Why This Recipe Works

Cheesecake is just as delicious in bar form as it is in cake form—there's still a substantial graham cracker crust and a tangy, cooling, custardy cake layer. But cheesecake bars are much easier to make—no water bath or leaky springform pan required. For a supercreamy cheesecake filling, we thoroughly beat softened cream cheese in a stand mixer, scraping down the bowl and paddle as needed; this ensured a light, lump-free filling and avoided overmixing later, a problem which can result in a collapsed cheesecake. We wanted more tang than cream cheese alone could provide, so we bolstered it with sour cream and a modest amount of lemon juice. We saw little need for improvement to the traditional graham cracker crust, but it did benefit from the addition of a couple tablespoons of flour, which made it sturdier.


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7 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
teaspoon salt


1 pound cream cheese, softened
cup (4 2/3 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nutritional Information


Per Serving (Serves 16)

  • Calories 224
  • Cholesterol 67 mg
  • Fat 15 g
  • Sodium 145 mg
  • Saturated 8 g
  • Carbs 17 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Monounsaturated 4 g
  • Sugar 13 g
  • Polyunsaturated 1 g
  • Protein 3 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Makes 16 bars

Make sure to scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl regularly when making the filling in order to achieve a silky, smooth texture.

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Make foil sling for 8-inch square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is 8 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.

2. FOR THE CRUST: Process graham crackers in food processor to fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds. Add melted butter, sugar, flour, and salt and pulse to combine, about 10 pulses. Sprinkle mixture into prepared pan and press firmly into even layer. Bake until crust is fragrant and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let crust cool completely in pan on wire rack.

3. FOR THE FILLING: Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

4. Pour filling over crust and spread into even layer. Bake until edges are set but center still jiggles slightly, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cheesecake cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Using foil overhang, remove cheesecake from pan. Cut into 16 pieces before serving. (Uncut bars can be frozen for up to 1 month; let wrapped bars thaw at room temperature for 4 hours before serving.)