Cheesecake Bars are an easy-to-share dessert. They look great on a Sunday brunch table, party dessert platter, or on a quaint date night dinner. It has a smooth and luxuriously creamy filling with a buttery graham cracker crust.
For an easier treat, try our no bake cheesecake bars. Same delicious flavor, no oven needed!
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Why Cheesecake Bars Work
That’s what you’ll get with this recipe – the perfect balance between sweet, tangy, and rich.
Here are a few reasons why these cheesecake bars work so well,
- A less-mess, crowd-pleaser. Cheesecake is a beloved dessert, but it can be tricky to make and feed a crowd or serve at a gathering. But cheesecake bars do the trick. They’re really easy to make and feed many people, and that too without making a mess.
- No water bath is required. You don’t need to go through the hassle of preparing a water bath and playing the balancing act while you place it in the oven. This recipe lets you skip it all.
- Low, low effort. 20 minutes of hands-on effort is all it takes. The oven and refrigerator do the rest.
- Great for beginners. Cheesecake bars are a great place to start if you’re new to cheesecakes or baking altogether. The recipe is simple, with limited steps to follow and very little room for failure.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – if desired, you can use Golden Oreos or Nilla Wafers to give the cheesecake bars a slight twist.
- Unsalted Butter – Melted butter helps you combine the crust faster.
- Granulated Sugar
- Cream Cheese – Use full-fat cream cheese and not the one found in a tub. It makes the cheesecake richer and creamier.
- Sour Cream – It helps break the richness and dense texture of the cream cheese. If you want a rich cheesecake, replace the sour cream with more cream cheese.
- Vanilla extract – Using good quality pure vanilla is crucial as it is the base flavor of the recipe. Make sure you buy pure vanilla extract, or you can make some at home using my homemade vanilla extract recipe.
- Eggs – Use room-temperature eggs as they add richness and lightness to the cheesecake.
- Make the crust. Pulse the graham crackers, butter, and sugar in a food processor. Then press it into a prepared baking dish and keep it aside.
- Make the cheesecake filling. Beat sugar and cream cheese for two minutes. Then mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and mix.
- Pour over crust. Pour the mixture onto the prepared crust.
- Bake and set. Bake the cheesecake at 325°F until set. Take it out of the oven and run a knife along the edges. Let it cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate.
Tips and Tricks
- Use crackers instead of crumbs. Crackers taste better than ready-made crumbs and give you control over the crust’s texture.
- Don’t overbeat. Overbeating will make the batter airy. Cheesecake batter is not supposed to be fluffy. It should be creamy so that the end result is a luscious and rich cheesecake.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Room-temperature ingredients come together quickly and make a smoother cheesecake batter. If possible, let your ingredients sit on the counter for a few minutes to come up to the same temperature.
- Line the baking dish with foil. It will make the cheesecake easy to handle. Once the cheesecake is completely chilled, you can lift it out of the pan easily and cut it into neat bars.
- Add sprinkles. Much like our delicious funfetti cheesecake, adding sprinkles adds joy!
Let your imagination run wild when it comes to choosing toppings for these cheesecake bars.
Store the Cheesecake Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the uncut cheesecake for up to 3 weeks. Keep it in a freezer-safe container or wrap the baking tin in plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. Transfer and thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator a night before consuming it.
First, make sure the cheesecake is completely chilled. Then, there are two effective methods to cut it. One: Dip your knife in hot water and cut slices. Make sure you wipe the knife with a paper towel after every cut. Two: Use a disposable plastic knife, as the cheesecake won’t stick to a plastic knife.
First, use a food processor to grind all the ingredients finely. Then firmly press the crust ingredients into the pan. I like to use the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to pack it tightly.
Yes. You can keep it simple and drizzle some melted chocolate on the bars. To make it fancier, top it with fruit compote or preserve. (like strawberry, raspberry, etc.)
More Easy Desserts
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For the Crust
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs about 24 full size crackers
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
For the Cheesecake
- 4 packages cream cheese, softened 8 ounce each
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup sour cream room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- Peheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13×9 baking dish with foil. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse graham crackers with melted butter and sugar until fine crumbs. Press into bottom only of the prepared baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar for about 2 minutes. Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat an additional 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add in eggs, one at a time, until mixture is smooth. Do not over beat. Pour into prepared crust and place cheesecake in preheated oven.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and run a knife along the edges of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).
- Serve chilled with whipped cream, fresh berries, or homemade strawberry syrup.
- We prefer using graham crackers instead of buying the ready made crumbs. We feel they taste better and have better texture. If desired, Golden Oreos or Nilla Wafers can be swapped instead.
- Be sure to choose full fat cream cheese, not the type found in a tub.
- Bring your sour cream and eggs to room temperature while softened the cream cheese at room temperature as well. This allows all the ingredients to blend well together.
- Store the Cheesecake Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- You can also freeze the uncut cheesecake for up to 3 weeks. Keep it in a freezer-safe container or wrap the baking tin in plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. Transfer and thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator a night before consuming it.