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This decadent, gooey Baked Camembert Cheese Recipe is the ultimate appetizer for any party – requiring just 5 simple ingredients and 20 minutes. Featuring warm oven camembert topped with a sweet, tart cranberry compote and served with loads of crusty bread for dipping, this elegant cheese appetizer is always a crowd pleaser! 

Featured comment: What a beautiful presentation and it’s super delicious. I just love cranberries and orange together. And brandy?…be still my heart!! I loved this!!” – Stacey

Continue to read on to learn all the tips and tricks for baking a camembert at home! And, don’t miss the step by step photos and recipe video at the bottom of this post!

Overhead photo of warm camembert cheese with cranberries, crostini, and crackers.

Update: This recipe was originally published in December 2016. I made updates to the article below to include more information about Camembert. Plus, there’s now step-by-step photos and a recipe video showing you *just* how quick and easy this baked cheese is to make!

Hi friends and welcome to the calm before the holiday storm. I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe Christmas and Hanukkah will be here in just two days, and Kwanzaa is only three days away!

I know you guys have places to go, people to see, and a plethora of cookies to eat, so I’m going to get right to today’s delicious recipe. Normally a beautiful wheel of brie en croute is my holiday cheese of choice, but this year I decided to go with a funky upgrade – camembert.

Close-up photo of scored camembert for baking.

About this baked camembert cheese

Warm, ooey-gooey, hunk-a-hunk-a cheesy, cheesy love is happening right here!!! Because, it’s just not the holidays without copious amounts of cheese! Am I right, or am I right?!

This appetizer, or hors d’oeuvre if your fancy, is the holly-jolly bomb-diggity of starters, my friends!

This recipe features creamy, rich and totally decadent camembert cheese baked until warm and ooey-gooey! All that velvety, luscious deliciousness is generously topped off with a festive compote made of juicy, tart cranberries, citrusy orange zest and herbaceous thyme. Essentially, this gooey cheese situation can be summed up on one word – drool-fest!!! (Okay, technically that’s one hyphenated word.)

Fast and flavorful, this Camembert recipe is perfect for last minute gatherings! Make it the star of your show and serve it simply with toast points or sturdy crackers! Or, try adding it to your charcuterie board with plenty of hearty meats, fresh fruits, toasted nuts and homemade jam.

In case you aren’t familiar with camembert, get ready for your world to be rocked!! Continue to read on for a little 411 on one of the best cheeses (ever)!!

Why you’ll love this camembert recipe

  • Unbeatable flavor! What’s not to love about warm, ooey-gooey cheese with an incredibly flavorful cranberry and orange compote topping?
  • Insanely easy to prepare and ready in 20 minutes!
  • Only requires five ingredients, plus a couple pantry staples (oil and salt)!
  • Prep ahead! You can make the compote and prep the camembert in advance, making it perfect for parties and last minute entertaining!

What is camembert cheese?

Camembert is a round, soft-ripened cheese that originates in Normandy, France. This cow’s milk cheese has an edible, bloomy white rind and a soft, ever-so-slightly runny interior. It’s fragrant and funky, with a creamy, rich and decadent texture. The flavor of Camembert cheese is often described as earthy, nutty and slightly fruity or mushroomy.

Camembert is reasonable in price and readily available at most major grocery stores in the specialty cheese aisle.

What’s the difference between camembert and brie?

Camembert is so similar to the more well-known Brie cheese that they can be used interchangeably. They are often confused, given their similarities; however, there are a few subtle differences that set these two cheeses apart.

  • Origin: Camembert originates in Normandy, in the northwest of France. Brie gets its name from the French region near Paris where it originated.
  • Texture: Brie is somewhat creamier in texture due to the addition of cream, while Camembert tends to be moderately denser.
  • Taste: Camembert is deliciously intense in flavor with a nutty and earthy taste, but Brie is slightly more delicate with a creamy, buttery taste.

Take away: You can absolutely substitute brie for camembert in this recipe if you prefer!

Overhead photo of a cheese board with camembert in oven, cranberry topping, toasts, crackers, grapes, and nuts.

What you need to bake camembert cheese

This camembert is rich, decadent and always a hit at any party! This easy baked cheese recipe is made with 5 simple ingredients, plus a couple pantry staples, to create a ooey-gooey cheese appetizer you and your family will love!

Below are the ingredients I typically use. However, this recipe is flexible and easy to adapt to your family’s tastes or needs!  Be sure to see below for tips on customizing this baked cheese! (Scroll down for detailed measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.)


  • Camembert Cheese: You need one (8 ounce) wheel for Camembert for recipe. (Scroll down for camembert substitutions.)
  • Brandy: Aromatic brandy provides a touch of slight sweetness and fruity, citrusy flavor.
  • Oil: A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil infuses the cheese with rich, luscious flavor.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Kosher salt or flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper enhance all the flavors.
  • Cranberry Compote: A simple, yet delicious sweet and tart combination of fresh or frozen berries, orange zest, fresh thyme leaves, brandy and granulated sugar.

Recipe variations

Want to make a few changes to this oven camembert cheese recipe? Wonderful! Get creative – add or substitute your favorite ingredients to create a recipe you and your family will love! Below are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Cheese: Can’t get your hands on camembert, or simply prefer a different cheese!? Great! You can use Brie, Saint-André, Brillat-Savarin or Mt Tam. (See below for more detail on cheese substitutes!)
  • Oil: Want even more flavor? Try using a flavor-infused cooking oil (instead of olive oil) to really jazz up this cheese! Herb or orange flavored oils are a great way to add even more flavor.
  • Liquor or Liqueurs: Don’t have any brandy on hand? No worries! Try substituting dry sherry, cognac, bourbon, scotch, whisky, rum and orange liqueur!
    • Dry sherry will provide a similar depth and subtlety of flavor that mimics brandy well.
    • Aged Cognac is rich in taste with fruity and citrusy flavors.
    • Bourbon is earthy in flavor with a touch of sweetness..
    • Scotch will add complexity through its smoky notes of flavor.
    • Orange liqueur will provide a bright, crisp and clean flavor. I suggest either Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
  • Herbs: Fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and sage will all provide herbaceous, slightly earthy flavor.
  • Spreads and Sauces: Want to keep things super quick and easy?! Substitute the cranberry compote for your favorite relish, chutney or preserve.
  • Topping: A generous drizzle of honey or maple syup is the perfect sweet addition to this warm camembert cheese recipe!!

Angled photo of a oven camembert cheese topped with cranberry orange compote.

FAQs: frequently asked questions

What’s the best substitute for Camembert?

If you can’t find Camembert, or simply prefer to use another soft, creamy cheese, no worries! You can substitute any of the soft-ripened cheeses with bloomy rinds listed below for Camembert in this oven baked cheese recipe.

  • Brie Cheese: Brie is the most common substitution for Camembert. It’s also a double-crème cheese; however, it’s somewhat creamier with a more delicate flavor and buttery taste.
  • Saint-André: Saint-André is a triple-crème cow’s milk cheese also originating in Normandy, France. It has a very high fat content and a smooth, rich and buttery taste. Essentially, it’s like a more intense version of Brie.
  • Brillat-Savarin: Brillat-Savarin is another example of a French triple-crème cheese. It’s extremely creamy and buttery with undertones of chanterelle mushrooms and lemon.
  • Mt Tam: Mt. Tam is yet another triple-crème cow’s milk cheese; however, it originates in California. It has a dense, luscious and creamy core with notes of crème fraîche and cultured butter.

How to select the best camembert for baking?

It takes a long time for Camembert to go bad; however, you should always start by checking the expiration date on the label.

How to tell if my cheese went bad?

  • Smell: The easiest way to tell if cheese is past its prime is to remove it from its wrapping and smell it. If the cheese has a very strong aroma of ammonia, it is past its prime and needs to be thrown away.
  • Sight: Inspect the rind on the cheese – it should look fresh and white, without any brown spots.
  • Feel: Pick up the cheese – the wheel should feel plump and dry; never wet or slimy.

Do you eat the rind on baked camembert recipes?

Yes! Cheeses with soft rinds – often referred to as a bloomy rinds – such as Camembert and brie are safe and edible (and delicious!) to eat! The rind adds a distinct complexity of flavor and a delicious textural contrast to the cheese.

The bloomy white rind is naturally made from some combination of mold, yeast, or yeast-like fungus that literally “blooms” on the exterior of a ripening cheese to eventually form a cohesive skin, or rind. This mold ages the cheese from the outside in. Meaning, the live rind breaks down the proteins and fats of the cheese, which in turn helps to promote an increasingly creamy texture over time.

Take away: If you have never had the pleasure of eating the rind on soft, bloomy cheeses, you should try it! Take a small bite and see if you like it! If you do – that’s wonderful; if you don’t – simply use a sharp knife to cut it away and discard it.

Why score the top of cheese before baking?

Scoring the top rind of Camembert (or Brie) before baking is imperative for two reason! As the cheese bakes in the oven, the top slightly expands and swells. Gently scoring the top before baking helps the interior of the cheese get better exposure to the heat, which creates a more melty, delicious baked cheese! Also, scoring allows the air to escape the cheese in a controlled manner during the baking process, which prevents your cheese from exploding in the oven.

Take away: By taking a just a quick moment to score the top of your cheese, you are preventing it from exploding and causing a hot mess. Plus, you are ensuring the interior of your cheese is molten and delicious!

How long to bake camembert?

Fifteen to twenty minutes in a 350°F (177°C) oven is plenty of time to heat Camembert cheese through. Overcooking cheese can actually cause the cheese to re-harden, making it tough and unappetizing. Camembert is done baking when the cheese is very soft to the touch and ever-so-slightly oozy.

How to store soft cheeses?

Store Camembert in the fridge in its original wrapper and box packaging until you are ready to use it. If you purchased a loose wheel of Camembert from a cheesemonger, proper storage is important! Since the cheese is alive, you don’t want to suffocate it, which will kill the mold and good enzymes. To store a loose wheel of soft-ripened cheese, wrap it gently in cheese paper or wax paper. Then, very loosely wrap the cheese in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.

Unopened or properly wrapped soft-ripened cheeses, such as Camembert or Brie, will keep as long as their shelf life and expiration date dictates – this can be anywhere from 2-8 weeks. Make sure you use or bake Camembert before the indicated ‘best buy’ date.

Can I freeze camembert?

Alternatively, you can also store unopened Camembert in the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze, leave the Camembert in its original packaging. Wrap it in plastic wrap and transfer the cheese to a freezer-safe zip-closure bag. Remove all the air from the bag before sealing. To use, place the cheese in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Once you have defrosted the cheese, use it within 2 days. Pro-tip: Freezing and defrosting Camembert will slightly alter the consistency. However, since you will be baking it in this camembert cheese recipe, you will not notice a difference in the final dish!

Overhead photo of a baked camembert wheel with cranberry topping and crackers on a marble board.

How to bake a camembert in oven

Now that we have our bases covered, let’s talk about how insanely easy it is to bake camembert at home!

  1. Make the cranberry compote (optional): First, you heat some brandy and sugar in a pan and add half the cranberries. Cook those babies until they burst, then add the remaining cranberries and bring to a boil. You want to add the cranberries in two stages, so half the cranberries get saucy and the other half stay juicy and plump. It’s all about the texture, folks. Next stir in the orange zest and thyme. Viola – compote done.
  2. Prepare the camembert: While the compote is cooking, prepare the camembert for baking. Use a sharp knife and score the top of the camembert. Transfer it to a baking tray or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour on a bit of brandy (notice a theme here?), olive oil and salt.
  3. Bake: Place the cheese in the oven and bake until the camembert is beautifully soft and melty.
  4. Serve: All that’s left to do is serve this cheesy beauty!. Top the cheese with the compote and serve with crackers or a baguette.

Boom. Ridiculously easy, yet exceptionally elegant baked cheese for your face-stuffing pleasure!

Tips for the best oven camembert

While baking cheese is an incredibly easy process, below are a few simple tips and easy tricks to ensure this camembert cheese recipe turns out perfectly gooey and delicious every single time!

  1. Bake cheese in the box: While you need to remove the wax wrapping, you should bake Camembert right in its wooden box. If your box is broken, you can use aluminum foil to form a makeshift box.
  2. Score the cheese: Make sure you score the top of the cheese with a sharp paring knife. I tend to do a crosshatch pattern, but a deep cross will work too! (See below for more on scoring cheese.)
  3. Don’t over bake: Never overcook Camembert or Brie cheese. Over baking can actually cause the cheese to re-harden, make it very unappetizing. (See below for more on baking cheese.)
  4. Let it rest: While you should serve your cheese warm out of the oven, it’s important to let if rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Resting the Camembert allows the cheese to settle before you cut in to it. It also ensures none of your guests burn their tongues on scolding hot cheese.
  5. Cranberry compote: The cranberry compote is completely optional, but totally delicious! You can use fresh of frozen cranberries, depending upon what you can easily access. You can make the compote up to 5 days in advance. Simple cover the sauce and store in the refrigerator. When you are ready to use, bring the compote to room temperature before serving. Or, if you want a warm compote, place the sauce in a small pan over low heat and gently cook until warm throughout.

Step by step photos: camembert how to bake in the oven

(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed instructions in the complete printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)

Step by step photo collage illustrating how to bake camembert cheese in the oven with written instructions on each step.

Serving Camembert cheese baked

Soft-ripened baked cheeses, such as Camembert or brie, are rich and luscious enough that you can serve them as a stand alone appetizer, starter or hors d’oeuvre. However, baked camembert in the oven is best served with crusty bread, sturdy crackers, or slices of fruit for scooping up all the delicious, oozy cheese! Below are a few of my favorite serving suggestions and pairing options for oven Camembert cheese recipes.

Serving suggestions

Camembert is a delicious and gorgeous addition to cheese platters and meat and cheese tray/boards (Charcuterie)

  • Bread: Sturdy breads are the perfect vehicle to scoop up all the cheesy goodness! Crostini, baguette, ciabatta, artisan bread, toast points or bread sticks are all wonderful options!
  • Crackers: Much like bread, crackers make a great vessel for getting all the cheesy goodness into your mouth! Water crackers, gourmet crackers, multigrain crackers and homemade parmesan crisps are all winners!
  • Fresh Fruits: Sturdy fruits, such as whole strawberries or slices of pears and apples are a healthy tool for scooping up melty cheese. Delicate fresh fruits, such as grapes, raspberries, blueberries, tangerines and figs, or a pomegranate and cucumber salad are wonderful for serving on the side!
  • Dried Fruits: Chewy fruits, such as apricots, figs, pineapple, cranberries and cherries pair perfectly, plus they add a beautiful pop of color!
  • Marinated vegetables: Olives and cornichon pickles provide a touch of bright tartness, while marinated mushrooms and artichokes offer a bit of earthy deliciousness!
  • Nuts: Your favorite roasted nuts, or variety of nuts, will all work great! Walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios and hazelnuts are a few of my favorites!
  • Cured Meats (or cold cuts): Bacon, prosciutto (ham), confit, salami, mortadella (sausage) and pepperoni are all a delicious match for cheese!
  • Spreads: Add a bit of color and sweetness with jams, preserves, chutneys and honey!

Pairing options

Looking to serve this warm, oozy oven camembert cheese recipe as a part of a small plate menu or appetizer spread for entertaining? Below are a few delicious appetizers that pair well with baked cheeses, cheese boards and charcuteries!

Ten appetizers that go well with a cheese plate

  • Popcorn or Caramel Corn: Airy, sweet popcorn or caramel corn and cheese go together beautifully.
  • Candied Nuts or Roasted Nuts: Crunchy, salty nuts perfectly contrast the flavor and texture of melty, savory cheese.
  • Baked Apples: Tender, warm apples with a hint of cinnamon is a complementary pairing option.
  • Perfect Cocktail Shrimp: Plump, cold shrimp cocktail is a wonderful contrast to this camembert cheese recipe.
  • Holiday Hummus: Creamy-dreamy, festive hummus is a great way to add a pop of holiday color.
  • Carrot Dip: Smooth, sweet and savory carrot dip is a delicious match for camembert.
  • Deviled Eggs: Rich deviled eggs are easy option that always goes over well with a crowd,
  • Caramelized Onion Tarts: Flaky, buttery, bite-size onion tarts is an easy option that always feels fancy.
  • Potato Stacks: Crispy potato stacks are a must if you are looking for an elegant, yet easy appetizer.
  • Cake Bites, Petits Fours, Christmas Candy: Decadent cake bites, bite-size petits fours, sweet chex mix recipes, and pretzel peppermint bark are a must if you are looking for a sweeter option.

Overhead photo of a cheese board with camembert cheese baked, cranberry relish, bread, and crackers.

Give the gift of giving this holiday season – make this impressive camembert cheese in the oven, top with cranberries, and get ready to crowned the entertaining queen or king!

Until next week friends, cheers! May your holiday sparkle with moments of love, laughter and plenty of cheer!!


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More warm cheese appetizers!

If you love this decadent cheese appetizer, try one of these delicious family favorites next:

How to bake camembert in oven (recipe with video)👇

Overhead photo of baked camembert cheese with cranberry topping on a marble board with crackers.

Baked Camembert Cheese

5 from 5 votes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This decadent, gooey Baked Camembert Recipe is the ultimate appetizer for any party - requiring just 5 simple ingredients and 20 minutes. Featuring warm oven camembert cheese topped with a sweet, tart cranberry compote and served with loads of crusty bread for dipping, this elegant cheese appetizer is always a crowd pleaser! 
Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.


  • 1 Small Saucepan (for making the cranberry topping)
  • 1 Small mixing bowl (for mixing ingredients)
  • 1 Small Baking Dish (for baking camembert cheese)


For the Cranberry Topping

  • ¼ Cup Brandy
  • ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 8 ounces Fresh Cranberries - divided (SEE NOTES)
  • 1 Orange – zested (about 1 TBS packed)
  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme - packed
  • to taste Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper

For Baking Camembert Cheese

For Serving: Crackers, Baguette Slices, Walnuts, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

  • Serving Suggestions: Crostini (toasted and sliced baguette), Crackers, Fresh Veggies, Candied Nuts


  • Preheat oven: Arrange oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Make the Cranberry Topping: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook brandy and sugar, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil. Add half of the cranberries and cook, stirring frequently, until the cranberries burst, about 5-6 minutes. Add in the remaining cranberries and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from heat and stir in the orange zest and thyme. Season to taste with a pinch of salt. Set aside, uncovered, to cool to room temperature.
  • Prep the Camembert: Score the top of the camembert in a crosshatch pattern with a paring knife. Transfer to a small baking dish. In a small bowl combine the brandy, oil and a pinch of salt. Pour mixture over cheese.
  • Bake the Camembert: Bake until cheese is very soft and oozy in the middle, about 15-20 minutes. Spoon any excess liquid over the cheese and let it rest for 5 minutes. (Tip: You must rest the cheese so it has a chance to settle!)
  • Top Baked Cheese: Use a large spoon to dollop the cranberry mixture on top of the warm camembert cheese. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and orange zest, if using.
  • Serve: Serve camembert immediately with crackers, baguette slices, and optional cheese board accouterments, if desired..



  1. Camembert Substitute: If you can’t find, or simply don’t want to use camembert, you can substitute brie cheese.
  2. Preparing the Cheese: I baked the camembert right in its wooden box. You still need to place the box onto a baking dish though. Also, make sure you score the top of the cheese with a paring knife. I scored mine in a crosshatch pattern.
  3. Cranberries: I used fresh cranberries, but you can substitute frozen if that is what you have on hand.
  4. To make in advance: The cranberry compote can be made up to 5 days in advance. Simple cover and store in the refrigerator. When you are ready to use, bring the compote to room temperature before serving. Or, if you want a warm compote, place the compote in a small saucepan over low heat until desired temperature is achieved.
Nutritional information is an estimate based upon 8 servings. The exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.


Calories: 167kcal    Carbohydrates: 11g    Protein: 5g    Fat: 8g    Saturated Fat: 4g    Cholesterol: 20mg    Sodium: 239mg    Potassium: 106mg    Fiber: 1g    Sugar: 9g    Vitamin A: 285IU    Vitamin C: 12.6mg    Calcium: 119mg    Iron: 0.2mg

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