Luscious cheesecake filling that is topped with festive cranberry mousse makes this no-bake cranberry mousse cheesecake recipe a must for the holidays! To make this cheesecake even better – a Biscoff cookie crust – for a medley of sweet, tart, and spicy holiday flavors.
When I was experimenting with this no-bake cheesecake, I realized I had come close to no bake cheesecake with some of my other recipes. Such as the filling in the pumpkin spice whoopie pies, and the cream cheese frosting used to adorn the pumpkin cupcakes, and caramel apple zucchini muffins. Though the recipes for all are not completely identical, the concept is the same – whipped cream cheese folded in with whipped cream. Easy enough.
Tips For Making No-Bake Cheesecake
I said it was easy to make make no bake cheesecake, and I meant it. 🙂 A few tips to get you started:
- Room temperature cream cheese is key – nobody likes lumpy cheesecake. to avoid this, the cream cheese must be room temperature so it whips ups smooth and creamy. Cutting up the cream cheese into cubes also helps it come to room temperature faster.
- Carefully fold in the whipped cream – the heavy cream gets whipped to stiff peaks and we want to preserve this volume when we combine it with the cream cheese. Careful folds help the creamy peaks not deflate.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake to set it – we go through the process of getting the cream cheese to warm up to room temperature. Then we need to get it to cool back down so it sets up.
- Use alternative sweeteners to keep the cheesecake light – I have an affinity for using maple syrup as my main sweetener whenever I can. Primarily because I prefer the taste and it is lower on the glycemic index (meaning, lower blood sugar). Yes, maple syrup is still a sugar, but if I can cut back on refined granulated sugar, I will.
- Why do you use powdered sugar in the whipped cream then? Good question. The answer is because I want the no bake cheesecake to have as much stability as possible. And powdered sugar contains cornstarch, which will act like a binder to keep the cheesecake filling firm.
I think desserts that have a good contrast in flavors are truly decadent (IMHO). Enter the cranberry mousse layer on the no-bake cranberry mousse cheesecake.
For this recipe, I kept the cranberry filling lightly sweet so we can really taste the cranberry. Plus, we have the sweet and creamy cheesecake layer and the cookie crust to add sweetness.
Making the cranberry mousse does have a few steps, but they are easy to get through if you everything you need to make it.
- Cook the cranberries like you are making cranberry sauce – It’s like preparing for Thanksgiving all over again! We want the cranberries to pop and all of the thick pectin to release from the berries.
- Add unflavored gelatin to make the mousse sturdy. – Again, because this is a no bake dessert, it is still a cake and we want to be able to slice it! 🙂 The gelatin blooms in lemon juice then gets added to the warm cranberries to melt and incorporate.
- Cool the cranberries before folding in the whipped cream – You’ve gone through the step of creating pretty stiff peaks with your whipped cream, so let’s make sure we don’t deflate them in hot liquid!
And of course, we fold in the whipped cream. But you are a pro at the folding mixing method now!
There are a few (or a lot) of flavors that evoke the spirit of the holidays. Gingerbread, eggnog, caramel, peppermint, cinnamon, sugar cookie, orange, pear, chocolate, and of course, cranberries. Does that mean I just made myself a list of desserts I need to make this holiday season? I guess so.
1 down, 9 more to go … 🙂
More Mini Christmas Cake and cupcake Recipes
- Vanilla Orange Gingerbread Cream Cake
- Apple Spice Cupcakes
- Eggnog Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
- Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
- No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
No Bake Cranberry Mousse Cheesecake
- 6-Inch Springform Pan (or) 6-Inch Round Cake Pan
BISCOFF COOKIE CRUST
- 3/4 cup (about 16 cookies) Biscoff cookies, ground
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
CREAM CHEESE FILLING
- 5 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 teaspoons powdered sugar
- 10 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- juice from 1/2 a medium orange
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
BISCOFF COOKIE CRUST
- If using a 6-Inch cake pan – Create a parchment paper sling to lift the mousse cheesecake out of the cake pan. Cut two strips of parchment paper to fit the diameter of the pan (about 2 ½ inches wide) and long enough to overhang the sides of the pan. Set the parchment strips in a cross pattern in the bottom of the pan – with overhang all around the pan.
- In a food processor, add the Biscoff cookies and pulse until they are the size of small pebbles. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until the cookies are finely ground and fully coated with the butter.
- Press the cookie crust firmly into the bottom of the springform pan (or prepared cake pan). Place in the freezer to set while you prepare the cranberry mousse and cheesecake filling.
CRANBERRY MOUSSE – part 1
- In a small saucepan, add the cranberries, maple syrup, orange juice, ground cinnamon, and grated ginger. Cook the cranberries over medium heat until all of the cranberries pop and release their fruit juices. About 8-10 minutes. Just like making a homemade cranberry sauce!
- While the cranberries are cooking, add the lemon juice to a small bowl and sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the top. This 'blooms' the gelatin. When the cranberries are just about done, pour in the gelatin mix and stir until it melts and is fully mixed in.
- Pour the cooked cranberries into a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium mixing bowl. Press the cranberries through the strainer using the back of a spoon or spatula until you have gotten all of the juice out of the cranberries. Scrape the bottom of the strainer as well to get all of those juices too! Discard the pulp left in the strainer. Set the cranberry sauce aside to cool at room temperature.
- While the cranberry sauce is cooling, make the cheesecake filling.
- In a medium mixing bowl, use a handheld mixer to beat the room temperature cream cheese until just smooth. Add in the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and maple syrup and beat until fully mixed and smooth. Set aside.
- In another small mixing bowl, use a handheld mixer on high speed to whip the chilled heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. You can use this bowl to make the whipped cream for the mousse. One less bowl to wash!
- Using a spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling until combined. Make slow folds so the whipped cream does not deflate.
- Remove the cookie crust from the freezer. Pour the cheesecake filling on the crust and smooth out evenly with a small spatula or offset spatula. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator while you finish the cranberry mousse.
CRANBERRY MOUSSE – part 2
- Using a handheld mixer, whip the remaining chilled heavy cream into stiff peaks. Very gently, use a spatula to fold the whipped cream into the cooled cranberry sauce – until no white streaks remain. Make slow folds so the whipped cream does not deflate.
- Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator. Pour the mousse on top of the cheesecake filling and using a small spatula or offset spatula, spread the mousse evenly into the pan.
- Loosely cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap. With the parchment paper overhang, you want to be careful not to move it too much, so the mousse cheesecake sets nice and smooth with no paper wrinkles or indentions. Refrigerate the mousse cheesecake for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to serve, release the spring on the springform pan (or carefully lift the mousse cheesecake out of the pan using the parchment paper sling). To slice the mousse cheesecake, warm a sharp knife with hot water (wipe off the water). This will help to get nice cuts through the delicate mousse cheesecake. Garnish with sugar-coated cranberries or Whipped Coconut Cream and enjoy!