Swirled Cranberry Cheesecake Recipe

1 1/2 cups graham crumbs, about 10 whole crackers
1/4 cup melted butter
32 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
14- ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
For Garnish:
1/2 cup cranberry jelly
red food coloring


Preheat oven to 300F. Prepare a 9-inch spring-form pan: double wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with extra-wide foil. You will also need a deep, oven-roasting pan

Place graham crackers into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until mixture comes together. Transfer the crumbs into the spring-form pan. Use a large spoon and press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of the pan, creating a firm and even crust layer; set aside.

Place softened cream cheese into a stand mixer bowl. Beat cream cheese for 10 minutes, until the cheese is very light and airy, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Add the sugar, sour cream and vanilla; beat for another 5 minutes. Next add the eggs; beat for another 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl often!

Divide the cheesecake filling evenly between 2 bowls. Into one bowl, add the whole berry cranberry sauce. Gently fold into the filling. Pour the cranberry cheesecake filling first into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a spatula. Next, gently pour the plain cheesecake filling over the top. Spread evenly with a spatula.

Prepare the garnish: whisk together the cranberry jelly with red food coloring until very smooth. I microwaved my jelly for 20 seconds to make it smooth. Transfer the jelly into a dispenser bottle or ziplock bag. Starting from the center of the cheesecake, place small dots in a spiral, increasing the dot size gradually. Next, gently run a toothpick through the top of each dot, creating a swirl pattern.

Place cheesecake into oven-roasting pan. Fill the pan half-way with water; fill the rest of the pan once it’s on the oven-rack for easier transfer. Bake cheesecake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 45 mins to 2 hours. The center should be just set but still slightly wobbly when pan is moved. Turn off oven, open oven door and let the cheesecake cool for 1 hour. Then, transfer the cheesecake to a warm corner of your kitchen and let it cool gradually for a few hours. Finally, place the cheesecake in the refrigerator to set overnight.

When serving, remove the cheesecake 30 minutes prior to. Release the spring form and transfer the cheesecake carefully onto a cake platter. Can serve with additional cranberry sauce.