Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars — EASY bars that taste like crème brûlée met a cheesecake on the way to the oven with a sugar cookie crust!! Rich, sinfully decadent, and a great make-ahead dessert for parties and events!!
Easy Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars with a Sugar Cookie Crust
One of my favorite desserts is Crème Brûlée, and these easy bars taste like crème brûlée met a cheesecake on the way to the oven.
There is a sugar cookie crust that is thick, chewy, and it’s a great contrast to the velvety smooth crème brûlée-cheesecake filling.
The toffee bits on top melt slightly and create that signature sheen that you typically see on crème brûlée.
The bars are thick, rich, decadent, and a small piece is probably all you’ll need.
Ingredients for Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars
I don’t mind using a few shortcuts now and then when baking — especially when it comes to cheesecake-anything, which are typically recipes that are too time consuming for busy weeknights.
Sugar Cookie Crust
- Sugar cookie mix
- Instant French vanilla pudding mix
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Toffee Bits
Can the Ingredient Shortcuts Be Substituted?
If you don’t have vanilla pudding mix or sugar cookie mix in your area, I’m sure you can improvise and make a different crust.
As a jumping off point — and I haven’t tested this, FYI — I would make a 1.5x-batch of this Samoas Cookie Pie crust, and don’t prebake it.
How to Make Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars
These cheesecake bars are a cinch to prepare! Follow these easy steps:
- Make the sugar cookie crust: Mix everything together and press the dough into the bottom of your pan. You don’t have to pre-bake this crust, which is convenient and saves time.
- Mix together the filling: It’s a mixture of cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.
- Bake: Turn filling out over the crust and bake until the center is set and not jiggly.
- Add toffee bits: Immediately sprinkle the toffee bits over the bar and allow to cool at room temp for about 30 minutes.
- Chill: Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.
Baking Time Adjustments
I ever so slightly adapted this recipe from this site and while they suggest a baking time of 30 to 35 minutes, the center of my cream cheese layer was still far too loose and jiggly and I needed to bake for 45 minutes.
I suggest starting to check at 30 minutes just in case your bars bake much quicker.
As with anything and everything you bake, bake until it’s done, in your oven, with your pan, ingredients, climate, and to your liking. Use the baking times listed only as guidelines and watch your item and not the clock.
The bars do firm up a bit after cooling at room temp and then chilling in the fridge.
Because the bars need to chill for about 3 hours in the fridge (I chilled overnight), they’re a great make ahead dessert. Serving them well chilled is definitely the way to go.
You can easily make this recipe 24-48 hours in advance and they will hold up just fine.
Tips for Making These Cheesecake Bars
Room temp ingredients: A huge tip here is to make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature and very soft. If it’s not, when you try to beat the ingredients together, small ‘blobs’ of cream cheese will remain because it’s too cold to emulsify with the eggs and you’ll have a very lumpy and unappetizing looking batter.
Toffee bits: I used the Heath brand of toffee bits. They melted well atop the warm crème brûlée cheesecake bars.
Chill time: The bars MUST chill in the fridge for a few hours before being sliced. They firm up more in the fridge.
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- one 17.5 ounce pouch sugar cookie mix
- one 3.5 ounce box instant French vanilla pudding mix
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- two 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, at room temp and very soft
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg yolks (discard whites or save for another use)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup toffee bits
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a 9x13-inch pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add all the crust ingredients and stir to combine until a thick dough forms. Turn dough out into prepared pan into an even flat layer; set aside.
- To the same large bowl (wipe it out with a paper towel if necessary), add all ingredients except the toffee bits, and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until the blended and smooth. Tip - Make sure your cream cheese is very soft otherwise it will be hard to fully emulsify the cream cheese and you'll end up with little 'blobs' that are hard to blend.
- Turn filling out over the crust and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the center is set and not jiggly. Start checking for doneness at 30 minutes and bake as necessary. Note - I adapted this recipe from another website and that site says to bake for 30 to 35 minutes but the center of my bars was still way too loose at 35 minutes and I needed to bake for 45 minutes; bake as long as necessary given your oven and how your bars look.
- Immediately evenly sprinkle the toffee bits and allow bars to cool at room temp for about 30 minutes.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until chilled before serving. Bars will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 179mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 19gProtein: 4g
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