Cheese/ Finger Food

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Log

November 20, 2020 by Chris Collins

This easy cheese log recipe requires just 5 ingredients! It’s the ultimate crowd pleaser and makes the perfect finger food at gatherings.

cheese log on wooden board surrounded by crackers

The BEST Cheese Log Recipe

A cheese log is perfect for so many different occasions. This is always one of my go-tos when I’m hosting a gathering or dinner party. Perfect to plonk in the middle of the table and let people get stuck in. Here’s what you’ll need to make the easiest (and most delicious) cheese log:

  • Dried Cranberries – AKA ‘craisins’. Just roughly diced.
  • Pecans – You can lightly toast these if you wish, I usually want to tuck right in so skip this step. Roughly diced again.
  • Chives – These add a gorgeous burst of flavour and colour. You could sub spring onion if you prefer that flavour.
  • Cream Cheese – This creates the base of the log. Cream cheese has the perfect texture; it’s creamy enough to slice but firm enough to hold shape.
  • Cheddar – I recommend a nice sharp cheddar, just to cut through the creaminess of the cream cheese. This is important so don’t skip!

And that’s it! Just 5 simple ingredients.

close up shot of cheese log showing filling

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Log

When it comes to making the log you’ll need to split your cranberry, pecan and chive mix and fold half with the cheese and use the second half to coat the outside.

Can I use a different cheese?

Cream cheese is the perfect texture for forming into a log, so it’s what I recommend using. I have subbed out some of it with goats cheese in the past which works nicely, but only add this if you know you like the flavour. Some blue cheese also works nicely, but again I’d only sub in a little amount so you don’t go overboard.

Can I sub the cranberries?

Most dried fruits actually work great here! Raisins and dried cherries to name a couple.

Can I use different nuts?

In the past I have made this recipe with both walnuts and pistachios, both work great!

Process shots: combine pecans, cranberries and chives (photo 1), add cream cheese to second bowl (photo 2), add cheddar and half pecan mix (photo 3), combine (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make cranberry pecan log

How to make a Cheese Log

When it comes to forming the shape of the log, unless your cheese mix is fairly firm, I recommend resting it in the fridge before you coat the outside.

Can I make this into a cheese ball?

Yep! You can make a classic cream cheese ball instead of a log if you prefer. I just find a log slightly more festive and easier to slice!

Process shots: lay cling film on chopping board (photo 1), add cheese mix (photo 2), form log shape and tightly wrap (photo 3), spread pecan mix (photo 4), add cheese log (photo 5), coat the outside until completely covered (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make pecan cranberry log

Serving a Cheese Log

When it comes to serving the cheese log I recommend placing on some crumpled parchment paper (just so it collects any toppings that fall) then plonk on a chopping board with a knife and some crackers! I love serving with Ritz crackers, just for that extra burst of salty flavour.

If you like the sound of this recipe definitely make sure you give my Cream Cheese & Onion Ball a ganders!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

Crowd Pleasing Finger Food Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this easy cheese log recipe shall we?!

cheese log on wooden board surrounded by crackers

overhead shot of cheese on cracker above board

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How to make a Cheese Log (Full Recipe & Video)

cheese log on wooden board surrounded by crackers

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Log

This easy cheese log recipe requires just 5 ingredients! It's the ultimate crowd pleaser and makes the perfect finger food at gatherings.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Finger Food
Cuisine: Western
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time (optional): 1 hour
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 6
Calories: 398kcal
Cost per serving: £1.50 / $2

Equipment:

  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Large Mixing Bowl & Spatula
  • Cling Film
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Cheese Grater

Ingredients (check list):

  • 9oz / 250g Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup / 150g Dried Cranberries, roughly diced
  • 1 cup / 125g Pecans, roughly diced
  • 1 cup / 100g Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup / 4 tbsp finely diced Chives (could sub spring onion)

Instructions:

  • In a small mixing bowl combine diced pecans, cranberries and chives.
  • In a large mixing bowl add cream cheese & cheddar, then use a spatula to combine with HALF of the pecan mix (save the rest to coat the outside).
  • Add the cheese mix to a large sheet of cling film and mould into a log shape, using the cling film to tightly contain it (see video for guidance). Pop in the fridge until ready to serve. I recommend at least an hour anyway, just to firm up the cheese. If your mix is fairly firm you'll get away with skipping the resting time.
  • When ready to serve, spread the second half of your pecan mix on a chopping board. Unwrap the cheese log and coat all over with the pecan mix.
  • Serve on a board with crackers. Enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Can I use different nuts? - Sure! I've used walnuts and pistachios in place of the pecans before, both work great. 
b) Can I use different cheese? - I recommend cream cheese as it has the perfect texture to form the log. If you wanted to add a different flavour profile you could fold in some goats cheese if you like that.
c) Can I sub the cranberries? - Any sort of dried fruit works well here! Or at least any sort of dried fruit that goes nicely with nuts. I don't recommend fresh fruit, it'll turn the log sloppy and won't hold shape.
d) Inspiration - Inspired by GimmeDelicious cranberry pecan ball! 
e) Calories - whole log divided by 6 people.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Pecan Cheese Log
Amount Per Serving
Calories 398 Calories from Fat 298
% Daily Value*
Fat 33.09g51%
Saturated Fat 12.894g64%
Trans Fat 0.222g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.581g
Monounsaturated Fat 12.026g
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 277mg12%
Potassium 149mg4%
Carbohydrates 20.91g7%
Fiber 2.7g11%
Sugar 15.21g17%
Protein 8.58g17%
Vitamin A 773IU15%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 183mg18%
Iron 0.72mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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