Cherry Cheese Log is a delicious holiday party appetizer made with cream cheese, maraschino cherries, and rolled in pecans. It’s easy to make ahead too!
You won’t attend a party this season without running into a savory cheeseball or two but just like my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheeseball, this Cherry Cheese Log is more of a dessert before dinner kind of Appetizer Recipe. It’s sweet and creamy, balanced by crunchy, buttery pecans.
CHERRY CHEESE LOG
Parties are such a great time to connect with friends and family. I just love seeing everyone talking and catching up while enjoying yummy food. Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in the kitchen all night. By having a bunch of appetizers prepared ahead of time, you get to take off your apron and enjoy the fun too.
This recipe for Cherry Cheese Logs is large enough to make 2 full appetizers, which is great for prepping ahead. You can pop one of your Cherry Cheese Logs in the refrigerator until your guests have gobbled down the first one.
Or, if you are making them for a Christmas Eve party, save one of the logs for snacking on the next day while opening presents or to dress up a Christmas morning brunch.
Cherry Cheese Logs are so easy to make especially when you start with softened cream cheese. I recommend leaving it out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before starting. It’ll not only make the mixing process easier but it’ll prevent lumps throughout the logs too.
If you’ve forgotten to take it out, don’t worry, you can always microwave it by placing 1 block of completely unwrapped cream cheese at a time into a microwave-safe bowl and microwaving it for 15 seconds.
What to Serve with your Cherry Cheese Log:
Cherry Cheese Logs can be served alongside so many different options. Include pretzels, water crackers, vanilla wafers, graham crackers or even apple slices for your guests to choose from. This appetizer is so good you won’t want to save it just for Christmas time, you’ll want to have it for all of your birthdays, showers and Super Bowl parties.
MORE CHEESE APPETIZERS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
HOW TO MAKE CHERRY CHEESE LOG
- Wash and chop and dry the cherries well.
- Mix the cream cheese, orange zest, ginger, and sugar and cherries.
- Make it into a log.
- Roll it in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Roll in chopped pecans and top with more cherries.
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VARIATIONS ON CHERRY CHEESE LOG
- Fruit: Change up the fruit or berries in this cheese log to your favorite. Adding cranberry would be a fun, festive twist during the holidays.
- Nuts: You can always swap out the pecans in this dish for a nut you like better like almonds or walnuts. Adding some chopped pistachios inside and out would go perfectly with the cherries.
- Spiced: Mix equal parts cream cheese and white cheddar cheese, add in dried cherries and season with Pumpkin Pie Spice. Finish off by rolling in pecans.
Can you make Cherry Cheese Logs ahead of time?
Yes, Cherry Cheese Logs make a great make-ahead party appetizer.
You’ll want to combine all the ingredients to form the cheese logs then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then again in foil before placing them into the refrigerator. Doing so not only helps to keep their shape but allows them to last longer. You can make them up to 6 days in advance.
On the day of the party, pull the logs out and roll them in pecans. Allow them to sit out for 15-20 minutes before serving for easier dipping.
EVEN MORE HOLIDAY APPETIZER RECIPES
Make sure to check out my other Appetizer Recipes for more sweet and savory crowd pleasers.
HOW LONG IS CHERRY CHEESE LOG GOOD?
- Serve: Don’t leave Cherry Cheese Log out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
- Store: Cheese Logs should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then again in foil before placing them in the refrigerator for 6 days.
- Freeze: Cherry Cheese Logs are great to make ahead of time. Before adding the pecans, wrap the log in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe storage bag. It will be good for up to 3 months.
- 10 ounces maraschino cherries
- 24 ounces cream cheese , 3 blocks (packages) softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 orange , zested
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup pecans , chopped
- Drain the cherries, then rinse them very well.
- Chop the cherries, rinse them again and dry them with a paper towel until the paper towel is not becoming red every time it touches them (the cherries must be very dry and well rinsed).
- In your stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese, sugar, orange zest, and ground ginger until well combined then barely fold in the cherries.
- Scoop the cream cheese mixture onto a large 15x30 piece of plastic wrap.
- Shape the cream cheese into a log like mixture then close the plastic wrap over it and twist the edges in opposite directions until you have a tight log shape.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Remove the cheese from the refrigerate and unroll from the plastic wrap then roll it in the pecan pieces until well coated.