This Cranberry Cheesecake with white chocolate is everything you didn't know your heart was desiring. It's smooth and creamy and melts in your mouth. The cranberry comes through with a little pop of tart and works to enhance how dreamy the whole thing is. Are you looking for the perfect holiday dessert? Or a great Thanksgiving or Christmas cheesecake? This is a guaranteed crowd pleaser! Yes, cheesecakes take a bit of work. But good things come with a little effort, right?!
If making cheesecake feels intimidating, you've found the right recipe! I know you can successfully make this cheesecake! If you follow the directions, this cheesecake will absolutely turn out.
How to Make Cranberry Cheesecake with White Chocolate
First, get out the cream cheese and get it softening! You want the cream cheese to be a similar texture to softened butter. If your house is 68-75 degrees, let it warm to room temperature. This takes about an hour. Eggs take about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Butter a springform pan. If you like making cheesecakes, I highly recommend a Williams Sonoma springform pan. My husband got me one for my birthday a couple of years ago and it took my cheesecake texture from an A- to an A+++. No joke. I had no idea a pan could make such a difference! (this is not sponsored, but I'd love for it to be ;)) Wrap the pan in aluminum foil and bring it up over the edges if not using a Williams Sonoma pan. The Williams Sonoma pans are 100% water tight. See here for an example. For less of a splurge, this one on Amazon is leak proof. And for a regular pan, I recommend this one.
Make the Cranberry Filling
Whisk cold water, lemon juice and cornstarch together in small bowl. Combine cornstarch mixture with cranberries and sugar in pan over medium heat and stir. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. As the berries heat up, push on them a bit to pop them. The mixture will thicken and turn more transparent as it boils. After it thickens and turns transparent it's done! Remove from heat and allow to cool while making the rest of the cheesecake.
Make the Crust
Crush graham crackers or pulse in a food processor. Mix in the melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan and partway up the sides. Bake in the preheated oven for 4 minutes to set the crust.
Make The Cheesecake Filling
Combine cornstarch, ¼ cup sugar and one package of cream cheese in a large bowl. Mix on medium low until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides every minute and mix 3-4 minutes total. Add the rest of the cream cheese one package at a time, for about one minute each, scraping down the sides after adding each one. Next add the sugar, ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the mixer speed to medium high and add the eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds with each added egg. Scrape the bowl after each additional egg. The mixture should be smooth and beautiful and creamy. Add the melted white chocolate** and mix until combined. Finally, add the whipping cream. Mix on medium speed only until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
**How to Melt the White Chocolate
The quickest and easiest way to melt white chocolate is to do it in the microwave. To ensure that it doesn't burn, break the chocolate up into small pieces (if using chips, this step is already done) and start with 30 seconds the first time. Mix with a spoon, even if it doesn't look like it will mix. Sometimes chocolate will melt on the inside and hold its shape. Microwave in 15 second increments afterwards, mixing after each time, until the white chocolate has fully melted. You may also consider using the double boiler method.
Assembly & Baking
Pour the cheesecake filling onto the crust. Spoon the cranberry filling onto the cheesecake filling in small spoonfuls. Using a damp finger, gently press the cranberry filling into the cheesecake filling. Don't be afraid to push some of them down in a ways. Then get a knife and swirl the fillings together using a figure 8 motion. Be careful not to do this too much or the cake will turn pink!
Bake in a preheated oven in a water bath. Place the springform pan in a large pan and fill with water until water goes halfway up the pan. Bake for 70-80 minutes until it just starts to turn golden and jiggles slightly but has some stability when gently jiggled.
******One of the most important steps in making a cheesecake is not cooling it too quickly. Do Not stick your cheesecake immediately in the fridge. Allow it to cool on the counter at LEAST 2 hours, preferably 3-4. Then refrigerate another 4 hours or longer before serving.
This step is optional and is mostly for decoration. Though they taste decent, the cheesecake is wonderful without them. I highly recommend this recipe to make them!