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Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares

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Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares with a gingersnap pecan crust – so good, less guilt and perfect for the Holidays!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares with a gingersnap pecan crust – so good, less guilt and perfect for the Holidays!Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares

A few years ago I started experimenting with adding fat free Greek yogurt to my cheesecakes and now it’s a standard for me. It’s a great way to cut down on the fat and the flavor is wonderful. This is a variation of my strawberry cheesecake swirl recipe, and my chocolate raspberry swirl cheesecake, only for a Fall/Winter theme cranberries are in perfect and in season. The gingersnap and pecan crust is the perfect compliment – you’ll love this!

Cheesecake squares with a cranberry swirl and a gingersnap pecan crust – so good, less guilt and perfect for the Holidays!

How To Make Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares

4.58 from 7 votes
Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares with a gingersnap pecan crust – so good, less guilt and perfect for the Holidays!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares with a gingersnap pecan crust – so good, less guilt and perfect for the Holidays!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 55 minutes
Yield: 9 servings
Serving Size: 1 cheesecake square


For the Cranberry Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest

For the Crust:

  • 3 oz gingersnap crumbs, from 12 gingersnap cookie, I used Nabisco brand
  • 1 oz pecans, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:

  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 oz nonfat Greek yogurt, Chobani
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon flour


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with waxed paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
  • Begin by preparing the cranberry sauce.  Combine the cranberries, sugar, water, and orange zest in a small saucepan.
  • Cook together until the cranberries begin to burst and the mixture turns syrupy, about 6-7 minutes.  Remove from the heat, allow to cool as you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  • Combine the gingersnap crumbs, crushed pecans, and light butter in a small bowl.  Stir together to moisten the crumbs, then pour into the prepared baking pan.  Spread in an even layer, using the bottom of a drinking glass to help ensure that the crust is even.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add in the Greek yogurt, egg whites, lemon juice, and flour, mixing until just combined.
  • Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan, over the crust, and smooth with a spatula.
  • Add the cooled cranberry mixture to a food processor, and puree until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick, add 1/2 tablespoon water.  Use a spoon to drop the cranberry sauce over the cheesecake, and then swirl the cranberry sauce with a butter knife.
  • Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  • Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature, and place in the fridge for several hours to get well chilled.  Once chilled, cut into squares and serve.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 cheesecake square, Calories: 197 kcal, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Protein: 6 g, Fat: 10 g, Saturated Fat: 0.5 g, Sodium: 101 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 14 g


Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares with a gingersnap pecan crust – so good, less guilt and perfect for the Holidays!
Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares with a gingersnap pecan crust – so good, less guilt and perfect for the Holidays!

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107 comments on “Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares”

  1. I made this with a couple of modifications to speed things up. Store bought graham cracker crust and mashing the cranberries with a spatula instead of getting out the blender. Delicious!!!

  2. Has anyone tried making this in standard sized muffin tins? I am wondering if the parchment paper would still be necessary? And, how long to cook them?

  3. I made this recipe yesterday and it didn’t disappoint! Very easy and tasty! I would suggest letting the cheesecake chill overnight.  I tried some cheesecake after it chilled for two hours and thought it wasn’t cold enough. I had more the following night and it was perfect! Just my preference though!

  4. This is a delicious dessert (potentially 5 star) & thankfully, truly light. However, it does not set up like normal cheesecake & the result is very soft/fragile (hence my 3 star rating). Be sure to keep it well chilled before serving & use a wide spatula to lift the pieces. I was tempted to use graham crackers & am pretty sure they would substitute just fine but since I was making this for a Christmas dessert, the gingersnaps seemed more appropriate. And I was rewarded by several responses about how good the crust was by my guests.

  5. Avatar photo
    Elizabeth Malinowski

    Have you ever made them, froze them, then served? I am looking for prep this weekend prior to thanksgiving.

  6. This recipe was a bit tangy for me. I’d like it a bit sweeter so if that’s you I’d add another tbsp of sugar at a time to adjust to your liking. Otherwise, it’s still good. My hubby liked it.

  7. Can you use fat free sour cream instead of the yogurt? I have someone who hates the taste of it in anything lol.

  8. I used some leftover fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving and made the Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake following the recipe as written and it was delicious. It was easy to make , not very time consuming. It turned out great, creamy and not overly sweet. The tang of the cranberries really makes this cake. It looked pretty and festive too. My family loved it and I will definitely make it again.

  9. I had leftover cranberries just begging to be used, and I can’t imagine a better use for them than this recipe. I brought the squares into work and every single person complimented me on the flavors. The combination of ginger, pecan, cream cheese, yogurt, and cranberries is fantastic. I was a little worried about the crust not coming together due to the small amount of butter, but once the layers were added, it held together just fine.

  10. These look delicious, although I’m not sure about putting wax paper in the oven (since the wax coating may smoke/melt into the squares). Assuming I can sub for parchment paper?

  11. Step 9 says to bake the squares for 25 minutes, but the top of the recipe says 45 minutes – please clarify.

    1. I am pretty sure she meant the overall time of baking the cookie, making the sauce and preparing the cheesecake mixture takes about 45 minutes all together.

  12. Pingback: Low-Fat Mini Cranberry Nut Bread Loaves | Weight Watchers Recipes

  13. Gina, what can I substitute for the pecans in the crust? I have a guest who has tree nut allergies…

    1. pepitas Mexican sunflower seeds more flavor and fatter lol then reg seeds works grat mix in with some light gr ham crackers still get that nutty flavor with out nuts, im allergic to peanuts no cross contamination, if they are truly allergic to nuts they cant have sesame seeds if they do they BS they only sensitive not allergic. but the same be safe.

  14. These cakes are truly lovely. Some of them remind me of the beautiful English wallpaper that you see in magazines. I can only imagine how much time goes into each one! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  15. Will the sauce turn out good if I prepare it with dried cranberries ? Fresh ones were no where to be found -_-

  16. I made these last year for Thanksgiving & they were such a hit I was asked to make them again this year. Fine by me, they are so easy & can be prepared the day before. Thx Gina!
    BTW, I used chocolate graham crackers instead of gingersnaps. 🙂

  17. Hi!
    My sister is allergic to both gluten and corn. Is there another substitute you would recommend for the flour?

  18. Great to see a skinny recipe for a dessert without sweetener. Look forward to following your posts 🙂 xx

  19. It's National Cheesecake Day, and I decided to make this recipe, a family favorite, to celebrate! Since it's summertime, I'm using raspberries instead of cranberries, and I had to make the sauce a little differently (pureed/strained raspberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch), and I baked the cheesecake at 325 for 35 minutes. Looks gorgeous!

  20. Avatar photo
    Carrie Stelley

    Hi Gina! I want to make these for Christmas Eve, but already have so much to do. Do you think it would be ok to make over the weekend and freeze until Tuesday?

  21. These are amazing! When I served these for dessert my family couldn't get enough of them. The only difference in the recipe I didn't add the pecans and they were still great. Nicest thing it was "whole lot less fattening " Loved it Thanks for sharing your recipe its a "keeper"

  22. Avatar photo
    Emily Rainbow Delicious

    These look divine and I included them in my holiday dessert round up on my blog, thank you! I love that the crust is made from gingersnaps!

  23. I would like to make this in a 9 X 13 pan. Will I need to double the recipe or just do 1 1/2 times it? I am making this in 2 days and need to make sure I have enough ingredients. Please email me at as soon as possible with a response. I love your recipes! Thanks!

  24. Avatar photo
    Sunita Chaudhar

    WOW! This looks absolutely yummy..Very Nice post. I like it. I use to do buy online cheese cake as its time saving.very informative post about cheese cake.thanks for sharing this.

  25. Avatar photo
    Carli Gannone

    These were almost gone before dinner was served! They were a huge hit even with the "I only like full fat goodies" crowd. Of course I waited until they all said how much they loved them before telling my "not so much fat" secret. I had plenty of cranberry topping leftover so I've been mixing it with my morning oatmeal… YUM.

  26. I made these for Thanksgiving and on my they were loved. My son kept wanting to go back for more and more. They were so good!!!

  27. Made them for Thanksgiving desert, and they were absolutely delicious! Thanks for another great recipe success!

  28. Made this for thanksgiving desert….what a hit, so many people asked for the recipe….thanks again, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family

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    Brittany Pollard

    I just made two batches of these for a holiday party that one of my college organizations was hosting. They flew off the platter! Extremely simple to make, even my boyfriend could help! I did have some trouble with the cranberry sauce without a food processor, but it was still great with the sauce a bit chunkier!

  30. Avatar photo
    Sarah Swagler

    Hi Gina, not quite sure if my last question posted; however, I LOVE your blog and don't know what I did without you! 🙂

    I could only find frozen cranberries and am making this Thursday. I assume I'll have to defrost them prior to making the syrup? Will that be alright?

  31. This was SO YUMMY!!!!!! made one for a family gathering and anyone one to take to work luncheon tomorrow..THANKS

  32. Do you know if this will freeze well? I don't want to have to eat the whole thing before it goes bad…. 🙂

  33. Avatar photo
    Angela Bergeron

    Do you think it would taste bad with other sweeteners like raw honey, pure maple syrup or even coconut sugar? I don't like to use much sugar, in fact it makes me sick so I was hoping I could use something else, but I'm not sure how it would taste.

    1. Avatar photo
      Skinnytaste Gina

      Sure, I would play around with coconut sugar in the crust and maple/honey in the cheesecake.

  34. I made this for my co workers and they ALL loved the crust. The cranberry had the right kind of tangyness to the cheesecake. Im thinking a nice pumpkin puree to try out for thanksgiving.

  35. Avatar photo

    What is "light butter?" This looks SO GOOD! And I'm anticipating cranberry sauce leftovers after turkey day.. perfect!

  36. Is the old points and the points + the same? I just wanted to make sure I read that correctly. This looks yummy

  37. Avatar photo
    Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living

    Adding free Greek yogurt is a really great idea! Do you add just plain– or have you experimented with other flavors?

  38. This looks wonderful, but not being a fan of ginger snaps I'm wondering how it would taste with a graham cracker crust. Do you think it would be too sweet with the tartness of the cranberries?

  39. Love this!!! I just came across your blog and I am loving it!! 🙂

    I am going to feature this on my FB page tomorrow at 5:00, if you want to check it out go to:

  40. I made this for our dessert this evening, and it was delish! I made a few changes… walnuts instead of pecans, and canola butter instead of light… because that's what I had on hand. Points remained the same for those changes. I used the waxed paper as Gina instructed, and it worked out fine. I did bake at a lower temp (325 for 35 minutes), as I prefer the lower temp for cheesecakes. Definitely will make again!

  41. Avatar photo
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)

    Gingersnap pecan crust? This sounds really really good. Thanks for the recipe, pinned to try later.

  42. What is the purpose of the waxed paper/parchment paper? I also wondered if the egg whites are supposed to be beaten before added to the mixture?

  43. Gina-I am not a WW but I am a Diabetic. I make a lot of your recipes but try to make them sugarfree and sometimes low carb. You have many good recipes.

    1. Any suggestions for how to make this diabetic friendly? i'm thinking of making this for thanksgiving dessert an my bro-in-law is diabetic

  44. This looks delish! We have nut allergies – can I just omit the pecans and use more gingersnaps?

    1. Avatar photo
      Skinnytaste Gina

      A pie plate would work if you want to serve it more like a pie (leave out the parchment paper. 9 x 13 is too large.

  45. Yay!!! SKINNY CHEESECAKE!!! This is now added to my Thanksgiving menu!! My husband is so happy, he LOVES cheesecake!!! Thanks for ALL the recipes you share with us Gina!! I print them out and I have a whole notebook full of them. My husband & I have lost 70 pounds EACH since February thanks to your wonderful Skinny Recipes!!! <3

  46. Thank you also for providing a dessert recipe that has a reasonable portion size! I get so frustrated with desserts that use an 8 x 8 pan and "serves 12 or 16 or worse"!!

    1. Oops! I just wrote this and also meant to thank you for providing Weight Watchers points plus. As a WW devotee, I appreciate being able to base what I cook on the points plus of a recipe.

  47. I've made so many of your recipes that are just awesome- can't wait to try this one. Thanks for making it easy, being on weight watchers!

  48. Avatar photo
    Valerie Barrette

    Hey, how many squares do you break it up into? I so love your stuff. Can't wait for your book! Val

  49. Oh My.. looks so beautiful and it's slim too ! Love the preparation perfect for thanks giving time..!

    Yum! Yum! Yum!

  50. Do the fat free items in the recipe have aspertame or any such thing? That crap is very bad for the brain!! However, I m most definitely going to try this recipe even if I have tob use light or full-fat items.

  51. Avatar photo
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    I just made a whole batch of cranberry sauce and was wondering what to do with the leftovers!

  52. Going to make this with Trader Joes gluten free gingersnaps,and replace the flour in the cake…yummy. Thanks

  53. wax paper is the poor(wo)man's version of parchment paper. it's a little stinky if it gets too hot but otherwise it works great. and there are lots of crafty things to do with it too.

  54. You can bake something with waxed paper lining the pan??? The wax doesn't melt or catch on fire?? It sounds delicious, though.. JN

    1. Thank you very much. I didn't think I was reading the recipe right, but I am a SENIOR citizen so sometimes think it must be me!! Hope no one else tries it with waxed paper…..

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      Michigan cook

      Well, I just did this recipe for tomorrow….and lined the pan with wax paper, and it set off my FIRE alarm!!! It might be due to the fact that some of the batter was on the wax paper, but I'm not sure. Still….I had doubts about the wax paper. I probably won't use the wax paper again.