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?
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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.
I bought our boys little chef hats to wear when we make our Saturday morning pancakes. Check out these gift ideas for the little chefs in your house: the Best Gift Ideas for Aspiring Little Boy Chefs.
How to Make Festive Cranberry Lemon Cheesecake
The full recipe is at the bottom of this post.
Make the Graham Cracker Crust
First, make the graham cracker 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? Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter right in the 9″ spring form pan and press it down into the bottom and sides. Bake the crust for 10 minutes on 325F.
Make the Cheese Filling
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
To make the sugared cranberries, just 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.
Make the Sour Cream Topping
The sour cream topping is very easy; It is just sour cream mixed with powdered sugar. The recipe is below in the recipe card.
Want to Save Time?
However, if you want to save time, put the whole cranberries on the cheesecake and don’t sugarcoat them. Save time
- 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.
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!
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Cranberry Lemon Cheesecake is a beautiful Christmas make ahead dessert that is creamy and full of cranberry and lemon flavors.
- 32 oz packages of Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese softened
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of fresh whole cranberries rinsed
- 2 tbs of fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp of lemon zest
- 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tbs of sugar
- 3 tbs of butter melted
- 8 oz of sour cream
- ½ cup of powdered sugar
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of fresh whole cranberries
- Zest of lemon for garnish
Preheat oven to 325.In a 9" spring form pan, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and 3 tbs of sugar. Stir until the crumbs are coated in butter, about two-three 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.
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.
Add one egg at a time, mixing after each egg.
Stir in 1 cup of whole cranberries.
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.)
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.
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.
Add the whole cranberries and mix them to coat them in the syrup. Let them sit in the syrup for an hour.
Drain the cranberries from the simple syrup and begin rolling them in sugar. Add the sugared cranberries on top of the cheesecake and garnish with lemon zest.
Store this cheesecake covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 6 months.