Cranberry Cheesecake


Cranberry Cheesecake on a Thanksgiving table (or any fall desserts buffet table) is a beautiful sight.

Bright red cranberry compote loaded on top of a creamy decadent cheesecake!

I love the flavor combination too, since the tartness of the cranberries blends perfectly with the creaminess of the cheesecake!

For those who normally don’t like cranberry (because let’s face it, it’s not the most popular flavor!)  I urge you to try this!

My homemade cranberry sauce is a winner on it’s own, but with cheesecake!??

C’mon guys! Give some love to those luscious cranberries!

They get a bad rap!

This is a building on recipes project since we have 2 recipe going on here, whether you prepare the cheesecake first or the compote it doesn’t make too much difference.

So here are the recipes!

Have fun and ENJOY!

Cranberry Compote
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Watch the video below for how to cook the cranberry sauce
Serves: 2 Cups
  • Fresh (Or Frozen) Cranberries 12 ounce Bag (336g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1½ cup (300g)
  • Cranberry Juice ½ cup (115g) (120ml)
  • Red or White Wine OR Water ½ cup (115g) (120ml) **You can replace the wine with water if you do not use alcohol in your cooking
  • Vanilla Bean 1 (or extract 2 teaspoons add last)
  • Star Anise 4 pods (or 1 teaspoon ground anise)
  • Cinnamon Stick 1 (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • Zest and Juice from 1 Orange
  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pot, combine all the liquids with the sugar and spices and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the cranberries and then return to a boil.
  3. Lower the temperature to a simmer for 10 -20 minutes, the sauce will begin to thicken and the berries will begin to pop.
  4. Discard the anise pods,vanilla bean pod and cinnamon sticks.
  5. *I did not mention in the video that I squeezed the juice of that orange in at this point! Yumm!
  6. transfer to a storage container and cool to cold - it will thicken as it cools.
  7. Pile on top of your cooled cheesecake (recipe follows)
Use Immediately as Cheesecake Topping and the whole cake should stay refrigerated for up to 10 days.

Or- Pour the sauce into a storage container with a lid and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks to use as a side dish.

Cheesecake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Watch the video below for how to mix the cheescake
Serves: 1- 8" cake
  • Cream Cheese 24 ounces or 2½cups (670g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1¼ cup (250g)
  • Eggs large 6 (300g)
  • Vanilla Paste or Extract 3 teaspoons (15ml)
  • Sour Cream 1½ cups (330g)
  • Lemon Zest *optional 1 lemon
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs 2½ cups (250g)
  • Granulated Sugar 2 Tablespoons (28g)
  • Unsalted Butter 8 tablespoons (113g)
  1. Prepare the crust by combining the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and second measure of granulated sugar together.
  2. Press into the sides and bottom of the prepared pan then bake for 10 minutes at 350°f
  3. Prepare the cheesecake batter by creaming the cream cheese smooth with the first measure of granulated sugar.
  4. Add the eggs slowly, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure you do not get lumps.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest
  6. Add the sour cream
  7. Mix smooth then pour the batter into the graham cracker crust
  8. Bake in a water bath in a preheated 350°f oven for 20 minutes then turn the oven temperature down to 300°f and bake form another 1hour and 20 minutes or until it is no longer liquid-y in the center but jiggles slightly like Jell-O
  9. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool down while still in the oven for another hour.
  10. Remove from the oven cool completely then refrigerate overnight.
  11. Un-mold from the cake pan, invert onto a serving platter and top with cranberry compote


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  1. I love cranberries, so this is on my holiday list! I never thought of using them in other things before (except on buttered toast, and omg yum!) but now that you mention the tartness, I bet they’d be a great topping for a sweet pavlova, especially if you live in an area where passion fruit isn’t commonly available. Lingonberries are the closest thing to cranberries in terms of tartness, and I used to serve them with scones and double cream in my coffee house/wine bar, so I bet your cranberry compote would be great there as well.

  2. Hi Gretchen and Happy Holidays. I want to pipe fresh whipped cream on the outer top edge of the cranberry cheesecake. Is there anything I can do to prevent the whipped cream from becoming runny and sliding off due to the cranberry topping.

  3. Hi Gretchen,

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I have never tried the backed cheese cake before, but I really want to try this for the thanksgiving dinner.
    How far out the cheese cake can be done?
    Can i make it on Tuesday and freeze it till Thursday?
    Thanks a lot!!

  4. Thanks for your great recipes!

    I notices that for the cranberry sauce, you state remove the vanilla pod – but there’s no vanilla mentioned in the recipe. Can I use pure vanilla extract instead? And if so, how much?

  5. Hey Gretchen ! I want to thank you for teaching me “baking maths”. Today, I wanted to make your cheesecake with a crust but I don’t have an 8″ pan that is 3″ high. I only have a 2″ high. So…. after making the graham crust, I figured that the crust took around 1/3 of the high of the pan and I decided to multiply all the cheesecake ingredients by 66% and it work perfectly well ! My cheesecake is perfect. Thanks ! oh… I forgot the most important thing : Happy Hollidays Gretchen ! A part of you will be in all my Holliday partys since I’m the designated cook for every event and I’m using all your recipes !

    1. Oh yes you did ! At least the base. I studied your chart of baking mold sizes :-). I’m so excited about all of this. I cooked all my life but I’m new at baking and I always knew that baking is an exact science and I was intimidated by that. After posting my last comment, I had to make a “pudding chomeur” (I don’t know any translation for this cake which is typically from Quebec, Canada) and my recipe is made for an 8×8 pan and I wanted to make a 9×13 pan. Used the same method and guess what? My cake is perfect!

  6. Hi Gretchen
    Just to give you a BIG thank you for your fabulous recipe. I have made twice for different occasions and everyone has fallen in love with your recipe, some of them have said it is the BEST CHESSECAKE RECIPE they have ever tried, so smooth, creamy, absolutely amazing. Just I wanted to leave this comment below and say again thank you for sharing your vast knowledge and teaching us to become a better bakers.

  7. Hi Gretchen! I just started making your recipes a few weeks ago. I’m slowly growing my supplies and just want to thank you for your informational videos. The way you build on recipes and videos is genius BUT the real reason for this comment is to say that this cheesecake recipe is the best that I have EVER had by far! It is a little different than your NY Style recipe and I don’t dare try it because this one is so good. I made one last week and everyone begged me to do it again.

    First one I used a springform pan because that was the only one high enough. BIG mistake and never again. Plus, I didn’t have another pan wide enough for the water bath except another springform pan. DE-ZASTER! I had to google what else to do and just lowered the temp and cooked it forever. Amazingly enough, it still turned out great.

    Second time I made sure I bought the right pans and it was sooooo easy. To put my personal touch on it, I made the stabilized whipped cream with a little vanilla and a little extra sugar. Then I bought a variety of berries and topped it with sugar and stored overnight. Then when preparing the cake, I smothered the top with the whipped cream and put those pretty swirl cones you make with the #866 and then put the leftover graham crumbs (that were left in the pan) in the middle so I could spoon in the fruit on there without it being too soggy. So we will see if that worked.

    I just had a slice with the remaining berries and another dollop of cream and I almost died from how good it was. Thank you for passing down the family recipe. I will be making this for years to come!!!

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