No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake

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This No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake is the perfect holiday dessert. Cranberry and orange really do make the perfect flavor combination. The smooth, creamy orange cheesecake with the sweet but tart cranberries is to die for. If you’ve never tried these two flavors before, it’s a must!

No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake slice on a red plate in front of the whole cake on a cake stand

No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake on a red cake stand

Can you believe Thanksgiving is Thursday?! I can’t even. My head is so not in that mode yet.

Between all the baking for the cookbook and for the blog, I have cake on the brain. I was at the grocery store over the weekend getting baking ingredients (as I do most days) when I realized while walking through the meat department that there were turkeys in the section that normally has the ground beef.

Then it hit me.

Thursday! Thanksgiving is Thursday! And I need a turkey – like now. It has to thaw for several days and I need to make sure I’m not showing up Wednesday night to the store when there are no turkeys left.


So next to my sugar and flour, I tossed a big, frozen turkey into the cart. I kind of wanted to just get all the things I’d need for Thanksgiving, but had no idea if I’d miss something, so that’s tonight’s activity.

I did go ahead and buy a couple cans of sweet potatoes. I KNOW I’ll need those babies. I pretty much need an entire sweet potato casserole to myself and I’d die if the grocery store ran out of those before I could get some. Like, die. Like Thanksgiving would be over.

No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake slice on a red plate
No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake slice on a red plate

So while I’m not entirely prepared, I do have sweet potatoes and turkey. If nothing else, those will at least be delicious together. 🙂

And we’ll surely have plenty of cake.

If you are as behind as I am, I’m here to save the day! If you need a last minute dessert, look no further. This cheesecake is no bake and you are welcome. It can also be made a couple days ahead. You are welcome again. In fact, you could totally make it today or tomorrow and it’d be great for Thursday.

It’s also super easy to put together. You’ve got your standard crust to start. I actually use vanilla wafers because I love their added sweetness, but you could go with graham crackers if you have those on hand.

The cheesecake is flavored with orange zest and fresh orange juice. While it might seem kind of like you’re going to end up eating orange juice, it’s totally not true! It’s SO SO good!

The next step (which I’d actually do first) is the sparkling sugar-covered cranberries. These can totally be made ahead. In fact, you’ll want to make them ahead. They soak in simple syrup (a sugar and water mixture) overnight before being covered in sugar. Once covered in sugar, they dry and can stay fresh in the fridge for several days. Once your cheesecake is ready to go, just pile those beauties on top and you’ve got a party.

So now you’re officially ready for Thanksgiving, right? I sure hope so, because it’s coming fast!

No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake slice on a red plate
No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake on a red cake stand

You might also like:

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Layer Cake
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes
White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge
Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Bundt Cake
Cranberry Fudge Swirl Cheesecake
White Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

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No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake on red stand close up

No Bake Sparkling Cranberry Orange Cheesecake

  • Yield: 14-16 Slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American


Smooth, creamy no bake orange flavored cheesecake with sweet but tart cranberries



  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries


  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  • 24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 tbsp orange zest
  • 8 oz Cool Whip (or homemade whipped cream*)


1. To make the cranberries, bring 1 cup sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Pour simple syrup into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Add cranberries and stir to coat.
4. Refrigerate cranberries in syrup overnight, stirring a couple times to coat with syrup.
5. While cranberries soak, make the crust. Combine vanilla wafer crumbs with sugar. Add melted butter and stir to coat.
6. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Press crumbs into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Set in refrigerator to firm.
7. Mix cream cheese, sugar, orange juice and orange zest together in a large bowl until smooth and well combined.
8. Gently stir in 8 oz of Cool Whip.
9. Spread filling evenly into the crust and smooth the top.
10. Refrigerate for about 4-6 hours or until firm.
11. Remove cranberries from syrup and roll in remaining cup of sugar. You’ll need to roll them a few times to get a couple layers of sugar on them. Set cranberries aside to dry for about 30 minutes to an hour.
12. Remove cheesecake from springform pan and top with sugared cranberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*If using homemade whipped cream, I use 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream and 3/4 cup powdered sugar to replace the Cool Whip.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 481
  • Sugar: 56.7 g
  • Sodium: 170.7 mg
  • Fat: 25.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 63.2 g
  • Protein: 3.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 60 mg

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    1. Lindsay

      In my experience, fruit that has been frozen and then thawed is much softer. I personally would not recommend that for the sparkling cranberries.

      1. Bluecrabfan

        Made this for Christmas but feel it needs a bigger flavor kick and more sweetness. Used frozen cranberries and it worked out well. It’s a beautiful dessert
        loved the sugared cranberries, the crust and the consistency but the flavor just wasn’t there.

  1. Doris

    Hi Lindsay, I wonder if i can leave this cake in the freezer overnight… I want to cover it with mirrorglaze (skipping the berries or putting them into the cream, still dont know) so it should be frosty. What do you think? Thanks!

  2. Bridget

    I’m planning on making this for Thanksgiving and freezing it so it stays cold and just defrosts during travel. What would you recommend for the cranberries? Should I make them as directed and then just freeze them and add to the cheesecake after everything defrosts or make them the day beforehand? I’d prefer to freeze but don’t want to ruin it!

    1. Lindsay

      The cranberries last really well without freezing them for several days. I would probably just leave them in the fridge. If you freeze them, the condensation from thawing them might mess up with sugared look on them.

    1. Lindsay

      I’d recommend using my classic vanilla cheesecake and adding the orange juice and zest to it (you could even add more of it to a baked cheesecake, if you wanted a stronger orange flavor) and then adding the sparkling cranberries on top. I hope that helps!

  3. Dawn

    Suggestion. Please include a PRINT option. Or maybe I’m missing it. I love your recipes and it would make it so much easier.

    1. Lindsay

      You’re in luck, there is a print option! There is a red button labeled “print” in the pink recipe card. Just hit that button and it brings up the printable version of the recipe. In case that doesn’t work, here is the print version of this recipe.

  4. Charlene

    Question: how many days in advance could this be made? Will it hold nice in the fridge for a few days? (I would add the toppings just before serving) 

  5. Katie

    The cake looks delicious and the cranberries beautiful, but are the cranberries tasty? What is their texture?

    1. Lindsay

      Cranberries are typically relatively firm and tart. When covered in the sugar, they are a mix/balanace of sweet and tart. Some people love them and some don’t. Depends on how you feel about tart. 🙂

  6. Rebecca

    I have a question, could I use a cookie cutter and make these into small bite size cakes with the cranberries in top of each of them?

    Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      I suppose you could, but that seems complicated. I might just build them into little cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29