These Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars are exceptionally thick and creamy with a homemade blueberry sauce and a buttery graham cracker crust! Enjoy them as a summer treat or any time of the year!
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Why This Recipe Works!
The taste. With the combination of a homemade blueberry sauce, a creamy vanilla cheesecake, and buttery graham cracker crust, this is a wonderful treat!
The perfect texture. The cheesecake is thick and creamy with each bite giving you plump and juicy blueberries from the sauce and a little bit of crumble from the graham cracker crust.
An easy-to-make cheesecake bars recipe. Don't let the homemade blueberry sauce trip you up, it's really very easy to make! It needs to cool completely before it is added to the blueberry cheesecake bars, but it cools quickly when poured into a glass bowl.
The only downside to the recipe is it does need to cool to room temperature and chill for a few hours before serving. But I promise you, the wait is most certainly worth it. You can even freeze the bars to enjoy for later too!
What Ingredients Do I Need?
To make these blueberry swirl cheesecake bars, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Fresh Blueberries. You can also use frozen, unthawed blueberries. You may notice with frozen you're sauce may be on the thinner side.
- Cornstarch. Gives the blueberry sauce that thick texture. Make sure you bring the sauce to a boil before reducing it to a low heat. This is what activates the cornstarch to thicken the blueberry sauce.
- Lemon Juice. You can use juice from a fresh lemon (my preference) or from a bottle if that is all you have on hand.
- Vanilla Extract. This is needed to round out the flavors in the blueberry sauce and the cheesecake filling.
- Granulated Sugar. This is needed for both the homemade blueberry sauce and the cheesecake filling. You can also use pure cane organic sugar too.
- Graham Crackers. You'll use 1 ½ sleeves or 14 graham crackers. You can also use store-bought ready made graham cracker crumbs.
- Unsalted Butter. This gets melted down and added to the graham cracker crumbs.
- Cream Cheese. Only use the block form and not the spreadable type of cream cheese. You'll need 2, 16 ounce packages and make sure they're brought to room temperature.
- Eggs. You'll use 2 large eggs and 1 large egg white. They should be at room temperature as well.
- All-Purpose Flour. Helps to bring the cheesecake batter together. And while not mandatory, it is helpful to sift the flour to avoid any possible clumps.
Let's Make Blueberry Cheesecake Bars!
Make the homemade blueberry sauce. This is good to do first because it needs to cool completely before you add it to the top of the cheesecake filling later. Bring all of the ingredients listed to a boil, then reduce to a low heat continuing to stir for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
Pour it into a glass bowl to cool completely while you make the graham cracker crust. You can also make this a few days in advance of making these blueberry swirl cheesecake bars. Keep it stored in an airtight container for
Make the graham cracker crust. This can be done using a food processor (my preference) or place all of the graham crackers into a sealed bag and smack with a rolling pin, spoon, or spatula until all of the crackers are crushed into fine crumbs.
You can add the melted butter to the food processor and pulse to combine or you can add both the graham crackers and melted butter to a bowl to combine with a spatula.
Add it to the prepared 8-inch square baking pan, spread out, then press down using the bottom of a measuring cup.
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350ºF. Let cool slightly while you make the cheesecake filling.
Make the cheesecake filling. You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer for this part. Make sure your cream cheese and eggs are both at room temperature. It also helps to have your flour sifted.
Beat the cream cheese first until it is smooth, creamy, and light in texture. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until it is nice and smooth. Be careful not to overmix which can cause cracking as the cheesecake bars bake.
Assemble the blueberry swirl cheesecake bars. Pour in the cheesecake batter over top of the slightly cooled graham cracker crust. With a spoon, add the blueberry sauce all over the top.
Then with a knife (my preference) or toothpick, swirl the blueberry sauce around to create a marble effect. Top with additional fresh blueberries, if you desire.
Bake for 45-50 minutes at 325ºF. They are okay to remove with a little jiggle to the center of them. They will set as they cool.
Allow them to cool completely before you move them to the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 2 hours. My preference—overnight!
I used this 8" x 8" USA pan to make these easy blueberry cheesecake bars. It's my favorite pan to use for the majority of my bars and brownie recipes!
No. Adding a parchment paper sleeve isn't required, but is recommended if you find cutting them outside of the pan is easier. To prevent the sides of the sleeve from dropping into your cheesecake bars, crease them at the edge so the sides fold over. I have not done this, but I have also seen people use metal binder clips.
Yes, you should use a flour-based baking spray, like Baker's Joy, to prevent the bars from sticking to the pan.
Yes. It's totally okay for the center to have a little jiggle to it when you remove it from the oven. It will set as it cools down to room temperature. Over baking can lead to major cracks on top of the bars. Not to worry though, they will still taste good!
Yes, unthawed blueberries will work. You may notice your sauce is a little runnier than if using fresh. If you prefer, you can thaw them first.
Yes. In order for them to properly set, they need to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours or—my preference—overnight.
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake BarsAuthor:
Homemade Blueberry Sauce
- 2 cups Fresh Blueberries, rinsed (or frozen, unthawed Blueberries)
- 2 tsp Cornstarch
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice, store-bought or from lemon
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Granulated Sugar, or Pure Cane Organic Sugar
Graham Cracker Crust
- 14 Graham Crackers (from 1 ½ graham cracker sleeves), processed into fine crumbs
- 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
- 16 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs , room temperature
- 1 Large Egg White, room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 tbsp All-Purpose Flour, sifted
Homemade Blueberry Sauce
- Using a medium-size sauce pan over medium-high heat, bring the fresh blueberries, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar to a boil, stirring constantly.
- As you continue to stir, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The blueberries will break down into juices as the rest of the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl to cool completely.
Graham Cracker Crust
- Spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with a flour-based baking spray, then (optional) place a parchment paper sleeve into the pan, creasing the 2 sides at the edge so the paper doesn't fall into the batter as it bakes. Lightly spray the parchment paper with the baking spray. Set aside.
- Adjust the oven rack to the 2nd level mark (just above center) and preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add in the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is combined. The texture of the graham cracker crust will be like a wet sand. You can also combine the two ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Spoon the graham cracker crust mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing down to level the crust using the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes at 325ºF. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly while you make the cheesecake filling.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the room temperature cream cheese on medium-high speed until it's smooth, creamy, and light in texture (4-5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Add in the eggs, egg white, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, and sifted all-purpose flour, and beat together until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
Assemble the Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
- Pour the cream cheese filling over top of the slightly cooled graham cracker crust. If needed, level and smooth with a spatula.
- Spoon the cooled, thickened blueberry sauce over top of different areas of the cheesecake filling. Then, with a knife or toothpick, swirl the sauce around to create a marbled effect.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes at 325ºF. It's okay to remove the cheesecake bars from the oven if they still have a little jiggle to the center.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake bars to cool completely before moving them to the refrigerator to chill and set for a minimum of 2 hours or—the best option—overnight.
- Keep the blueberry swirl cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the bars individually. See notes for details.