These Cheesecake Bars with Homemade Blueberry Topping have a crisp graham cracker crust, topped with a silky cheesecake filling, and are finished off with a sweet blueberry topping.
Tis the season for light, refreshing desserts, loaded with summer’s bounty. I think these Cheesecake Bars with Homemade Blueberry Topping fit the bill perfectly. I can just imagine sitting outside munching on these and sipping a glass of iced tea or lemonade.
Making homemade cheesecake might sound intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be! I’ve simplified it a little bit by making these into bars, rather than doing a traditional cheesecake recipe with a springform pan, a water bath, etc.
I felt that plain cheesecake bars were a little, um, BORING and we had a HUGE bag of frozen blueberries in our freezer (from last summer – oops), so naturally a homemade blueberry toping was inevitable. The funny thing is – I originally set out to make strawberry topping! Sadly, the strawberries went bad because I waited too long to use them. Sooo moral of the story – eat your strawberries as soon as you get them because food waste is the worst.
Back to the cheesecake bars – I also made the crust from scratch here, because honestly, it just tastes better. Again – nothing to worry about, it’s really simple to make and I’ve got detailed instructions for you in the recipe and in the recipe notes, all found at the end of this post!
You guys are going to feel like SUCH a boss when you make these cheesecake bars from scratch, with a homemade graham cracker crust, and a homemade blueberry topping.
And, you should probably invite me over so I can celebrate your success with you – and help you eat the finished product! Happy baking.
Cheesecake Bars with Homemade Blueberry Topping
For the Crust
- 1 cup graham crackers crumbs
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 5 tbsp salted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Bars
- 12 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Blueberry Topping
- 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries If using frozen, don't thaw them
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch or corn starch
- 4 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup additional fresh or frozen blueberries
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- Make the crust: Add the graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. You can put the graham crackers in a gallon ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin, if you don't have a food processor. Pour the graham cracker crumbs into a small mixing bowl and add the sugar and melted butter and stir until combined - the mixture will be sandy and a little wet. Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside.
- Make the cheesecake: Make sure your cold items have been brought to room temperature first! (See recipe notes for more info). Mix the cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, until creamed. Add the sugar and mix until combined. Add the eggs, two at a time, and beat on medium speed until just combined. Do NOT over mix them! Add the vanilla, and give it a final quick mix.
- Bake: Evenly pour the cheesecake batter over the pre-baked crust, and bake for 31-33 minutes, or until the cheesecake is almost completely set - the center will still have a little bit of a wobble when you move the pan. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cheesecake cool completely - it will set up more during this time. Once cooled to room temp, cover the pan with foil and chill in the fridge for 3 hours before cutting and serving. Serve with the homemade blueberry topping - see below instructions.
- Make the blueberry topping: Make the topping just before serving the cheesecake. Add the 1 1/2 cup of blueberries (I used frozen) to a small saucepan. Add the water - it should cover the blueberries - and the sugar and vanilla. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. While the blueberry/water mixture is coming to a boil, add the starch and the water to a small bowl, and whisk until the starch is completely dissolved. Once the blueberry/water mixture has come to a low boil, stir the dissolved cornstarch mixture into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a rolling boil (you may need to turn up the heat a tad). Once the rolling boil is reached, turn the heat down to low and and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until desired thickness is achieved. Remove from the heat and stir in the additional 2/3 cup blueberries. Serve warm over the cheesecake bars!
- Store: Store the cheesecake bars in the fridge, covered tightly for up to 5 days. The blueberry topping can also be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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