The other day, a friend and I passed The Cheesecake Factory, and we both had our own stories to tell. Back in high school, The Cheesecake Factory was where it was happening, and nothing said “Friday night” like a trip to the movies and a 1,600 calorie slice of cheesecake to-go. Truth be told, I’d still dominate a whole cheesecake on my own weekly if I wasn’t utterly concerned about my waistline, but lately I’ve really been digging the simplicity and adaptability of these simple cheesecake bars. If you’ve never made something similar (but surely you have, right?) these almost no-bake treats are the way to go, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them!
These simple cheesecake bars are a great option as we transition into fall. If you’re not quite ready to dive head-first into pumpkin spice and apple pies, these fluffy and flavorful squares are the way to go. Here, a press-in graham cracker and pecan crust comes together with a little butter, salt, and sugar, and is baked briefly in a small square pan until set. On top of it, a whipped filling made with cream cheese, sour cream, and whipped cream is spread out, and the bars set up to a semi-firm consistency in the fridge. The filling stays airy and whipped, even after refrigeration, but it will set up plenty for you to slice pretty squares to serve all your friends. The best part here is the topping: you get to choose! Caramel, chocolate sauce, fresh fruit, sprinkles, whipped cream, or candied nuts would find a welcome home on these simple cheesecake bars, so you can go with whatever feels right.
These bars can easily be made ahead but keep best refrigerated. Bonus: you can even freeze them! I froze a batch in the freezer, thawed in the fridge overnight, and sliced up delicious squares the following day. These simple cheesecake bars are truly one of the easiest make-ahead options I can think of. When you’re ready to serve, simply adorn the with your favorite toppings, or let friends and family decorate them on their own.
I hope you guys have a terrific week regardless of what you have going on. Give these simple cheesecake bars a try and let me know what you think! Happy Tuesday and Happy Baking!
If you like these simple cheesecake bars, you should try:
Brown Sugar Cheesecake with Oatmeal Cookie Crust and Butterscotch
Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecake
Carrot Cake Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts
Blood Orange Cheesecake
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake
Simple Cheesecake Bars
These simple cheesecake bars feature a pecan graham cracker crust and a fluffy cream cheese and whipped cream no-bake filling!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 180
- Yield: 16
- Category: Dessert
For the crust:
- 1 cup (99 gm) graham cracker crumbs
- ¾ cup (100 gm) finely chopped pecans
- ¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons (100 gm) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 16 ounces regular cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1–1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Toppings of your choice: fresh berries, caramel, hot fudge, fruit, etc!
To make the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 or 9” square pan with aluminum foil that extends up the sides for easy removal. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and stir to combine. Press the wet crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom is set. Allow to cool completely.
To make the filling:
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, stirring to combine. Add the sour cream, stirring to combine. In a separate bowl, whip the cream in medium speed until thickened to stiff peaks. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture until smooth, being careful not to overwork the whipped mixture. Spread the filling on top of the cooled crust and smooth with an offset spatula. Allow the bars to cool in the fridge to set, about 4 hours and then cut to serve with the toppings of your choice!