THE CRUST:
- First, crush the cookies. Do this in two batches, put them into a mini chopper or food processor and pulse a few times until they are completely crushed.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to combine crushed cookie crumbs with melted butter and brown sugar.
- Pour the moist crumb mixture into a 7-inch springform cheesecake pan. Use a small glass or a measuring cup and press firmly on the bottom and up the sides. Then place the pan into your freezer for at least 10 minutes or more.
MAKE THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- First, pour the heavy cream into a small pot and place it on the stovetop. Sprinkle 1 + 1/2 teaspoons of the gelatine powder over the cream and leave it alone for a few seconds, then turn on low heat.
- Add the sugar and the vanilla extract, and stir until the sugar and gelatin have completely dissolved, and the cream is heated for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until it begins to bubble around the edges. Do not bring to a full boil. Turn off the heat.
- Next, take a knife and divide your block of cream cheese into 4 equal quarters. Add 3/4 of the cream cheese, (reserve the 1/4 of cream cheese for the 2nd layer) sour cream, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg into the blender. And pour some of the hot cream mixtures into the blender. Cover with the lid and blend on low speed for about 30 seconds.
- Pop open the top of the lid on the blender and slowly pour in the remaining hot cream mixture. Close the top, grab a kitchen towel, and hold down the top of the blender as you blend and gradually increase its speed to the highest, and puree the mixture for about 1 to 2 minutes. Stop the blending and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender to blend the mixture evenly. Blend again for an additional minute.
- Then remove the prepared crust from the freezer. Slowly pour the cream cheese mixture into the crust. Transfer the cheesecake pan back into the freezer, while you make the cranberry layer.
MAKE THE CRANBERRY LAYER:
- In the same small pot (and no need to rinse) pour in the heavy cream (or half & half), and sprinkle over it with 1 + 1/2 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin powder and let it sit for about 30 seconds. Turn on low heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of sugar and stir until the gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved, and it's heated through. Turn off the heat.
- Using the same blender again, (and no need to rinse it) add the remaining cream cheese, sour cream, and cranberry sauce and blend on low speed. Open the top of the cover and slowly pour in the hot gelatine mixture and close the lid of the blender.
- Hold down the top and turn on the lowest speed for a few seconds. Then gradually increase your speed to the highest speed for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Then turn off the blender, and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender to blend the mixture evenly. And, blend again for an additional for seconds more on low speed.
- Finally, pull out the cheesecake from the freezer.
- Slowly pour the cranberry mixture over the cheesecake layer and transfer it to your refrigerator and chill (uncovered) for at least 2 to 4 hours or more before serving. Overnight is best.
TO REMOVE THE CAKE PAN:
- Take a clean knife and slowly run it around the cheesecake to loosen it around the sides. Then pop open the clip and slowly lift the pan off the cake.
- Decorate with fresh or frozen cranberries on the top of the cheesecake, as a garnish. Place the entire dessert (do not remove the bottom of the pan) onto a large serving platter and slice into individual servings as needed.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
- 1 + 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup (200 grams) sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a simmer around the edges. Cool the syrup to room temperature.
- When the syrup is cool, add the cranberries and stir to coat. Work in batches if necessary. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries from the syrup and place them on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan to drain. Let the cranberries dry for 45 minutes. Save the syrup for cocktails or another batch of cranberries.
- Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into a shallow dish and roll the cranberries, a few at a time, in the sugar until completely coated. Let them dry completely then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. After a few days, they may start to soften and weep a bit. Cook them down into sauce or quick jam.
Recipe adapted from NYTimes.com
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Happy and Healthy Holidays! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
xo Anna and Liz