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No Bake Cranberry Cheesecake

No-Bake Christmas Cranberry Cheesecake

Yield: 8 slices 1x
Prep: 6 hours 45 minutesCook: 15Total: 7 hours


Cranberry Sauce

3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup orange juice (from approximately 2 large oranges)

4 tablespoons orange zest (from the same 2 large oranges)

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (approximately 12 graham crackers)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

7 tablespoons melted butter


2 tablespoons cold water

1 packet unflavored gelatin

2 tablespoons boiling water

3 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 1 1/2 to 2 large lemons)


  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and orange juice in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries soften and start to burst, and the mixture thickens (approximately 15 minutes.) Set aside to cool.
  2. Pulse graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor to crush into crumbs, or place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin into crumbs.
  3. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and mix with the sugar and melted butter. Stir to combine, then press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of springform pan. (Use a small glass or bowl to press the crumbs down firmly.)
  4. At this point, you can bake the graham cracker crust at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes, for a firmer cheesecake bottom crust. OR you can freeze the crust – keeping this entirely no-bake – while you prepare the rest of the cheesecake. (We baked ours for easier slicing, allowing it to cool completely before filling.)
  5. Place the cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top. Let it sit for five minutes to fully soften and start absorbing the water (this is called “blooming” the gelatin). Then add two tablespoons of boiling water to the bowl and stir to fully dissolve any gelatin clumps. (The gelatin should be a clear liquid at this point. You can microwave it for a few seconds to heat more if it is still not liquidy.)
  6. In a mixing bowl, whip the softened cream cheese with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy – about three minutes. Pour in the can of sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and the dissolved gelatin to the mixing bowl. Mix again to fully combine, scraping the bowl as you go to make sure the filling is completely smooth with no clumps.
  7. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into the springform, over the prepared and cooled graham cracker crust. Use an offset spatula or the back of a flat spoon to evenly spread the cream cheese over the crumbs, all the way to the edges of the pan.
  8. Spoon a half cup of the cooled cranberry sauce over the top of the cream cheese mixture in dollops all across the top. Then, take a knife and gently swirl the cranberry sauce into the cream cheese. (Don’t over swirl – you want distinct cranberry swirls in the cheesecake base.)
  9. Repeat, pouring and spreading the second half of the cream cheese mixture over the swirled layer, then dollop and swirl another half cup of the cranberry sauce over the top.
  10. Gently tap the springform pan against the countertop to remove any air pockets.
  11. Refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight to firm up.
  12. Run a thin knife around the inside edge of the springform pan, then loosen the outer ring and carefully lift off.
  13. Cut into slices to serve as is, or with the remaining cranberry sauce spooned over the top. An extra sprinkle of orange zest is a nice touch to add too, if you’d like.

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© Author: A Family Feast
Cuisine: American Method: no-bake