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Luscious Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake

A deliciously creamy holiday cheesecake topped with a luscious sweet-tangy and perfectly spiced cranberry sauce. It is completely gluten-free so it's perfect for those on a wheat-free diet!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Author Manila Spoon


For the Gluten-free Crust

  • 3/4 cup Almond meal or ground Almonds
  • 3/4 cup dried Coconut, shredded
  • 1 (2.5 – 3oz) packet Pecans or Walnuts, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 5 tablespoons Butter, unsalted and melted

For the Cheesecake

  • 3 (8 oz) blocks Cream Cheese, softened (room temperature)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

For the Cranberry Sauce

  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Sugar, adjust to taste – cranberry should retain some tartness to contrast well with the sweet and creamy cheesecake
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch, dissolved in 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 2 cups Cranberries


For the Gluten-free Crust

  1. To make the crust, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan using the smooth bottom of a glass. For easier removal, line the springform pan with cut-up parchment paper before adding the crumbs. Refrigerate the crust while you are making the filling. 

For the Cheesecake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

    Using a hand mixer or an electric mixer with a flat paddle, beat the cream cheese in medium speed until soft, creamy and smooth (no more lumps appear). Frequently scrape the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure that there are no lumps remaining on the side or at the bottom. Add the sugar slowly and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs one at a time (this is very important) beating well after each addition. Pour in the vanilla extract and beat again just until the extract is well mixed. Do not over mix at this point. Patience is the key here – it may take awhile to do all the above but the result would be a very silky smooth cheesecake and not a lumpy one.

  2. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. The cake may brown on the edges and may even crack on the middle but that’s perfectly fine. If you don’t like the appearance of cracks, try to bake the cheesecake using a water bath. I don’t worry much about this as the cheesecake (or each slice) would be covered on top with the sauce anyway. Besides, the browning, sinking or cracking won’t affect the cheesecake’s taste one bit. When done, transfer the cake to a rack and cool completely. Refrigerate. The cake can be done two days ahead. 

For the Cranberry Sauce

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Allow it to boil then immediately add the cranberries and ground cinnamon. Give a quick stir. Cook until the berries begin to pop.  Add the cornstarch (mixed with a little water) and lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly. The sauce will continue to thicken as it sits. Remove from the heat and let cool. Spoon some sauce on top of each sliced cake when you serve it.