Beautiful Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Even though I’m excited for the changing season and everything that comes with fall, I have to admit that the beautiful NY sunshine on Labor Day weekend was wonderful. I was lucky enough to have a long weekend and attend a Clam Bake with some good friends. It was the perfect weekend to soak up that last bit of summertime. With that being said, this is the perfect light and fruity dessert for a summertime party. This was my first time making these cheesecake bars and I will definitely make them many more times… even if it’s no longer summer!
The combination of cream cheese (I used fat-free and you absolutely could not taste a difference), fresh blueberries, and a hint of orange juice gives these bars a fresh taste and don’t leave you feeling overly full. I can’t wait to make these using a million different variations – raspberries, blackberries, peaches, chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, and the list goes on…
I will admit that this recipe is a little bit of a process to complete. None of the steps are complicated – It’s just that there are many steps which include baking, cooling, and chilling. I recommend making these cheesecake bars the day before you want to eat/share them so you’re not rushed while making them. Even though this isn’t a quick recipe, the end result is COMPLETELY worth it – They’re truly that good.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees (F) and line a 13″ x 9″ cake pan with foil.
Tip: Extend the foil past the edges of your pan so you can easily lift the bars out later.
On to the fun stuff… In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine 2 tablespoons of your white sugar, cornstarch, blueberries and orange juice. Heat and stir until the mixture has thickened and the blueberries are soft (some may burst) then remove from heat and set aside.
Time to prepare the crust. I feel like “crust” is misleading because in all reality, this “crust” is more like a delicious sugar cookie. In most cases, like pie and pizza, I don’t end up eating the crust because it’s bland. Not in this case! These cheesecake bars would not be the same without this crust. Anyways, in a large mixing bowl, combine your flour and confectioner’s sugar. Slowly cut in your butter, about 3-4 tablespoons at a time, until you’ve added all of it.
Tip: I used a masher to cut in the butter and it worked perfectly.
At this point, your mixture may not seem crumbly enough (or at least that’s how I felt) but don’t worry! Just scoop handfuls of the mixture and press it into the bottom of your foil lined cake pan. It will bind together and form a solid layer. Pop the crust in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
While your crust is baking, let’s prepare the creamy filling. If you’re using a mixer, fit it with your paddle attachment (a hand mixer will work great too). Beat the room temperature cream cheese until it’s creamy then add in 1/2 cup of white sugar, and 1 tablespoon of flour. Incorporate your lightly beaten eggs and add in the vanilla.
Once your crust has finished baking (and smells delicious), remove it from the oven and pour your cream cheese mixture on top. Next, drop small spoonfuls of the warm blueberry mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture in a random pattern – At this point, you should have 3 layers (crust, cream cheese filling, blueberry mixture).
Now for the most fun part of this recipe… marble the cream cheese filling and the blueberry mixture together! I used a simple butter knife and made vertical lines with rounded corners across the whole pan. You can swirl whatever pattern you’d like, just make sure you don’t let the knife cut into the crust.
We’re in the home stretch now, I promise! Toss your cake pan back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (or until the center is set). Afterwards, let your cake pan cool on a wire rack for one hour then cover it and pop it in the fridge for another hour.
After chilling for an hour, use the foil to lift the uncut bars from the cake pan. Cut into bars and enjoy your hard work… You’ll understand why it was worth it after your first bite 🙂 (Keep uneaten bars in the fridge in an airtight container)
Beautiful Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Source: Better Homes & Gardens
- 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 8oz package of fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
What to Do
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and line a 13″ x 9″ cake pan with aluminum foil.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine 2 tablespoons white sugar with the cornstarch, blueberries and orange juice.
- Heat and stir until the mixture has thickened and the blueberries are soft (some may burst) then remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and confectioner’s sugar. Slowly cut in butter, about 3-4 tablespoons at a time, until you’ve added all of it.
- Scoop handfuls of the flour mixture and press it into the bottom of the foil lined cake pan. It will bind together and form a solid layer.
- Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat the room temperature cream cheese until it’s creamy then add in 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour.
- Add the lightly beaten eggs and the vanilla.
- Once the crust has finished baking, remove it from the oven and pour your cream cheese mixture on top.
- Next, drop small spoonfuls of the warm blueberry mixture on top of the cream cheese filling.
- Use a butter knife to marble the cream cheese filling and blueberry mixture together while being careful not to cut the crust at the bottom.
- Bake for 20 minutes (or until the center is set) then let cool on a wire rack for one hour.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for another hour.
- Use the foil to lift the uncut bars from the cake pan. Cut into bars and enjoy.