Amazing Christmas Cheesecake to make your holiday season as delicious and magical as you imagine! This heavenly dessert is a vanilla bean cheesecake layered with an easy cranberry jam and smooth white chocolate mousse.
It’s no wonder that this time of year is referred to as “the season of baking.” It seems like I bake every day in December. Making treats for holiday parties, making edible gifts, making cookies with kids, and of course, Christmas dinner dessert. That is a lot of baking for one month.
My favorite parts of holiday baking is making gingerbread man cookies with my little man and coming up with a Christmas dinner dessert. Making cookies is the best tradition for kids and one they remember the most as they grow up. While making cookies is the best memory for the kids, I make Christmas dessert cake for adults. I like to go big with dessert because it’s the grand finale of every dinner and party. If I could rig fireworks to go off when I bring out the dessert, I would. Until then, the dessert will have to speak for itself.
Oh boy, does this dessert speak for itself!
This cheesecake will make your holidays MAGICAL. Between the sweet and tart cranberry jam, silky vanilla bean cheesecake and smooth white chocolate mousse, this dessert is a heavenly combination of flavors and textures.
The candied cranberries on top of this cheesecake are totally OPTIONAL. It takes a while to make them so you can just decorate the cheesecake with white chocolate mousse if you don’t want to deal with the cranberries.
Not to say that it’s not worth it. I LOVE candied cranberries. When I was little, it was my favorite winter treat. So if you love candied cranberries, you can even make a double batch and use some for the cheesecake and the rest to snack on.
MORE HOLIDAY DESSERTS TO TRY
White Chocolate Cranberry Soft and Chewy Crinkle Cookies
Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
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Christmas Cheesecake (Cranberry Jam White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake)
- 16 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 5 Tbsp butter melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 24 oz cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
White Chocolate Mousse:
- 8 oz baking white chocolate bars (2-4 oz bars)
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 8 oz whipped topping like COOL Whip
Candied Cranberries: (Optional)
- 8 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar or super fine sugar
- Candied Cranberries (overnight):
- Combine water and 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a sauce pot, over medium heat. Heat the mixture until sugar is all dissolved, while stirring slowly. Take off heat.
- Let the mixture cool a bit before adding cranberries. Add cranberries, stir, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Drain cranberries in a colander.
- Add 1/2 cup of sugar to a shallow bowl and coat cranberries is sugar. Set aside until ready to decorate.
- Quick Cranberry Jam:
- In a sauce pot, over medium heat, combine cranberries, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well cook cranberries stirring often. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Take off heat and let it cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9 inch springform pan. You will need a large roasting pan that’s bigger and longer than the springform pan. (I use the aluminum foil disposable ones). If you are not sure about your springform holding up in water, you can wrap the outside of the springform pan in heavy duty aluminum foil from bottom up to the sides. (I recommend wrapping the outside of the springform in foil before adding the crust and cheesecake batter.)
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir very well, until all incorporated. Press graham cracker mixture into the pan, evenly, all over the bottom and about half way up the side.
- Spread half of the cranberry jam over the crust.
- Start beating cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract, and sour cream. Mix until combined.
- Add eggs, one at the time, beating after each addition. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and beat until all incorporated.
- Lower speed and add corn starch. While on medium-low speed, pour in heavy cream. Mix until all combined, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again until smooth.
- Cut vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds into the cheesecake batter. Mix well until incorporated throughout.
- Spoon all of the cheesecake batter into the springform, over the jam.
- Place roasting pan into the oven and place the cheesecake springform pan inside the roasting pan. Carefully add water to the roasting pan, about half way up the side of the springform.
- Bake for 70-75 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the oven door half way. Let cheesecake rest for about 10 minutes and take it out of the oven (out of the roasting pan and carefully take off the foil).
- Let it rest for 20 minutes on the counter and then gently run a greased butter knife between sides of the cheesecakes and the springform to carefully separate it. (You don't actually have to take the cheesecake out of the pan until ready to add topping.)
- Cool cheesecake for an hour.
- Spread remaining cranberry jam over the top of the cheesecake. Cover the pan with saran wrap and place the cheesecake in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before adding the mousse.
- White Chocolate Mousse:
- Break up white chocolate bars and melt them according the to package instructions.
- Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes.
- Drizzle in melted white chocolate while continuing to beat cream cheese. Mix well.
- Fold in whipped topping gently until all combined.
- Spread white chocolate mousse over the top of the cheesecake. You can separate the mousse in two batches and use one batch to decorate with a frosting tip.
- If using candied cranberries, spread them on top of the white chocolate mousse.
This cheesecake takes a little time to make but well worth it. Absolutely divine!!!
Thank you, Judith! I am glad you liked it!
Is there an easier format to read this recipe? So many pop ups and ads
Hi Shirley, if you click print recipe you can view the recipe in the preview print section without actually printing.
Amazing – Holiday Tradition now! I use cranberry jam on the top. No luck soaking in sugar water.
Glad you like the recipe!
Judith DeBon says
The best cheesecake, creamy, sweet/tart, perfectly suitable for any occasion!
Thank you, Judith!
Donna D’Andrea says
This looks amazing. Can’t wait to try. Can I use my own whipped cream instead of cool whip for topping. Not a fan of cool whip. Thank you!
You can but it won’t be as stable as the whipped topping. It may deflate or melt down the cheesecake so I would wait until the very last second to add it to the cheesecake.
David M says
Nice creamy filling contrasted with the sweet and tart flavors of the cranberry jam. Plus the chocolate cream topping is very light and airy.
Heather Brett says
This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted and the only cheesecake that I have made!! My question is what do you do if you cannot find a vanilla bean? Where do you find vanilla bean if the grocery store is out? Thanks, Heather
I have ordered vanilla beans on amazon and if you have a Wholefoods they almost always have them.
Sophia Woods says
I loved it thinking of using other fruits for other Holidays !!!
I think it would be good with any berry in place of the cranberry.
Once completed, can this be frozen?
I wouldn’t freeze with the cranberry topping. You could freeze it before that point though and add the cranberries after the cheesecake is defrosted.
Morgan Atwell says
Hi I am in the middle of making this cheesecake and it’s been an easy process so far but I wasn’t able to do the water-bath and when I pulled my cheesecake out of the oven it had a crack in the top of it I was just wondering if that was okay or not and how do I prevent it from happening again and I had watched your video of the cheesecake and noticed you had used three things of cream cheese instead of four
So the water bath is a very important part of the process and is exactly what helps it prevent cracking on top, makes it soft and fluffy, and keeps the direct heat away from the cheesecake. You will end up with a completely different texture of a cheesecake if you bake it without water bath.
Also, did you adjust the time for the baking? Baking a cheesecake in a water bath takes longer, so if you didn’t adjust the time, the cheesecake was quite overcooked.
As far as the cheesecake batter, this recipe uses 24 oz of cream cheese, which is 3 packs of 8 oz. Some of my cheesecake call for 32 oz. of cream cheese but not this one.
So I highly recommend that you bake the cheesecake in the water bath, it will make the world of difference!
I came across a suggestion many years ago, that I have used ever since with great success. I would always stress over the water-bath, wrapping the springform pan and always worrying about keeping the pan watertight. The solution is to put a shallow roasting pan filled 1/2 to 3/4 full with hot water on the oven rack below the one with the cheese cake. I put the water pan in the oven when I turn the oven on to pre-heat so it is hot and steamy when the cheesecake is ready to go in. This results in smooth, even tops on the cheesecake and upside is light and creamy and no worry about water getting into the cake.
This cheesecake is incredible. It is light and airy and that cranberry jam- I mean brace your mouth for something so divine even God will be fighting you for this cake. Holy crap this is excellent!