Post-Thanksgiving Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Taming of the Spoon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 (8x8 inch) pan 1x



For the crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (89 whole crackers processed in a food processor into fine crumbs)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake

  • 1 pound (2 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup cranberry jelly or your choice of jam (see Notes)


For the crust

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper (crisscrossed), leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until evenly mixed. Pour crumb mixture into prepared pan and press into an even layer on bottom of pan.
  3. Bake crust until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool while assembling the filling.

For the cheesecake

  1. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Pour 2/3 of cream cheese mixture over prepared crust (it doesn’t need to be completely cooled). Spread the cream cheese mixture into an even layer. Drop small dollops of jelly or jam on to the surface of the cream cheese mixture. Using a thin knife, swirl the preserves into the cheesecake batter. Repeat with the remaining cream cheese mixture and jelly.
  4. Bake cheesecake until it is puffed and mostly set but still slightly jiggly, about 30-40 minutes.
  5. Place pan on a cooling rack and let cool then transfer pan to the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before cutting.
  6. To serve, use parchment overhangs as handles and carefully lift the bars out of pan and transfer them to a cutting board. Using a long knife, cut into desired number of squares or rectangles.


Be sure to vigorously stir the jelly or jam to break up any large clumps.

To get the cleanest slices, wipe the blade of the knife clean between each cut.

Recipe adapted from Tea Time Magazine.