Cranberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars are a delicious combination of sweet and tart!
Let’s talk about synergy. If you need a refresher on the meaning, it’s the idea that the whole of something is greater than the sum of its parts. Don’t worry, friends. I’m not going to get all intellectual on you. Rather, I’m fascinated by flavor synergy, the magical thing that happens when two good flavors meet to make an even more amazing flavor.
The pairs that fit that description will likely differ among us. But to me, cranberries and white chocolate are a great example. Cranberries are a bit tart and not really something I enjoy eating on their own. White chocolate is really sweet to my palate, and I don’t often eat it or bake with it where it’s the primary flavor. But putting those two things together lets the tartness and sweetness balance each other to make something even better than either of the two could accomplish alone.
And let’s not forget the other flavors that are present here to make these cheesecake bars so very good. There’s a hint of orange in the cranberry swirl to add a bite of citrus. Vanilla shows up in the crust and in the cheesecake, too. Those little hints of flavor all work together to help make these bars irresistible!
I especially love these Cranberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars in the fall and winter when fresh cranberries are readily available. (Frozen works well, too!) All those great flavors we’ve been discussing fit so well with this time of year. And they’re pretty enough for a special occasion, too!
The sweet and tart flavors of white chocolate and cranberries combine for these wonderfully delicious cheesecake bars!
For the cranberry filling:
8 ounces (226g) cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup (118ml) water
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
1 & 1/2 teaspoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
For the crust:
1 & 3/4 cups (198g) vanilla wafer crumbs
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
16 ounces (454g) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
4 ounces (113g) white chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the cranberry filling:
Place the cranberries, water, sugar, orange juice, and zest in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the berries are soft. Set aside to cool.
To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9”x 13”x 2” baking pan.
Combine the cookie crumbs and butter until thoroughly mixed. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
To make the cheesecake:
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the cooled white chocolate and vanilla.
Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly over the partially baked crust.
Drop the cranberry mixture by teaspoonfuls over the top of the cheesecake. Use a thin knife to swirl the cranberries into the cheesecake.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center appears set. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Then cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
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3 Comments on “Cranberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars”
Jennifer, I look forward to making these with the local cranberries when they are available. I did note that cheesecake is misspelled on the Bold With Butter site. Not sure if that is something you can get them to correct or not but I thought I’d mention it to you. This one looks WONDERFUL!! I think the combination sounds amazing. Thanks for another perfect timing on what ingredients are attracting me and that I want to bake with today!
Would love to make this in a pie plate. Would I cut the ingredients in half? Your thoughts?
Hi, Rose. Half of the recipe should fit in a 9-inch round pie plate. I’ve not tried that, so I don’t know how well it will translate, but it’s worth a shot!