These incredible Salted Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake Bars are super easy to make. 4 ingredients pretzel crust, 4 ingredients cheesecake filling, and 4 ingredients salted caramel pretzel topping. This recipe is foolproof and guaranteed no cheesecake cracks!
Instructions for the crust
To avoid the problem of a too crumbly pretzel crust which just doesn't hold together when cutting it, I used 3/4 cup of pretzel crumbs and 3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs. The graham cracker crumbs add stability to the crust and add a lovely flavor. However, the pretzel crust is still a bit crumbly but firm enough that it doesn't fall completely apart when cutting the cheesecake bars.
Just 4 ingredients are required for this pretzel crust: pretzel crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and butter. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined and evenly moist.
Then transfer the crust to a prepared baking dish and prebake for about 5 minutes. Then set aside.
Instructions for the filling
Other than regular cheesecake, these cheesecake bars definitely don't crack when they cool down. The reason for that is because the filling is differently designed than regular cheesecake filling. It contains fewer eggs, no additional liquids such as whipping cream, and a higher amount of cream cheese.
The 4 ingredient cheesecake bars filling consists of cream cheese, egg, vanilla, and sugar. Start by mixing the cream cheese until smooth. Then add one egg, vanilla, and sugar and mix to combine. Then transfer the filling to the prebaked pretzel crust and bake.
TIP: You can use either brick-style cream cheese or spreadable one. If you use brick-style cream cheese let it come to room temperature before mixing it. If you use spreadable cream cheese, you can use it straight out of the fridge.
For the topping, you also need just 4 ingredients.
To make the caramel sauce for the topping you need soft caramel candies and whipping cream. Therefore combine both ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir every 20 seconds until fully melted and combined.
Spread the caramel on top of your cheesecake bars and top with additional pretzels and flaky sea salt. If you do not want to add extra saltiness to your cheesecake bars, just leave the salt out. However, the flaky sea salt on top fits the sweet and gooey caramel perfectly.
If you try this Salted Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake Bars recipe leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #alsothecrumbsplease on Instagram! Would love to see your snap!
Looking for more caramel recipes? You will love:
Salted Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake Bars
- 3/4 cup salty pretzel, crushed into fine crumbs (equals 1 1/2 cup whole uncrushed pretzels) (60g)
- 3/4 cup graham crackers, crushed into fine crumbs (75g)
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (50g)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (70g)
- 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (450g)
- 1 egg
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/3 cup granulated white sugar (67g)
- 10 oz soft caramel candies (280g)
- 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream (45ml)
- 1/3 cup salty pretzels (30g)
- OPTIONAL: pinch of flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 10x7 (25x18 cm) or 8x8 (20x20 cm) inch baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang around the sides. Set aside.
- Combine pretzel crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the crumbs to the prepared baking pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Prebake the crust for about 5 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool until you are finished with the filling.
- Beat the cream cheese, using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, on medium speed until smooth about 1 minute. Add the egg, vanilla*, and sugar and mix until creamy for about 2-3 minutes. Spoon the filling onto the prebaked crust and spread evenly. Bake the bars for about 30-35 minutes until the filling is set.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl combine caramels and heavy cream and microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir every 20 seconds until the caramel is fully melted and combined with the whipping cream. Set aside.
- Remove cheesecake bars from the oven and spoon the caramel sauce on top evenly. Arrange pretzels on top. You can crush the pretzels into a smaller pieces or let them whole. Allow cooling at room temperature for about 30 minutes then transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely. Cut into squares and sprinkle with coarse sea salt before serving if desired. Store in an airtight box in the fridge for up to 2 days.