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Orange Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

If you’re a fan of cheesecake and you’re looking for the perfect holiday treat with a twist, this is the dessert recipe for you! I’m going to show you how I make my delicious orange-cranberry cheesecake bars using crescent rolls! 

Holiday Cheesecake Bars: Festive and Bright

I’ve been on a roll making cheesecake and cheesecake bars this year. I started with my Blackberry Cheesecake

From there, I made my Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars, which are basically cinnamon-sugar cheesecake bars. 

After that I got ambitions and turned those cheese bars into Strawberry Cheesecake Bars, using a can of pie filling. 

From there, I made a similar recipe but added pecan pie filling in place of berries to create the ultimate Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

You Can Make Any Recipe Your Own

I’m never content to leave things as they are. So, as I stared at the bag of cranberries in my refrigerator, I was struck with an idea. Why not take my favorite Thanksgiving relish (orange-cranberry) and use is as a compote in my cheesecake bars. 

I know. Risky. Unlike the pie filling, this would have to be made from scratch and would take time to cool down. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking: I could have purchased a can of gloopy cranberry sauce. But I wanted a legit orange-cranberry compote, one complete with mandarin oranges. 

So, I started from scratch. 

It only took minutes to make the compote. I set it in the fridge to cool down and pondered how I would put these bars together. 

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. (What else is new?) I’ll tell you more about my process later. For now, let’s look at what you’ll need to make these bars at your house! They’re perfect for the holiday season.

Orange Cranberry Cheesecake Bar Ingredients

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here’s a quick peek at what you’re going to need to make these delicious holiday-inspired bars. These are simple ingredients you can pick up at any grocery store. 

FOR THE CRUST:

  • Crescent rolls

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:

  • room temperature cream cheese
  • granulated sugar
  • orange extract
  • leftover orange-cranberry juice (see recipe)
  • room temperature egg

FOR THE CRANBERRY COMPOTE:

  • fresh cranberries
  • mandarin oranges in juice
  • granulated sugar

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • melted butter
  • white sugar
  • leftover orange-cranberry juice

FOR THE SUGARED CRANBERRIES: 

  • fresh berries, soaked in sugar syrup (see recipe)
  • granulated sugar

How to Make Orange Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

This is such an easy recipe. It comes together quickly, too!

Make Orange-Cranberry Compote: 

Place mandarin oranges (with juice) into a medium saucepan.

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Add one cup granulated sugar and full bag of cranberries. 

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Bring to a boil and lower heat. 

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Before the cranberries start to pop, remove 1/2 cup of berries and set aside in a strainer to use for sugared berries (garnish)

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Allow the rest of the berries in the saucepan to cook over a low boil, gently popping until all are popped. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove all of the berries and orange bits from the juice. You’ll end up with a bit of juice, as well. That’s fine. Set this two-cup container in the refrigerator to cool completely. 

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

The leftover juice should measure at least a cup, maybe even a cup and a quarter. Set it in a separate container to cool down. 

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Once the compote has cooled (close to an hour) begin to make your bars. 

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grab a 9×13-inch pan. Don’t bother greasing it. You won’t need to do that.

Open one container of crescent rolls and spread them into the bottom of the pan as you see in the photo. Pinch the edges together. Set aside.

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) beat your room temperature cream cheese until light and fluffy. Start at low speed and gradually increase to make sure there are no lumps!

You could use a paddle attachment if you like but I wanted to use my whisk attachment.

(Note: An immersion blender would work for this process if you don’t have a mixer handy.)

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Add the orange extract, two tablespoons orange-cranberry juice, sugar, and egg. Mix well.

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Let’s Build These Dessert Bars! 

Spread about 2/3 of your cranberry compote over the uncooked crescent rolls. (Doesn’t that whole berry cranberry sauce look amazing?)

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Spoon the softened cream cheese mixture over the compote. (Look at that creamy filling. Yum!)

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Place dollops of the remaining compote on top of the cream cheese mixture. Don’t worry about spreading it out. Leave it in small clumps. 

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Place the second container of crescent rolls on top. 

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Make your Topping:

Melt 1/3 cup butter and stir in 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons orange-cranberry juice. Stir well. 

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Pour over the crescent rolls and use a pastry brush to spread to cover. 

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. 

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

While bars are baking, make your sugared berries:

Place remaining (sticky) berries into a Ziplock baggie with 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Shake well. Set aside until bars finish baking.

When bars are golden and set, remove from the oven and place on wire rack to cool. 

Once you can handle the pan, you can place it into the refrigerator to continue cooling. (This is a personal preference. I like my bars cold.) 

Slice and serve! (Check out that gorgeous cranberry mixture! What a lovely bright layer!)

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

Store leftovers tightly covered in plastic wrap (or in an airtight container) in the refrigerator. They should stay good for 3-4 days, possibly longer. I don’t recommend freezing these bars. 

What to Expect from these Bars

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

These orange-cranberry bars are the perfect blend of cheesecake and that delicious orange-cranberry sauce you love so much during the holidays. 

I had a feeling I was going to love these and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. That cheesecake mixture was soft and luscious in the center and the amount of compote was just right. Not too little, not too much. (Can anything top a creamy cheesecake filling?)

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

And those crescent rolls? They take on a whole new texture that’s not bread-like. It’s more like a sweet pastry bottom and top, perfectly balanced with the sweetness. 

My favorite part was the sugared berries on top. I decided to add them for a festive splash. The tart cranberry flavor was a perfect complement to the sweet dish.

And adding a little swirl of whipped cream underneath the berries was perfect, too! This dessert is both beautiful to look at and delicious to eat! I’m so happy it all came together well. 

This isn’t a traditional cheesecake. These bars take cheesecake to a whole new level! They’re going to look great on your holiday table!

Variations on this Recipe

Orange-Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Out of the Box Baking

I am so glad I decided to make these, y’all. Talk about a great way to ring in the holidays! I’m tickled to add this recipe to my fall and Christmas lineup. The bars are delicious just as they are, but I always feel the need to mix things up. So, here’s what I’m looking at doing next time. 

Festive baking dish: These would be beautiful in a colorful Christmas-themed dish.

Pecans: My holiday orange-cranberry sauce has pecans in it. If you like, you can sprinkle some chopped pecans on top of the (bottom) compote layer. They would be delicious! 

Pineapple: Not a fan of mandarin oranges? Use a can of crushed pineapple in its place. 

White chocolate: Skip the oranges and add white chocolate chips on top of the cranberry compote layer. 

Orange juice and orange zest: To punch up the flavor, add the zest and juice of one orange to the berry compote.

Lemon juice or lemon zest: Not a fan or orange? Lemon will work just fine! You can even add some to your cheesecake batter.

Leftover cranberry sauce: I mean. . .this might be one way to use up that leftover cranberry sauce after the holidays. Use it in place of the cranberry compote. Simple and fun!

Other Cranberry Favorites from Out of the Box Baking

That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoyed this delicious, wonderful recipe. This is one of those great recipes you will make again and again! Why not whip up a pan of these cranberry cheesecake bars today?

If you make this recipe for the upcoming holidays and happen to love it, don’t forget to leave a review and a comment below. And while you’re at it, go ahead and pin some photos to your Pinterest boards!


See this recipe at

Full Plate Thursday 

Weekend Potluck

The Lazy Gastronome

Busy Monday 

About the Author


Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.

Orange Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Orange Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours

If you’re a fan of cheesecake and you’re looking for the perfect holiday treat with a twist, this is the dessert recipe for you! I’m going to show you how I make my delicious orange-cranberry cheesecake bars using crescent rolls!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 2 cans Crescent rolls
  • FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
  • 2 blocks (1 cup each) room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 tablespoons leftover orange-cranberry juice
  • 1 large room temperature egg
  • FOR THE CRANBERRY COMPOTE:
  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 (15-ounce) can mandarin oranges in juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • FOR THE TOPPING
  • 1/3 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons leftover orange-cranberry juice
  • FOR THE SUGARED CRANBERRIES:
  • 1/2 cup fresh berries, soaked in sugar syrup (see instructions above)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Make Orange-Cranberry Compote: Place mandarin oranges (with juice) into a medium saucepan.
  2. Add one cup granulated sugar.
  3. Add full bag of cranberries.
  4. Bring to a boil and lower heat.
  5. Before the cranberries start to pop, remove 1/2 cup of berries and set aside in a strainer to use for sugared berries (garnish).
  6. Allow the rest of the berries in the saucepan to cook over a low boil, gently popping until all are popped.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, remove all of the berries and orange bits from the juice. You’ll end up with a bit of juice, as well. That’s fine. Set this two-cup container in the refrigerator to cool completely.
  8. The leftover juice should measure at least a cup, maybe even a cup and a quarter. Set it in a separate container to cool down.
  9. Once the compote has cooled (close to an hour) begin to make your bars.
    Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Grab a 9x13-inch pan.
  11. Open one container of crescent rolls and spread them into the bottom of the (ungreased) pan as you see in the photo. Pinch the edges together. Set aside.
  12. In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) beat your room temperature cream cheese until light and fluffy. Make sure there are no lumps!
  13. Add the orange extract, two tablespoons orange-cranberry juice, sugar, and egg. Mix well.
  14. Let’s Build These Bars! Spread about 2/3 of your cranberry compote over the uncooked crescent rolls.
  15. Spoon the softened cream cheese mixture over the compote.
  16. Place dollops of the remaining compote on top of the cream cheese mixture. Don’t worry about spreading it out. Leave it in small dollops.
  17. Place the second container of crescent rolls on top.
  18. Make your topping: Melt 1/3 cup butter and stir in 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons orange-cranberry juice. Stir well.
  19. Pour over the crescent rolls and use a pastry brush to spread to cover.
    Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  20. Remove and place on wire rack to cool.
  21. Once you can handle the pan, you can place it into the refrigerator to continue cooling. (This is a personal preference. I like my bars cold.)
  22. Slice and serve!
  23. Store leftovers tightly covered in plastic wrap (or in an airtight container) in the refrigerator. They should stay good for 3-4 days, possibly longer. I don’t recommend freezing these bars.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 182mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 2gSugar: 58gProtein: 4g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Helen at the Lazy Gastronome

Saturday 18th of November 2023

Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party! Have a great weekend.

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