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If you're a fan of cheesecake, you're going to love these simple Strawberry Cheesecake Bars! Made with a graham cracker crust, cream cheese filling and topped with a simple strawberry compote, they're like classic cheesecake but even easier to whip up.
Cheesecake lovers rejoice, because these Strawberry Cheesecake Bars are where it's at.
As much as I love cheesecake, I rarely make an actual cheesecake, mostly because -- let's be honest -- it's kind of a high maintenance dessert, and high maintenance desserts aren't really my thing. Instead, I prefer super simple recipes like my edible cookie dough, chickpea brownies and of course these creamy cheesecake bars.
These bars are made up of three layers: the graham cracker crust, the cheesecake filling and the strawberry topping. They're each delicious on their own, but even better when paired together.
- An almost-classic cheesecake recipe, but in bar form.
- The prep time for these bars is only 20 minutes.
- Incredibly flavorful, and the texture is smooth and creamy, but with a bit of crunch from the crust.
This list highlights some of the main ingredients; the full ingredient list is below in the recipe card.
Graham crackers - An absolute must for the crust!
Sugar - Cane sugar/granulated sugar is what I used and recommend, but coconut sugar is a fine option if you want these to be less sweet tasting.
Butter - I used unsalted butter because that's what I typically have in my fridge; salted butter works but it will result in saltier tasting bars.
Cream cheese - Make sure it's at room temperature before using it; otherwise, it won't incorporate properly with the other filling ingredients.
Yogurt - I opted to add some Greek yogurt to lighten these up a bit, but also to make the flavor a little more interesting.
Egg - No substitution; sometimes a flax egg works, but I wouldn't use it in these bars.
Strawberries - Fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries are ok in this recipe (I used fresh).
Lemon juice - Opt for freshly squeezed rather than bottled juice.
Step 1: Make the crust. Add the graham crackers and sugar to a food processor, then pulse. With the motor running, pour the melted butter in through the top and blend until everything is combined. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined square baking pan, using your hands to press it down.
Step 2: Cook the strawberries. Add the chopped strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a small saucepan and bring them to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, using a wooden spoon to help break down the strawberries.
Step 3: Make the cheesecake filling. Add all of the cheesecake ingredients (cream cheese, yogurt, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract) to a large bowl then use an electric mixer to mix everything together until the mixture is smooth.
Step 4: Assemble the bars. Scoop the cream cheese mixture out of the bowl and on top of the graham cracker layer, using a rubber spatula or smooth it out. Last, dollop HALF of the strawberry compote overtop.
Step 5: Bake. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake the bars for 30 minutes. Leave the bars in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring the pan to the refrigerator for at least an hour, allowing the bars to cool completely. Slice and enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- Don't forget to line the baking dish with parchment paper! This will ensure that the bars don't stick and they're easy to remove.
- Make sure the cream cheese is truly at room temperature to ensure the cheesecake filling is smooth and creamy and not lumpy.
- I only used half of the strawberry topping, but if you want the bars to be extra strawberry-y, you can use all of it.
- To get clean cuts, make sure to wipe off your knife in between each cut.
Do I have to add the strawberry topping?
Nope! If you're not a fan of strawberries but still want to make cheesecake bars, simply follow the recipe as written, but omit the strawberries. Then before serving, you can drizzle them with:
- Homemade caramel sauce
- Melted chocolate
- Fresh berries
- Whipped cream
Refrigerator: Store bars in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days. I recommend putting wax paper in between the layers to the bars don't stick to one another.
Freezer: To freeze, wrap each bar individually with plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you want to each a bar, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, or let it thaw at room temperature until softened.
More easy dessert recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
for the cheesecake filling:
- Preheat oven to 350° and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper; set aside.
- For the crust: Add graham crackers and sugar to your food processor and pulse for 20 seconds. Then, add the melted butter in through the top and continue pulsing until combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and use your hands to press the crust down into the pan.
- For the strawberry topping: Next, add the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a small saucepan and bring them to a boil. Then, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 5-10 minutes, using a wooden spoon to help break down the strawberries; set aside to cool a bit.
- For the cheesecake layer: Add the cream cheese, yogurt, egg, sugar, and vanilla to a large bowl and mix with a hand or stand mixer until smooth.
- Scoop the cheesecake mixture out onto the graham cracker crust and smooth it out. Then, use a small spoon to dollop HALF of the strawberry compote overtop and swirl it around (NOTE: start with half, then add more if you'd like).
- Place the pan in the oven and bake the bars for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and wait 15 minutes before transferring them to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow them to cool completely. Slice and enjoy!