Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

12 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread is a flavorful holiday appetizer with cream cheese, cranberries, apricots, and orange zest ready in minutes!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread has all the ease of making a traditional Cheese Ball but is packed full the classic holiday flavors of cranberry and orange. It’s one of the many cheesy holiday Appetizer Recipes that that will go just as perfectly on your Thanksgiving table as it will on your leftover turkey sandwiches.

Cranberry Apricot Cream Cheese Dip


The holiday season is quickly approaching, and it’s the perfect time to try new delicious appetizers to serve at your Christmas party. This Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread is all about flavor: it’s a blend of tangy with smooth and savory with sweet.

The result is an incredibly yummy holiday appetizer that looks great on any serving plate and will keep your guests coming back for more.

Cranberry Cream Cheese is one of the easiest appetizer recipes you’ll ever make. All you do is mix the ingredients together in a large bowl until they are completely mixed and voila! You’re ready to serve it. It can be made ahead of time, so if it’s getting down to crunch time for a party, you can throw it together the day before and move on to the next thing on your list.

When it’s party time, serve Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread with an assortment of crackers and breads. I like to make one large platter of mini toasts, water biscuits, sliced baguettes, wheat thins, Triscuits, pretzels, pita chips, and other crackers.

Having a single big tray of assorted “dippables,” and then arranging all your dips and spreads around it, makes it easier for guests to mix and match what they want to try.

This nice thing about this cream cheese spread is that it doesn’t just have to be an appetizer. The dried fruit and the cream cheese make for a tastier, healthy alternative to mayo and cheese on a turkey sandwich.

It also works great on bagels, an energizing and tasty breakfast to help you power through a long weekend of holiday shopping and visiting with relatives.



  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, chopped cranberries, chopped apricots and orange and ginger until well combined.
  • Refrigerate for one hour before serving.
  • Serve with crackers.
Cracker dipped in Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip


What other add-ins can be used in this recipe?

Try mixing in some finely chopped pecans, cashews, or walnuts for a hearty crunch. You can also dice up some green onions and stir them into the spread, or drizzle lemon juice over the top to add more citrus flavor.

How can I make Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread spicy?

To give your cream cheese spread some kick, finely dice some jalapeños and add them in. Make sure you deseed the jalapeño pepper before dicing and adding to your spread.

Can other fruits be used for this holiday spread?

While the cranberries definitely add a festive touch, you can easily swap the fruit for ones you like better. Dried cherries or currants would still have that holiday flavor and taste just as delicious.

How can leftover Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread be used?

Do yourself a big favor and try a Cranberry Cream Cheese turkey sandwich. The Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread is rich and compliments the turkey so much that you don’t really need to add much else to make a perfect Thanksgiving leftovers lunch.

Can I used cranberry sauce in this recipe?

To make this a creamier and cranberry-er spread, blend some Cranberry Sauce with your cream cheese. Once combined, add in your mixed fruit and orange zest.

What crackers go with Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread?

Because of the complexity of the flavors in the spread itself, you want to choose a tasty cracker that is not too strong. The cracker shouldn’t be completely bland, but it should have a milder flavor palate. Try Ritz crackers, or Braton crackers depending on your preference, just be sure to stay away from sweet crackers.



  • Serve: You should not leave your Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Store: Make sure that you wrap Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread with plastic wrap or put it into a sealable bag and refrigerate. In the fridge, the Cream Cheese Spread will stay good for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freeze: Freezing cream cheese is doable, but it will alter the texture. When cream cheese freezes, ice crystals form in the liquid parts of it and then when they thaw, they never return to their original state.
Cranberry Apricot Cheese Dip

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread is a flavorful holiday appetizer with cream cheese, cranberries, apricots, and orange zest ready in minutes!
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries , chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest , grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger , optional


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, chopped cranberries, chopped apricots, orange juice, orange zest and ground ginger until well combined.
  • Refrigerate before serving.
  • Serve with crackers, fruit or sliced baguettes.



Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 449IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread Collage

Photo used in a previous version of this post.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This is so good, added a nice good size seeded jalapeno pepper, rolled it in pecan pieces soo addictive . It made it in the Meller Holiday Recipe book thanks for sharing.

  2. I made this dip for my first attempt at a Christmas charcuterie board, I took to work. I omitted the ginger (I’m not a fan) and everyone loved it! Great recipe!

  3. This appetizer was a hit at my bunco gathering! I substituted the Philadelphia cream cheese with jalapeño to give it a little kick!

  4. Just tried this for pinochle club. Big hit. I didn’t have dried apricots but used dried mangoes. I see another review added pecan pieces. Ill try that too. I think many variations of this recipe could work. Very tasty. The orange juice and ginger are the keys.

  5. Delicious. Served with Carr’s crackers. We thoroughly enjoyed this prior to dinner…next time may add chopped pecans.

  6. I love the orange-cranberry recipes, and can’t wait to try this. However, since I don’t care foe apricots, I think I’ll substitute coarsely chopped pecans. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thank you so much for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it with my husband on Christmas Eve this year! Merry Christmas to you!

  8. Hello, I am planning on making this for Thanksgiving & was wondering if putting chopped dates would blend well with the other ingredients?

    1. Yes, they’d probably be DELICIOUS! I would totally try that. I’d even do a version with blue cheese and dates together. Love dates in savory appetizers.

      1. Thank you for responding to my question. I will let you know how it goes. Excited about trying this. Happy Thanksgiving!!?

  9. I made this for New Years Eve, it was delicious and loved by all! I doubled the recipe, added green onions and three tablespoons of whole cranberry sauce with three tablespoons of orange juice. Served with ritz crackers and sea salt pita chips. The flavor was wonderful! Thank you so much for this new recipe for my recipe box!

  10. I know that you mentioned not to eat this on something sweet, but you should really try this dip with the thin ginger snaps. YUM!

  11. I like your idea of having a platter of different crackers, etc., and then setting out several different kinds of dips/cheese spreads. Along with this Cranberry Cheese Spread, can you suggest other spreads/dips to serve along with this one? (I can’t wait to try this one!)

    1. I love having different ones to satisfy all my guests. Smoked salmon spread or even a classic artichoke dip would definitely be on my list to add. Enjoy!

  12. I want to take this to a party that will last 4to5 hours. You said don’t leave it out over 2 hours. How can I address this Robles????

    1. I would either make a few batches and change them out after 2 hours (if there’s any left) or place the dish in a bowl of ice to stay cooler than room temperature.