This week we are highlighting some of our favorite strawberry treats. The one I am most excited to share with you is our Strawberry Cheesecake Bars. Since this recipe was developed in 2018, I have made it at least once (and often more) each year during strawberry season. Our newer strawberry recipes (like our Strawberry Galette and Strawberry Sorbet) are also delicious, but this is the treat that’s on my must-make list year after year.
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What Makes Strawberry Cheesecake Bars So Good?
Why do I love these bars so much? The strawberry flavor really shines! And they have three layers of goodness to offer.
First there’s the buttery, sweet graham cracker crust. This crust isn’t just graham crackers, butter, and sugar though. It has a little flour added to the mix to help it stay crisp and dry.
Then there’s the luscious creamy cheesecake filling. Need I say more?
Finally, there’s the fragrant, pink-hued strawberry top layer. Because adding strawberries to the cheesecake layer made it soupy (and no one wants a soupy cheesecake!), creating a strawberry layer proved the better way to go. It’s simply a mixture of strawberries, sour cream, and sugar. But don’t let its simplicity fool you. It is the thing that takes these bars from good to absolutely amazing. Think intense strawberry flavor plus a welcome tang.
Strawberry Cheesecake BarsWe wanted this dessert to actually taste like strawberries.
How Do You Make Strawberry Cheesecake Bars?
Three-layered bars might sound complicated, but I promise, they’re a cinch.
Simply pulse together the crust ingredients in a food processor, press them into the pan, and bake the crust until golden and fragrant. While it’s cooling, clean your food processor bowl and get ready to move on to the filling.
Process cream cheese and sugar, followed by eggs and vanilla; pour the mixture over the cooled crust; and pop it into the oven to bake until almost set.
While that’s happening, clean the food processor bowl again, toss in the strawberries and sugar, and whir them until pureed. Stir the puree into some sour cream, and pour the topping over the baked cheesecake filling. Return the pan to the oven to set the topping, let the bars cool, and then chill them for 4 hours. (You can even chill them up to 24 hours, making these perfect for preparing a day ahead of time).
Then comes the finishing touch. Thinly slice a handful of strawberries and toss them with a little sugar. Cut the bars into squares and top each square with a strawberry slice. Voilà. An easy dessert that looks beautiful and tastes incredible!
Side note: This sounds like a lot of food processor cleaning. To save myself some trouble, I place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl before securing the lid. The plastic keeps what’s in the bowl from hitting the lid, so there’s no need to wash the lid each time. (If I need to add something while the processor is running, I simply fold back the plastic.)
I’m willing to bet that after taking one bite you’ll plan on making these every year too.