This is a great holiday cheesecake made with canned cranberry sauce. The sweet-tart cranberries contrast nicely with the smooth cream cheese. The nuts in the cranberry filling add richness and crunch. If there is a secret ingredient in this cheesecake, it’s the orange zest in the cranberry filling. When we tested this cheesecake, it was all “thumbs up”—everyone liked it.

This is an easy cheesecake to make. The cranberry filling is mixed into the cream cheese filling with a spatula. You can use the cranberry filling as a sauce on the finished cheesecake or as a layer within the cheesecake. (See the Baker’s Notes at the end of the recipe.)


1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pinch nutmeg

1 16-ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
zest from one orange


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

1. For the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, walnuts, sugar, and butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a ten-inch springform pan.
2. For the cheesecake, in the bowl of your stand-type mixer, beat the cream cheese, salt, and granulated sugar together. Beat in the eggs, cornstarch, and nutmeg.
3. Chop the cranberry sauce in the blender. Add the 1/2-cup walnuts and zest. Set aside..
4. Pour cream cheese batter into the prepared crust. Spoon the cranberry sauce on top. Use a straightedge spatula and vertically cut through the batters to create a cranberry swirl in the cheesecake.
5. Bake for 60 minutes or until the cheesecake tests done. Cool completely and then chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Baker’s notes: In the picture above, we got a little too aggressive with our swirling. It was still a great cheesecake.

Try baking it as a layered cheesecake putting half of the cheesecake filling in the crust, spooning the cranberry filing into the shell, and then the second half of the filling.

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