Cherry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

These Cherry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars have a vanilla cookie crust and a creamy cherry cheesecake filling. Chocolate chip cookies baked on top take these cheesecake bars to the next level of deliciousness.

You have to love a recipe that gives you two amazing desserts in one. These Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars are the perfect combination of pie and cheesecake. We love these Oreo Cheesecake Cookies too!

Chocolate chip cookie bars with a cherry cheesecake filling on a white plate.


Why These Bars are Best

If you need a cheesecake bar that’s a little over the top (without being difficult to make), these Cherry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars are the answer.

  • Cherry cheesecake meets chocolate chip cookies.
  • Baked on a homemade vanilla wafer crust.
  • Bursting with the irresistible flavor combination of cherry and chocolate!
  • Easy to make with ingredients you probably have on hand!

It’s so fun to slice into the bars and see that layer of creamy cherry cheesecake layered between the cookie crusts.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to amake cherry chocolate chip cookie bars.
  • Nilla wafers are pulsed into crumbs to form the crust. Any brand of vanilla wafer cookie can be used here. Graham cracker crumbs can be used like in our chocolate chip cheesecake bars.
  • Cream cheese – Use softened full fat cream cheese for best results in these cherry cheesecake bars.
  • Maraschino cherries – Cherries should be drained from their liquid and chopped into small pieces.
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough – This recipe includes instructions for making the chocolate chip cookie dough from scratch. If you’re in a hurry, refrigerated cookie dough is a great option too.

PRO TIP- We love making our own homemade vanilla extract, but if using store bought, be sure it’s pure extract, not imitation (for best flavor).

Tips and Tricks

Step by step photos showing how to make cherry cheesecake bars.
  • Use parchment paper: Line your baking dish with parchment paper before adding the Nilla wafer crust. This makes the bars easier to remove after baking.
  • Top with cookie dough before baking: We use a cookie scoop to drop the dough over the bars by the tablespoon. From there, you can use your fingertips to gently spread the dough evenly over the cheesecake.
  • Do not overbake: The cookie dough layer should be lightly golden but still slightly soft when you take the cheesecake bars out of the oven. The bars will continue to set up as they cool.
  • Refrigerate: After baking, cover the cherry chocolate chip cheesecake bars with plastic wrap. Let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving.
  • Add Color: Want the cheesecake filling to be more pink? Add a few drops of pink gel food coloring to give a bright and vibrant color.
  • Change it up: Try this cherry chocolate chip cheesecake bars recipe with our graham cracker pie crust for a different element of flavor.
Cherry chocolate chip cheesecake bars cut into squares.

Recipe FAQs

How can I tell if the cheesecake bars are done baking?

These cheesecake bars are done when the edges are golden brown and the center is slightly jiggly. In my oven, this takes about 30 to 35 minutes.

Can I use fresh cherries instead of maraschinos?

I don’t recommend fresh cherries here. They do not contain the additional sugar, moisture and flavorings of jarred maraschinos and may dry out while baking.

How far in advance can I make them?

These bars are best enjoyed within 3-5 days of baking for best flavor. Enjoy that chewy cookie layer while it’s still fresh!

Can I freeze these cheesecake bars?

Yes, these cheesecake bars are freezer friendly. Store bars in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Place a sheet of wax paper between layers of bars to keep them from sticking together.
Thaw frozen cheesecake bars overnight in the refrigerator. Serve cold!

Cherry chocolate chip cheesecake bars being served with a spatula.

More Easy Dessert Bars

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

4.75 from 4 votes
By: Aimee
These Cherry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars have a vanilla cookie crust and a creamy cherry cheesecake filling. Chocolate chip cookies baked on top take these cheesecake bars to the next level of deliciousness.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 24 bars

Ingredients 

For the Crust

  • 2 ½ cups Nilla Wafers crumbs
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted

For the Cheesecake Filling

  • 2 packages 8 ounce each cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 20 maraschino cherries chopped

For the Cookie Dough

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 ounce package Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate morsels

Instructions 

  • Line a 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper, set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a food processor, pulse Nilla Wafer cookies with sugar until fine crumbs. Drizzle in melted butter and pulse until combined.
  • Pour crumbs into bottom of baking dish. Using palm of your hand (or bottom of a cup) press crumbs firmly until they are combined (and slightly hardened) in bottom of pan.
  • For the cheesecake filling, beat cream cheese with sugar and eggs using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Add in chopped cherries, giving it a few stirs until smooth and combined. Pour over cookie crust.
  • For the cookie dough, beat butter with sugars for 2 minutes, until combined. Add milk, egg and vanilla. Beat until mixed. Add in flour, salt and baking soda and mix until fully combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by large scoop onto top of cheesecake layer. Try to use your fingertips to spread gently until cheesecake is covered completely.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove and cool completely. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares and enjoy!!

Notes

  • Use parchment paper: Line your baking dish with parchment paper before adding the Nilla wafer crust. This makes the bars easier to remove after baking.
  • Top with cookie dough before baking: We use a cookie scoop to drop the dough over the bars by the tablespoon. From there, you can use your fingertips to gently spread the dough evenly over the cheesecake.
  • Do not overbake: The cookie dough layer should be lightly golden but still slightly soft when you take the cheesecake bars out of the oven. The bars will continue to set up as they cool.
  • Refrigerate: After baking, cover the cherry chocolate chip cheese bars with plastic wrap. Let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving.
  • Change it up: Try this cherry chocolate chip cheesecake bars recipe with our graham cracker pie crust for a different element of flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 143mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 23g
Course: Brownies and Bars
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Cherry cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies merge in these easy Cherry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars! You’ll love the creamy sweet flavor with rich chocolate and a cherry surprise in the center.



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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on February 13, 2023

Comments & Reviews

  1. I like the idea of combining cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies. They are two of my favorite things! Yum!

  2. Nothing ever beats a cheesecake bar. And you had to go putting cookie dough on top to make it the most irresistible bar ever. Well played, Aimee! I love that you counted how many cherries you needed. That’s a happy dose of maraschino! 

  3. I love these kinds of bars – every single one!! Love the jiggly tip too – so important for people to trust in the browned edges, ha!

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