Cranberry Cheesecake Spread

I wanted to have a cheese based appetizer at our holiday party last weekend. Since I can’t eat brie, and I wanted to try something new, I went with this Cranberry Cheesecake Spread. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from it. Even after I baked it, I wasn’t sure if it would go over well. I was worried it would be too sweet and dessert-like.

But let me tell you, this Cranberry Cheesecake Spread was the surprise hit of the evening. Everyone really enjoyed it and the plate was scraped clean early in the evening. The cheesecake itself had a beautifully smooth texture and the cranberry sauce on top provided a subtle scent of vanilla bean. The toasted pecans added a touch of texture to the whole experience.

I can definitely see myself making this again for get togethers because it came together in a snap. I made the cheesecake, cranberry sauce, and toasted the pecans a week in advance. Once the cheesecake was cool, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and foil and popped it into the freezer. I moved it to the fridge the morning of the party for it to defrost. The cranberry sauce and pecans sat in the fridge all week as well.

One Year Ago: Gingerbread Caramels and Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two Years Ago: Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Three Years Ago: Butter Ball Cookies

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Cranberry Cheesecake Spread

Ingredients:

For the Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Relish
3 cups cranberries
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup bourbon
1 vanilla bean
2 jalapenos, whole or finely chopped

For the Cheesecake
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs
8 oz package cream cheese
5 oz Greek yogurt
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

For Garnish
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted

Directions:

For the Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Relish
Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan. While stirring, bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until most of the cranberrries have burst.

Remove from heat to cool. If you left the jalapeno pepper whole, remove it now and discard. Retrieve the vanilla bean from the sauce and set aside. When the vanilla bean is cool enough to handle comfortably, split it in half and scrape the seeds into the sauce. Stir until the vanilla seeds are distributed throughout the sauce. Discard the remaining hull.

For the Cheesecake
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Use 1 Tablespoon butter to generously grease the bottom and sides of a 6-inch spring form pan. Add the graham cracker crumbs, tilting and tapping until the crumbs thoroughly cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the yogurt and egg, beating until well combined. Add the brown sugar and vanilla. Continue mixing until smooth.

Pour filling mixture into the prepared pan.

Randomly drop 1/3 cup of the cranberry sauce on top of the cheesecake batter with a tablespoon. Tap the pan on the counter top to settle the batter. Insert a butter knife straight down into the batter, not quite touching the bottom of the pan, and drag it back and forth at 1 to 2 inch intervals, front to back then side to side. Repeat as necessary to achieve a marbled effect in the batter.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Loosely cover and refrigerate until completely cooled, several hours or overnight.

To Assemble
To serve, top cheesecake with remaining cranberry relish and toasted pecans. Set on a platter with an assortment of crackers.

Recipe from My Own Sweet Thyme

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22 Responses to “Carrot Cake and Cheesecake Cake”

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    1
    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living — April 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Give me a moment to compose myself… ok. This is the cake that my dreams are made of! Carrot cake and cheesecake are my two favorite cakes, so combine them into one amazing dessert, and I’m in total bliss. It looks phenomenal, and I would dominate a big slice ;).

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    lms — July 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    This cake was phenomenal!!!!! I have now made 3 versions and I think the carrot was the best. Everyone raved over it and we all thought it was better the 2nd day! YUM is an understatement!

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    Matt — January 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I’m confused, how did the become a red velvet cake during the assembly?

    • beantownbaker — January 27th, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

      That was a typo in the recipe since this was based on the red velvet cheesecake cake that I had made. I fixed it. Hope that helps.

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    Chewy — March 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Do i have to put the cheesecake pan in a roaster with water? I dont have a roaster? Before I purchase one I thought Id ask. Ive made many cheesecakes in the past and never did this

    Thanks

    • beantownbaker — April 1st, 2013 @ 8:35 am

      Yes, you are using a water bath to bake the cheesecake. So the water should come up about half way on the side of the pan that the cheesecake is in. I usually use a disposable roasting pan since I don’t have a roaster either. Hope that helps.

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    Sarah Ross — March 31, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Just made this for Easter and everyone loved it.. Thank you

    • beantownbaker — April 1st, 2013 @ 8:36 am

      Glad it was a success for you. This is a great Easter cake.

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    Brandi — March 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I made this for Easter today as well, and it was great, everyone said so. I couldn’t eat much, it’s SO thick and rich. I don’t think it would have been half as great without the cheesecake. LOVE that and what a super easy recipe for the cheesecake.

    The cake was quite a bit more work than I am used to, and I had to change a few things up based on what I had, in cae this helps anyone else…

    I didn’t have brown sugar, subbed coconut palm sugar.

    I used toasted almonds instead of pecans and was pleasantly surprised that I actually like them when toasted, as I don’t normally like them at all, they were so light and crispy.

    I do not have a stand mixer, I used my Ninja blender with the whipping cream attachement (I didn’t know that it would work but it worked just fine!)

    My food processor is broke and couldn’t find my grater, so I used my blender for the carrots, worked just fine.

    I skipped the parchment paper bc I was out and that was no biggie.

    The cake looked picture perfect and tasted amazing, no complaints here. Thank you!!!

    • beantownbaker — April 1st, 2013 @ 8:37 am

      So glad this worked out for you. Thanks for coming back and posting the changes you made. I am sure they will be helpful for other readers.

      Toasted almonds are one of my favorite nuts! What a great substitution.

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    Joann — July 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    How many people will this feed? It is a combo of my two favorite things so I want to make it for a Bunco group.

    • beantownbaker — July 21st, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

      It will easily serve 12-16

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    Amy — October 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I made this for my mom’s 60th birthday and everyone loved it. My dad announced that it was his favorite cake ever, so…I’m about to go buy the ingredients to make it again for HIS 60th next week 🙂 Thanks!

    • beantownbaker — October 15th, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

      Wow! Now that’s a compliment! So glad everyone enjoyed it 🙂

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    Sarah — December 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Hey there!

    Wonderful recipe 🙂 just curious, when you assembled the cake, is the top layer bottom side up, or right side up? Did you trim the rounded top off?

    Thanks!

    • beantownbaker — December 10th, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

      If I remember correctly, my layers came out pretty flat. If they were round, I would trim the top off. I always put the top layer upside down when I’m stacking a layer cake.

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    Robin — April 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Made this for Easter, for my husband’s side of the family. Perfect cake recipe! Takes time to make, but nothing difficult. Turned out beautifully and tasted wonderful. I didn’t tell anyone about the cheesecake layer, so when I cut the first piece everyone was just thrilled to see that middle layer. The cake is a feast for both the eyes and the palate. It also travels well, which is a bonus for a 3-layer cake. I will make this cake again, and again, and again. Thanks!!!

    • beantownbaker — April 27th, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it!!

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    Anndrea — January 29, 2016 at 3:08 am

    Just tried to make this… and I am curious if other people who had success used the volume or weight measures??
    I used the weight and was quite precise BUT the cake is now seemingly exploding in my oven.. I am thinking some of the ounces are wrong but am not sure. (I have checked the recipe about 5 times to make sure i measured correctly too…)
    Quite disappointed but hopefully I can still salvage something from it.

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    Margaret Jimenez — March 26, 2016 at 8:22 am

    hi! I wanted to make this for Easter tmrw..but I only have 10″ pans..both for the cheesecake & cake..can u PLEASE help me w/ the adjustments? I tried googling it, but it’s just not happening & I WANT to make this recipe..it has 5 stars! THANK U, THANK U!

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    Margaret Jimenez — March 26, 2016 at 8:24 am

    what I left out, was, I don’t want my cakes to be thin..I LOVE/prefer a high cake 🙂

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    Lani — September 22, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Hello! Will the cheesecake tend to soften and tilt or sink in if it’s in a slightly warm environment or if I make it into a 5-6″ layer cake? I’m thinking of having one cake layer at the bottom, then the cheesecake, then the rest of the 2-4 layers cake layers. I am wondering if the cake will hold (with the cheesecake layer) if I put a center dowel?

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