Cranberry Cheesecake Squares

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 large eggs
juice of one tangerine
zest of one tangerine

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or spray with baking spray an 8×8 inch pan. In a small bowl, add the butter, sugar, flour, oats and salt, mix thoroughly with a fork. Press into bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to flatten and press firmly.

Bake 15 minutes or until just golden. Meanwhile, cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Add the egg, zest, juice and flour, beat until smooth. Pour over the crust. Dot with cranberry sauce and swirl with the tip of a knife. Bake 25 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.

My thoughts:

My husband loves cranberry sauce. Once cranberries make their appearance in the grocery store I start making cranberry sauce with any meal where it seems appropriate. I think I’ve made a different cranberry sauce just about every week since late October. This leaves me with a fair amount of leftover cranberry sauce to play with. I’ve made yummy muffins with cranberry sauce already this year but I wanted to make a dessert with cranberry sauce that would be holiday-worthy. These are a snap to put together and can be made ahead. Prebaking the crust is a bit of a time killer but you can make the filling while it bakes and it ensures a perfect, crisp crust. I also liked using oatmeal in the crust, it is a little nontraditional but it really adds some body to the crust and actually makes the bars a little easier to slice and lift out of the pan. The tangerine flavor is present but not too strong, it just adds a citrus note to the cheesecake. I really can’t say enough about this bars, they are just really good, my whole family raved over them and my mother deemed them “swoon-worthy”.

Note: any whole berry (i.e. not jellied) cranberry sauce would work, even store bought (!) but I think using this cranberry-tangerine sauce would be the best.


  1. Yum. I eat cranberry sauce straight out of the can during the holidays, I love it so much.

  2. Well who doesn’t love cranberry sauce! And in cheesecake, what a great idea.

  3. I love my left over cranberry sauce, eat it on everything! I’ve even made it into ice cream, but this tops it!

  4. Yum! I was thinking of pumpkin cheesecake this year, but I think these might be better. Cranberries are the best!

  5. These look great I will definitely try! But your directions mention cocoa but it’s not on your ingredients list. Does it call for cocoa?

  6. Anon- sorry about that-I had tried it with cocoa and realized it was better without. I’ll update it.

  7. nice take on the starbucks cranberry bliss bars!!! looks delish.

  8. Robin-I’ve never seen/had a bliss bar but it sounds yummy!

  9. I love cranberries

  10. Mmmmm. We normally make post-Christmas muffins as the cranberry sauce never gets eaten! I’m going to make these instead if I get there first 😀

  11. that is a good combo…I’ve seen these before and now I must make them! lol

  12. Do you think I could leave the tangerine juice out? Would it effect the texture or anything of the recipe?

  13. Meg- I think you could leave it out and it would be fine.

  14. The cranberry tangerine sauce sounds so good on cheesecake. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Just took these out of the oven. They look great and I can’t wait to try them. Took more like 45 minutes to bake.

  16. Just made these and wow! I used 1 tbs orange juice and baked for 25 minutes. These are seriously so amazing. I also used the 1/3 less fat cream cheese and it’s still delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  17. Those look fantastic! YUM!!!

  18. This is the first cheesecake I’ve ever made, and it was great!! I think I’m going to make a double batch for Christmas. Should I refrigerate these if I make them a couple days before serving?

  19. I am glad you enjoyed them Catherine. I would refrigerate them if you have to make them ahead of time. I do recommend making them no more than a day or so in advance though, they start to get a little soggy at the third or fourth day.