Get ready to indulge in a slice of heaven with these creamy, dreamy cheesecake bars! Imagine a buttery, crumbly crust laying the foundation for a rich, velvety cheesecake layer, each bite melting in your mouth like a sweet, tangy cloud. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or trying your hand at cheesecake magic for the first time, this recipe is foolproof and guaranteed to impress. So preheat your oven and let’s dive into this easy dessert.
Why You’ll Love This Cheesecake Bar Recipe
- No Cracks: Say goodbye to the cheesecake crack stress. Bars are more forgiving.
- Texture Heaven: That satisfying combo of creamy filling and crunchy base? Unbeatable.
- Crowd-Pleaser: They’re usually a hit at gatherings – who doesn’t love cheesecake, right?
I love this recipe. It’s so simple to make and practically foolproof. So much so that I created a blueberry, strawberry, and salted caramel version and it always seems to be my go-to whenever I need a quick dessert. I love classic cheesecake but it can be fickle and time consuming. These bars are basically no-fail.
Cheesecake bars are a delightful treat, combining a rich and creamy texture with a sweet, slightly tangy flavor. The base offers a buttery, crumbly contrast, infused with a hint of vanilla for added warmth. Each bite is a perfect harmony of flavors, making these bars a scrumptious, crowd-pleasing dessert.
Cheesecake Bar Ingredients
Everything starts with the crust. I use graham crackers with just a touch of cinnamon for a little twist. Press it into your pan and top with creamy filling.
After that you just bake and chill. These beauties cut and come out of the pan perfectly and are always a hit for parties or dinners.
- Butter: I like to use salted butter for the buttery graham cracker crust. It helps to boost the sweet flavors just a smidge.
- Graham Crackers: Can you use other cookies? For sure. However, I like to stick with the classic graham crust.
- Flour: This adds structural integrity to the crust which helps hold it together when serving.
- Sugar: A small amount in the crust and cheesecake to help balance and sweeten the cream cheese filling.
- Cream Cheese: Let the cream cheese sit out for at least 20 minutes to get to room temperature. This helps it mix quickly without the possibility of over mixing the batter.
- Eggs: Eggs work as a binder and hold the filling together. It’s best to let these come to room temp as well.
- Milk: Just a touch to smooth out the cream cheese mixture and add moisture.
- Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla works like a flavor enhancer. It boosts the natural flavors and helps them blend together as they bake.
How To Make Cheesecake Squares
These are the classic version of a cheesecake bar. No fuss, no extra, just cheesecake and crust. However, they are the perfect dessert to customize and taste amazing topped with fresh fruit, lemon curd, or jams. Here’s how easy it is to make this recipe:
- PREP: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mist a 9×9 square pan (no need for a springform pan!) with spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- CRUMB: Place the graham crackers into a food processor or high powered blender and pulse until you have fine graham cracker crumbs.
- CRUST: Stir the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, flour, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes or until light brown and fragrant.
- FILLING: Place the cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar in a large bowl, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at medium speed until combined and fluffy, about two minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Stir at low speed until fully incorporated. Pour over the top of the warm crust,
- BAKE: Bake cheesecake bars for 30 minutes or until the center looks like it has set.
- CHILL: Cool the bars until room temperature and refrigerate for at least 2 hours if not overnight in an airtight container.
- ENJOY: Cut into even pieces on a cutting board and enjoy your easy cheesecake recipe!
- Mixing Bowls (affiliate): For combining your crust and filling ingredients. I love this set because it nests together saving precious storage space.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons (affiliate): Essential for getting your ingredient ratios just right.
- Electric Mixer (affiliate): Makes blending that creamy cheesecake filling a breeze. I actually recommend using a hand mixer, however you can always use a stand mixer and paddle attachment, just keep it to a low speed.
- Rubber Spatula (affiliate): For scraping every last bit of mixture out of the bowls. If you only buy one of the tools I recommend, let it be this one. Heat resistant and perfect for savory or sweet cooking.
- Baking Pan (affiliate): An 8×8 or 9×13 inch pan works great, depending on the batch size.
Full-fat cream cheese works best for that rich, creamy texture. Make sure it’s at room temperature for smooth blending.
Cheesecake bars are less prone to cracking than a full cheesecake, but even baking and avoiding overmixing can help keep them smooth.
Absolutely! Try crushed Oreos, vanilla wafers, or even shortbread for a twist.
Yes, they freeze beautifully. Wrap them well and they can be stored for up to a month.
Place cut and cooled bars on a baking tray.
Put the tray into the freezer and allow to chill for one hour, or until the bars are firm.
Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and place in either an air tight container or freezer safe zip top bag.
Label and return to the freezer.
Not necessary for bars. They’re more forgiving than a full cheesecake.
Use a sharp knife, and wipe it clean between cuts. Chilling the bars before cutting also helps.
Definitely! Fruit compotes, chocolate, caramel, or even a sour cream topping add great flavor.
Easy Cheesecake Bars
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ (8 oz) package cream cheese softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mist a 9×9 square pan non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Stir the butter, graham crackers, flour, and 2 tablespoons of sugar together with a fork. Press into the bottom of you prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes or until light brown.
- Cream together the cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar until combined and fluffy. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla to the bowl and slowly mix until fully incorporated. Pour over your warm crust,
- Bake 30 minutes or until the center looks like it has set. Cool until room temperature and refrigerate for at least 2 hours if not overnight.
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