recipe

These creamy cheesecake bars are easier to make than a classic cheesecake—and they’re just as delicious!

safety
  • Uses the microwave
  • Uses the oven
  • Uses a knife
difficulty
  • Advanced
time
  • 1½ hours, plus 6 hours cooling and chilling time
yield
  • Makes 16 bars

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Prepare Ingredients

Crust

Vegetable oil spray
5
whole graham crackers, broken into pieces (or ¾ cup store-­bought graham cracker crumbs)
⅓ cup (1⅔ ounces)
all-­purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon
salt
¼ cup (1¾ ounces)
sugar
4 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted

Filling

1 pound
cream cheese
¾ cup (5¼ ounces)
sugar
2
large eggs
1½ teaspoons
vanilla extract
1 recipe
Easy Strawberry Topping (see Food for Thought, below), optional

Gather Baking Equipment

Aluminum foil
8-inch square metal baking pan
Ruler
Food processor
Rubber spatula
Dry measuring cup
Oven mitts
Cooling rack
Plastic wrap
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
1
 
Vegetable oil spray

For the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Make aluminum foil sling for 8-inch square metal baking pan (click here to learn how to make a foil sling). Spray foil with vegetable oil spray.

 
2
 
5
whole graham crackers, broken into pieces (or ¾ cup store-­bought graham cracker crumbs)
⅓ cup (1⅔ ounces)
all-­purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon
salt
¼ cup (1¾ ounces)
sugar

Add cracker pieces, flour, salt, and ¼ cup sugar to food processor and lock lid into place. Hold down pulse button for 1 second, then release. Repeat until crackers are broken into small pieces, about five 1-second pulses.

 
3
 
4 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted

Turn on processor and process until crackers are finely ground, about 30 seconds. Stop processor. Remove lid, add melted butter to processor, and lock lid back into place. Pulse until butter is combined with crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses.

 
4
 

Remove lid and carefully remove processor blade (ask an adult for help). Use rubber spatula to scrape mixture into foil-lined baking pan.

 
5
 

Use your hands to press crumbs into even layer covering bottom of baking pan, then use bottom of dry measuring cup to press crumbs firmly into pan until very flat.

 
6
 

Place baking pan in oven. Bake until crust begins to brown at edges, 15 to 20 minutes.

 
7
 

Use oven mitts to remove baking pan from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking pan on cooling rack and let crust cool for at least 15 minutes. (Do not turn off oven.)

 
8
 
1 pound
cream cheese
¾ cup (5¼ ounces)
sugar

For the cheesecake filling: Add cream cheese and ¾ cup sugar to clean, dry food processor and lock lid back into place. Turn on processor and process until smooth, about 3 minutes.

 
9
 
2
large eggs
1½ teaspoons
vanilla extract

With processor running, add eggs and vanilla through feed tube and process until just combined, about 30 seconds. Stop processor. Remove lid and carefully remove processor blade (ask an adult for help).

 
10
 

Pour filling evenly over cooled crust, using rubber spatula to scrape out all filling from food processor bowl.

 
11
 

Place baking pan in oven and bake until edges are set and puffed slightly but center still jiggles slightly when baking pan is shaken (ask an adult for help), 30 to 35 minutes.

 
12
 

Use oven mitts to remove baking pan from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking pan on cooling rack and let bars cool in pan for 2 hours. Cover baking pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until bars are chilled and firm, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

 
13
 
1 recipe
Easy Strawberry Topping (see Food for Thought, below), optional

Remove baking pan from refrigerator and remove plastic. Use foil to lift bars out of baking pan and transfer to cutting board. Cut into squares. Top each square with strawberry topping (if using). Serve.