Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

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Cranberry cheesecake bars are a delectable cross between cheesecake and crumble. The delicious layers include a crumbly base, a cream cheese filling, a sweet but tart cranberry filling, and then a buttery streusel topping.

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Cranberry cheesecake bars are “amazeballs” according to my niece who tasted them recently. I mean, I do tend to agree! This is a decadent dessert that is so stinking good. If you like cranberry sauce, crumble, and cheesecake, this dessert was made for you.

This cranberry cheesecake bar recipe came to fruition one day when I was thinking about how many of us have a can of cranberry sauce in our pantries right now. I bet a lot of us do. I checked when I was getting ready for this post and I had three! What better way to use it right now than to make these pretty, easy-to-serve, cheesecake bars with a ribbon of red and white running right through the center?

We start with a crumble topping and base made with butter, brown sugar, flour, white chocolate chips, and oats. Oh yes, there is chocolate, because white chocolate and cranberry are just a match made in heaven! Then we need our cheesecake filling, which is a deliciously creamy combination of cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract (like my cherry cream cheese pie). The final piece of the puzzle is cranberry sauce. All that’s left to do is add the remaining crumble topping and bake!

These cranberry bars come out of the pan looking as pretty as they do in that photo up there! Seriously! Take a bite and you’ll get the scrumptious combination of cranberry flavor with cream cheese filling and the topping’s crumble texture. Sounds absolutely delicious, right?

Let’s get in the kitchen!

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Quick or old-fashioned oats
  • Light or dark brown sugar
  • Butter or margarine
  • White morsels (white chocolate chips)
  • Cream cheese (here’s how to easily make homemade cream cheese)
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Lemon juice
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cornstarch
  • Whole berry cranberry sauce (or you can make homemade cranberry sauce by going here)

How to Make Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Mix your oats, brown sugar, and flour in a bowl.

Mix your oats, brown sugar, and flour in a bowl.

Stir them up well.

Cut in butter.

Now add in your butter and cut that in there with a fork or a pastry cutter until it is good and crumbly.

Crumble mixture.

Like this.

Stir in white choc chips.

Stir in your morsels.

Now take out 2+1/2 cups of this and set it aside. That will be your crumb topping later.

Press remaining mixture into the bottom of your baking dish to make cranberry cheesecake bar base.

Press the rest into a 9×13 baking dish that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until it is fluffy (or until it decides to give up and do whatever you want).

Mix in sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Add in sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Mix that up until smooth and creamy.

Cheesecake layer.

If you didn’t let your cream cheese sit out like you were supposed to, it might be a little lumpy still. But hey, life happens.

Spread this over the top of your crust.

Add cornstarch and cranberry sauce to bowl.

Dump your cranberry sauce into a bowl or measuring cup like I’m using.

Add cornstarch.

Mix ingredients together.

Stir that up really well with a fork to blend.

Now if you are thinking this out in your head you might be thinking that this isn’t going to be an easy task but it really is. Once you start stirring that fork around it all blends together surprisingly fast.

Spread over cream cheese layer.

Spread this over the top of your cheesecake layer.

Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture on top and bake cranberry cheesecake bars.

Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture on top.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars
Original photo courtesy of Ocean Spray

Ain’t they pretty? 

Now technically you are supposed to not only allow these to cool completely but also cover and refrigerate them before serving (up to 24 hours in advance).

You should definitely, definitely do that. Always follow instructions, right? 

But I will tell you that eating one warm, straight from the pan, is a pretty awesome experience as well!

Storage

The best part is you can store your cranberry cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

Use any kind of oats, including quick oats, old-fashioned oats, or rolled oats.

Check out these other cherry recipes:

 No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Balls

Cherry Crumb Cake With Cake Mix

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

Lemon Cherry Cheesecake

Cherry Bars

Easy Crescent Cherry Cream Cheese Cobbler

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Cranberry cheesecake bars are a delectable cross between cheesecake and crumble. The delicious layers include a crumbly base, a cream cheese filling, a cranberry filling, and a streusel topping.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bars, cheesecake, cranberry, creamcheese
Servings: 12
Calories: 259kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine at room temp 2 sticks
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 14 ounces Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly and then stir in white morsels. Set aside 2.5 cups of this mixture to use for the topping later. Press the rest into the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish to form a crust.
    2 cups all-purpose flour, 1.5 cups quick or old-fashioned oats, 1/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar, 1 cup butter or margarine at room temp, 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add in sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat again until smooth and creamy. Pour over the crust.
    8 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Stir together cranberry sauce and cornstarch with a fork. I know it seems like it won't stir together before you get started but it is really very easy. Spread this over the top of the cream cheese mixture and then sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the top of that.
    14 ounces Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until the center is set. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 259kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

 

“Look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion, and up with gratitude.”

~Zig Ziglar

Special thanks to my friends at Ocean Spray. I fell in love with this recipe and reached out to them for permission to share it. They were even gracious enough to let me use their final photograph!

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31 Comments

  1. I love the combination of orange and cranberry. I am going to try substituting orange juice for the lemon. Also a little grated orange zest in the cream cheese part. Looks so good.

  2. Hey Christy, my DH and daughter will love you forever, I don’t eat a lot of cranberry jelly, but this year I made my own from organic cranberries, and I happen to have frozen blueberries (hand picked by me in the wild) so could make up a cornstarch blueberry filling from those and have red white and blue too!
    I just want to say that using sweeteners like sucralose and others might not be the best, the sucralose can cause irritation of the bowel and diarrhea in some people, like my brother, and aspartame is in bad repute at the moment, stick with real sugar, and just add a whole lot less. My cranberry sauce is very low in sugar, about half what the package called for, and that is more than I usually add. You can make your own cranberry sauce easily, simply get the package of cranberries either fresh or frozen, add them to a pot, add as little as 1/4 cup of sugar and a tablespoon of water, a shake of salt and bring up to the boil, when the berries start popping you can take it off the heat or let it cook longer, it will set like nobody’s business (to use a saying my grammy said) without any pectin.

  3. I enjoy your post so much. Makes giggle and feel at home. Reminds me of sayings that my grandmother and great grandmother would say. 🙂

  4. I will be making these to take to my daughter’s for Thanksgiving. It looks so yummy!! I love your emails & cookbooks. Thank you Christy for sharing this!

  5. For those of us who can’t do so much sugar just a reminder, there is no reason this recipe couldn’t be converted to sugar free. With very little work you can make the crust with a sucralous brown sugar substitute. Make a real cheese cake filling with cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, vanilla, eggs and more sucralous. You could also use the xylotol sweetener. When I have made sugar free cheesecake people love it and never notice it doesn’t have sugar.

  6. This is my son’s favorite Thanksgiving dessert. It is so delicious and is always a hit when taken to pot luck meals. So simple, but super good.

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