Cranberry Caramel Cheesecake

It’s DAY TWO of 25 Days of Christmas & I know you’ll love this one because cranberry caramel cheesecake! Those cranberries running down mixing with the caramel, omg. dead. 

I should start off by saying that I do a lot of research for my recipes & sometimes I see amazing things (such as this cheesecake) & I know I have to make it. Then I change a couple things in it & add my own touch and share with ya’ll. This cheesecake recipe was adapted from Jim Fobel’s Old-Fashion Baking Book & I changed it a bit, added a crust & obv topped it with this incredible combination of caramel & cranberries. 

What makes this cranberry caramel cheesecake so good?

I don’t even know where to begin with this question. Is ‘everything’ a good enough answer? This cheesecake is thick, creamy, delicious and versatile. To make it all the more festive (not because cheesecake needs anything extra) I added a pecan crust, a luxurious caramel sauce and tangy cranberry sauce. Also, did I mention, it’s the only cheesecake that hasn’t cracked for me?!

How to prevent cheesecake from cracking?

Yeah, you read that right, this cranberry caramel cheesecake did not crack! It didn’t crack AT ALL, *gasp*. I know. I know. Miracles still happen. It’s probably because I gave the bain marie another attempt & it worked this time without flooding my cheesecake. A bain marie is a water bath, where you wrap your spring form pan in a ton of aluminum foil and then place it in a larger pan that’s half filled with water. This gives the cheesecake more moisture to bake with in the oven.

Other things you can do to prevent cracking are:

  • Make sure to scrape the bottom of your bowl often while making the cheesecake. This will ensure that there are no lumps of cream cheese throughout the batter that can aid in cracking.
  • When making your bain marie, make sure to use heavy duty aluminum foil to wrap the outside of the cheesecake. If not, at least use multiple layers of regular foil. No one wants a wet soggy crust!
  • Once the cheesecake is done baking, turn the oven off and crack open the door. Let the cheesecake sit in the warm oven for about another 30 minutes. It will continue to bake slowly in there but leaving it too long will dry it out so remove it within an hour or so.

What kind of caramel to use?

The caramel is only in the topping so this is really only a preference thing. I made this caramel with sugar, water, cream and salt. Ironically, I remember it being the best tasting caramel with the best texture. It’s ironic because I feel like a caramel using butter would have both a better taste and texture. I’ll have to compare them side by side one day.

How to make the cranberry sauce?

This is also a preference thing since it’s just a topping. This was my first time making and eating cranberry sauce so I had a pretty difficult time making it. It was hard to balance out the sweetness and the bitterness of the cranberries. Like I said, you can use your favorite caramel or cranberry sauce recipe.

I really hope you guys love this cranberry caramel cheesecake because it’s definitely one of my favorite things I’ve made this year (I know you don’t trust me when I say that anymore, lol). If you make this, please tag me @baranbakery or #bakewithb. I’d LOVE to see you guys enjoying all this deliciousness since I can’t physically share it with you all! Make sure to stick around for the rest of 25 days of Christmas & as always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

Love, B

Yield: 12 Slices

Cranberry Caramel Cheesecake

cranberry caramel cheesecake

Creamy cheesecake with a pecan crust, and topped with a luxurious caramel sauce and tangy cranberry sauce!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 7 hours

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 1 pack of graham crackers
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 32 oz cream cheese (4 packs,) room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

Caramel

  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 lb fresh cranberries
  • 1-2 cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice

Instructions

Crust

  1. Begin with toasting the pecans in the oven for 5 minutes on 400F (204C). Once they are completely cool, grind them with the graham crackers. Mix in the melted butter and press the mixture on the bottom of a 9" or 10" springform pan until it is evenly distributed.
  2. Wrap the pan with foil, coming about halfway up the pan, to prevent water from leaking into the cheesecake while baking. I used about 8 sheets of heavy duty foil.

Cheesecake

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F (149C).
  2. With a hand or stand mixer on medium speed, mix the eggs and sour cream until just combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the cream cheese until smooth and then add it to egg mixture, mixing together just until combined- don't over-mix. Add in the sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, and cornstarch and mix just until fully combined.
  4. Place the springform pan in a larger pan. Pour the cheesecake in over the crust and place it in the oven. Add water to the larger pan creating a water bath for the cheesecake. (Please make sure you wrapped the springform pan REALLY REALLY well with aluminum).
  5. Bake for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate it overnight before slicing.

Caramel

  1. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir for a couple of minutes, over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the sugar has turned into a honey color.
  2. Slowly pour in the cream while continuously stirring. Add the salt and stir over low-medium heat until everything is fully combined. Remove the caramel from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Cranberry Sauce

  1. Heat the butter, sugar, cranberries and 1 cup of water. Let them simmer together until half of the cranberries are popped. Add in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest, and stir until fully combined, then remove it from heat.
  2. Let it cool and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Add the other 1 cup of water based on the consistency you want. I wanted it to drip a little off the edges of my cheesecake so I added the full 2 cups.
  3. Slice the cheesecake, pour a spoonful of caramel and a spoonful of cranberry sauce on top and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 794Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 226mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 2gSugar: 64gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.

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