A Santa hat cheeseball is the perfect sweet and savory appetizer for your next holiday gathering. Festive and fun, this adorable dipper features creamy cheese, lightly sweet and tart cranberries, and sharp white cheddar.
If you’ve been following along for awhile, you know that I adore making cheeseballs.
I serve them for almost every occasion, but my favorites are definitely my holiday varieties.
From savory appetizer version to sweet dessert ones, I have made many for the holidays over the years.
This Santa hat version may be one of my favorites because not only is it a fun, holiday shape but it features a festive flavor combo I love.
- Cream cheese – Regular, full fat cream cheese will give the best flavor. Let it soften on the counter before you use it,
- Cheddar cheese – Make sure you use white cheddar so the final color comes out properly. Buy pre-shredded or grate your own.
- Seasonings– Chopped chives, worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder.
- Dried cranberries – Use any variety of Craisins, or you could also use dried cherries instead.
How to make
This is so easy to make!
First, add the softened cream cheese to a mixing bowl and then use a hand mixer to whip it until it becomes smooth & creamy.
Next, add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT cranberries to the cream cheese and mix until just combined.
Transfer most of the mixture to plastic wrap and then wrap it completely to close. Use your hands to gently shape it into a rough conical hat shape before transferring 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture to it’s own smaller piece of wrap, wrapping it, and shaping it into a little ball.
Refrigerate both pieces for 1 to 2 hours.
Add the cranberries to a large flat plate and then spread them out into a single layer.
Next, remove the cone shaped cheese ball from the fridge, unwrap it, and roll it in the cranberries to coat. You may need to press them in to the side to help them stick and to cover any gaps or bare spots.
Transfer the prepared hat to a serving tray and then unwrap the small ball, shape it (if needed), and secure it with a tooth pick to the top of the hat.
Finally, allow the mixture to soften for 10 to 15 minutes before serving with your favorite dippers.
Serving and storing
You can make this Santa hat shaped cheese ball a few days in advance of your gathering, party, or Christmas celebration. It should store nicely in the fridge in an airtight container for about 2 to 3 days.
To serve, remove the hat from the fridge about 10 to 15 minutes before you want to serve it. This will give the ball time to become soft, which makes it easier to scoop up when dipping into it.
You can pair this with any of your favorite dippers.
My favorites are:
- pieces of baguette
- melba toast
- pretzel sticks
- cucumber slices
- carrot and celery sticks
Tips and tricks
- For a creamier texture, sub 4 oz of cream cheese for 4 oz of goat cheese.
- If you want some crunch, you can add chopped pecans or walnuts.
- For the best flavor and texture, shred your own cheddar cheese.
- No longer the holidays? You can still make this, just skip shaping it. It makes a great winter (or any time of year) cheeseball too!
- Don’t love the flavor combo but want to make a Santa hat shape? Go for it. Check out my basic cheeseball recipe and use that as a base.
Other Christmas cheeseballs you’ll love
A Santa hat cheeseball is a fun, seasonal appetizer, perfect for any holiday gathering. Make it for your next celebration and enjoy!
For other festive Christmas cheeseball ideas, check out these recipes below:
If you’ve tried this SANTA HAT CHEESEBALL, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Santa Hat Cheeseball
- 2 8 oz blocks cream cheese softened
- 3 1/2-4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups dried cranberries such as Craisins, can also use dried cherries
- Add the softened cream cheese to a mixing bowl, and using a hand mixer whip it until smooth & creamy.
- Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT cranberries to the cream cheese, mixing just until evenly combined.
- Transfer most of the mixture to syran wrap, and wrap it completely to close. Gently use your hands to shape it into a rough conical hat shape. Transfer 2-3 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture to it's own smaller piece of wrap, wrap it, and shape it into a little ball. Refrigerate both pieces for 1-2 hours.
- Add the cranberries to a large flat plate, and spread them out into a single layer.
- Remove the cheeseball from the fridge, un wrap it, and roll it in the cranberries to coat. Press them in to the side if needed to stick, and to cover any gaps or bare spots.
- Transfer the prepared hat to a serving tray of choice. Unwrap the small ball, shape it (if needed), and secure it with a tooth pick to the top of the hat.
- Allow the mixture to soften for 10-15 minutes before serving with your favorite dipping options.
recipe adapted from Julie Blanner