Cheesecake

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

I make this Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake every Thanksgiving. I just love the flavors, the textures, the color! I also find that anything containing cranberry is a nice segue between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it’s absolutely perfect right now!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake
This Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake has a classic graham cracker crust filled with a creamy vanilla bean cheesecake swirled with homemade cranberry sauce! Then I topped it with freshly whipped cream and sugared cranberries to make it look like the showstopper it is!!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

I love the kick of vanilla flavor (and the beautiful vanilla bean flecks!) from the vanilla bean paste in this cheesecake! If you’re looking for vanilla bean paste, you can find it [here]. If you’d like, you can substitute with an equal measure of vanilla extract.

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

You can use a standard 9″ springform pan (like this one [here], but I LOVE my “push pan.” This pan’s bottom has a silicone seal that’s waterproof. This recipe requires a water bath, and you can just set the pan right down in the water with no leaking! You also don’t have to worry about anything dripping out of your pan and burning in your oven with other recipes. If you’re interested in one for yourself, you can find one [here].

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Baking the cheesecake in a water bath helps to ensure gentle, even baking and helps to avoid cracks in the top of your cheesecake. Check out the recipe notes for more detail on baking the cheesecake in a water bath. After baking, the cheesecake cools in the oven for an hour, on the counter until it’s room temperature, and then in the refrigerator for a minimum of four hours. It takes a long time, but IT’S WORTH IT!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Also, don’t be afraid to make this one in advance. The cranberry sauce can be made days ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to use it. The cheesecake itself can easily spend a day or two in the refrigerator before you’re planning to serve it. Just prepare the whipped cream and sugared cranberries the day of, assemble, and EAT!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

I hope that you have a wonderful (and safe!!) holiday!

Other posts you may like:

Cranberry Curd Tart

Mini Apple Cranberry Pies

Apple Cider Cranberry Cupcakes

Thanksgiving Desserts

Pumpkin Hazelnut Cheesecake

Cinnamon Pumpkin Cheesecake

Christmas Desserts

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit (link here).

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Amee
A classic graham cracker crust filled with creamy vanilla bean cheesecake, swirled with homemade cranberry sauce!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cheesecake
Servings 8 slices

Ingredients
  

Cranberry Sauce:

  • 2 cups cranberries
  • cup sugar
  • cup orange juice (from about 2-3 oranges)
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest (from about 2 oranges)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 10 whole graham crackers)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream, at room temperature
  • tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)

Whipped Cream:

  • cups heavy (whipping) cream, cold
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar

Sugared Cranberries:

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ¼ cup cranberries

Instructions
 

For Cranberry Sauce:

  • Combine all ingredients except vanilla bean paste (see note) in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Pour the mixture into a food processor and process until as smooth as possible. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the skins and seeds. Add the vanilla bean paste (see note) and stir to combine.
  • Cover the cranberry sauce and chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours. You can make the cranberry sauce several days ahead of time, just store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9" springform pan (see note) and set aside.
  • Combine graham crackers and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely ground.
  • Add melted butter and pulse to incorporate, making sure the mixture is completely coated in butter. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1-2 inches up the sides of the prepared pan. Set aside.

For Filling:

  • Combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Combine at low speed, then increase to medium until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, allowing the first egg to incorporate before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla bean paste (see note). Mix to incorporate.
  • Pour half the filling into the prepared crust and top with dollops of half the cranberry sauce. Pour in the remaining cheesecake filling, and dollop the top with the remaining cranberry sauce. With a thin knife, swirl the cranberry sauce throughout the cheesecake. Make sure that your knife is deep enough in the cheesecake to swirl throughout, but not so deep as to disturb the crust.
  • Wrap the bottom and up the sides of the pan in at least two layers of heavy-duty foil to keep the water bath out of the cheesecake (see note on springform pan).
  • Place the cheesecake in a water bath (see notes) in the preheated oven. Bake until cheesecake is just set, but still wobbly in the center, about 1 hour.
  • Turn off the oven. With the oven door slightly ajar, leave the cheesecake to slowly cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake to be sure it is released from the pan. Allow the cheesecake to cool on a rack to room temperature. Once at room temperature, chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).

For Whipped Cream:

  • Place cold heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start the mixer on low speed, and gradually increase the speed to high. Whip until the cream thickens and forms peaks.

For Cranberries:

  • Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Warm over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove syrup from the heat and cool 10 minutes.
  • Pour cranberries in the syrup and stir to coat. Place cranberries on a rack so excess syrup can drip off. Allow to set for 10 minutes.
  • Roll cranberries in sugar to coat. You'll likely have more than you need for the top of the cheesecake, but they're great for snacking, too. 🙂
  • After the cheesecake has chilled, top with the whipped cream and sugared cranberries.
    Enjoy!

Notes

Note on vanilla bean paste: I love the kick of vanilla flavor (and the beautiful vanilla bean flecks!) from the vanilla bean paste in this cheesecake! If you're looking for vanilla bean paste, you can find it [here]. If you'd like, you can substitute with an equal measure of vanilla extract.
Note on springform pan: You can use a standard 9" springform pan (like this one [here]), but I LOVE my "push pan." This pan's bottom has a silicone seal that's waterproof. This recipe requires a water bath, and you can just set the pan right down in the water with no leaking! You also don't have to worry about anything dripping out of your pan and burning in your oven with other recipes. If you're interested in one for yourself, you can find one [here].
Notes on water bath: Baking the cheesecake in a water bath helps to ensure gentle, even baking and helps to avoid cracks in the top of your cheesecake.
I place my 9" cheesecake pan into a larger roasting pan in the oven, then fill the roasting pan with hot water about halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan (be careful that you don't pour any water into the cheesecaeke!). 
If you're using a conventional springform pan, you will need to wrap the bottom of the pan in at least two layers of heavy duty foil prior to placing it in the water bath. If you prefer not to wrap your pan and place it directly into the water, you could try putting a pan of water on the rack below the cheesecake. It won't provide the same insurance policy as baking it in the water bath, but it will help.
Safety notes: Always fill the pan while it's in the oven (I use a large pitcher) so you don't have to cross your kitchen with a large pan of hot water. Similarly, remove only the cheesecake from the oven once it's done baking, and not the whole roaster. Leave the larger pan with the hot water in the oven to cool before attempting to remove it.
This post contains affiliate links.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.