I’ll admit I was scared of this recipe when my cousin, Tami, first sent it to me nearly a year ago.

Pomegranate Cheesecake

But then I got the guts up to try it, and it was unspeakably phenomenal.

Just look at it. The colors and texture of the pomegranates scream Christmas to me. This will definitely be served at our Christmas Eve feast – not only does it make a brilliant presentation, but the entire cheesecake is so original and delicious, it is bound to be a hit.

The crust is unlike any I’ve ever made for a cheesecake. No crushed grahams here, instead, a brown sugar cookie dough is used to form the crust. And it’s good, people. Really good. As for the filling, it is smooth and creamy and everything a cheesecake should be, especially with a light hint of lemon to compliment the tartness of the pomegranates studded here and there.

A sugary, sour cream layer tops off the cheesecake (and hides any cracks – hooray!) and the entire cheesecake is then glazed with a syrupy pomegranate sauce that is out of this world.

I’ve always loved pomegranates. Now I really love them. Who knew that pomegranates and cheesecake were meant to be together?

P.S. If you are nervous about how to get those dang seeds out of the pomegranate, check out this little tutorial I put together on how to easily seed a pomegranate.

Pomegranate Cheesecake

Pomegranate Cheesecake

Yield: Makes 16 servings

Pomegranate Cheesecake

Plan Ahead: the cheesecake needs to be chilled for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • Filling:
  • 4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (reduced fat worked great)
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream (again, reduced fat worked great)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pomegranate Glaze:
  • 1-16-ounce bottle pomegranate juice (usually found in the refrigerated section of juices)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (tutorial on de-seeding here)


  1. For the crust: preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl beat butter on medium high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar. Beat until combined. Add egg; beat well. Beat in flour until combined. Divide dough in half. Cover one portion and set it aside.
  2. Remove the sides from a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. Spread first portion of dough on just the bottom of ungreased springform pan base, spreading dough to edges. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely. When cool, attach sides of pan. Press chilled dough onto the sides of the sprinform pan to a height of 1-3/4 inches, using a thin metal spatula, like an offset spatula, to spread dough.
  3. For the filling: reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. In an extra-large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the flour on low speed until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla all at once, beating on low speed just until combined. Mix in sour cream and lemon peel. Then, using a wooden spoon or a spatula, gently fold in pomegranate seeds (if you use the electric mixer for this part, the seeds will burst and stain the filling with the juice – and it won’t look as pretty).
  4. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 65 minutes or until edges are puffed and center jiggles slightly when gently shaken. Remove from oven. (It doesn’t matter if the cheesecake cracks on top since it will have a sour cream topping.)
  5. For the topping: stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Spread sour cream mixture over top of baked cheesecake, spreading gently to the edges. Return to oven; bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool for 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan; cool completely. Cover; chill 4 hours or overnight.
  6. For pomegranate glaze: in a medium saucepan bring pomegranate juice to boiling; reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until reduced to 1 cup (12 to 15 minutes). In a separate bowl, stir together brown sugar and cornstarch. Add to juice. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Transfer to a medium bowl; cover surface with clear plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature. Store, covered, in refrigerator until serving time.
  7. When ready to serve, remove cheesecake and pomegranate glaze from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Spoon some sauce over top of cheesecake; pile remaining pomegranate seeds in center of cheesecake. To serve, slice cheesecake. Pass remaining sauce.

Recipe Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Pomegranate Cheesecake

49 Responses to Pomegranate Cheesecake

  1. Karen says:

    Hi Mel,
    In the middle of making this cheesecake, I got distracted and refridgerated the cheesecake before the sour cream layer step. Would you recommend just skipping this step or bring the cake back to room temperature and then top it with sour cream ?

  2. Shantell says:

    This is the best cheesecake ever and I have forced my husband (the family chef) to make it for me every thanksgiving in lieu of pumpkin pie (which I hate). The first time I tried it, baked and served by my sister in law, I was so enamored of this cheesecake that I scraped every single little crumb and drop of topping off my plate without noticing everyone at the table staring at me while I did this.

  3. Heather Willis says:

    Love, love, love your website Mel, thanks so much!

    I have a couple of questions about the instructions for this fabulous looking cake I want to make for Christmas.

    In step one you instruct to “Divide dough in half. Cover one portion and set it aside”, then in Step 2, you say to “press chilled dough onto sides of the sprinform pan to a height of 1-3/4 inches”, so I’m assuming this is the same leftover half of the dough you previously set aside – so set aside in the fridge right?

    Also in step 1, you say to “remove the sides from a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. Spread first portion of dough on just the bottom of ungreased springform pan base, spreading dough to edges.” It seems the important piece here is to bake the base without the sides, but wouldn’t it be easier to spread the dough for the base evenly with sides on and then remove it before baking and then put it on again to proceed once cooled? I’m just checking in case there is another reason for doing it the way you advise – otherwise I will do it the other way.

    Thank you in advance for you advice!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Heather – yes, the chilled dough is that 2nd portion that you set aside. I sometimes don’t refrigerate it and it’s fine that way, too.

      About removing the sides, it probably depends a lot on the style of springform pan you have. I actually find with mine it’s easier to spread the dough with the sides removed but either way, as long as it bakes without the sides, you should be good. Good luck!

  4. Kami Stewart says:

    Mel to the rescue again! I seriously don’t think I ever need to look at any other recipe site. I always find what I need here! I wanted to try a pomegranate cheesecake for Thanksgiving this year. But, I better try it out ahead of time, I think. Yesterday I needed a swiss chicken recipe without cream soup. You saved me there, too. You’re the best and i’ve been telling my friends and family to check you out! πŸ™‚

  5. Amanda F says:

    I see my comment from 2011 when I first made this, and I keep coming back every year! This will be the 4th year making this amazing cheesecake. It is seriously my husbands favorite dessert, so much that I am making 3 this year- one for his thanksgiving potluck at work, one for our church Christmas party, and one for Christmas. Very much worth the effort, it is so gorgeous I hate cutting into it, but it tastes as amazing as it looks and has turned out perfect every time. Thank you!

  6. […] Who Dished It Up First: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  7. Travis says:

    Just made this for my family for christmas day dessert and while the cheesecake itself was amazing, I made a goof or two with the sauce and want to warn others so they don’t make the mistakes I did. First, I would look for a “from concentrate” pomegranate juice instead of fresh squeezed or otherwise extracted from seeds juice that I used. The juice that I got (a not from concentrate bottled juice) had a brownish tone and did not have that beautiful Christmas coloring I was going for. This leads me to my next note, which is to add the brown sugar/cornstarch mixture to the boiling juice VERY slowly while possibly also reducing the heat to low for a minute or two before adding. I poured about a tablespoon into the pomegranate juice and it erupted into a overflowing mass of bubbles that took about 1/3-1/2 of the reduced juice so my glaze was now not only brown, but also closer to gelatinous. I had to microwave the glaze to get it pourable after refrigeration and just poured it piece by piece rather than on the whole cake. Even with these folly’s everyone still loved the flavor and I am definitely going to try this again someday. Thanks very much for the recipe!

  8. Emm says:

    I love the look of this recipe and am excited to try it! Quick question: the springform pan I have leaks everywhere. What brand do you use?
    Thanks so much for all the phenomenal recipes!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Emm – I’ve had my springform pans forever and to be honest, I don’t remember where I got them (I just looked and can’t see a brand name). But mine leak, too, so I usually line the outside of the bottom of the pan with foil before I bake to catch any liquid.

  9. Jenny says:

    Before my husband’s birthday, I searched your site for cheesecake recipes. My hubby loves pomegranates AND cheesecake, so when I came across this recipe, I though, “Why not try them together?” He was a little skeptical when I told him about the recipe, but after everything was finished and he had a bite in his mouth, he was won over instantly! This was so creamy and the pomegranates added a nice little pop of juiciness. But I think our favorite part was the glaze… Words can’t even describe how fantastic it was! Needless to say, this is going to be his birthday cake from now on! Thank you so much!

  10. Sarah A says:

    Help!!!!!!! I totally want to make this for xmas eve dinner but I’m headed to the house of a friend who is gluten free. Any suggestions for a different crust?!

    • Mel says:

      Sarah – you could use a gluten free flour substitute for the flour or you could make this with a traditional cracker and butter crust but use a gluten free sweet cracker.

  11. Amanda F says:

    Thanks Melanie! I went ahead and got an inexpensive hand mixer, definitely worth it!
    Of all the desserts at Thanksgiving this evening, this cheesecake had the most taken from it! Everyone loved it! Will definitely be making it again for Christmas. It was beautiful and delicious. This was the first cheesecake I have ever made and was amazed that I was able to create it! Thanks so much. πŸ™‚

  12. Amanda F says:

    Do you think this will freeze well? Say I make the cheesecake tomorrow and freeze until thanksgiving (this upcoming thurs) and make the sauce fresh the day of?

    Also, is it possible to make cheesecake without a mixer? Or is good old elbow grease just not enough? I really want to make this but don’t want to buy an appliance right now…

    • Mel says:

      Amanda – cheesecake freezes beautifully, so yes, you could freeze this tomorrow and pull it out the day before Thanksgiving with great results, making the sauce the day of. Do you have a handheld mixer? I think it would be difficult to get the mixture without lumps just using a whisk but hey, I’m with you on not buying an appliance so anything is worth a try. I definitely don’t think you need a stand mixer (like a Kitchenaid or Bosch) but it would sure help to have a handheld electric mixer. Your forearms will get a great workout without, though!

  13. Aimee says:

    This has got to be my favorite cheesecake recipe! I made this as the dessert for my company Christmas party last year and everyone raved about it for weeks! This is definately in my favorite recipe file. Again another one of your hit recipes!

  14. Katie says:

    I recently made this for my sister’s birthday and it was absolutely delicious!! It will make an appearance several more times this year! I was just lamenting today that I wish I had more frozen pom seeds so that I could make this for my mother in law’s birthday party this weekend!!

  15. Jack says:

    Made this last night with a few modifications: half the amount of cream cheese (original 4 slabs is scary!) and mixed in pom juice into cheesecake rather than seeds to get a purplish cake πŸ™‚ Tasted amazing! Thanks!

  16. Nicole says:

    This is the first (except no bake) cheesecake I attempted, and I was a bit nervous, but it turned out amazing! Perfect ending to our Christmas Eve dinner tonight. I’m actually suprised it made it because I finished it last night and my husband has been wanting to take a taste all day. I made him wait and it was definitely worth it. My parents have like 4 pomegranate trees in their backyard, I’ll have to get her to try this- just wonderful!

    • Mel says:

      Nicole – I’m glad you chose this for Christmas Eve – I made it, too! I’m glad it was a hit (and I’m so jealous about your parents pomegranate trees!).

  17. Jenni says:

    I just have to let you know, I L.O.V.E. pomegranites and so does my husband, so when we saw it combined with cheesecake we had to try it! I bought a spring form pan and made it the night before thanksgiving! it turned out perfect! everybody loved it, and tonight Im making it again for the other side of our family πŸ™‚ It is the first cheesecake I’ve ever made, and there are a lot of steps but these directions made it so easy I just needed to make sure I set aside the time! πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Jenni – I’m happy that your love for pomegranates extended to this cheesecake! I made it for Christmas Eve, too, and am glad others found it delicious.

  18. Tamra says:

    Just wanted to add that I made this in a 9″ springpan and it turned out great. What a wonderful recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it!


  19. Hailey says:

    I love your site! You have so many fun recipes! I made this cheesecake for my work party last weekend and everyone loved it!

  20. Jennifer says:

    Do you have to have a spring form pan? We have a pan that we have done cheesecake in before, and while a spring form would probably be easier, if I don’t have to buy one I would rather not. lol Can’t wait to try it though!

    • Mel says:

      Jennifer – if you already have a pan that isn’t a springform pan but that you have successfully used to make cheesecake in the past then I would say it would work just as well in this recipe. Let me know if you try it!

  21. Matt in Overlook says:

    Thank you so much for posting this Cheesecake recipe. I made it today and just finished a piece…It is by far the BEST Cheesecake I’ve ever eating and/or made. I will not only make this version again, but I think its a nice “base” to use for exploration in the future.

  22. Melanie says:

    Matt in Overlook – wow! That’s a high compliment about this cheesecake…I’m so glad it worked out and that it will work out for some future cheesecake projects. Thanks for letting me know.

  23. Emily says:

    Melanie- I made this for Sunday Dinner! It was excellent! Thanks so much for the recipe! My mom told me it was one of her favorite recipes she had ever eaten!
    Also, I made the Orange Bars! Those were really good as well!

  24. Melanie says:

    Emily – that’s a flattering compliment from your mom. I’m so glad this cheesecake and the orange bars turned out well. Thanks for letting me know!

  25. Gracie says:

    I made this for dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner and it was delicious!! SO festive looking as well…perfect for Christmas! Thanks for posting this recipe.

  26. Melanie says:

    Gracie – when I made this cheesecake my first thought was that it would make the perfect Christmas Eve dessert – the colors are perfect and beautiful and I am so, so glad that it was delicious. Thanks for letting me know!

  27. Melanie says:

    Alisha – I’m so proud of you! Cheesecake can be so intimidating and you started off with a fairly intricate recipe with all the steps. Yay! I’m so glad it worked out.

  28. Alisha says:

    I made it! After having success with the Orange Cream Bars I knew I had to try this next. I love cheesecake, I love Pomegranates… what could be better than a combo act! I had never actually made a cheesecake before– but I just followed the recipe & it was so yummy! I think I cooked down my Pom juice too much, though, because my “glaze” turned into a “jelly”. But I think I would do it that way again… check out my blog to see pictures! THANK YOU MELANIE!

  29. Cammee says:

    Oh heaven. This is to die for and , oh, so beautiful! THANK YOU for the tutorial. Beats the pants off me over the sink with a spoon trying to shovel the little jewels into my mouth.

  30. Meghan says:

    This cheesecake looks incredible!!! You are right – the color is perfect for Christmas. The sour cream topping sounds fantastic too, and I love putting toppings on cheesecakes to hide any imperfections πŸ™‚

  31. Emily Marie says:

    This looks so yummy, looks like I need to break out my springform pan!

  32. Leisel says:

    I wish I had this recipe a few months ago when I was hand juicing what seemed like 12 gallons of pomegranates. Cannot wait to try this.

  33. grace says:

    my goodness, it’s gorgeous. exquisite, even. those arils are so fancy-shmancy, and the red-on-white contrast just makes for a stunning cake. of course, i’m sure it’s tasty too. bravo.

  34. Jenn says:

    This is now on my “to make” list. It looks and sounds heavenly!

    I’ve been debating buying a springform pan for awhile. I think this just made the decision for me!

  35. Lynn says:

    this looks like a winner to me, I have to try this one!!!

  36. megan says:

    how fun and creative! This looks really good. I’ve never made a cheesecake before, but this seems like a good place to start.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Melanie, Love your site. Thanks for so many great recipes. A little tip for anyone lucky enough to have Trader Joes in their neighborhood. They actually carry pomegranite seeds in the refrigerated case. I use them for salads and it is a great timesaver.

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