I love the elegant flavors in this cranberry cheesecake parfait. Sweet, creamy vanilla bean cheesecake is topped with cranberries sweetened with maple syrup and flavored with a hint of cinnamon and orange zest – perfect for the holidays. You can leave the graham cracker base plain, but I love to stir in some melted dark chocolate to add a little more sweetness.
For someone who’s constantly keeping up with the news and monitoring trends, sometimes you’d think I live under a rock. I bought a pair of short boots (can we all agree that “booties” is a horrible word that should never be used?) three years ago but finally wore them for the first time this fall. I didn’t check out the “new” wine bar around the corner until two different people from out of the state told me I had to go. Desserts in jars… what’s the point?
Until we eventually visited that wine bar and ordered a key lime pie in a jar that rocked our world. There’s something about a dessert in a jar that’s so much more fun than a normal slice of cake or pie. I immediately knew that I needed to give in to the trend. I’ve been buying (and filling!) jars ever since.
These no-bake cranberry cheesecake parfaits super easy to make and ridiculously cute, which makes them perfect for entertaining. They’d be a great way to end Thanksgiving or Christmas on a sweet note, but you don’t need to save them for a holiday. I love how the jars offer built-in portion control (it’s literally impossible to go back for “just another little sliver.”) Plus, since I used GO VEGGIE Vegan Cream Cheese for the base, they have less calories and fat than traditional cheesecake and can be enjoyed by vegans or anyone with lactose intolerance.
Traditionally, no-bake cheesecake recipes call for whipped cream or sweetened condensed milk to help the cheesecake base set up. Since I wanted to keep these parfaits dairy-free, those options weren’t available to me and I had to get creative. I ended up adding a tablespoon of coconut oil into the mix – since it’s solid at room temperature, it did the trick perfectly.
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 container GO VEGGIE Vegan Cream Cheese
- 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (from a 13.5 ounce can)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 2 graham crackers (4 squares), crushed
- 1 tablespoon dairy free butter
- 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips (optional)
- In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the cranberries, maple syrup, water, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the cranberries pop open and the liquid thickens, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, and coconut oil. Mix well to combine.
- In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips, if using, and stir until melted. Add the graham cracker crumbs and mix well to ensure all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Divide the graham cracker mixture among four glasses or small jars (about 8 ounces each). Use the handle of a wooden spoon to press the crumbs together and form a crust. Cover with about 2/3 cup of the cheesecake filling, then top with the cranberry topping.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
I used these jars
I created this recipe for my client, GO VEGGIE As always, thank you for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen.