Cranberry Lemon Cheesecake with a sour cream topping and festive sugared cranberries is sure to steal the show at Christmas. It’s creamy, tart, sweet and makes a great centerpiece for your dessert table!
I was excited to present this creamy Cranberry Lemon Cheesecake with a sour cream topping and festive sugared cranberries at my husband’s Christmas party. Even with ten other, yes, ten other desserts, it was one of the most popular. I’m sure those sugared cranberries got people’s attention. Who can pass up a creamy cranberry lemon cheesecake with a beautiful presentation?
When it comes to making cheesecakes, I’m not stranger. I’ve made delicious cheesecakes for many years. My Luscious Lemon Cheesecake is proof of that.
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Cranberry Lemon Cheesecake is a very festive cake is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner or Christmas parties. It’ll disappear off the dessert table for sure. Wouldn’t you like to bite into a sweet creamy, lemon cheesecake and have tart cranberries bouncing off your taste buds?
Sometimes it’s toss up between the White Chocolate Cranberry Cannoli or Cranberry Lemon Cheesecake but, either way, you can get your cranberry fix in before the holidays are over. And in what better way than baking with your kids. It’s a great time to spend quality time together.
How to Make Festive Cranberry Lemon Cheesecake
NOTE: The full, printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.
How to Make a Graham Cracker Crust
- Mix graham 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs, 3 tbls of sugar and 3 tbls of melted butter right in the 9″ spring form pan and press it down into the bottom and sides.
- Then, bake the crust for 10 minutes on 325F. Let it cool before filling with the cheesecake batter.
How to Make the Cheesecake Batter
*Full, printable recipe card is below!
Meanwhile, start the cheesecake filling which isn’t time consuming. I always whip the cream cheese to get it creamy. So take an extra minute to mix just the cream cheese. Make yourself a cup of coffee or listen to your voicemail. Mix a few ingredients-cream cheese, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla. Then, pour it into the crust and bake it for about an hour.
How to Make the Sugared Cranberries
*Full, printable recipe card is below!
- Make a simple syrup which is one part water to one part sugar heated on the stove just until the sugar is dissolved but, before it begins to boil.
- Add the whole cranberries to the simple syrup and let them sit about an hour.
- Drain the syrup from the cranberries and coat them in sugar. This is the part that can take some time but, can be made ahead.
How to Make Sour Cream Topping
*Full, printable recipe card is below!
The sour cream topping is very easy; It is just sour cream mixed with powdered sugar. The recipe is below in the recipe card.
Do you want to save time?
I know.. who doesn’t? Put the whole cranberries on the cheesecake and don’t sugarcoat them.
- Omit the sour cream topping. However, it hides cracking and browning well. It’s like sweeping your mistakes under the rug or in this case, sour cream topping. It makes the cheesecake look more appealing.
- Make the sugared cranberries a day or two ahead. Plus, you can use them as garnish for cocktails, cupcakes or display them in a mason jar.
- Make a smaller version of this cheesecake: Cut the recipe ingredients in half and use a Keebler 10″ graham cracker pie crust. I buy the graham cracker crumbs because I don’t have time to mess around with making the crumbs myself when I can buy them. Right?
A creamy, festive Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake is the perfect holiday dessert to take to parties. Your friends will love the tart cranberries and sweet lemon cheesecake combination. This beautiful presentation will look fabulous on a dessert table, not to mention how delicious it tastes!
More from No Plate Like Home:
Is one of the most popular recipes on this site! Creamy Lemon Cheesecake is full of lemon flavor and an easy-to-make dessert.
Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes with Strawberry Sauce were featured in Philadelphia Brand website and are bursting with fresh strawberry flavor.
Festive Cranberry Lemon Cheesecake
- 32 oz packages of Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup fresh whole cranberries rinsed
- 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tbs sugar
- 3 tbs butter melted
Sour Cream Topping:
- 8 oz sour cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh whole cranberries
- lemon zest strip for garnish optional
Graham Pie Crust:
- First, preheat oven to 325F.
- Next, in a 9" spring form pan, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and 3 tbls of sugar. Stir until the crumbs are coated in butter, about two minutes. With a spoon, pat down the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom and sides of the pan until about 1 1/2" up the sides. Bake on 325 for 10 minutes. Let cool before filling.
- Then, in a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese and mix for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix until blended.
- Next, add one egg at a time, mixing after each egg.
- Then, stir in 1 cup of whole cranberries.
- Next, pour cream cheese filling into graham cracker crust and bake at 325 for 1 hour to 1 hour and five minutes. Cheesecake is done when a toothpick comes out almost clean. Middle of cheesecake should be firm. You may add a water bath (a pan filled with water on a rack under the cheesecake to help prevent cracking.)
Sour Cream topping (optional)
- In a medium mixing bowl, add sour cream and powdered sugar. Mix until well blended (about one minute.) When cheesecake is cool, spread sour cream topping on the cheesecake.
Sugared Cranberries (optional)
- First, in a medium saucepan on medium heat, add water and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the simple syrup that forms is clear but, not yet boiling. Let it cool 5-10 minutes.
- Next, add the whole cranberries and mix them to coat them in the syrup. Let them sit in the syrup for an hour.
- Last, drain the cranberries from the simple syrup and begin rolling them in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Add the sugared cranberries on top of the cheesecake and garnish with lemon zest.
Yes Kimberly. You can use blueberries or raspberries instead of the cranberries in this recipe and it would be fantastic! I also like the idea of using Biscoff cookies to make the crust. Sounds like you have some great ideas!
I wonder if you could use fresh raspberries instead of the cranberries (or even blueberries for that matter)? And if so, how would you do it? I also think it might taste awesome to use Biscoff Biscotti cookies/wafers as the crust; it would take longer for crushing them but oh-so Christmas-y!
Thanks Julia! I might be making this for Christmas dinner this year. I just love the sugared cranberries!
This cheesecake is beautiful! It looks like the perfect scrumptious dessert for the holidays. Thank you for sharing your recipe with us at Meal Plan Monday.
Thanks Megan. You can make a good cranberry relish with those cranberries too. I have one flavored with lemon and ginger on my blog. It was featured on Good Housekeeping too.
Megan | Ginger Mom's Tastes & Travels says
I love cheesecake and have been trying to find ways to use up all the cranberries I have. This looks like a great melding of the two 🙂
Jas @ All that's Jas says
I’m a cheesecake addict (have a whole page dedicated to them, lol) and this one looks so festive and delicious! Might just be the dessert on my Christmas table. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and happy holidays!
This looks and sounds amazing! I love both lemon and cranberry. I am in 🙂 Thanks for sharing this at the #happynowlinkup
Cheesecake is a favorite for many people and I can see why.
I made a pumpkin marble cheesecake with ginger snap pie crust for Thanksgiving. Cheesecake is sooo good!
frugal hausfrau says
Lovely! Don’t those sugared cranberries just dress it up beautifully! I don’t think I’ve ever had a lemon cheesecake but it sounds so refreshing for the holiday season. Thanks for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday!
Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook says
I haven’t had cheesecake in a long time and I am salivating! 😀 This looks so good! Thanks for sharing!
Judith Graber says
I always enjoy a good cheesecake (a favorite dessert) and you’ve made it very seasonal using cranberries. When you know a recipe is good it is worth the effort to make. Happy Fiesta Friday and thanks for sharing your “holiday” dessert.
Thanks Jeff. Almost everyone loves a good cheesecake and in particular, a pretty one!
This cheesecake looks fantastic. Sugaring cranberries is a time suck, as you suggest, but it’s a good way to use up extra cranberries that you might have around. I do it just to snack on them.
Colleen and Raphy says
Cheese cake is life. Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing keep it up.
Thanks. Cheesecakes are easy to make. Try it if you havnt yet.
I haven’t had cheesecake in the longest time and this sounds like an awesome combination! It looks delicious!
Thanks! Please come back and comment after you make it.
Wow! It looks delicious! I’ll try it for sure! 🙂