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(Almost) No-Bake Cheesecake Bars with Cranberry Red Wine Swirl

These delicious no-bake cheesecake bars have a graham cracker crust with a cool and creamy filling that sets in the refrigerator, swirled with an amazing cranberry red wine quick jam.

no-bake cheesecakes bars with cranberries, sitting next to a pink knife

I’ve made many variations of these almost no-bake cheesecake bars, but this cranberry red wine swirl variation has become a favorite during the cooler months when fresh cranberries are in season. They’re simmered with red wine (you could substitute with water or cranberry juice if you prefer), cinnamon, and sugar to create a delicious quick jam.

The red wine and cranberries compliment each other perfectly, and there is just a hint of cinnamon to add a spicy warmth. The filling is based on the Cherry Red Wine Cheesecake Bars from 100 Cookies, but I went with a no-bake cheesecake in this version to make things simple.

The secret to no-bake cheesecake is using a combination of cream cheese and heavy cream, creating a cool and creamy filling that sets easily in the refrigerator. The graham cracker crust only needs to bake a few minutes, just to ensure it’s crisp, and provides a sturdy base for the cheesecake.

pink stand mixer in backround of photo with cranberry cheesecake bars

Best Way to Make Graham Cracker Crumbs:

The easiest way to make graham cracker crumbs is to throw some graham crackers into a food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can also place the crackers in a sealed plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan. It’s a bit of a stress reliever, too!

More No-Bake Cheesecake Recipes:

no bake cheesecake bars with cranberry swirl, cut into squares
no-bake cheesecakes bars with cranberries, sitting next to a pink knife

Almost No-Bake Cheesecake Bars with Cranberry Swirl

Servings: 16 bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 6 hours
These delicious no-bake cheesecake bars have a graham cracker crust with a cool and creamy filling that sets in the refrigerator, swirled with an amazing cranberry red wine quick jam.
Sarah Kieffer
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate



  • 2 cups [200 g] graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons [72 g] unsalted butter melted

Cranberry Swirl

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup [65 g] granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup [60 g] red wine such as Merlot
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • 24 oz [678 g] cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¾ cup [150 g] granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup [180 g] heavy cream


For the crust

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 325F [180C]. Line a 9 x 13 in [23 by 33 cm] pan with a parchment sling.
  • Put the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk. Pour the melted butter over the top and stir with a spatula until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

For the cranberry swirl

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, red wine, cinnamon, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the cranberries are soft and starting to break down, 4 to 5 minutes. Puree the mixture along with the 2 tablespoons of water in a blender or food processor until smooth (a mini food processor works best here). * See note. Set aside to cool.

For the cheesecake filling

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese on high until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat again on medium until light and smooth, 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides, add the salt and vanilla and mix again until completely combined and smooth. Transfer the cream cheese mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the cream on low for 30 to 45 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until soft peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes. With a rubber spatula, stir half of the whipped-cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture and fold until combined. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold again until combined and no streaks remain.
  • Pour the filling over the cooled crust and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Pipe or dollop most of the cranberry filling over the top, (see note below) and then use a wooden skewer or knife to drag the cranberry filling through the top of the cheesecake, creating swirls. Refrigerate the cheesecake until firm, about 6 hours or overnight. Using the parchment sling, remove the cheesecake from the pan and then slice and serve. Enjoy!


*If your cranberry filling is very thick or heavy after pureeing it, you can add more water to it (1 tablespoon at a time) to help thin it out. You want the mixture to weigh about the same as the cheesecake filling (it should look similar to jam) so it doesn’t just sink and resist swirling (if this happens, it will still taste delicious!). I found piping strips across the top worked well; I used just about all of the filling.
  • Reply
    Friday, December 1, 2023 at 1:24 pm

    5 stars
    I made this recipe for a Thanksgiving event at the food bank. We made 16 recipes and fed 400. The staff and clients raved and have asked for a repeat for the holiday meal. The only thing I changed was that I used a pumpkin jam insteaad of the cranberries because they wanted pumpkin cheesecake. For the holiday one I will use crushed candy canes and a chocolate drizzle. It set up really well; I used full sheet pans. It took two of us about 3 hours to make it all because the cream cheese was cold. I also didn’t beat the cream because adding it unwhipped helped the consistency of the cheesecake. I wasn’t able to swirl the jam because it was so thick so I spread it on and it was just fine.

  • Reply
    Friday, November 24, 2023 at 9:36 am

    4 stars
    Delicious flavor! Beautiful addition to our Thanksgiving desserts.
    A couple notes:
    -crust was crumbly, next time I’ll probably use a full stick of butter to help it stick together more
    – the cranberry sauce was quite liquid after I blended it. I added a tablespoon of Chia seeds and that helped give it a better texture.

    Thanks for another winner!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at 12:37 am

    Do you think in this section ” In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese on high until smooth and creamy,” – can I substitute a paddle attachment for the beaters?
    Thank you

  • Reply
    Friday, November 25, 2022 at 11:16 am

    Should the recipe say 200 g of Graham cracker crumbs? 100 g does not measure 2 cups

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Thursday, December 22, 2022 at 4:58 pm

      Yes! Thank you for catching that.

  • Reply
    Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 8:20 am

    5 stars
    Simple, refreshing, festive and beautiful!! The waiting is the hardest part! Hmm. There’s a song in there…??

  • Reply
    Natasha Minocha
    Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 2:18 am

    5 stars
    I love cranberry and cheesecake, and a combination of these two sound so divine!

  • Reply
    Monday, November 1, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    5 stars
    I don’t even like cheesecake and this was amazing.

4.86 from 7 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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