Cranberry Cheesecake

A buttery graham cracker crust sits beneath a creamy dreamy cranberry cheesecake flavored with five-spice powder, nutmeg, ginger and rum -- all the holiday flavors! Sugared cranberries are the perfect crown on top making this a total showstopper that's super easy to make *and* thrives on being made ahead of time (score!)!
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There are so many things that make this Cranberry Cheesecake the perfect holiday dessert! First, and most importantly, EVERYTHING is make ahead. You can make the sugared cranberries and the cheesecake several (up to three!) days ahead of serving.

Second, it’s pretty easy to make, as long as you follow the tips below: mix your ingredients slowly and use a water bath…oh, and gradual temperature changes. All three of these things make for zero cracks.

And, as if all that wasn’t enough, she’s a stunner. I mean, look at her. No really, look.

boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

Cheesecake Tips

  • Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature
  • Mix everything low and slow. If you whip too much air into your cheesecake you run the risk of cracks
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl throughout the mixing process to make sure that everything is evenly mixed as you go along…this will keeps lumps out of your cheesecake
  • Line your springform pan with parchment. It seems like a little thing, but it really helps release the cheesecake when removing it from the pan
  • Do not tap your cheesecake on the counter pre-bake, that will just create air bubbles (which lead to cracks)
  • No sudden temperature changes. Follow the steps for cooling down your cheesecake exactly as written and it will come out perfect!

*IF* you happen to get a crack do not stress ONE BIT! Since this cheesecake is getting covered in beautiful sugared cranberries, no one will ever know!

boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

The Easy Graham Cracker Crust

My very favorite graham cracker crust recipe is linked here. It’s buttery, perfectly crumbly and tastes fabulous!

This recipe has a nut option of which I love using finely chopped pecans. But feel free to omit the nuts for whatever reasons (the recipe explains how, it’s simple).

The crust can be made up to three days ahead of time.

Baker’s Timeline

Day 1

If you’d like to really go hard on the make-ahead route, you can make the crust and sugared cranberries three days ahead of time!

Day 2

Make and bake your cheesecake.

Days 3 or 4

Serve and enjoy!

All this said, you can also make everything the day ahead of serving. I just wanted to share a more extended timeline in case you’re having an especially busy week.

This is not a same-day cheesecake. It ideally needs overnight (or at least six hours) in the fridge to chill and set.

boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

Favorite Cranberry Cheesecake Tools

Springform Pan — I use this for all of my cheesecakes

Fine-Mesh Sieve — I can’t recommend using a sieve enough when making cheesecake. It will get rid of any rogue air bubbles or cream cheese clumps and is the best!


KitchenAid Mixer — I prefer my KitchenAid to a handheld for making cheesecake. Most handheld’s low speed isn’t low enough. I would probably use my arms and a spatula to mix the filling if I didn’t have a KitchenAid.

My favorite Scale 

Some More Holiday/Fall/Winter Deliciousness to Try

Since so many people make this during the holidays, I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes to make this time of year including my Easy Cheesy Dinner RollsFive-Spice CranberriesHoney-Caramel Pear Crostata, my Salted Caramel Pumpkin CheesecakeHazelnut Pumpkin Cheesecake (I love pumpkin cheesecake) and Five-Spice Fig Jam (such a great appetizer with gooey brie).

Enjoy your Cranberry Cheesecake!

Rebecca Firth

Cranberry Cheesecake

A buttery graham cracker crust sits beneath a creamy dreamy cranberry cheesecake flavored with five-spice powder, nutmeg, ginger and rum — all the holiday flavors! Sugared cranberries are the perfect crown on top making this a total showstopper that's super easy to make *and* thrives on being made ahead of time (score!)!
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Prep Time: 16 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chill: 6 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cheesecake
Keyword: Cheesecake, Holiday, Cranberries, Cranberry, Spiced
Servings: 8 Servings


For the Boozy Sugared Cranberries

  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (336 g) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder (Or ½ teaspoon cinnamon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups (500 g) whole fresh cranberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) spiced rum
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 cup (200 g) superfine sugar (for rolling the cranberries)

For the Crust

For the Cheesecake

  • 16 ounces cream cheese (softened (full fat, don’t go for reduced fat))
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
  • 16 oz (480 g) full fat sour cream (1 pint, room temperature (don’t go for reduced fat))
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) spiced rum


For the Sugared Cranberries

  • Make a simple syrup by heating the granulated sugar and the water together. You can do this on the stovetop or in the microwave. Stir until your sugar is dissolved. Let cool a bit so that the heat doesn’t pop your cranberries. Pour the simple syrup into a bowl.
  • Add the spiced rum, five-spice powder, ginger, nutmeg, orange zest and juice. Pour in the cranberries. Cover and let chill in the fridge overnight or at least eight hours. Occasionally stir so that you make sure everyone is getting equally sugary.
  • Fast forward in time to at least eight hours and drain the cranberries. Roll the cranberries in the superfine sugar and set them on parchment paper to dry. Should take about two-ish hours. Store in an airtight container for several days.

For the Crust

  • Grease a 9-inch (23-cm) nonstick springform pan and line with parchment paper.
  • Make the buttery graham cracker crust (add the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg when you add the brown sugar) all the way through baking and cooling using the instructions and how-to photos for my graham cracker crust here. Grease the bare sides of the springform pan (above the crust) and set aside.

For the Cheesecake Filling

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a heat-safe skillet or Dutch oven on the bottom oven rack. Boil 4 cups (1 L) water and set aside while you prepare your cheesecake filling. 
  • Place the cream cheese, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the bowl of an electric-stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is combined and use the back of a spatula to smash out any lumps.
  • In a small bowl whisk the eggs plus egg yolk together and then slowly stream them in with mixer on low for about 2 minutes or until combined. Add in the sour cream and rum; making sure each ingredient is well blended before adding in the next. Mix for an additional 2 minutes on low and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into the cooled crust.
  • Place in the center of the oven and pour the warm water into the skillet on the bottom rack and immediately close the door. Bake the cheesecake for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat 250°F (121°C) for an additional 45 minutes. When done the center will jiggle a bit and the sides will be set. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit in it for 30 minutes with the door open. After 30 minutes, set the cheesecake on the counter and let it sit at room temperature for at least an hour. When cool, wrap tightly in the springform and set in the fridge to chill and set overnight.
  • When ready to serve, take the side of the springform pan off…you may need a knife to gently run along the side. Periodically clean the knife with a damp cloth to keep everything as clean and smooth as possible. Follow this same advice when cutting slices. Garnish the top the sugared cranberries and serve.


Graham Cracker Crust

I use finely chopped pecans in the crust; feel free to omit!

Sugared Cranberries Liquid

Save any liquid for a boozy cocktail. I’m thinking this simple syrup, vodka, some soda water, a squeeze of fresh orange juice and some cranberries floating about.

Superfine Sugar 

Superfine sugar is also called baker’s sugar or caster sugar. If you don’t have any (or can’t find it) you can put regular granulated sugar in your Cuisinart (or high-speed blender) and pulse until it is fine in texture and will evenly coat the cranberries.
Thanks for baking with me! Please rate + comment this recipe and tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo
boozy sugared cranberries | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife


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  • Sharon December 16, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    Rebecca, there’s a recipe that you made with a cheesecake filling, cranberries and port reduction and a shortbread crust. The recipe calls for red wine vinegar. Wondering what the reason is for the vinegar and if apple cider vinegar can be used instead. Thanks so much

    • Rebecca Firth December 16, 2017 at 3:02 PM

      Hi Sharon! I use the vinegar for some acidity in the cranberries…you could sub in apple cider vinegar if you prefer the flavor!! xoxo

  • Josh December 9, 2015 at 3:09 AM

    This looks great!!

  • Olivia December 9, 2015 at 12:29 AM

    First of all, LOVED the interview and second, these photos are GORG!!!!