No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 14-16 full sheets)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese (2 blocks), softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Strawberry Topping:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional, for brightness)

Equipment

  • 9×13 inch baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Food processor or zip-top bag and rolling pin (for crumbs)
  • Large bowl
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Medium saucepan

Instructions

Make the Crust:

  • Prep the pan: Line the 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides for easy removal of the bars.
  • Make the crumbs: If not using premade crumbs, place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. You can also place them in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  • Combine crust ingredients: In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until evenly moistened.
  • Form the crust: Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.

Make the Cheesecake Filling:

  • Beat cream cheese and sugar: In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Whip the cream: In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Combine: Gently fold the whipped cream and vanilla extract into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
  • Spread the filling: Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust, spreading it into an even layer. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Make the Strawberry Topping:

  • Combine ingredients: In a medium saucepan, combine sliced strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and water.
  • Cook: Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the strawberries have softened.
  • Add lemon (optional): Stir in the lemon juice for a touch of extra tartness. Let the strawberry topping cool slightly.

Assemble and Chill:

  • Layer with strawberries: Gently spoon the thickened strawberry topping over the chilled cheesecake layer. Spread evenly.
  • Chill to set: Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the bars to fully set.

To Serve:

  • Lift and slice: Use the parchment paper overhang to lift the cheesecake bars out of the pan. Cut into squares.
  • Garnish (Optional): Add a dollop of whipped cream or fresh strawberries before serving.
  • Storage: Store leftover bars covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Tips:

  • Room temperature ingredients: Using softened cream cheese ensures a lump-free filling.
  • Don’t overmix: Fold the whipped cream in gently to maintain a light and airy texture.
  • Adjust sugar: Adjust the sweetness of the cheesecake filling and strawberry topping to your preference.
  • Make it your own: Experiment with other berries like raspberries or blueberries.

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