Classic cheesecake bars are creamy, velvety smooth and deliciously tangy with a thick graham crumb crust. Perfect for serving at potlucks or parties – these are made without using a water bath and turn out perfectly every time.
Today, I’m turning my favorite New York Cheesecake recipe into easy cheesecake squares. Instead of using a springform pan, this recipe is made into a simple bar form for a cheesecake recipe that’s fuss-free and completely delicious. The graham crumb crust is extra thick and the cheesecake layer is extra creamy. The ratio of crust to cheesecake means that these squares aren’t too rich and perfect if you love the cheesecake crust.
Tips for Making Cheesecake Bars
This recipe is definitely simpler than a round cheesecake because I find they’re far less likely to crack or sink. However, following a few simple tips will ensure cheesecake success.
- I recommend using a glass or pyrex pan instead of a metal pan. I find the glass pan cooks the cheesecake more evenly.
- Take the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs out of the fridge (and the cream cheese out of its packaging) at least 30 minutes before getting started. They should be room temperature when you make the filling to ensure that everything mixes together evenly.
- Use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Lite or spreadable won’t produce the right consistency.
- A little lemon juice in the filling gives you that perfect, tangy flavor. Don’t worry, it’s not enough for a lemon flavor.
- You’ll notice there’s 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in this recipe. It helps to bind the cheesecake together and avoid cracks. If you don’t have cornstarch, substitute it with flour.
- These bars bake at 300F degrees. The lower temperature is key for minimizing the risk of cracks.
- Cool the bars very slowly. When the bars are done baking, turn off the oven and open the oven door. Let the bars cool in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and continue cooling on the counter until they reach room temperature. By cooling the bars very slowly, the cheesecake is less likely to sink.
- Always, always, always chill the bars in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving. This helps the bars set, and the flavor actually improves.
I love to serve these with whipped cream and a few berries. You could also top them with strawberry sauce or blueberry topping.
Easy, creamy, delicious. These cheesecake bars are hard to beat. And if you need a no-bake option, then these no-bake cherry cheesecake bars are the way to go.
More Cheesecake Bar Recipes
- 9x13 inch glass, ceramic or pyrex bars
- 2 cups graham crumbs*
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese* softened to room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed - do not use juice from a bottle
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream*
- 3 large eggs*
- Preheat the oven to 325F degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 inch glass, ceramic or pyrex pan.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the graham crumbs and brown sugar. Then stir in the melted butter.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan to create an even layer.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven turned on.
- In a very large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cornstacrch until soft. Ensure that there are no lumps in the bottom or along the sides of the bowl.
- Carefully mix in the lemon juice, vanilla and sour cream.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in the eggs 1 at a time until the mixture is just combined. Be careful not to continue mixing after the eggs are incorporated.
- Pour the filling over the cheesecake crust and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top looks just set.
- Turn the oven off and open the oven door. Cool the bars in the oven (turned off) for 30 minutes. Then remove the bars from the oven and cool on the counter until they're room temperature.
- Cover the pan and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving.
- When ready to serve, remove from the oven and slice with a sharp knife (I do not recommend using a table knife).
- For a thinner crust, feel free to use 1 1/2 cups graham crumbs, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
- If you can't find graham crumbs/crackers - they can be substituted with Digestive biscuit crumbs.
- Cream cheese, sour cream and eggs should be room temperature before getting started. Take them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before making the crust.
- Make sure to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Do not use lite or spreadable.
- Store bars in the fridge for up to 4 days. Or wrap tightly and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Nutrition information is meant as an estimate only. It is based on 1 bar, assuming that the recipe is sliced into 15 equal pieces.