These Cheesecake Bars are so much easier to make than classic cheesecake. They’re creamy and dense and topped with cherry pie filling.
This recipe costs about $6.75 to make 16 servings. That works out to be $0.42 per serving.
Cheesecake is typically saved for special occasions because of how time-intensive it can be to make. That’s where these Cheesecake Bars come in. They’re easier and quicker to make than the original.
This recipe uses simple ingredients and it’s an easy dessert to please a crowd. You can cut the bars into mini bites or larger squares depending on how many you are serving.
The buttery graham cracker crust is topped with a dense and creamy filling that has a hint of lemon. Top it with cherry pie filling, your favorite fruit, or whipped cream. This truly is a New York Style cheesecake without the fuss!
How to Make Cheesecake Bars:
- First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Then line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. Leave an overhang on two sides to lift the cheesecake from the pan and slice it into bars. Trust me, it’s a lot easier this way.
- Next, make the crust by stirring together the crust ingredients in a medium bowl. The crumb mixture should look like wet sand.
- Press the crumb mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Make the cheesecake filling in a large bowl. Pour the filling onto the crust into an even layer.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let it cool for one hour on a wire rack and one hour in the fridge.
- Finally, serve with canned pie filling, fresh fruit, or whipped cream.
How Long Are These Cheesecake Bars Good For:
SERVE: When serving you can keep the bars at room temperature for about 60-90 minutes before they will need to be refrigerated. When I bring these to outdoor potlucks or parties, I put the serving platter on top of a plate or bowl full of ice. That way the ice keeps the cheesecake bars cool.
STORE: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
FREEZE: Place cheesecake on a platter or plate. Wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Unwrap and thaw at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
- 8×8-inch pan – I like using a pan with straight edges.
- Mixing bowls – these mixing bowls are work horses in my kitchen!
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden mixing spoon
- Handheld mixer OR stand mixer
You will want to bake the bars for 30-40 minutes or until filling is set but still soft in the center.
I recommend using a sharp knife to cut these bars. Wipe the knife clean between each cut with a warm cloth to get a clean cut.
Yes, you can freeze these cheesecake bars. You can freeze it whole or cut it up into squares. Make sure you wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap and a layer of foil before freezing.
How much will this Cheesecake Bars recipe cost to make:
Recipe cost: $6.75
Per Serving Cost: $0.42
NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs – $0.99
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar – $0.29
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter – $0.60
- 16 ounces cream cheese – $3.92
- ¼ cup sour cream – $0.36
- 3 large eggs – $0.30
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract – $0.16
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest – $0.12
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice – $0.01
Do ingredients matter?
- graham cracker crumbs – it’s best to use store-bought or you can make your own. If you make your own, make sure you use name-brand graham crackers. Generic graham crackers tend to be a little dry and are a litt off in taste.
- granulated sugar – please don’t use anything but granulated.
- unsalted butter – I find salted butter makes the crust too salty.
- cream cheese – when possibly, use a brand name such as Philadelphia. I find store brands to be a little watery and the texture is a little off, too. Also, full-fat cream cheese is the way to go when making cheesecake bars.
- sour cream – full-fat is best. You can use reduced fat, but please don’t use fat-free!
- eggs – make sure they’re fresh because they bind the cheesecake together and add some flavor.
- vanilla extract – nothing beats pure vanilla extract. These bars get their flavoring mainly from cream cheese and vanilla, so it’s best to use the real stuff.
- lemon zest – fresh is the only way to go, please don’t use the dried stuff from the grocery store.
- lemon juice – If you have fresh, use fresh. If not, bottled lemon juice will do since there’s only a timy bit in this recipe.
More Dessert Recipes:
- Cream Puffs
- White Chocolate Blondies
- Lemon Mug Cake
- Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Glaze
- Strawberry Lasagna
- Chocolate Meringue Cookies
- Snickers Cheesecake Brownies
- Cinnamon Crumb Cake
- Boston Cream Pie
- Fruit Pizza
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- 1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs from about 8-10 whole crackers
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest finely grated, optional
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice optional
- Canned pie filling I used cherry
- Fresh fruit
- Whipped cream
PREP OVEN AND PAN:
- Move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Line an 8×8 square baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment and pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together all of the crust ingredients until the graham cracker crumbs resemble wet sand.
- Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven and cool slightly while you prepare the filling.
- Reduce oven to 325 degrees F
MAKE CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together until fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and juice if using.
- Mix until well combined and smooth
- Pour the filling into the crust and spread it into an even layer.
BAKE AND COOL:
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until filling is set but still soft in the center.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.
CHILL AND SERVE:
- Then, transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Serve with canned pie filling, fresh fruit, or whipped cream.