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Cranberry sauce swirl cheesecake is creamy, smooth, and indulgent. With a gorgeous red swirl on top, it's the perfect holiday dessert for your next party. |

Cranberry Sauce Swirl Cheesecake

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  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 7 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Cranberry sauce swirl cheesecake is creamy, smooth, and indulgent. With a gorgeous red swirl on top, it's the perfect holiday dessert for your next party.


For the cheesecake crust:

  • 1 + 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs or Graham cracker crumbs (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (60 grams)

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 2 + 1/2 cups (20 ounces or 2.5 blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour or cornstarch (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce


Prepare the crust:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and melted butter until well mixed. (If you are using whole crackers, simply add the crackers into a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. You can also transfer the cookies into a ziploc bag and roll a rolling pin on top to crush them).
  2. Press the crumb mixture firmly into a lightly greased 8-inch springform pan and freeze for at least 15 minutes, allowing the crust to set before filling.

Make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla extract and flour using the hand mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to help mix evenly. Set aside.
  3. Add 1 egg at a time and beat just until blended. Repeat until all the eggs are blended (Do not overmix to avoid cracking during baking).
  4. Carefully pour cheesecake filling into the cooled crust and smooth out the surface with an icing spatula. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles from the filling.
  5. Spoon cranberry sauce over the filling and gently swirl with a toothpick. For a smoother filling, first transfer the cranberry sauce to a blender and puree until smooth.

Bake the cheesecake:

  1. Wrap the outside of the springform pan tightly with aluminum foil and place the pan in a large baking dish. Fill the dish with 1 inch (2 cm) deep boiling water.
  2. Move the baking dish into the oven and bake at for 1 hour in the boiling water bath.
  3. After an hour, turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit inside for another 30 minutes. This prevents the cheesecake from cracking due to a sudden drop in temperature.
  4. Take the pan out of the oven and run a paring knife gently around the outside of the cheesecake to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Cover the pan with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Slice and serve with extra cranberry sauce on top, if desired.


Don’t rush room temperature: Room temperature means room temperature — not slightly cold and not microwaved for 30 seconds. Give your ingredients an hour to rest on the counter before making the cheesecake filling.

Be patient: Baking a cheesecake requires patience because this dessert is not a fan of sudden changes. Give it enough time to slowly cool down and settle to avoid cracking.

How to store: Keep cranberry cheesecake covered in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it, and serve it cold. It will last for 3-7 days, but peak freshness will be up to 3 days.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chill Time: 6 hours (up to overnight)
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American