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Creamy cheesecake bars on a simple graham cracker crust with a thick Nutella swirl.

overhead image of Nutella swirl cheesecake bars

Calling all cheesecake lovers… and Nutella lovers. This sinful recipe was made with YOU in mind. And umm… me too. I had a serious craving for Nutella last week and rather than smearing some on a banana, I swirled it into some cheesecake. I don’t know if I should apologize in advance or not. You’re absolutely going to fall in love with these and your pants are not going to get any looser. Umm, so worth it. Tis the season.

These Nutella cheesecake bars are sinful. So good that they should come with a warning label. They’re creamy, thick, cheesecakey, chocolate-y, and smooth. The perfect ending to a holiday meal. The ideal home-baked gift for all chocolate lovers. Heck, they’re perfect for ANY dessert lover.

And the best part? They’re so simple! Much, much easier than making an entire cheesecake from scratch. All the work is done in the oven as the bars bake and then in the refrigerator as the bars chill. Super simple, just like peanut butter pretzel cheesecake bars. We all have enough going on this time of year (and well, any time of year) that a simple hassle-free dessert is always welcome!

stack of Nutella swirl cheesecake bars on a white plate

You’re only going to need a few easy ingredients: graham crackers, butter, cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, nutella. Yeah, that’s it. 8 ingredients total!

The base of these creamy cheesecake bars is the same graham cracker crust used in my s’mores pie and strawberry cheesecake bars. Grind up some graham crackers, mix them with melted butter and sugar. Press this mixture tightly into a pan and then top with the cheesecake batter.

The hardest part about today’s recipe is swirling the Nutella. Which is, in fact, quite effortless. If you’ve ever eaten Nutella, you know that it is quite hard to work with. So sticky! So thick! So gooey!

Those are all positive things, people. To make the Nutella easy to swirl, you may do one of two things. (1) Simply measure 1/3 cup of it into a small bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds. (2) Alternatively, you can sit the entire jar of Nutella in a large bowl of warm water for about 15 minutes.

The Nutella will be much thinner and easier to swirl using either option.

Nutella swirl cheesecake bars on a white plate

The cheesecake bars take about 30–35 minutes to bake. Be sure not to overbake them. The bars will be very puffy and the edges will be brown.

Let the bars cool at room temperature on a wire rack; the bars will sink back down as they cool. Putting the bars onto a wire rack will allow air to circulate to the bottom of the pan. Once slightly cooled (about 30 minutes) transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, for at least 3–4 hours (or overnight).

Nutella swirl cheesecake bars in a glass baking dish

Sadly, these cheesecake bars take some planning ahead because of the long chill time. And waiting for them to chill is pure torture! You need them to be sufficiently chilled all the way through the center in order for the bars to cut neatly. As well as taste the best! Warm cheesecake? No, thank you.

It is an enormous test of your self control to leave the Nutella cheesecake bars alone in the refrigerator as they chill. But trust me, the end result is sooo worth it. And while you’re waiting, you can make a batch of shortbread cookies. They don’t require any chilling and are ready in just under an hour!

When the mood strikes you for a creamy, cheesecakey, Nutella treat—because let’s face it, that’s often—these cheesecake bars are your answer. I have a feeling this simple, 8-ingredient recipe will be in heavy rotation for the next couple of weeks. I have about 100 occasions to bake for, and I know Nutella will always be a crowd pleaser.

stack of Nutella swirl cheesecake bars on a white plate

Plus, look how pretty they are! ♥ Cheesecake may just be my new favorite way to eat Nutella.

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stack of Nutella swirl cheesecake bars on a white plate

Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars 1x
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Creamy cheesecake bars on a simple graham cracker crust with a thick Nutella swirl.




  • 12 full-sheet graham crackers (1 1/2 cups (180g) graham cracker crumbs)
  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar


  • 16 ounces cream cheese (2 standard packages or 452g), softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (100g) Nutella, slightly warmed*


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Using a food processor or blender, grind the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Pour into a medium bowl and mix with melted butter and sugar. Press into the lined pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepare the filling.
  3. Make the filling: Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract together with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Spoon filling onto the crust. Drop large spoonfuls of Nutella on top of filling and swirl gently with a knife.
  4. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set up and the edges are lightly browned. The bars will be very puffy, but will sink slightly down as they cool. Allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature on a wire rack and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.
  5. Store bars in a covered container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.


  1. Nutella: To make the Nutella easy to swirl, try this: (1) Simply measure 1/3 cup of it into a small bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds. (2) Alternatively, you can sit the entire jar of Nutella into a large bowl of warm water for about 15 minutes.
  2. Double Batch: Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch pan; baking time will vary—about 45–55 minutes.
  3. Non-US Readers: Don’t have graham crackers where you live? Use 200g ground digestive biscuits instead (about 13–14 biscuits), the same amount of butter, and add a bit more sugar (about 1/3 cup, or 67g). You may need to add a few extra minutes to the pre-baking time, as digestive biscuits are not quite as crispy-crunchy as graham crackers. And from what I understand, spreadable cream cheese sold in a tub in countries outside of the US is a little different from the spreadable cream cheese in the US. It’s thicker, sturdier, and more solid and should be OK to make cheesecake. I have no experience with it, but this is what I’ve heard from other non-US readers.

Keywords: nutella cheesecake bars

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Sally, these look amazing! I really want to try them, but I do not like graham cracker crusts at all (gasp!). I was thinking Nilla Wafers. Do you think those would go well with the flavors or do you have another recommendation?

    1. Hey Erin! Yes, Nilla Wafers would be fantastic as the crust. Though I’m unsure of the correct measurements. I’m sure you can find a nilla wafer crust recipe online to fit this size pan, though. You could also try an oreo crust like this one-

  2. Sally, these look utterly delicious. I’d love to make it in a 9 inch round springform pan… Any suggestions about how to adjust the recipe so I can do this? Thanks!

    1. No changes necessary. The bars may be a little thinner than mine and may take a few less minutes in the oven. Enjoy!

  3. I made this recipe for a Christmas party the other night. The only thing I did differently is pour the sugar in with the graham crackers to blend. Anyway, It was a hit. The buttery graham cracker crust is delicious. It’s definitely in my “Keeper” folder now. As opposed to making it in a springform pan, the square sizes makes portioning smaller “party size” servings so easy too. We’re making it again tonight for my daughter’s school Christmas party. Thanks for the great recipe idea!

  4. I made these yesterday with Trader Joe’s’ vegan cream cheese substitute because my husband is somewhat lactose-intolerant, and followed the directions exactly as they are listed here. They turned out really good! I suppose if you want to make these entirely vegan, you could use Earth Balance in the crust, and Rawtella in the topping. I don’t know if all graham crackers have real honey in them, but Annie’s Organic do, so beware if you’re a vegan who does not eat honey.

  5. These were great! My family and I really enjoyed them 🙂 Thanks a lot for the recipe, Sally! You should come up with a oreo cheesecake recipe hehe

  6. Sally, what kind of cheese would you suggest I use of these: ricotta, mascarpone, or cheeses such as Philadelphia? Which would be the best? In my country there is no product on the shelves labeled as “cream cheese”. 🙂 Thank you!!

    1. Hi Remszi! How about using ricotta instead? I’ve never tried it before though, so I can’t say if the bars’ texture will be exactly the same. I personally love ricotta cheesecake!

  7. Hi Sally – just wanted to let you know that I tried out this recipe and these cheesecake bars are ultra delicious. I’m from Australia where graham crackers are not readily available, so when my work colleagues travel to the US I always beg for a box. They’re so good taste-wise as a base for cheesecakes. And nutella of course is everyone’s perennial favourite. Thanks for your gorgeous blog and recipes (love that you have gram measurements for us metric folk). I do hope I can get my hands on your book in Australia. Ps: your chewy choc chip cookies worked a treat for me as well. They’re too good. Best regards, Ann

  8. Hi! I’ve been looking for something to do with the 2 big jars of Nutella my uncle sent me, and found these. I owe my friends cheesecake cups and was thinking of making these instead. If I use a mini muffin tin, how long do I have to keep in the oven? 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Sandy, digestive biscuits are a great alternative to those not living in the US.

      1. Baked according to your recipe, every bite is heavenly! One question though, the crust doesn’t seem to be sticking to the filling. Any remedy for this? And also what is the best way to swirl into a nice pattern? Thanks again for sharing this yummilicious recipe!

  9. Does anyone know if I could substitute the nutella with peanut butter (hazelnut allergy)?

  10. I made these last week and they were a HIT! The only thing I did differently was swap out the graham cracker crust for a crust made out of Chips Ahoy. I used about 10 chocolate chip cookies and put in food processor to crush up and used the same way as the graham crackers. To die for!! LOL =)

  11. I made these over the weekend, and they were gobbled up with compliments! The homemade graham cracker crust was wonderful – I was inspired to give this recipe a try as an excuse to try out your recent baking basics posting on making the perfect graham cracker crust. It was so simple (even with the rolling pin method), and tasty. Thank you once again for another delicious treat!

  12. Sally, I made this for a dinner party I went to and guests could not stop talking about how amazing this was! It was so creamy. By the time it was passed around to my side of the table there was none left. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  13. These were absolutely delicious! My office is still raving about them.

    I do have one question – I had a hard time with the crust sticking to the upper layer of the bars. The two layers fell apart very easily. Any idea how I could fix this? 

  14. Hi Sally, I made these mnami bars a couple of days ago. They are so easy to make and perfect – however didnt manage to have a bit as it disappeared so quickly 🙂 p.s. into the graham cracker crust i mixed some oreos as well, so it was a bit colorful 🙂 

  15. Hi Sally,

    I have made these twice before and they were amazing both times! I want to make them for a bake-off at work, but I need slightly more than the recipe yields. Do you have any suggestions for doubling or making 1.5 the amount? 

    Thank you!

    1. Maya, you can double all of the ingredients and bake in a 9×13 pan (unsure of the bake time) OR you can make two batches.

  16. Hi Sally,
    I made these bars and they rocked! I was wondering if you could do a video tutorial on swirling nutella into the cheesecake as I seem to suck at doing this, lol! Yours look so much prettier than mine, although they still taste good. Also for anyone who is wondering, I froze some of mine and it worked great.

  17. Hi Sally! Your recipes are the BEST. I made these into mini cheesecake cupcakes (and a few bigger cupcakes to use up all of the crust and filling) and I turned it into a 9-ingredient recipe by blending about 1/4 cup of your salted caramel topping/syrup -a concoction I regularly keep on hand, and try to not eat the whole thing with a spoon in one sitting- into the cheesecake filling. I used Justin’s Hazelnut Chocolate spread instead of Nutella which got bubbly and caused slight bubbly eruptions in the minis while baking, but nobody is going to care what they look like as they will just be scarfing them down at work tomorrow. (I work with mostly volunteers; I love bringing them treats!) So they aren’t the prettiest things I have ever made but I am certain they will be crazy delicious. I have one cooling in the freezer right now so I can test them before putting the rest into the fridge. Thank you for your deliciously inspired brilliance! You are amazing!!

  18. Hi Sally,
    I’m a huge fan of your page. I have a question on this cheesecake filling, I live in South America where we don’t easily find the block cream cheese, we have a cream cheese spread that is much lighter (heavy cream type consistency). Do you have any suggestions on modifying the filling recipe so that it doesn’t run?

  19. Heading to a bbq this weekend and I immediately go to your sight for a recipe to bring. Everyone thinks I’m the best baker ever 😉 How do you think a “nilla wafer” crust would be with this recipe?

    1. I haven’t tried it with that crust – but if you like sweet it should be great!

  20. This was an easy recipe to do but there wasn’t enough sugar in the cream cheese. Would make it again but will bump up the sugar to 1/2 cup.

  21. Hi Sally – I’m from the UK and cannot get Graham Crackers. Is there anything else I can use?

    1. Hi Robyn, I have heard from other readers that digestive biscuits work. Enjoy!

      1. Hi Sally,

        How much it needs if using digestive biscuits? Thank you in advance 😉

  22. These bars are delicious! Are there any video tutorials or tips for swirling? I’ve made them twice and feel that the Nutella just covers the whole top so the swirls don’t show up. Am I doing something wrong? Should I use less Nutella?

    1. Hi Jackie! So glad you enjoy these Nutella swirl cheesecake bars. Make sure you’re slightly warming your Nutella if it’s especially thick. Also, try this: save a few Tablespoons of cheesecake batter to drop on top of the Nutella batter, then swirl together. That way you’ll have some of the cheesecake swirls on top as well.

  23. The cheesecake/nutella filling is excellent! I think next time I would remove the sugar from the crust and make it thinner. It was almost equal in thickness to the cheesecake portion.

  24. Favorite cheesecake bar recipe ever! I’ve made it a few times and they always turn out perfect. Everyone who tries them loves them and they’re so easy compared to regular cheesecakes. The crust and the filling provide the best side by side textures. Not sure how anyone has rated it less than 5 stars, especially since all the reviews are positive.

  25. Hello! Do you think the cream will be fine if left in the fridge overnight? My brother just about finished the chocolate hazelnut spread mum bought, so I’ll need to buy another one and it’s too late to do so today

  26. This recipe is amazing! I loved how the cheese cake turned out. It was delicious and was finished so quickly. This is definitely a must do recipe!

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