Cranberry Cheesecake is a velvety cheesecake layer on top of a buttery graham cracker crust, topped with a vibrant homemade cranberry sauce. It’s a delicious balance of creamy sweetness and tart fruitiness. It all starts with my perfect cheesecake, which you will want to use for more cheesecake recipes, too!

Removing one piece of Cranberry Cheesecake from serving plate from overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Crust: Ensure all graham cracker crumbs are coated in melted unsalted butter. This is what binds the crust together.

Graham Cracker Crumbs

Pre-Crushed vs Crushing Yourself

The quality of store-bought graham cracker crumbs has changed in the last few years and they seem to be less flavorful and have a different texture. When possible, I recommend the full sheets of honey-flavored graham crackers and crushing them yourself or utilizing a food processor.

Room Temperature Ingredients: It’s important to use room-temperature ingredients for the cheesecake filling. Make sure the cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs are all at room temperature before combining them. This ensures the cheesecake is silky smooth with no lumps.

Sour Cream: Sour cream adds a tangy flavor and contributes to the smooth and creamy consistency of the cheesecake. Be sure it is at room temperature.

Eggs: Room-temperature eggs are the binding ingredients to hold the cheesecake together!

Cranberry Topping: The homemade cranberry sauce can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Then, it is ready to go when you are ready to serve the cheesecake! Or, make it while the cheesecake is chilling; the sauce does take about an hour and a half to make so keep that in mind. You could also use leftover cranberry sauce from your Thanksgiving or Christmas menus!

Spooning cranberry sauce over plain cheesecake on a white counter.

Is A Water Bath Important?

Yes, a water bath is important when baking a cheesecake. Using a water bath helps prevent the edges from overcooking. It also results in the cheesecake being more even colored without cracks. It’s all about science. The water cannot get hotter than 212°F since this is when it turns to steam. This means the heat is distributed more evenly and the water is like a buffer protecting the edges from overcooking. The steam also helps with the smooth top of the cheesecake, adding moisture while the cheesecake is baking.

Slice of Cranberry Cheesecake on a white plate next to the cheesecake on a white counter.

When Is Cheesecake Done Baking?

Cheesecake is perfectly baked when the sides are set but the center still has a very slight jiggle. You can also verify doneness by checking the internal temperature (150°F) or gently tapping the pan with a wooden spoon for that barely-there jiggle in the center. After baking, let it cool entirely in the pan, then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight for the ideal texture.

Piece of Cranberry Cheesecake with a bite removed showing texture.

How To Store Cranberry Cheesecake

To store cranberry cheesecake, first, cover it. Then, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You could also freeze the cheesecake, with or without the cranberry topping.

To freeze a cheesecake:

  1. Let the cheesecake cool completely.
  2. Place the cheesecake (uncovered) in the freezer for about an hour. If you are keeping the cheesecake pie in the springform pan, remove the sides of the pan.
  3. After the hour in the freezer, take the cheesecake off the pan (you may have to pry it off with a knife), and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
  4. Place the wrapped cheesecake into a zipped freezer bag or wrap it in aluminum foil. Be sure to label and date the cheesecake. It will last for up to 6 months.
Whole Cranberry Cheesecake on a white table from overhead.

Cranberry Cheesecake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling/Chilling Time 5 hours
Total Time 6 hours 35 minutes
Cranberry Cheesecake is a velvety cheesecake layer on top of a buttery graham cracker crust, topped with a vibrant homemade cranberry sauce. It's a delicious balance of creamy sweetness and tart fruitiness.




  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (115 g) sour cream room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature

Cranberry Topping

  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest


  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.


  • In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Ensure all crumbs are thoroughly coated in butter.
  • Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Wrap 2 pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil around the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.


  • To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add cream cheese and sugar. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add sour cream and vanilla; blend until creamy. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the filling over the crust.
  • Carefully place the cheesecake into a slightly larger pan and transfer both into the oven. Pour hot water into the larger pan, 3-4 inches deep, OR about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Using a teapot with hot water works very well, as it is easy to pour and the water is already hot.
  • Bake until the top of the cheesecake turns golden, about 75-80 minutes. Remove from oven. Let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack (about an hour) while still in the springform pan.
  • Once cooled, transfer the cheesecake (still in the pan) to the refrigerator. Chill the cheesecake for 4 hours, up to overnight. While the cheesecake is chilling, make the cranberry sauce.

Cranberry Sauce

  • To a medium saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, water, and orange zest. Heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add cranberries. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries start to pop.
  • Remove from heat. Pour into a heat-safe bowl to cool (about an hour). This yields about 2 ½ cups of sauce. If not using immediately, store the cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
  • Top chilled cheesecake with cooled cranberry sauce. Serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


This cheesecake is smooth and creamy with a kick of flavor from the cranberry sauce in every single bite. I would definitely make this again!


Yum! This is so delicious with a good balance of sweet and tart. Plus, it looks festive for the holidays!


This creamy, delicious, and perfect cheesecake with a tangy homemade cranberry sauce over top is a winner. I love the tangy flavor of cranberries because it complements this cheesecake beautifully.


Oh wow! The creamy, smooth cheesecake tastes wonderful with the tart cranberries! Such a delightful treat!


This is a very creamy cheesecake with the perfect complement of the tangy cranberry sauce!


This is really delicious. You get a really nice tang from the cranberry sauce and then it finishes with the super creamy delicious cheesecake. Perfect for the holidays!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

    1. Hi, Carmen! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. The cheesecake should be removed from the springform pan when ready to serve and top with the cranberry topping. So, this is after it has cooled at room temperature on a wire rack and been chilled completely in the refrigerator (while still in the pan). I hope this helps, and have a wonderful day!

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