Cranberry Cinnamon Spiced Cheesecake Bars: These rich cheesecake bars start with a cinnamon graham cracker crust, have a cinnamon cheesecake center, and an amazing orange-cranberry topping.
And a thing of beauty happened today (besides these eyeball rolling good cheesecake bars):
I wore a sweatshirt and socks all. day. long.
This may not seem like a big deal, but ohmygosh it is. The scorchin’ heat wave we’ve had over here has made me want to move to a place where it actually snows and leaves turn colors and looks like something out of a Hallmark Christmas movie, which is a terrible idea because I’ve never lived in snow for more than a weekend and I don’t know if I’m a snow person or not.
I’m a total wet jeans snob so I feel like I’m probably not a four-months-out-of-the-year-white-winter-wonderland person. But I’m definitely a cheesecake kind of person.
It’s creamy and #OMGSOGOOD and practically perfect in every. single. way.
If there’s one thing on your “to bake” list that you have to make, it’s these. These ARE the list. Of course, I’d totally add these, these, this, and that onto the list too, but if you have to pick one for this time of year, pick these ‘sin’-amon (see what I did there?) bad boys.
Well, the reasons are three-fold.
1. It has a cinnamon graham cracker crust. ‘Nuff said.
2. It’s cheesecake. With cinnamon. Need I say more? (I don’t but I will)
3. It’s topped with a cranberry orange sauce/glaze. I Know.
Crushed grahams. Check. Cinnamon. Check. Butter. Check. Yup. Definitely a thing of dreams.
Aaaand the filling. Oh my gosh the filling. It’s gloriously cheesecakey and cinnamony and is incredibly easy to whip together. This cheesecake is the one my mom always made, and it’s by far my favorite filling recipe. Ever. It’s just cream cheese, vanilla extract, eggs, and sugar. I added a little cinnamon and brown sugar to enhance it for this fall cheesecake extravanganda, but my mom’s base is my go-to.
I know that other cheesecakes call for sour cream or cornstarch or greek yogurt, but I just don’t think this classic cheesecake needs it.
It did need, however, a cranberry orange topping because honestly, what’s a fall cheesecake without a fall staple like a cranberry sauce?
Naked. It’s naked without it.
Make this. You just have to. Your life won’t be the same after this.
- 2 c crushed cinnamon graham crackers
- 1/2 c melted butter
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened to room temp
- 1/3 c granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 package fresh cranberries (or frozen)
- 1/4 c water
- 2 Tbsp orange zest
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 c sugar
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 baking pan and set aside.
- Mix together crushed graham crackers and melted butter until combined. Pour the crust into the pan and form it into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 5-6 minutes and set aside.
- With a mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon together until combined. One a at a time, add in the eggs, beating well after each addition.
- Pour cheesecake mixture over crust and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cheesecake has set and is slightly jiggly in the center. Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, cook cranberries, water, orange zest, orange juice, cinnamon stick, and sugar until the mixture boils and the cranberries start to break down.
- Bring down to a simmer and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon.
- Pull off heat and allow to cool (make sure to remove the cinnamon stick). Spread over cheesecake before serving.
Check out my other fall recipes: