You will love these raspberry cheesecake bars, with their crumbly crust and the creamy, luscious filling. The lemon zest and abundance of raspberries give the bars a wonderful freshness, and balance out the sweetness perfectly. Plus, they are super easy to make!
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You know how people say some desserts are just too pretty to eat?
Yeah, this isn’t one of them.
Now, don’t get me wrong. These raspberry cheesecake bars are drop dead gorgeous – but not eating them would be just plain silly.
Why would you not want to eat something that has the most delicious crumbly crushed cookie crust (yay, alliteration) and a filling so creamy and luscious it’s almost indecent??? And don’t even get me started on the blending of the lemon zest-scented cream cheese filling with the vibrant flavour explosions that are raspberries.
On second thought… sure, they’re definitely too pretty to eat. So feel free to just stare at them – and I’ll bear the sacrifice of having to polish them all off. Deal?
This is a small batch recipe. It makes an 6×6 inch cheesecake, giving 9 or so raspberry cheesecake bars.
Which is great because… no sharing? (Believe me, after you’ve taken the first bite, sharing will be approximately the last thing on your mind.)
Of course, you can easily scale the recipe up to make more cheesecake bars – you’ll have to increase the baking time a bit in that case.
(A word of caution: if you scale up the recipe, people might expect you to actually share the deliciousness. My recommendation is… a sneaky midnight baking session and then hiding the cheesecake bars at the bottom of the fridge in a container labelled “cauliflower rice”. It works and, yes, I am a bit possessive when it comes to cheesecake bars. Make them. Then, you’ll understand.)
Because there is no such thing as too many raspberries in raspberry cheesecake bars, they feature both a raspberry swirl and raspberries, baked in the cheesecake.
I’ve made the bars gluten free by using crushed gluten free digestive biscuits for the cheesecake crust, but if you don’t need them to be gluten free, feel free to use your standard graham crackers (or rich teas or digestives if you’re in the UK).
I could go on and on about how awesome and amazing and delicious and mouthwatering and just WHOA these raspberry cheesecake bars are. (Trust me, I could fill pages and write books on the topic.)
But… I won’t. Because the proof’s in eating them, so get baking, enjoy (and you will, promise)… and thank me later.
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Small Batch Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
For raspberry reduction:
- 1 cup (225 g) fresh or frozen raspberries
For crushed cookie crust:
- 3/4 cup (75 g) crushed gluten free cookies of choice (such as gluten free digestives or rich tea biscuits, or gluten free graham crackers)
- 1/3 stick (40 g) unsalted butter, melted
For cream cheese filling:
- 10 1/2 oz (300 g) cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
- 2 medium eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 g) caster or granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp (45 g) sour cream or yogurt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (I love vanilla bean paste because it gives a very intense flavour and you only need a small amount, but you can also use 1 - 2 tsp vanilla extract)
- zest of 1 lemon
You will also need:
- ~10-15 fresh raspberries
For raspberry reduction:
In a small saucepan, cook the raspberries on medium-high heat until they have released their juice and part of the liquid has evaporated.
Pass the raspberry mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds and skin.
Return the raspberry juice to the saucepan and cook further until it has decreased in volume and become thicker (more viscous).
Allow to cool.
For crushed graham cracker crust:
Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line a 6 x 6 inch (15 x 15 cm) square baking tin with baking/greaseproof paper.
You can scale up the recipe with no problems, but you will have to increase the baking time slightly.
Mix together the crushed cookie crumbs and melted butter, then press them into the lined baking tin to form a firm, even layer.
Bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
For cream cheese filling:
Reduce the oven temperature to 320 ºF (160 ºC).
Mix all the cream cheese filling ingredients together until smooth, then transfer the filling on top of the baked crushed cookie crust.
Drizzle the raspberry reduction on top of the filling, and create a swirl pattern with a skewer or toothpick. Gently sprinkle the fresh raspberries on top.
Bake at 320 ºF (160 ºC) for about 55 - 60 minutes, or until the filling is light golden brown around the edges and the middle is still slightly wobbly when you shake the baking tin.
Allow to cool at room temperature, then transfer into the fridge for at least 1 hour before removing the cheesecake from the baking tin and serving (preferably refrigerate overnight). This recipe makes 9 cheesecake bars.
The raspberry cheesecake bars keep well in a closed container in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.