Christmas Shortbread Cheesecake

5 from 3 votes
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slice of cheesecake on a white plate

Christmas Shortbread Cheesecake

I am terribly excited to share my recipe for my newest cheesecake! I decided I was going to transform my favorite cookie, shortbread, into a different type of dessert! It’s delicious, easy to whip up and a fantastic treat!

zoomed out image of a slice of cheesecake on a white plate

Other Cheesecake Recipes

How to Make This Dessert

  • Prepare the crust by mixing your flour and sugar, and then cutting in butter. Mix in the egg, and stir until moist.
  • Press it into a pan.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until crust is browned slightly.
  • Follow the guide to prepare the filling, and fill the crust up.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 275 and bake for another 60 minutes without opening oven.
  • Check the recipe card for more detailed instructions!

This is a gorgeous vanilla cheesecake with a shortbread crust with green and red cherries interspersed throughout. Then, when you think it can’t get any better, you top it with toasted pecans, more Christmas cherries (as we like to call them) and a brown sugar sauce.

Cooking Tip

My own brown sugar sauce is shown in the recipe below, but if you want to make it yourself for other recipes, here’s the link! Brown Sugar Sauce

All of the elements in this cheesecake are from my favorite foods at Christmas. My Grandma’s brown sugar sauce. Pecans and cherries to top my shortbread.

Happy baking!


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Christmas Shortbread Cheesecake

Christmas Shortbread Cheesecake, all of my favorite flavors of Christmas baked into a decadent vanilla cheesecake!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 10 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • Shortbread Crust
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 3 pkg Philadelphia Cream Cheese (each 8 / 250 g)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup red and green candied cherries (finely chopped, extra for topping)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans to top


  • To prepare crust:
  • Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Combine the flour and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until it’s incorporated thoroughly. Mix in the egg until the dough is moist.
  • Press firmly into the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan. Prick the crust with a fork several times.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is browned slightly.
  • Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
  • To prepare filling:
  • In a large mixer bowl using a paddle beater, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in cornstarch, beat until smooth again.
  • Add in the sugar, combine completely.
  • Mix in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, mixing each into the batter thoroughly.
  • Add whipping cream, cherries and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated entirely.
  • Scrape the side of the bowl if needed and mix one minute more on low speed.
  • Gently pour the filling over the crust.
  • Place a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven.
  • Place the cheesecake on the middle oven rack.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 275 and bake for another 60 minutes without opening oven.
  • Turn off the oven and let cake remain in the oven for half an hour. This ensures a perfectly moist top that won’t crack.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  • Refrigerate covered with plastic wrap until ready to eat.
  • Brown Sugar Sauce:
  • Combine the butter and sugar in a small pot on the stove over medium heat.
  • Bring mixture to a boil; let boil several minutes while stirring occasionally.
  • Add in the water – careful, it might spit- and mix in.
  • Remove from heat, mix in vanilla.
  • Cool, Note: The mixture is grainy and sugary on purpose to add a different texture to the cheesecake. It doesn’t need to be smooth.
  • To decorate cheesecake, chop up 5-6 colored cherries and along with the toasted pecans, scatter on top of the cake. Drizzle the cooled brown sugar sauce. Slice and serve.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional values may vary.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 411kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 110mg, Potassium: 79mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 573IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Around the World in 80 Cupcakes says

    Cheesecake, cheesecake, ra ra ra. Cheesecake, cheesecake, ha ha ha. Mm mm, I love cheesecake *sung to the tune many believe to be the turtles song*5 stars

  2. Rob Kate Wigmore says

    Omg that sounds and looks so scrumptious!! I can’t wait to try it ❤️

  3. Rob Kate Wigmore says

    Omg that sounds and looks so scrumptious!! I can’t wait to try it ❤️5 stars

  4. April Glen says

    Good luck with this recipe Karlynn! It sounds delicious. 

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