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Decorative picture of bitten cheesecake bar on white background
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Cheesecake Bars

If you want to satisfy your cheesecake cravings with little effort, this easy cheesecake bars recipe is your best bet. You only need 9 ingredients and little prep time.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Chill6 hrs
Total Time7 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesecake bars, cheesecake bars recipe
Servings: 9 bars
Calories: 435kcal

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup salty pretzel crumbs
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray an 8x8-inch* (20x20cm) baking pan lightly with baking spray and line with parchment paper with enough overhang around the sides to easily lift the bars out of the pan once baked.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, pretzel crumbs, sugar, and butter and stir until evenly moist. Transfer the crumbs to the prepared baking pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan with the back of a flat-bottomed cup. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool until you are done with the filling.
  • In another large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. At low speed, add one egg at a time and mix just to combine, about 1 minute after each egg. Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the heavy cream, and mix on medium-low speed until creamy and combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour the filling into the pre-baked and lightly cooled crust, spread evenly, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until set with a slight jiggle in the center. The cheesecake will continue to cook as it cools and firm up. Let it cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight. Cut into squares and store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Video

Notes

*9x13-inch pan
If you want to feed a crowd, double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) pan. The baking time will be about the same.

Substitutions and ingredients notes
  • Salty pretzels - I added salty pretzels to my crust because it adds so much flavor to the bars. It really takes the crust to another level. It's basically a graham cracker crust, but ⅓ of the graham crackers have been replaced by salty pretzels. I use regular salted, crunchy snack pretzels. If you don't like pretzels, you can replace them with graham crackers to make a classic graham cracker crust. Substitute 1:1. In this case, I recommend adding ¼ teaspoon of salt to the crust.
  • Cream cheese - my choice is Philadelphia cream cheese. This recipe works with both brick-style and spreadable cream cheese. Brick-style cream cheese should be at room temperature and softened before you use it. Spreadable cream cheese can be used straight out of the fridge.
  • Heavy cream - either heavy cream or heavy whipping cream works well. You can also replace it with sour cream 1:1.

Expert tips
  • It's the easiest and fastest to process the pretzels and the graham crackers in a food processor to get fine crumbs. Alternatively, place them in freezer bags and smash them with a rolling pin.
  • Don't overmix the filling. Please resist the urge to mix it for too long and whip it up because the filling shouldn't have too much air incorporated. Mix at every step just until combined and smooth.
  • Remove the cheesecake squares from the oven when the filling is set and has a slight wobble in the center. The filling will continue to cook in the pan and firms up as it cools. Overbaking can lead to a dry filling.
  • They are best eaten on the second day. So give them time to rest and set in the fridge overnight. If it needs to go a little faster, 6 hours chilling in the fridge is the minimum time I recommend.

More questions
Make this recipe perfect every time. So be sure to check the full post above. I included easy step-by-step photo instructions and a video to make it easy for you to replicate this recipe. You will also find my favorite variations.

Nutrition

Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1031IU | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg