These Dark Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake Bites are bursting with rich cheesecake taste, tart cranberry, and sinful dark chocolate drizzle.
In my dreams, I see chocolate sandwich cookies. And cheesecake.
In the past month and a half, I’ve undertaken a bit of a diet restructuring. (Read: not eating half to three-quarters of what I create for this blog, among other adaptations.) While I still love dessert and indulge on the regular, I realized that having either dessert, chips, poutine, greasy hamburgers or takeout Chinese food every day multiple times per day was not a good way to live my life. So I cut out the bad foods I was eating just to eat, and kept small amounts of the guilty pleasure foods I really loved.
Like cheesecake. And chocolate. And Oreos.
So you can see why I dream of these things now.
But can you blame a girl when there are Dark Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake Bites in the world? No, you cannot.
The beauty of these little bites is that they are small: you can enjoy one and feel like you’ve sated that craving, instead of chopping off a huge slab of cheesecake and going to town on it. I created these bites for people who, like me, are trying to limit overconsumption of bad-for-you foods while still creating a beautiful dessert that is definitely party-ready.
Just look at those little toothpicks and fresh cranberry garnishes! So cute! So Pinterest-y! People will Instagram your creations! (Maybe.)
While these Dark Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake Bites have cream cheese in them, I used light cream cheese to lift some of the fat away, while replacing the rest with tangy, plain Greek yogurt. I am telling this honestly—you don’t taste the substitutions. Really. They still taste like creamy, rich, mouthwatering cheesecake you get served at a restaurant.
So, if you have a party in the near future, make these little bites of joy. Everyone loves cheesecake, and you get to look like a badass host/hostess carrying around a tray of these beauties. It’s a win-win.
Check out CK on Instagram! If you try out one of my recipes, tag @CrumbKitchen so I can see your delicious creations.
Total Cost = $6.73 (Budget breakdown below recipe)
- 5 oz. fresh (or frozen) cranberries, plus a handful for serving*
- 14 well-crushed Oreo cookies (or about 1 and ¼ cup Oreo crumbs)
- ¼ cup salted butter, melted*
- 8 oz. block light cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 large egg whites
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. bottled lemon juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1.5 oz. dark chocolate chips (about ¼ cup)
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, cook the cranberries until they form a jam-like consistency, stirring and mashing frequently with a spoon. Remove from heat.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, vigorously press the mixture through, scraping the outside of the sieve to collect the jam while discarding the seeds and skins on the inside of the sieve. Once you have about 3-4 tbsp of the jam., set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 square pan with aluminum foil, allowing foil to hang over the sides, and grease lightly with cooking spray.
- Combine Oreo crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Spread mixture evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing to ensure flatness. Bake for 10-14 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool for 5 minutes, then place in refrigerator to continue cooling as you prepare the filling.
- Beat the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds to one minute on medium power, or until light and fluffy. Add in the Greek yogurt, egg whites, sugar and flour and beat 30 seconds to 1 minute until mixture is completely incorporated and creamy. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and beat again for 30 seconds to combine. Do not overmix.
- Pour filling into cooled Oreo crust pan and spread evenly.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop cranberry jam mixture and drop onto the top of the filling randomly. Using a toothpick or chopstick, drag through the filling and jam mixture to create swirls, cleaning each time you swirl the stick. Bake for 25 minutes, placing aluminum foil over the top if it starts to brown.
- Remove from oven and cool for at least 20 minutes, then refrigerate, covered, for at least three hours (I left mine overnight).
- Once cooled, lift foil and cheesecake out of the pan and cut with a sharp knife into bite-sized pieces. Run knife under warm water after each cut.
- Melt dark chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 second increments on 50% power, until chocolate is almost fully melted. Remove from microwave and stir well until all the small chunks disappear.
- Using a spoon or a piping bag, drizzle the melted chocolate onto the cut pieces. Refrigerate until chocolate drizzle hardens, then serve cold.
* If you find your crust is too dry and won't stick together well, add in 1 tbsp. more melted butter.
Recipe adapted from my Concord Grape Cheesecake Bars.
5 oz. fresh cranberries = $0.75
14 well-crushed Oreo cookies = $0.75
1/4 cup salted butter = $0.16
8 oz. block light cream cheese = $2.00
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt = $1.75
2 large egg whites = $0.30
1/4 cup granulated sugar = $0.04
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour = $0.02
1 tsp. bottled lemon juice = $0.02
2 tsp. vanilla extract = $0.14
1.5 oz. dark chocolate chips = $0.80
Why it’s Cheap
In my experience, Oreos or other sandwich cookies are always on sale at the grocery store. Pairing that with standard ingredients you might already have on hand, costs are low for these party-ready cheesecake bites.
Make it More Budget-Friendly
If you have a block or bar of dark chocolate at home, use that instead of chips. You can use vanilla Greek yogurt and unsalted butter as well, if you don’t want to make a special trip to the store.
Want more? Check out the recipes below!