Homemade cranberry cheesecake is everything you could want in a holiday dessert: bright, sweet, tart, creamy, and a total showstopper! Recipe makes one 9-inch cheesecake.
- 2 cups (250 g) graham cracker crumbs (16 sheets, pulsed)
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (112 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 24 oz (678 g) full fat cream cheese, cubed, softened
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tsp (6 g) arrowroot starch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (240 g) sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 tsp (8 g) vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs (200 g), at room temperature
- 2 cups (220 g) fresh cranberries
- 1 Tbsp (3 g) orange zest
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 g) light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (120 g) water
Almond Whipped Cream
- 1 cup (240 g) cold heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp (2 g) pure almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan evenly with softened butter. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
- Make the crust: Whisk together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and mix in until completely incorporated (texture will resemble wet sand) and mixture comes together in large pieces.
- Press the crust firmly and evenly across the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of prepared springform pan. Pack the crust tightly with the bottom of a measuring cup.
- Bake crust for 10 to 11 minutes, until lightly golden and set. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
- Make the filling: Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, arrowroot starch, and salt on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in each egg on low speed just until combined, about 10 seconds. Scrape down the bowl after each egg. Pour filling over the crust and gently smooth top with an offset spatula.
- Bake cheesecake at 300°F for 60 to 65 minutes, until edges are set, the center is still slightly wobbly, and the cheesecake is slightly puffed.
- Cool cheesecake: When the cheesecake is finished baking, immediately turn off the oven, prop the oven door with a wooden spoon, and cool the cheesecake inside the oven for 75 minutes.
- After 75 minutes, remove springform pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. Carefully run a thin metal spatula around the edge of the cheesecake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides of the springform pan. Cool cheesecake for 1 hour on the rack.
- Chill cheesecake: Move cheesecake to the refrigerator (uncovered to prevent condensation from forming) and chill overnight.
- Make cranberry topping: Combine cranberries, orange zest, sugar, brown sugar, almond extract, salt, and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until cranberries begin to split open. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce reaches a loose jammy consistency and coats the back of a spoon. Transfer to a glass bowl and cool to room temperature.
- Remove cheesecake from pan: Release the outer edge of springform pan. Use a thin metal spatula to lift cheesecake from the base of pan and transfer to a serving plate.
- Make almond whipped cream: Pour cold heavy cream into a chilled mixer bowl fitted with wire whip attachment. Beat cream on medium-high speed until cream begins to thicken; gradually add powdered sugar. Add almond extract and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble cheesecake: Top the cheesecake with cranberry topping, smoothing with an offset spatula. Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe around the edge. Garnish with sugared cranberries, if desired. For neat slices, dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe dry before slicing cheesecake.
- Store cheesecake: Store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Make ahead: Cranberry topping can be made 2-3 days ahead and refrigerated. Re-warm to room temperature before using. The cheesecake can be baked ahead, fully cooled, and chilled for up to 2 days before serving.
Freeze cheesecake: Once baked, cooled and completely chilled, wrap the cheesecake in a layer of plastic wrap. Once wrapped in plastic, wrap cheesecake again in foil, securing the edges tightly. Freeze for up to 1 month for the best texture. The day before serving, move the cheesecake from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight, still wrapped to prevent condensation. Once thawed, add cranberry sauce and whipped cream topping.
Cranberry topping: You may have some extra cranberry topping. Serve alongside the cheesecake, or enjoy the leftovers over vanilla ice cream or in a cocktail. You can also substitute leftover cranberry sauce or cranberry preserves – you’ll need approximately 1 1/4 cups (350 grams).
Sugared cranberries: Combine 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar and 1/4 cup (60 g) water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add 1 cup (110 g) fresh cranberries to the saucepan and coat completely in the simple syrup. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cranberries to a wire rack. Let dry for 1 hour, then roll in 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar to coat. Transfer sugared cranberries to a clean baking sheet and let dry for 1 hour before using.
Keywords: Cranberry Cheesecake