Strawberry Cheesecake Bars — Soft, buttery bars topped with cheesecake and swirled with strawberry jam! The best of all worlds in these fast, easy, and AMAZING bars!!
Best Ever Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
One of my favorite childhood breakfasts was a toasted bagel with cream cheese and strawberry jam. I took that same concept and made bars. And these bars definitely beat my bagel memories. Sorry, bagels.
I called upon my trusty blondie base for these very soft, slightly chewy, buttery bars that are topped with tangy cream cheese and sweet strawberry jam.
It’s an easy, fuss-free, one-bowl, no-mixer base and with 25+ versions and counting, it never lets me down. Over the years I’ve customized it with anything from Oreos to M&Ms to pumpkin and here there’s cream cheese and jam.
The bars are dense, ultra soft, and the taste contrast of the buttery bars, a cheesecake-inspired topping, and strawberry jam swirled throughout is just incredible.
Ingredients in Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
To make this easy recipe for strawberry cheesecake bars, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Cream cheese
- Granulated sugar
- Strawberry jam or preserves
How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
An entire slice of cheesecake is generally too rich for me but bars topped with just a thin layer of it, minus the work of having to make a cheesecake, a total win-win.
Here’s how the bars are made:
- Whisk together the blondie base. Be sure to wait a couple of minutes after melting the butter to avoid accidentally scrambling the egg.
- Turn the batter into a foil-lined 8×8-inch baking dish. You’ll likely need to smooth out the top with a spatula.
- In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Turn it out onto the blondie base.
- Swirl the strawberry jam into the cream cheese layer.
- Bake the bars until the edges are set and the center is still slightly glossy.
- Let the bars cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.
Can This Recipe Be Doubled?
Very easily! Simply double the ingredients for this recipe for strawberry cheesecake bars and bake in a 9×13-inch pan.
Can I Use Lite Cream Cheese?
Yes, lite or low-fat cream cheese will work so long as it’s the kind you buy in a brick. Do NOT buy any type of cream cheese spread that’s sold in a tub.
Tips for Making Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
You need to use brick-style cream cheese for this recipe. Anything that comes in a tub will be too soft for the cheesecake layer.
Feel free to use strawberry jam, jelly, or preserves. Any of those options will work.
For a different take on this recipe, use a different flavor of jam altogether!
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Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
- ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 stick, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 4 ounces 1/2 cup brick-style cream cheese, very well-softened (lite okay)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup strawberry jam or preserves
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large, microwave-safe bowl add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute.
- Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula; set aside.
- To a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and beat on high-speed with a handheld electric mixer (or whisk vigorously by hand) until smooth and combined, about 1 minute.
- Turn the cream cheese mixture out into the prepared pan and using a knife or spatula, form an even, smooth, flat layer.
- Add the jam in small dollops distributed evenly over the pan (just eyeball 1/3 cup) and then using a spatula or knife, spread and swirl the jam into the cream cheese.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until done. The edges should be set and while the center will be glossy and a bit loose, it should still be set to an extent and not overly jiggly. The toothpick test is unreliable because the bars will be done but the moist cream cheese layer will make the toothpick look wet. Bars firm up as they cool.
- Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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