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Orange Cranberry Charlotte Russe

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Orange cranberry Charlotte Russe is a pretty dessert that is actually pretty simple to make. The lady finger crust holds a mousse like filling with orange zest and bananas. The orange cranberry topping adds striking color and another layer of flavor. Together it makes a stunning dessert that is perfect for the holidays or a dinner party.

Lifting first slice of Charlotte Russe up, showing smooth mousse like orange banana filling, lady finger crust and cranberry sauce topping.

If you are looking for a no bake fruity dessert that looks amazing but is easy to make, you are in the right place. This Charlotte Russe is a showstopper befitting of guests and is able to be made in advance, making it perfect!

I think it is the perfect new treat for your holiday dessert table.  It looks elegant with is pretty crown and vibrant red topping.

The orange cranberry sauce on top makes me think Thanksgiving, but isn’t the color perfect for Christmas?  You should definitely plan to make it for both!

Bite of creamy orange cranberry and banana charlotte russe on fork showing showing the creamy texture of the center.

Want to know the best part(s)?  Don’t worry I’ll tell you!  Here are a few:

  1. It is no bake, so you don’t need to jockey for oven space!
  2. It is sweet enough to be dessert, but it isn’t sickeningly sweet.
  3. You can make it a day or two in advance.
  4. It has three kinds of fruit in it, and wholesome dairy.  So, it is practically a health food!

Are you convinced you should make it yet?  You definitely should be!

I mean really, doesn’t it look pretty?  The filling is so light and fluffy.  

The cranberry sauce adds so much flavor.  The lady fingers make it look so pretty and elegant.

Ingredients ready to be made into no bake cranberry orange Charlotte Russe.

I have been wanting to make something like this for quite some time and finally had a perfect excuse.  We were invited to dinner at some friends’ house and I was on the dessert committee.  

Score!  Time to pull out all of the stops!

The Lady Finger Crust

All you have to do is make a “crust” out of lady fingers.  Dip them in a little orange juice to add that extra punch of orange flavor.

Just cut the lady fingers to size and quickly dunk them in orange juice. You want to put them in and quickly take them out, don’t let them soak.

This little dunk in juice softens them up a bit and gives them a cakelike texture. If you let them absorb too much liquid, they will be too soft to work with and the extra juice may leak out of the springform pan.

Lady fingers dipped in orange juice and arranged in springform pan to make the exterior of the Charlotte Russe.

Use the little bits you cut off the lady fingers to form the bottom crust. It’s okay if it isn’t perfectly filled in, but you want as much of the bottom covered as possible.

Using those little bits to form a ring around the side of the pan will also help to hold up the outer circle of cookies. It really is quite a simple process and it goes pretty quickly once you get moving.

The Creamy Banana Orange Filling

The filling is super easy to make as well. Start by whipping a softened brick of cream cheese until it is lump free and creamy.

Add a couple of bananas and mix them in until they are also smooth. The bananas are what adds the natural sweetness to this filling.

Fluffy creamy orange and banana filling on a balloon whisk showing stiff peaks.

A little orange zest and heavy whipping cream round out the filling ingredients. Slowly add the cream at first allowing it to fully incorporate before adding more.

Be sure to stop and scrape the sides a few times to make sure there aren’t any lumps of cream cheese hiding anywhere. Once all of the cream is incorporated, beat the mixture until it forms medium to stiff peaks.

Creamy filling spread inside the lady finger crust in the springform pan.

The filling almost gets a mousse like texture and is super creamy. If you want to add a splash of vanilla to the mix, that would be good too.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the center of your pan and gently spread it towards the edges. You don’t want to mess up your beautiful crust.

The Cranberry Sauce

The cranberry sauce is super simple to make as well. Just bring some orange juice, cranberries and sugar to a boil and then simmer until the mixture is thick and delicious.

You can use the sauce chunk if you want, but I prefer the look of a smooth sauce. You can mash the berries and put them through a strainer to get out the solids which is what I did the first time I made it.

This time however, I opted to use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. You could also use a food processor or traditional blender, just be careful so the steam doesn’t build up if you are doing it while it’s hot.

Slice of cranberry orange charlotte on small dessert plate showing the layers of goodness.

Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before smoothing it over the chilled filling. I usually use about half of the sauce to top the Charlotte Russe.

The remaining cranberry sauce can be used as a garnish when you are plating the dessert. Or you can swirl it into your oatmeal, yogurt or a variety of other things instead.

The color is amazing and the flavor is perfect for the holidays.  This dessert feels so indulgent and elegant.  Nobody will ever guess how easy it was!  

Lifting first slice of Charlotte Russe up, showing smooth mousse like orange banana filling, lady finger crust and cranberry sauce topping.

Orange Cranberry Charlotte Russe

Servings: 12 Servings (a 9-inch dessert)
Author: Carlee
This charlotte russe is loaded with creamy filling, cranberry topping and orange soaked lady fingers. It is elegant, delicious and no bake!
4.93 from 14 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes




  • 2 small bananas ripe but not overripe
  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • zest of one orange
  • cup heavy cream


  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar


  • Cut the lady fingers to the height of your 9" springform pan. Dip each lady finger quickly into the orange juice.  Just pass it through the orange juice, you don’t want them to get soggy.  Place around the edge of the pan, using the cut ends to make the bottom crust. Don’t worry if the bottom isn’t completely filled in, but you do want the outer rim to be complete.
    7 oz lady fingers, 1 cup orange juice
  • In your mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the bananas and beat until smooth.
    8 oz. cream cheese, 2 small bananas
  • Add the zest, mixing to combine.  Add a little bit of the cream and incorporate it fully to lighten the cream cheese mixture. Continue to add cream, mixing until combined.
    zest of one orange, 1¼ cup heavy cream
  • Beat on medium-high until the mixture holds medium peaks. Carefully spoon into prepared lady finger crust and spread until smooth.  Refrigerate.
  • Meanwhile, make the cranberry topping by bringing orange juice, cranberries, and sugar to a boil over medium-low heat.  Drop heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.  If desired, blend the mixture until smooth.  
    1 cup orange juice, 12 ounces fresh cranberries, ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Allow sauce to cool to room temperature for at least an hour while the filling is chilling.
  • Spread about half of the cooled cranberry sauce over the chilled filling and return to refrigerator until ready to serve.  Use the rest of the cranberry sauce for serving or save it for other uses.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 311kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 92mgFiber: 2gSugar: 22g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.93 from 14 votes (12 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Vanessa Rottner

Sunday 13th of March 2016

If you can't obtain Mascarpone cheese, it's easy to make. You need 500 ml (2 cups of) heavy cream, bring to medium heat stirring constantly, until to coats the wooden spoon, add 3 teaspoons of lemon (I prefer this to vinegar). Keep stirring until thickens. Cool in bath of cool water, for 20 minutes. Refrigerate (strain in cheese cloth with strainer with bowl underneath) should look like cream cheese. You can reserve the whey in the bottom of the bowl for other cooking.


Monday 14th of March 2016

It would be so much fun to make my own mascarpone! I'll have to give that a try!

Vanessa Rottner

Sunday 13th of March 2016

This traditional Edwardian dish was often served for lunch in the U.K. It cranberry/orange is placed on the bottom so that when it is 'flipped'after resting in the fridge the bottom becomes the top. This looks wonderful, I made my first when I was 15. Now Carlee you have whet my appetite. Bon Appetite. Thank you for the lovely photo's.


Sunday 13th of March 2016

Oh my, I would love to see it done that way! Thank you!


Tuesday 1st of December 2015

We really enjoyed having something a little different with our holiday meal!


Tuesday 1st of December 2015

Good golly Miss Molly, luv the delicious recipe. To die for. Wow, prize amazon gc is fab. & splendid. 2 fingers snap. It is tight, fly & off the chain. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. :) Pick me, pick me! Dear Santa: I’ve been nice. My X-Mas wish this year is to win this contest. Starving artist here desperately needs the gc to shop and eat. A life changing exp.


Tuesday 1st of December 2015

Good luck!


Saturday 28th of November 2015

This is simply divine! :-)


Saturday 28th of November 2015

Thank you, Sherry!