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Cranberry cheesecake bars stacked on each other

Cheesecake Bar Recipe with Cranberry Swirl

This cheesecake bar recipe is light and creamy, and swirled with a homemade cranberry sauce. It makes the perfect holiday or Thanksgiving dessert!
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Course: bars
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesecake bars, cheesecake recipes, cranberry desserts, holiday cheesecake
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 52 minutes
Servings: 9 bars
Calories: 453kcal
Author: Sam Adler


  • For the cranberry sauce:
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 16 oz bag frozen whole cranberries
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • The peel and juice of 1 large orange

For the graham cracker crust:

  • Ingredients:
  • 9 graham crackers/1 package crushed or about 1 1/2 cup crumbs
  • cup butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the cheesecake batter:

  • 2 8 oz. cream cheese packages at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the cranberry sauce:

  • In a medium sized pot combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Stir, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Remove the orange peel and set aside.

For the graham cracker crust:

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  • Place the graham cracker crumbs in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the sugar and melted butter and stir to combine. The mixture should resemble wet sand.
  • Spray an 8″ x 8” baking pan with baking spray and press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and sides. You can use the bottom of a measuring cup to help press it down hard and evenly.
  • Bake for 10 mins until it smells like heaven from your oven and the crust is golden brown.

For the cheesecake:

  • Lower your oven temperature to 325° F.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a medium sized bowl add the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and flour.
  • Mix by hand or on low-medium speed for 1 minute.
  • Continue mixing on low-medium speed, then add 1 egg at a time, mixing for a few seconds in between additions.
  • Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Start the mixer again on low speed and add in the milk and vanilla.
  • Continue to mix for 2 more minutes.
  • Pour the batter into the 8”x8” pan on top of the graham cracker crust.
  • Dollop teaspoon-fulls of the cranberry sauce all over the top of the cheesecake batter and use a skewer or knife to make swirls in the batter.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until the edges of the bars are golden and the middle still has a little jiggle in the middle. (See notes below on how to ensure no cracks when baking!)
  • Turn off the oven, open the door and allow the bars to cool inside. Remove and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Slice and enjoy!


To ensure no cracks in your cheesecake, place a 9x13 tin or a sheet pan filled with a couple inches of water and place it on the bottom rack of your oven. Place the cheesecake on the top rack. The steam from the tin will keep the cheesecake moist and will ensure no cracks!


Nutrition Facts
Cheesecake Bar Recipe with Cranberry Swirl
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 453 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 440mg19%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 10g20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.