Delicious Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake bars, they’re way easier to make than a regular cheesecake and come together in a fraction of the time. A smooth and creamy cheesecake filling that sits on the most buttery and crunchy graham cracker crust, and topped with the most luscious dark chocolate ganache!

cheesecake bars

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About This Recipe

If you love cheesecake, then you are going to love these cheesecake bars! They are much more approachable and require only a fraction of time that regular cheesecakes take to make. Plus they’re easier to slice and serve making them perfect for parties, potlucks or just for your family!

I absolutely love these cheesecake bars for how simple they are, if you’ve ever felt intimidated to try baking a cheesecake then this is where you should start! You do not need a water bath and cracks aren’t really a problem when it comes to theses delicious treats.

The best part about these cheesecake bars is that you can get creative for the toppings. I topped min with a rich dark chocolate ganache, but some other great options would be salted caramel sauce, strawberry or blueberry sauce, fresh berries, lemon curd (<–not my recipe), whipped cream or just have them plain! You could also cut them up, then add your toppings, that way you could have multiple toppings!

What You Need To Make Cheesecake Bars

Graham Crackers: this is for the crust, you could swap this out for any other type of biscuits, like Oreos, digestive biscuits etc.

Light Brown Sugar: adding just a tiny bit of brown sugar to the graham cracker crust really adds a depth of flavor.

Cream Cheese: make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature. You have to use full-fat brick-style cream cheese for all cheesecake recipes, otherwise the cheesecake could turn out runny.

Eggs: using room temperature eggs will make it so much easier to incorporate into the rest of the ingredients and avoid over-mixing which can cause cracks!

Sour cream: sour cream is a must when it comes to cheesecakes, it’s what gives cheesecake it classic tangy flavor. You could substitute this for full-fat Greek yogurt. I have made these cheesecake bars many times using full-fat yogurt and honestly you can’t really tell the difference.

Dark Chocolate: this is for the dark chocolate ganache topping, I highly recommend you use cooking or coverture chocolate, it results in a very rich and decadent ganache. Chocolate chips could also be used.

Heavy Cream: this is also for the ganache topping, the heavy cream does not have to be at room temperature, but just make sure that your cream has a fat percentage for 35% or higher. If you’re using a cream that has a lower fat percentage you could still get a pretty decent ganache by adding a tablespoon of butter into it.

How To Make Cheesecake Bars (step-by-step)

Step 1: Combine the graham cracker crust ingredients and press that onto the bottom of a lined 6 inch by 6 inch square pan. Lining the pan will help prevent cracks, because the parchment paper will constrict with the cheesecake as it cools.

Step 2: Whisk together the softened crem cheese and granulated until creamy. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix to combine.

Step 3: Add in the eggs one at a time mixing just until combine after each addition. Do not overmix the mixture, this could result in a cheesecake with a curdled texture rather than a smooth and creamy texture.

Step 4: Pour the mixture over the graham cracker crust and bake at  165 °C / 325 °F for 35-45 minutes. Cool it to room temperature then chill for 5-6 hours.

Step 5: Heat the heavy cream until it starts to simmer. Pour the hot cream over finely chopped dark chocolate. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes without mixing. Whisk the ganache until smooth, pour it over the chilled cheesecake and spread it out evenly. Let the ganache set before slicing and serving.

How To Store/Freeze The Cheesecake Bars

Store the cheesecake bars in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freezing instructions: Wrap the chilled cheesecake bars (with or without the ganache) in 2 layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and serve chilled.

Pro Tips

  • Line you pan with parchment paper that goes up the sides, as the cheesecake cools the paper will constrict preventing cracks!
  • Avoid over-beating the eggs and over-baking the cheesecake for the perfect smooth and creamy texture.
  • Wipe down your knife between each cut to get clean cuts.
  • Make sure your cream cheese is completely softened to room temperature before making the cheesecake.
  • Do not use a low-fat cream cheese otherwise your cheesecake bars might be runny, rubbery or will not be able ot set completely.
  • Chilling the cheesecake for at least 6 hours is crucial for the perfect outcome. If you’re short on time, it’s best to make the cheesecake a day ahead and store in the refrigerator.

FAQ’s

Can I make the cheesecake bars ahead of time?

Yes! These cheesecake bars are best when chilled overnight, so you can definitely make these the day before then add on the topping before serving. Then store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How do I know my cheesecake is finished baking?

The center will still have some jiggle but should be mostly set, and if you lightly touched the center it should spring back. The sides will have puffed up lightly and the edges will only be starting to become slightly golden in color.

What can I use instead of graham crackers?

You can use the same amount by weight of any crunchy cookie! Some options include: digestive cookies, Oreos, Biscoff cookies etc.

Do these cheesecake bars need to be refrigerated?

Yes, all cheesecake should always be refrigerated, the cream cheese in them can easily go bad at high temperatures.

Cheesecake Bars

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Recipe Card

Delicious Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake bars, they’re way easier to make then a regular cheesecake and come together way quicker. A smooth and creamy cheesecake filling that sits on the most buttery and crunchy graham cracker crust, and topped with the most luscious dark chocolate ganache!

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Chill Time: 6 hrs.

Total Time: 7 hrs. 5 min

Course: Dessert

Servings: 9 bars

Calories: 360kcal

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Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (100g)
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (57g)

For the Cheesecake

  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened (340g)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (61g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 small eggs, room temp.

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped (56g) (substitute: chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (60 ml)

Instructions

Cheesecake

  1. Preheat your oven to 165 °C / 325 °F and line a 6 by 6 inch square baking pan with parchment paper that goes up the sides of the pan.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, light brown sugar, granulated sugar and melted butter. Spread this mixture on the base of your prepared pan and press it down using the bottom of a clean glass to form a smooth and even layer. Set this aside while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the softened cream cheese, and granulated sugar until smooth. You could use a whisk or hand mixer.
  4. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
  5. Now add in the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined between each addition. DO NOT over-mix the eggs! This could ruin the smooth and creamy texture of your cheesecake bars! I like to lightly beat each egg in a separate small bowl before adding it into the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Scrape down the sides of your bowl with a spatula to ensure there are no lumps of cream cheese. Pour the mixture onto the graham cracker base, give the pan a few taps and bake in the center of a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. (How do I know when my cheesecake is finished baking?)
  7. Once baked allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature than transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
  8. After the cheesecake has chilled top with chocolate ganache or any topping of your choice, slice and enjoy!

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Chop the dark chocolate very finely then transfer to a heat-proof bowl.
  2. Heat the heavy cream on medium heat until it starts to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and cover the bowl with aluminum foil, let it sit for five minutes undisturbed.
  3. Remove the foil and whisk until the ingredients are fully incorporated. (If the chocolate has not fully melted, you could microwave it for 10-15 seconds or use a double boiler).
  4. Pour the ganache over the chilled cheesecake and spread it out using a spatula to make an even layer. Chill the cheesecake for an additional 15-20 minutes to allow the ganache to fully set before slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 360.34kcal

Total Fat: 26.21g

Carbs: 27.47g

Sugars: 19.3g

Protein: 4.85g

Sodium: 210.25mg

Fiber: 0.83g


** Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more. **

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