boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake

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boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake

{ perfect holiday dessert }

There are so many things that make this the perfect holiday dessert…where to begin, where to begin… 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. Plus, 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. Additionally, you’re baking with booze…always a plus. And, as if all that wasn’t enough, she’s a stunner. I mean, look at her. No really, look.

So as much as I love you all and I’d love to gas on about my chickens and stuff, I’d like to get straight to the recipe today. OK, let’s talk sugared cranberry cheesecake.

boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

{ boozy sugared cranberry cheesecake }

Makes 1 9-inch Cranberry Cheesecake


For The Boozy Boozy Sugared Cranberries

  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder (if you don’t care for this, add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon in its’ place)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups of whole fresh cranberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/4  cup spiced rum
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange/Satsuma/tangerine zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange/Satsuma/tangerine juice
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (for rolling the cranberries…you can also throw regular granulated sugar in your Cuisinart and pulse until it gets ground up a bit)

For the Crust

  • 8 whole graham crackers (10 if you omit the pecans)
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 3 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

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


For the Sugared Cranberries

  1. 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.
  2. Pour the simple syrup into a bowl.
  3. Add the spiced rum, five-spice powder, ginger, nutmeg, orange zest and juice.
  4. 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.
  5. Fast forward in time to at least eight hours…Drain the cranberries. 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.
  6. Roll the cranberries in the superfine sugar and set them on parchment paper to dry. Should take about two-ish hours. These can sit in an airtight container for a couple of days.

For the Crust

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. I like to butter even though it’s nonstick…I hate sticking. If you don’t have a springform pan, don’t fret. This will still work in a similar-sized dish. I used a pie dish until I got a springform pan, because I typically don’t make cheesecake, and it worked fine. You just don’t see that pretty side view of the crust. It’s a little easier to cut the springform cheesecake as well (if you’re looking for a reason to invest in one).
  2. Put the graham crackers, pecans (if using), brown sugar and spices in a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes a fine crumb. Drizzle the melted butter on top and pulse until just mixed. Press the mixture into the bottom of either the springform or the pie pan.
  3. Place the crust in the oven for 10 minutes or until it starts to turn a little golden. Don’t walk away and do something else here. It can happen fast and you don’t want it to burn. When done, set the crust aside to cool.

For the Cranberry Cheesecake

  1. Increase your oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
  2. Put a kettle on to heat up some water. You’ll need this for your water bath.
  3. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use your arms and a spatula), mix the softened cream cheese and sugar on low for about 2 minutes. Use your spatula to scrape down the sides, to make sure everything is incorporated.
  4. Add the eggs and yolk, scraping down the sides again to make sure everything gets well blended together. Keep your machine on low…this should take about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the room temperature sour cream, rum, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix on low for another 2 minutes until well blended. Use the side of your spatula to smash down any rogue chunks of cream cheese that are resisting blending in with the other folks.
  6. Wrap your springform pan, with the crust in it, in two layers of foil and set in a large roasting pan. Pour the cheesecake filing in the springform pan.
  7. Put the roasting pan, with the cheesecake in it, in the oven.
  8. Pour your boiling water in the pan being careful not to get any water in the springform pan. Fill to about 1 cm up the side of the cheesecake pan. Should be about 3 to 4 cups of water.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Turn the oven temperature to 250 degrees F and bake for 1 hour.
  11. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off and let it sit in the oven for 30 minutes, with the door open, still in the water bath.  Most of the water evaporates in my oven, fyi.
  12. After 30 minutes take the cheesecake out of the oven. Let it sit at room temperature for about one hour.
  13. When cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap (still in the springform pan) and set in the fridge to cool and set. At least several hours or overnight.
  14. When ready to serve, open your springform pan. Do this slowly. If the cheesecake is pretty well connected to the pan, use a sharp knife to run around the outer edges of the cake…do this by the sink and periodically run the knife under warm water to clean it and make the cake release easier.
  15. Get crafty with the sugared cranberries…I wanted them on top and around the base, but you could be super OCD and line them equidistant around the edge. I won’t judge.

{ on my mind }

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!!!!