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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 Crust

  • cups Graham crackers or Digestive biscuits, finely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted

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
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted

For the Cheesecake

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

For the Cranberry Sauce

  • 3/4 cup Orange Juice
  • 3/4 cup Sugar, adjust to taste as desired – 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 Crust (regular or gluten-free)

  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). 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.

  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 orange juice 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. Lower the heat then allow the berries to pop.  Add the cornstarch (mixed with a little water) and cook until the sauce thickens slightly. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools down and sits. Remove from the heat and cool completely. This can be made a day ahead. Spoon some sauce on top of each sliced cake when you serve it.