Cheesecake Bars have just 5 ingredients in their rich sour cream-cream cheese filling over a buttery graham cracker crust. Perfect for a crowd or snacks on the go.
Cheesecake is one of those desserts that everyone loves but usually only make for special occasions. Between the water bath and slowly cooling the cheesecake in the oven, it takes a lot of patience to make. This easy recipe cuts out all the fuss while still giving you creamy cheesecake every time.
Cheesecake Bars are an easy cheesecake recipe that uses only a handful of ingredients and little cleanup. You could easily make this entire recipe all in one large bowl. Make your graham cracker crust, then rinse and dry out the same bowl to make the cheesecake filling. Use aluminum foil to line the baking dish for even easier cleanup.
Serve Cheesecake Bars with a drizzle of Salted Caramel Sauce or Chocolate Ganache for an easy flavored cheesecake recipe. For a classic topping, serve your Cheesecake Bars with this simple homemade Strawberry Topping, made with only 3 ingredients!
You want to store cheesecake in the refrigerator but it tastes best served at room temperature. After they have been chilled, bring the Cheesecake Bars to room temperature for about 30 minutes for the ultimate creamy cheesecake texture.
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Serve these to a Crowd
Cheesecake Bars are the best cheesecake recipe for parties, potlucks, or feeding a crowd. You can cut them larger or smaller depending on how many people you are serving. Bake them in a smaller 8×8 inch pan for thicker bars (like brownies), or in a 9×13 baking pan for thinner Cheesecake Bars that you can cut into bitesized pieces.
Make a trio of mini Cheesecake Bites for an easy bridal shower dessert using the variations below. You could make three different batches, or divide the cheesecake filling into thirds and bake in the same pan with aluminum foil dividers. Cut your Cheesecake Bars into bite sized pieces and serve in mini cupcake liners.
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VARIATIONS ON CHEESECAKE BARS
- Crust: Make a Graham Cracker Crust with crushed Oreos, vanilla wafers, sugar cones, ginger snaps, or hard pretzel twists.
- Fruit Swirl: Swirl a raspberry or strawberry jam or jelly on top of the cheesecake filling. Pipe from a plastic bag in a few lines across top and gently swirl with a knife.
- Chocolate Chip: Substitute 30 Oreo cookies (with filling) and leave out sugar in the graham cracker crust. Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips to the cheesecake filling, then sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with another ¼ cup mini chocolate chips before baking.
- Lemon: Turn these into creamy Lemon Bar-Cheesecake hybrids by adding lemon curd to the cheesecake filling.
- Pie Filling: Top each Cheesecake Bar with spoonful canned blueberry or cherry pie filling.
SOME DELICIOUS TOPPING IDEAS:
HOW TO STORE CHEESECAKE BARS
- Serve: Cheesecake Bars can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before you need to refrigerate them.
- Store: Place Cheesecake Bars in an airtight container, or cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Freeze: Wrap Cheesecake Bars tightly with plastic wrap, place in a sealed container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to serve.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs , (24 full crackers)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 32 ounces cream cheese , softened (4 blocks)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray.
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together then press it into the baking dish in an even layer.
- To your stand mixer add the cream cheese and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Lower the speed to medium and add in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
- Carefully spread mixture on the crust and bake for 40-45 minutes, until set and firm.
- Chill completely before serving.