Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars have a homemade graham cracker crust, a creamy cheesecake filling with chunks of fresh strawberries, and a rich chocolate ganache topping.
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These strawberry cheesecake bars are made with Pennsylvania Dutch Strawberries and Cream Liqueur. Pennsylvania Dutch Creams are farm fresh and made with real dairy cream and strawberry puree. Every ingredient in their liqueur is locally sourced. This liqueur has notes fields of fresh, ready-to-pick strawberries on the nose with a palate of rich, silky, and full of sweet cream and fruit. It is the perfect complement to these rich and creamy cheesecakes.
How to make creamy cheesecake:
I think that cheesecake is best when it is extra creamy and there are a few steps that you can take to ensure you get the creamiest cheesecake possible.
- Beat at a low speed. Beating your cheesecake filling at a low speed will prevent air bubbles from forming. It takes a bit longer, but it is worth it in the end.
- Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. If all of your ingredients are at room temperature they will combine a lot easier and it will prevent lumps from forming.
- Scrape down the bowl. I scrape down the bowl often while making the cheesecake filling. This ensures that everything is getting well combined.
- Don’t over-bake. A lot of times we think cheesecake isn’t done baking because it is still jiggly, but this is when we want to stop the baking process. If you let the cheesecakes cool in the oven and then in the fridge they will set up and be a perfect consistency.
INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:
- Graham Crackers. They need to be finely crushed. I always use a food processor to do this.
- Salt. Salt is a must in baked goods. It will help to balance out the sweetness and improve the overall flavor.
- Granulated Sugar. We’ll use a small amount of sugar to sweeten up the graham cracker pie crust.
- Unsalted Butter. I always make sure to use unsalted butter when baking because there is no “standard” for the amount of salt they can add to butter. So if you add salt to a recipe and then use salted butter you could end up with a very salty end product.
INGREDIENTS FOR STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- Cream Cheese. The cream cheese needs to be at room temperature to prevent lumps in your cheesecake.
- Granulated Sugar. This will add flavor and sweetness to the cheesecake bars.
- Eggs. It will be easier to incorporate the eggs into the batter if they are at room temperature.
- Pennsylvania Dutch Strawberries and Cream Liquer. This will give the cheesecake bars extra creaminess and flavor. You can use heavy cream as a subsititue, if needed
- Vanilla Extract. Vanilla is a must in baked goods just like salt. Real vanilla adds a better flavor than imitation vanilla.
- Fresh Strawberries. This will add falvor and texture.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING:
- Chocolate. You can use whatever kind of chocolate you prefer. I use semisweet.
- Heavy Cream. This will make the ganache creamy.
How to make Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars:
Homemade Graham Cracker Crust
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F). Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
STEP 2: In a medium bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, salt, and sugar until well combined. The mixture should be the texture of wet sand.
STEP 3: Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. It can help to use a cup to press the crumbs tightly.
STEP 4: Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool completely.
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE FILLING
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
STEP 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together on low speed until fully combined and smooth. You don’t want to beat the mixture at a high speed and add too much air into it.
STEP 3: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions.
STEP 4: Add the Pennsylvania Dutch Strawberries and Cream Liqueur and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.
STEP 5: Fold the diced strawberries into the cheesecake mixture. I used fresh strawberries.
STEP 6: Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust.
STEP 7: Bake the cheesecake bars for 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set. It will still be a bit jiggly in the center.
STEP 8: Remove the bars from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
STEP 1: In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream over low heat until lightly boiling.
STEP 2: Remove the pan from heat and add the chocolate. Allow to sit for five minutes.
STEP 3: Next, use a whisk to slowly stir the mixture together until everything is melted and fully incorporated.
STEP 4: Remove the ganache from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap if you are planning to let it set for more than a few minutes.
STEP 5: Pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake bars and spread evenly. Transfer to the fridge until everything is fully set and ready to serve.
Can I make cheesecake bars ahead of time?
Absolutely! These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars freeze and refrigerate really well. If you freeze them be sure to take them out of the freezer about an hour before you are ready to serve.
More Cheesecake Recipes
- Mocha Cheesecake- layer of chocolate and coffee cheesecake with an oreo crust and chocolate ganache topping.
- Frosted Animal Cookie Cheesecake- a frosted animal cookie crust and cheesecake topped white chocolate and sprinkles.
- Cannoli Cheesecake- an easy crust with a cannoli cream-like filling.
More Cheesecake Recipes from Kitchen 335
- Mini Egg Nog Cheesecakes- Mini Egg Nog Cheesecakes have a homemade spiced graham cracker crust and a creamy cheesecake filling flavored with egg nog and spices.
- Blueberry Crumble Cheesecake Bars- Blueberry Crumble Cheesecake Bars have a crunchy homemade graham cracker crust, a creamy blueberry cheesecake filling, and a sweet crumble topping.
- Cheesecake Swirled Brownies- Cheesecake Swirled Brownies are the best homemade fudgy brownies loaded with chunks of chocolate and topped with creamy cheesecake.
- Basque Cheesecake- Basque Cheesecake is a crustless cheesecake that is baked at a higher temperature for a beautifully burnt exterior and ultra creamy interior.
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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
For Graham Cracker Crust:
- 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter melted
- 8 sheets graham crackers finely crushed
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For Strawberry Cheesecake Filling:
- 3 packages (681 grams) cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cup (297 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup Pennsylvania Dutch Strawberries and Cream Liqeuer room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup fresh strawberries diced
For Chocolate Ganache:
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon (85 grams) heavy cream
- ½ cup (85 grams) chocolate
For Graham Cracker Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F). Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until fully combined. The mixture should be the texture of wet sand.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of prepared pan.
- Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool completely.
For Strawberry Cheesecake:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together on low speed until fully combined and smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions.
- Add the Pennsylvania Dutch Strawberries and Cream Liqueur and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.
- Fold the diced strawberries into the cheesecake mixture.
- Gently pour the cheesecake filling into the crust.
- Bake the cheesecake bars for 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set, but still a bit jiggly in the center.
- Remove the bars from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
For Chocolate Ganache:
- In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream over medium heat.
- When the cream comes to a light boil turn off the heat and add the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Use a whisk to slowly stir the ingredients together until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Transfer the ganache to a small bowl and all to cool slightly.
- Pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake bars and spread evenly. Transfer to the fridge until everything is fully set and ready to serve.
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