This No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Parfait is an irresistible holiday dessert that you'll want to enjoy year round!
I had such a busy weekend ... it's that time of year!
My husband and I took a day trip to Philadelphia, and it was so fun! We ate the world's best donuts (by our estimation), did a little shopping, and took in lots of sights. And on Sunday, we lucked into a pair of tickets for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater ... the dancers were amazing! All in all, I had a great weekend.
In between those two events, I came to an important realization. It was almost Christmas, and I hadn't had any cranberries yet. Deep thoughts, I know!
So I rushed to the store and grabbed a couple bags of cranberries. On the way home, I dreamed up this amazing No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Parfait, and I have to say that it's one of my favorite cranberry recipes (and I have a lot). Mission accomplished!
How to Make a No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Parfait
These no bake cheesecake parfaits are rich and creamy, a little tart, and they even have a bit of crunch, thanks to the shortbread cookies. They're also a decadent treat that's perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
You're going to love this No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Parfait recipe because it so delicious, yet it's simple to make, too. You can even prepare these parfait cups ahead of time ... making them perfect for holiday parties.
The cranberry sauce needs time to cool, so you'll want to make that first. It's super simple and so tasty. If you have leftover cranberry sauce, you could use that instead.
While the cranberry sauce cools, you can work on the no bake cheesecake filling. This creamy cheesecake is a combination of three simple ingredients: heavy cream, powdered sugar, and cream cheese. It only takes a few minutes to make, but it's so delish!
This is one beautiful dessert, and it's all due to the layers!
I used glasses for my parfaits, but mason jars would work, too. To assemble your parfaits, simply alternate layers of cranberry sauce and the cheesecake filling.
The finishing touch is a shortbread cookie and an orange twist ... so pretty!
This recipe serves four people, but they're pretty large servings and this parfait dessert is very rich. You could easily adjust the recipe to serve six, or you could even cut the serving size in half, to serve eight.
Are you serving a crowd? This No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Parfaits recipe is easy to double or even triple.
Now that you know how to make this No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Parfait recipe, you'll want to serve it for every holiday meal ... and maybe even beyond!
No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Parfait
For Citrus Twists:
- 1 large Navel orange
- 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
For No-Bake Cheesecake:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 shortbread cookies
- 4 glasses or jars
Prepare Citrus Twists:
- Remove 4 long, narrow strips of peel from the orange with a paring knife or zester. Twist tightly and hold for a moment; release. Set aside for later.
- Zest and then mince the remainder of the orange's peel. Halve and juice the orange. Place juice in a measuring cup and add enough water to equal 1 cup.
- In a medium saucepan, combine zest, juice/water mixture, cranberries, and granulated sugar.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until a thick sauce forms. Transfer to refrigerator to cool completely.
Prepare No-Bake Cheesecake:
- Combine heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
- Add cream cheese to the stand mixer bowl (no need to clean) and mix until completely smooth.
- Using a spatula, gently fold ⅓ of the whipped cream into the cream cheese. Repeat process two more times, until whipped cream and cream cheese are completely blended.
- Place a couple tablespoons of the cooled cranberry mixture into the bottom each glass or jar. Top cranberries with ⅛ of the cheesecake mixture. Repeat layers, ending with a cheesecake layer. (You will have leftover cranberry sauce.
- Cover parfaits and refrigerate until chilled.
- To serve, break each shortbread cookie into 2 pieces. Crumble half a cookie over the top of each parfait. Garnish parfaits with remaining cookie halves and a citrus twist. Enjoy!
Are you ready for Christmas? It's almost here!