Yield: 12 servings

Cranberry Cheesecake

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Cranberry Cheesecake with a delicious shortbread cookie crust and crumble and fresh cranberry swirl is a delightful holiday dessert! Topped with more sugared cranberries, this cheesecake looks as good as it tastes.


For the Cranberry Swirl:

  • 1 ½ Cups cranberries (frozen and thawed is fine)
  • ½ Cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ Cup water
  • Pinch of salt

For the Cheesecake Crust and Crumb Topping:

  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • ¾ Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 16 oz. Full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. Full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 ¼ Cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ¾ Cup all-purpose flour

For the Sugared Cranberries:

  • 2 Cups fresh cranberries
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 ½ Cups granulated sugar, divided
  • Pinch of salt


    For the Cranberry Swirl: 

    1. Add the cranberries, granulated sugar, water and salt to a pot and set over medium low heat. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 to 10 minutes until the cranberries have broken down. 
    2. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth and set aside to cool.

For the Crust:

  1. Combine the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar and salt in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and mix to combine.    
  2. Add ⅔ of the mixture to a 9” round spring-form pan and press into the bottom and sides. Tip: use the back of a measuring cup to press down and help make a smooth bottom. Reserve the remaining ⅓ of the mixture for the crumb topping.

For the Filling:

  1. Combine the cream cheese, ricotta cheese and granulated sugar in a stand mixer. Beat until the sugar has dissolved. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice and melted butter to combine. Stir in the salt and all-purpose flour.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as needed, and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. Tip: This can also be done in a food processor.   
  3. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. Refrigerate while you pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.    
  4. Place dollops of the cranberry swirl mixture on top of the batter and swirl in using a butter knife.    
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.   
  6. Using the remainder of the crust dough, form small clumps with your hands and sprinkle on top of the cheesecake.
    If you prefer to let the swirl show, just sprinkle the crumbs along the edges. Return to the oven for an additional 45 to 50 minutes.    
  7. The cheesecake is done when there’s a slight jiggle in the middle but is otherwise set. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. Top with the sugared cranberries before serving.

For the Sugared Cranberries:

  1. Add the water and ½ cup of the granulated sugar to a pot on low heat. Cook for a few minutes, just until the sugar has melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the cranberries.    
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cranberries and place them on a wire rack, set over a pan, for a few minutes to cool.
  3. Add the remaining cup of sugar to a large dish and toss the cranberries in the sugar until well coated.


  • For cheesecake batters, I highly recommend using a leak-proof spring-form pan. The divet at the base creates a perfect seal. If using a different style of pan, I suggest wrapping the base in aluminum foil to catch any leaks.
  • You can use all cream cheese instead of the cream cheese/ricotta cheese mixture in the recipe. The texture will be a little softer. I find that adding the ricotta gives a more stable cake that is less likely to crack.
  • The sugared cranberries, cranberry swirl and dough can all be made the day before, if desired.
  • Use homemade cranberry sauce for the swirl, or even the canned stuff works great too in a pinch.
  • Make a batch of homemade vanilla extract to use in all your baking.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 781Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 532mgCarbohydrates: 104gFiber: 2gSugar: 70gProtein: 10g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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