This post has been sponsored by Kraft Heinz Canada ULC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Dreamy, delicious filling; sparkling cranberries; and a crisp gingersnap crust make up this festive No-Bake Eggnog Cheesecake. With a dash of freshly grated nutmeg, my favourite smooth and creamy PHILADELPHIA Original Cream Cheese 250g, some whimsically piped cream, and a pop of color from the cranberries, this is the perfect dessert for the holiday season.
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At the peak of the busy holiday season, this No-Bake Eggnog Cheesecake is the type of foolproof recipe that I need. I make a lot of decorative, over-the-top desserts, but sometimes I need something quick. Between family gatherings, preschool pageants, and documenting the baby’s first winter, I know I can always trust PHILLY cream cheese to create this no-fuss yet festive dessert - and really anything that requires cream cheese!
Find yourself fighting for oven space or simply don’t have the time to wait for a cheesecake to bake, cool, and chill? Yup. Me, too. We will be spending the holidays at my parents’ house and I won’t want to monopolize my mom’s oven. Instead, I’ll opt for this no-bake version that is silky smooth and so much easier to whip together. By using my go-to PHILLY cream cheese, you won’t ever feel like you are sacrificing flavour or texture by opting for this easier, (dare I say?) tastier recipe. For me, I have enough stress in my life with juggling the kids and all of the other holiday activities. I definitely don’t want to add cracking tops or water baths to my lists of worries. Alternatively, I put my trust in PHILLY in order to showcase my dessert and allow myself to focus on the fun little details like sparkling cranberries and festive piping.
Where a classic cheesecake calls for eggs and then delicately baking the custard in a water bath, this no-bake recipe combines smooth cream cheese and spiced eggnog before being lightened with whipped cream. Adding confectioners’ sugar instead of granulated sugar makes the filling smooth and not grainy – all set in a crisp gingersnap crust. We aren’t hiding any flavours by baking them here, so it’s important to use good quality ingredients and a premium cream cheese like PHILLY. PHILADELPHIA is the original cream cheese made with no artificial colours or flavours, so we know our delicate spices and festive eggnog flavours will shine when paired with the tangy cream cheese.
Okay, let’s talk about those cranberries! Aren’t they beautiful? Even with a simple recipe, you know I’m going to dress it up a bit. I just can’t help myself! While the filling sets, coat the cranberries in a simple syrup and then toss in granulated sugar. Instant sparkle!
Of course, you can dollop on the whipped cream with a spoon (a mountain of fluffy cream is always a good idea), but if you want to be a little extra, then pipe it on! I mean, we already saved so much time by not baking the cheesecake – right?! I like to use a variety of star tips to pipe the cream in a crescent shape around the top of the cheesecake, but feel free to decorate it any way you like!
No-Bake Eggnog Cheesecake
For the gingersnap crust
2 cups gingersnap crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Combine the gingersnap crumbs, brown sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Tip the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Starting with the sides, press the mixture into the sides and bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to tightly pack the crumbs. Freeze the crust for 20 to 30 minutes before filling.
For the cheesecake
1 tablespoon powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons hot water
Two boxes PHILADELPHIA Original Cream Cheese 250g, softened
150 g (1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup eggnog
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
Dissolve the gelatine in the water in a microwave-safe mug or bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the softened PHILADELPHIA cream cheese. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix on medium-low for another 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Zap the gelatine mixture in the microwave for about 15 seconds. The gelatine should be liquid but not too hot. Stir the liquid gelatine mixture into the eggnog. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the eggnog into the cream cheese mixture. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. Scrape the cream cheese mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
In a cleaned bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the heavy cream. Whip on medium-high until soft peaks form. Stop the mixer and fold half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Once incorporated, fold in the remaining whipped cream until thoroughly combined.
Spoon the cheesecake filling into the chilled crust. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight before slicing. Before serving, run a thin knife around the inside of the springform pan. Carefully unlock the pan and remove the collar. Top with candied cranberries and whipped cream (recipes to follow).
For the candied cranberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries
Place 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat.
Meanwhile, line a wire cooling rack with a paper towel. Pour the cranberries into the sugar syrup and stir to coat. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the cranberries and place them on the lined cooling rack to drain.
While the cranberries are still sightly wet and sticky, toss them in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Set aside to dry.
For the whipped cream topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or a mixing bowl with a hand mixer), whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla together on medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks.
Place the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe the cream around the edges of the cheesecake or decorate as desired. Scatter with candied cranberries before serving.