An easy no bake cranberry cheesecake recipe. This silky smooth vanilla cheesecake on a gingersnap cookie crust and topped with cranberry sauce and sugared cranberries will be a showstopping dessert for your table! Perfect for the holidays or a cranberry lover!
- Crushed gingersnap cookies - simply process gingersnap cookies in a food processor for a couple of minutes until you have a fine crumb. Gingersnap cookies are a bit harder than graham crackers, so you may find that you end up with a few larger bits than you're used to with cookie crumb crusts. This shouldn't be a problem.
- Sugar - granulated sugar or caster sugar will work in this recipe. Sugar helps to bind the recipe together and will help the crust to be less crumbly.
- Butter - unsalted butter, melted. This will bring your crust together.
No Bake Cheesecake Filling
- Cream cheese - this recipe uses soft spreadable cream cheese. Block cream cheese isn't available in my local area and I find working with spreadable cream cheese easier. You can make this recipe using block cream cheese, but you will need to allow this to soften at room temperature first. You may find it stiffer and more difficult to beat smooth.
- Sour cream - this will add a slightly sharp bite to the cheesecake, reminiscent of baked New York style cheesecakes.
- Sugar - granulated or caster sugar will work in this recipe.
- Vanilla bean paste - you can substitute this for vanilla extract if needed.
- Heavy whipping cream - or double cream. This ingredient can vary in name by location, but as a general rule of thumb, you should use whatever cream you would normally use to make homemade whipped cream.
- Powdered sugar - also known as confectioner's sugar or icing sugar. If your's is particularly lumpy, you may want to sift this first to avoid clumps in your cream.
Cranberry Sauce Topping
- Cranberries - you can use fresh or frozen for this sauce.
- Maple syrup - the quality of your maple syrup will impact the overall flavour of your sauce. I recommend using a good quality syrup.
- Orange juice - you can use either store bought or fresh squeezed from an orange. Do not substitute with a juice made from concentrate.
Sugared Cranberry and Rosemary Decoration
- Cranberries - more cranberries here! For the sugared decoration, I recommend using fresh cranberries rather than frozen. This is because frozen fruit and berries often lose a bit of their structure during the freezing process and you want these to be firm fresh fruits to start here.
- Rosemary - a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary. These are optional - if you don't have any or don't like the flavour, feel free to leave them off. They won't add flavour to the recipe, but I find them pretty and I like the smell.
- Sugar - granulated sugar is best here. You'll divide this into two parts: one for making the sugar syrup and one for coating the cranberries.
How to Make Cranberry Cheesecake
In order to make my no bake cranberry cheesecake, you'll want to start with the cranberry topping. This is because it is important for this to cool down before adding to the cheesecake.
Begin by heating your maple syrup and orange juice in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once these come to a simmer (after about 5 minutes), add in your cranberries and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to help the cranberries break down.
After about 15 minutes you should have a ruby red sauce. This can be served on its own as a simple cranberry sauce, but for this recipe, we'll be using it to top our cheesecake filling.
Remove the sauce from the heat and pour into a heat proof bowl. Set this aside to cool. Quick Tip: Once the sauce is no longer steaming hot, I like to place in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
Your next step is the base!
Making a Gingersnap Cheesecake Base
So the process for this cheesecake base is essentially the same as other cookie crumb crust recipes and follows the same steps as my Lotus Biscoff Biscuit Base.
Simply mix together the crushed gingersnap cookie crumbs with the sugar and the melted butter. This will result in a lightly moistened crumb.
For this recipe, I recommend lining your springform cake pan with parchment paper, to make it easier to remove later. Then pour your crust mixture into the pan and press firmly into the base and about 1" up the sides. (NOTE: this is based on an 8" springform cake pan - for a 9" pan, the crust mixture should still be sufficient but will not go as far up the sides).
Place your crust in the freezer to chill while you prepare your filling. This will help it set more firmly.
No Bake Cheesecake Filling
The base filling for my cranberry cheesecake is a simple no bake vanilla bean cheesecake. This will offset the tartness of the cranberries without overpowering the topping.
If you've made any of my other no bake cheesecakes, such as my No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Pie, you'll know the drill!
Start with whipping your heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until you reach stiff peaks. This is probably the most important part of a no bake cheesecake. The consistency of the whipped cream is key to setting the cheesecake firm. You want stiff peaks so that the cheesecake is set, but if you over-whip, your cheesecake may be a bit more solid than creamy!
Once you've reached stiff peaks, set the whipped cream aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the spreadable cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth. Then fold the whipped cream into the mixture.
Putting it Together
You're now ready to add the filling to your gingersnap base. Spoon the mixture onto the gingersnap crust and spread into an even layer.
Assuming that your cranberry sauce has cooled (at least to room temperature), you can now spoon this on top. Again spread into an even layer, covering the cheesecake filling.
Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator to set up. This should be left for at least four hours or, even better, overnight.
Meanwhile, you can make the additional decoration if you're using sugared cranberries.
Decoration and Serving
For decoration, I like to top my cheesecake with sugared cranberries. These are optional here, but they do make for a pretty finish!
How to Sugar Coat Cranberries & Rosemary
Even though the results are showstopping, the steps for sugar coating cranberries and rosemary are actually super simple!
Start off by making a simple sugar syrup - this is done by heating equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. For this recipe, I used a half cup of each, which will give you plenty of syrup for soaking the cranberries and a couple of sprigs of rosemary.
Heat the sugar and water over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and then bring the mixture to a boil. I let mine boil for about 1 minute.
Pour this into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then add the cranberries and some rosemary. Stir to make sure each berry gets coated and allow to soak for about 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the cranberries and rosemary from the syrup, draining as much of the liquid as possible. Set these on a piece of parchment paper to dry for a couple of hours. Tip: Your goal is that you want them to be tacky to the touch, but not wet. The rosemary tends to take a bit longer to dry than the cranberries.
When dried, dredge the berries and rosemary in the sugar. Since you want a crystallised look, use a larger grind of sugar crystal here, such as granulated or turbinado.
Once the cheesecake has set, start by carefully unmoulding the cheesecake from the springform pan and place it on a cake plate or serving dish. The base can be delicate, so I would normally just leave the bottom of the springform pan underneath. If you're set on removing this, just do so gently and carefully.
After setting the cheesecake on the serving plate - decorate with your sugar coated cranberries and a sprig or two of rosemary.
This easy cranberry cheesecake will last for about 4 days in the refrigerator without issue. If making in advance, I would recommend topping with the sugar coated decoration nearer the time of serving, but even these decorations can be made several days early and will keep in the refrigerator well.
Yes! This is a quick no bake cheesecake with a cranberry orange glaze on top and sugar coated cranberry decoration on a gingersnap crust.
Looking for more showstopping desserts? Try:
- 8" springform baking pan
Ingredients for Gingersnap Cookie Crust
- 1¾ cup crushed gingersnap cookies
- ¼ cup granulated sugar or caster sugar
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter melted
Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce
- 7 oz fresh cranberries
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon orange juice fresh squeezed or store bought (not from concentrate)
Ingredients for Vanilla Cheesecake Filling
- 12 oz spreadable cream cheese (see note)
- 6 oz sour cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream or double cream
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar or icing sugar
Ingredients for Sugar Coated Cranberries and Rosemary (optional)
- 3 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 rosemary sprig or a couple
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar divided in half
Instructions for Cranberry Topping
- Start by making the cranberry orange topping for this cheesecake as it will need to cool down.
- In a saucepan, heat the maple syrup and orange juice until simmering (about 5 minutes). Then add the cranberries and continue cooking over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. The berries should break down, forming a thickened sauce.
- After about 15 minutes, remove from the heat, pour the cranberry sauce into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool. (see note)
Instructions for Gingersnap Crust
- Next line an 8" springform cake pan with parchment paper and set aside while you prepare your crust.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the crushed gingersnap cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter until you have a moistened crumb (like a graham cracker cookie crust).
- Spoon this crust mixture into the lined springform pan and press firmly into the base and sides (about 1" up the sides) to form the cheesecake crust.
- Set this in the freezer while you prepare your filling. (see note)
Instructions for Vanilla Cheesecake Filling
- Begin by whipping the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste to stiff peaks. (see note)
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar.
- Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and fold together to incorporate.
- Spoon this into the springform pan on top of the gingersnap base and smooth into an even layer.
- Top this with the cranberry sauce and again spread evenly.
- Place in the refrigerator to set and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Instructions for Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary
- If making the sugared decorations, mix ½ cup sugar and water together in a small saucepan. Over a medium heat, stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a boil. Let this boil for about 2 minutes. Then remove and pour into a heatproof bowl, allowing to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Add the cranberries and rosemary to the syrup, stir to coat and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
- Drain the syrup and remove the cranberries and rosemary, placing on a piece of parchment paper to dry for a couple of hours. The goal is for these to become tacky to the touch but not wet. (see note)
- Once dry, dredge the cranberries and rosemary in the remaining ½ cup of sugar. This sugar should be a coarser grind of crystal for better effect.
Instructions for Assembly
- Once the cheesecake is set, carefully remove from the springform pan and place on a cake plate or serving tray.
- Top with sugar coated cranberries and rosemary.