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Festive Holiday Cheesecake Recipe

Festive Holiday Cheesecake Recipe

Make Christmas dazzle with this show-stopping cheesecake. Each slice is overloaded with fun, festive candy toppings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 1-1/2 hours + chilling YIELD:16 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Assorted candies


  • 1. Place an ungreased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
  • 2. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, pecans and brown sugar; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  • 3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into crust. Place in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
  • 4. Bake at 325° for 1-1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears dull. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and sugar until smooth; spoon over hot cheesecake and spread to cover. Bake for 5 minutes longer or until topping is just set.
  • 5. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of can. Garnish with candies. Yield: 16 servings.

Reviews for Festive Holiday Cheesecake

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kbussey User ID: 614681 240492
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2015

"I love cheesecake! I made this for Christmas and my guests were disappointed. So was I. It looked pretty, but it just feel short on overall taste. There are way better recipes."

flowerladyTMT User ID: 8603863 239882
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2015 Edited Aug. 4, 2016

"Delicious recipe. I make it every year at Christmas for my hubby. I make just a couple changes. Instead of graham cracker crumbs, I use vanilla wafer crumbs. Instead of semi sweet chocolate chip, I use white chocolate chips. For the decorations, we use mini Christmas M&Ms, more white chocolate chips and snowflake sprinkles (assorted colors). It's so pretty for Christmas and is absolutely DELICIOUS! Note: if you decorate with M&M's, wait to add the sprinkles and candies until just before serving. The colors tend to run and discolor the cheesecake topping, otherwise!"

AmyJStephens User ID: 7041105 184533
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2013

"Made this for a family Christmas gathering. Wait to put the candies on top. Just used Christmas M&Ms on top. Good flavor and texture. Easy too make. Not overly sweet."

gickielynn User ID: 7481090 116738
Reviewed Nov. 12, 2013

"You could also substitute red ,white and green morsels instead of the chocolate ones."

randcbruns User ID: 828588 116737
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2013

"This cheesecake has lovely flavor and you can so easily change up the color of the chips to match whatever holiday or event you want. There are so many colored chips out there now. They only complaints I have ever had about this is when I've used larger pieces of candy on top. Guests prefer crushed candy or no candy at all."

VictoriaElaine User ID: 3422096 183045
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2012

"I made this for dessert for Christmas this year & was so impressed! The water bath kept the cheesecake from cracking, something I've never been able to accomplish before, living at a high altitude. However, I will never use M & M's to decorate it again. They melted & "stained" the top of the cheesecake, which I felt made it unattractive. Next time, I will leave the top plain or maybe try some sprinkles. In addition to M & M's, I used gumdrops & peppermint candies to decorate the top, & everyone scraped them off. :("

royalviking User ID: 5863165 184527
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2012

"I had never made a cheesecake like this before but felt it was too pretty to pass up for Christmas Day 2012! I felt the Oreo crumbs were the better choice and I stand by that. Goes so well with the chocolate-chip cheesecake. It was worth the effort and I was thrilled that it not only looked like a show-stopper, it tasted like one also! Wasn't too heavy and it was a huge hit. You could use this for any holiday. Purple and yellow for Easter, black and orange for Easter. Pink, white, red for Valentine's Day, etc. I had various candies in red and green and then has 3 mini candy canes crushed. While we pulled off the big candies to eat, the crushed candy cane was yummy with it! Nite: used regular white sugar. Awesome!"

Reid Rozzay Dissinger User ID: 7055234 186293
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2012

"Add a few more chocolate chips and no peppermints, just m$m's. My main point is this is GREAT for the holidays very good!"

Slyfox1 User ID: 7006491 184050
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2012

"Made this for a holiday party and recieved rave reviews. The only problem I had was getting the crust loose from the sides of the spring form pan. Still looked great and tasted even better. I used red and green mini M & M's, Andes peppermint bark and green, red & choc. semi-sweet choc. chips. Will make it again for my office Christmas party!"

sstetzel User ID: 158954 167454
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2012

"Yes, granulated sugar is what you want for this recipe."

Gigi902 User ID: 6959445 100589
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2012

"I haven't made it yet but would like to this Christmas. I live in Sydney, NS, Canada and am unfamiliar with Imperial Sugar/Dixie Crystals Granulated Sugar. Can I use regualar Granulated Sugar?


Roxyfox User ID: 5996506 210972
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2012

"I used only red/green M&Ms. The peppermint was too much"

paulette4317 User ID: 5847181 106448
Reviewed Jan. 19, 2012

"Wonderful! Easy to make, looks awesome!Best ever cheesecake I've made; family wants it again."

Sweet01 User ID: 1327588 100835
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2011

"Delicious! I made mine with an Oreo crust."

BirdnSav User ID: 5392952 184512
Reviewed Dec. 25, 2010

"This was a cinch to make, beautiful to behold and creamy delicious! A centerpiece attention grabber on the Christmas dessert table."

Ashaline User ID: 1186991 182561
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2010

"This a great recipe. We have made it for Christmas and everyone just loves it. The only thing is that it seems to get done a lot sooner than the time calls for, so really keep an eye on it!"

Laura08 User ID: 399579 210971
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2009

"Made this for our Christmas office party. Gorgeous presentation, and very, very good."

mhyamogley User ID: 116939 170728
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2009

"I bake for my son's restaurtant...have made this every year since I found the recipe in Taste of Home Magazine...2008 I believe...It is sooooo festive and tates I used the Hershey's Holiday Bits (red and green tiny balls of semi-sweet choc.) along with some chocolate....It looks sooo pretty as it is being served....have had MANY compliments on it."

hfye User ID: 1640220 100834
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2009

"I havent made it yet but will because our family loves cheesecake and use any excues to have it."

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