Cranberry Orange Cheesecake - sweet and creamy orange cheesecake baked to perfection, topped with gorgeous cranberry sauce. This cheesecake is perfect finish to your Christmas dinner!
Looking at the recent recipes I shared here, can you tell already that I absolutely love cranberries? Because I do!
Fresh, dried - love them all. I love them baked into a sweet bread, a bundt cake, baked into cookies or simply placed on top of them. I paired them with white chocolate and dark chocolate. I also turned them into a jam and a smoothie.
At the beginning of November, I clear out almost half of my freezer just so I can fill it with bags of cranberries. I always try to stock up for the whole year.
This year I paired them with my favorite dessert - a cheesecake.
I made my perfect sweet and creamy cheesecake with fresh orange flavor and topped it with cranberry sauce. If you want to learn my tips on making a perfect cheesecake every time, check out this post.
Since some of you had a question about the crust and how to prevent it from crumbling while cutting into the cheesecake, I am sharing a step by step photos of making the crust. It's really easy and makes a solid crust that is not rock hard nor does it crumble. The secret is in the ratio of graham cracker crumbs to melted butter. It may seem like there is a lot of butter, but trust me, the crust will come out perfect, solid yet soft and it won't crumble when you cut a slice of the cheesecake.
First, start with wrapping the springform pan with aluminum foil for the water bath. Next, mix all of the crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and sprinkle over the bottom of the pan. Press it with your fingers or with a help of an offset spatula. I usually press it about 3/4" up the sides of the pan. Next, I recommend pre-baking the crust while you make the filling. It takes only 10 minutes. Pour the creamy cheesecake filling over the crust, place in a large metal rimmed baking pan, pour hot water into the pan (about 1" up the sides of the pan) and bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Cranberry Orange Cheesecake
!for the crust:
- 1 1/2 c finely crushed graham crackers
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 c unsalted butter melted
!for the filling:
- 3 8 oz . packages of cream cheese softened
- 1 c granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 medium orange
- juice of 1/2 medium orange
- 3 well-beaten eggs
!for the cranberry orange sauce:
- 1 pkg fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- juice of 1/2 orange
!to make the crust:
- Wrap a 8" or 9" springform pan in aluminum foil and set in a roasting pan.
- Boil 2 cups of water. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place graham crackers in food processor and process until finely crushed.
- Add sugar and melted butter and process on low until all comes together.
- Press the crust into a 9" springform pan.
- Bake for 7 minutes in preheated oven.
- Set aside.
!to make the filling:
- Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until creamy.
- Add sugar and process on low until combined.
- Add flour, yogurt, vanilla, orange zest and orange juice and process on low until smooth.
- Add eggs and mix on low until completely incorporated.
- Pour the batter over baked crust. Tap the roasting pan on the counter few times (gentlto release any air bubbles from the batter.
- Place the pan with the springform pan in the oven. Pour enough water into the roasting pan to come at least 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan but not over the foil.
- Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes. Replace water after first 50 minutes of baking.
- When the times is up, turn of the oven leaving the cheesecake inside for one hour. Leave the oven door slightly ajar (I stick a wooden spoon in the oven door).
- Cool the cheesecake completely on the counter.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- When chilled completely, spoon cranberry sauce over the cheesecake and spread evenly.
- Slice and serve.
- Refrigerate any leftovers in a closed container, for up to 3 days.
!to make the cranberry sauce:
- Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir together. Cook on medium low until the cranberries start to pop.
- Turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer until thick and has the consistency of a jam (about 10 to 15 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and cool completely.
- Top chilled cheesecake with completely cooled sauce.
One note about the cranberry sauce topping: I used a whole bag of fresh cranberries for my sauce because I love them! The sauce layer is quite generous. But, if you are worried that the sauce may overwhelm the cheesecake or maybe someone in your family is not crazy about the berries - then I recommend cutting the sauce recipe in half. It will still be gorgeous and delicious!