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Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars are tangy, sweet, fresh, and rich. They look almost as good as they taste!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars are tangy, sweet, fresh, and rich. They look almost as good as they taste!
Course Dessert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Chilling time 5 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
Yields: 9 bars
Recipe by Tessa Arias


For the crust:

  • 10 (150 grams) chocolate graham crackers
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the cranberry swirl:

  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons Chambord or Grand Marnier, optional (replace with water if not using)
  • 3 tablespoons water

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Pinch salt


Make the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan using the bottom of a measuring cup or glass. Bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.

Make the cranberry swirl:

  1. Place the cranberries, sugar, zest, liqueur, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cranberries burst and the mixture is thickened and syrupy. Cool for 20 minutes. Using a mini food processor, blender, or immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth, adding more water to thin out if necessary. You want this mixture to be a similar thickness and consistency to the cheesecake batter.

Make the filling:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla at medium-high speed until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add the flour and salt and beat until combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
  2. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust. Drop teaspoon-sized dollops of the cranberry mixture onto cream cheese mixture and swirl with a butter knife. Bake at 350°F until the edges are slightly golden and the cheesecake is set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake.
  3. Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack to cool completely in pan. Cover and chill in the fridge until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. Using the overhang, transfer cheesecake to a cutting board to cut into squares before serving.

Recipe Notes