Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

An easy recipe for 128 calorie lightened-up chocolate chip cheesecake bars, sacrificing none of the creamy texture and flavor! 

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars - you won't even know they're light! Only 128 calories each!

I’m currently suffering from a sugar hangover.

Let me rewind. Last night we went out for a friend’s surprise birthday party. Seth, the lucky man marrying this beauty, is turning 30 and we celebrated by renting part of a bar in Baltimore.

(Rowhouse in Federal Hill – go there for Sunday morning Chicken ‘n Waffles & Spicy Bloody Marys if you’re ever in the area and want some brunch.)

Kristen brought a buttercream-frosted cake to surprise Seth and I brought a peanut-butter-packed cookbook recipe that knocked some socks off. I ate a salad for dinner so I could enjoy a lot of dessert. It’s all about balance, folks.

Love these 128 calorie Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars. They don't even taste light!

I also brought these skinny chocolate chip cheesecake bars to the party. They look pretty diet-busting, right!? They certainly taste that way too.

These bars defy all sorts of baking science rules. They’re so rich-tasting, yet made with lightened-up, protein-packed ingredients. The cheesecake layer is ultra thick and undeniably creamy. I don’t even how it’s possible?! No one even knew they were lighter than regular cheesecake!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I am not one to sacrifice taste for lighter desserts, thus this creamy cheesecake bar was born. 🙂

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars. You won't even realize they're lightened-up!

So how can you make these ultra rad skinny cheesecake bars? (Yeah, rad.)

The recipe is quite similar to my Skinny Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars. You’ll need a few easy ingredients: light cream cheese, Greek yogurt, egg whites, and a touch of flour. The flour is used for thickening the cheesecake mixture since you are not using full fat ingredients. You cannot leave out the flour; the cheesecake will not set up properly.

The protein-packed Greek yogurt makes these cheesecake bars unbelievably creamy. I used nonfat plain Chobani Greek yogurt, but you can use low fat and/or a flavored kind like vanilla or even raspberry, honey, strawberry, etc. Using 2% Greek yogurt will give you an even creamier cheesecake bar.

Add some sweetness. 1/4 cup of sugar sweetens the bars. That’s only 1/4 cup of sugar sweetening 16 servings. Not too bad right? I tried my hand at using honey or maple syrup, but the bars did not set up properly. 1 teaspoon of added sugar per serving is heaven sent for cheesecake! (1 tsp does not include the sugar in the cream cheese, chocolate chips, yogurt or crust).

For the chocolate? I like to use mini chocolate chips because you get more chocolate in every bite. Always a good thing.

Mini Chocolate Chips

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

The crust is made from graham crackers and a touch of melted butter. I’ve tested the crust with melted coconut oil and it works wonderfully. So you have the option of either.

The bars only take 25 minutes in the oven. But then you have to wait for them to fully chill before digging in. Ugh, that’s probably the only thing I don’t like about cheesecake. Tests your patience! Especially when all you want is some dang dessert! What to do while you’re waiting: make these adorable DIY sparkle/jewel hair pins. How cute!

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars. You won't even realize they're lightened-up! Only 128 calories each.

So how do these cheesecake bars measure up? Only 128 calories each!

  • 5 sheets low fat Graham crackers = 350
  • 2 Tbsp butter = 200
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese = 560
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt = 105
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar = 194
  • 2 Tbsp flour = 56
  • 2 egg whites = 34
  • lemon juice = 0
  • vanilla extract = o
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips = 560

Do yourself a favor and stop reading. Set out your cream cheese to soften right now. Because you have got to try these simple lightened-up cheesecake bars! It’s been exactly 20 hours since I had one and life just isn’t the same…

Print

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

An easy and delicious recipe for 128 calorie lightened-up chocolate chip cheesecake bars, sacrificing none of the creamy texture and flavor!


Ingredients

Crust

  • 56 full-sheet graham crackers (or 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted or salted butter, melted (or even melted coconut oil)

Filling

  • 8 ounces reduced fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature (do not use fat free)
  • 3/4 cup (185g) Greek yogurt*
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (16g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (85g) mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the bars out of the pan before cutting. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Using a food processor or blender, pulverize the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Pour into a medium bowl and mix with melted butter. Press into the lined pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepare the filling.
  3. Make the filling: Beat the softened cream cheese for 1 minute using a hand or stand mixer. Beat in the yogurt, egg whites, sugar, and flour until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Add the lemon juice and vanilla, beat for 1 additional minute until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Remove the crust from the oven and spread filling on top. Bake for 25 minutes, covering the cheesecake bars at the 20 minute mark with aluminum foil to prevent browning. Allow to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill completely in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Store bars in a covered container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator; bars can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  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. Yogurt: I use Chobani 0% fat, plain. You can use low fat Greek yogurt instead. You can also use regular yogurt, plain or flavored, low fat or fat free.

Keywords: skinny chocolate chip cheesecake bars, skinny cheesecake bars

An easy recipe for 128 calorie lightened-up chocolate chip cheesecake bars, sacrificing none of the creamy texture and flavor!

262 Comments

  1. 128 calories! That is so darn impressive Sally! I just LOVE Greek yogurt – it’s such a calorie-saver 🙂 PInned!

    On another note, I just saw your post with the pics from your apartment and my heart just broke for you 🙁 What an awful thing to go through. You’re in my prayers girl!

  2. These look delish!! I would like to make these for a wedding that is just doing a dessert and coffee reception. I thought I could use some fluted round cutters to make them “bite size”. Do you think this would be possible? I just want to be sure they would be thick enough….or should I use a different size pan to make them thicker? Thanks!! 🙂

    1. Hey Kelly! These would be perfect cut into round shapes. No need to use a different size pan. You may want to make two or three pans of them though – this recipe doesn’t make much for a crowd!

      1. Thanks Sally! And yes, I plan to make a few pans….. as I have a feeling the first one might not make it out the house! 😉 I know I have said this before on FB…but I just adore your blog! I look forward to reading it daily 🙂

      2. So these are amazingly good!! I’m not a big cheesecake person but seriously could have eaten the whole pan!! I did have two questions though: how do you keep the top from cracking and what should I do to cut them easier? The top had several cracks that formed towards the end of baking and more when i took them out of oven. While they tasted so great….they didnt look so great 🙁 I cut them with a long knife in hopes it would make for cleaner cuts…..sadly that was not the case. I’m sure they will get devoured without a thought as to how they look…..but i would like to know how to make them pretty for parties and such 🙂 Thanks Sally!!

      3. Hey Kelly! The trick to avoiding cheesecake cracks is to not overbeat the batter. And it sounds like you overbaked them as well (another culprit of cheesecake cracking). Try taking them out of the oven earlier and not overmixing the batter. I simply chill the cheesecake bars for awhile and use a very sharp knife that I run under hot water after each cut.

  3. Hi Sally
    Just wanted to say how much I love reading all your recipes and this one was a huge hit both and work and at home. Nobody believed me that it had greek yoghurt in it and only 128 calories! I am from New Zealand and have just started getting right into baking and finding your blog has been the best thing thats happened to me. I have made so many of your recipes already and I cant wait to make more! Your an inspiration keep it up!

    1. Hi Kimberley! What a sweet comment. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave it. I am so, so glad that you love my blog and recipes. These cheesecake bars are certainly a favorite of mine! Can’t even tell they are lower in fat. Thank you again 🙂

  4. Sally, I made these this weekend for a Football Tailgate and everyone loved them!! It was funny watching the guys eat the Skinny Cheesecake bars and not blink an eye. Just shows healtier food can taste great! Thank you for your blog…I love it!

    1. Haha! I laughed reading this comment because it reminds me of a skinny recipe in the summer I brought to my fiancé’s motorcycle friends. Made me crack up. Happy these were enjoyed and that you love my blog! Thanks Jennifer.

  5. I have made these no less than three times in the past month. I think I should move towards doubling the recipe! My youngest (a cheesecake fanatic) gobbles it right up! Great recipe!

  6. Hey Sally, thanks for saving my skinny jeans <3 is have a question could I maybe substitue the chips for fresh fruit like strawberries?

  7. Hi Sally – I am a beginner baker and tried these today – super easy and they are delicious but my crust was a very dry and crumbly (rookie mistake?). More butter? Less baking? Make my crumbs more fine? Thanks in advance

    1. Hey Colleen! Try grinding up your graham crackers up a bit more. You want them very fine. Try adding 1/2 Tablespoon more of melted butter as well. That should help!

  8. Hi Sally. I recently made a batch of a lactose free version of these and absolutely loved them. But as I live in Germany, I do not know, where to buy Graham crackers. I found a substitute, that works quite nice for me, but I am very curious, how it would taste with those crackers. Is there any recipe for homemade ones you can recommend or would you even consider finding the perfect one yourself? I would love it!

    1. Hi Obsti! Great suggestion to make my own graham crackers! I’ve never tried it before, so I don’t have a recipe to point you toward.

  9. Hi Sally
    I’ve been looking for the perfect dessert to make for my parents 20th anniversary and I think I’ve found it!
    My mum and dad both love cheesecake and healthy cheesecakes even more!
    Thank you ever so much!
    I love all your recipes, can’t wait for the cookbook to come out!
    Hetty xx

  10. Hi Sally,

    I absolutely love cheesecake, but I can never seem to tolerate cream cheese or yogurt, so I substituted both for part-skim ricotta cheese (my family has always done cheesecake with ricotta), and I followed the rest of your recipe exactly. They not only came out beautifully firm, but they tasted like a light and fluffy cannoli. And thanks to your wonderful calorie breakdown, the substitution of part-skim ricotta cheese makes each bar less than 120 calories each. It’s my new favorite not-so-sinful treat.

    I am a huge fan of your cookies, and can’t wait for my copy of your book to arrive!!!

    Thanks

    Qu

  11. Made this recipe last night – so delicious. I used vanilla Greek yogurt rather than plain. Hubby loved them – don’t think he realizes that it’s a “light” recipe :). I do have a question – any suggestions for the egg yolks when I’m only using the whites? I hate to throw ingredients out. You’ve got great recipes – going to follow you on Pinterest!

    1. Definitely! I use an extra egg yolk in these recipes:

      https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/09/14/dark-chocolate-mounds-bar-cookies/
      https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/05/13/chewy-chocolate-chunk-cookies/
      https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/05/28/soft-baked-reeses-pieces-butterscotch-cookies/

      Also, sometimes I make an omelet and throw the extra egg yolk in. I mix the yolk with a couple teaspoons of water (to preserve it) and cover it tightly in a bowl until the next morning for breakfast.

  12. These bars are so delicious. My friend was very surprised when I told her they were a skinny cheesecake!
    I can’t wait for your cookbook to come out!

  13. Just made these today. The bars are so incredibly rich and delicious, they don’t taste low fat at all. I made the mistake of giving my neighbor some and she told me that I HAVE to make them again for her. I can’t wait to try your other recipes, and to make these again with other ingredients in the place of chocolate- maybe peanut butter or strawberry preserves? Yum. Keep up the good work!

    1. A few peanut butter swirls would be so good in these cheesecake bars, Shannon! So happy you tried them and that they are loved. Definitely one of my favorites!

  14. I’m so utterly excited and pleasantly surprised and my taste buds are all cheering for joy after a single taste of this cheesecake! As a child, I adored cheesecake, but somehow cheesecake and I had drifted apart as I grew up. But on my last B-day, I got a blueberry-compote cheesecake and it just spiked a sense of nostalgia in my soul. The cheesecake-loving part of me has awaken from its long period of hibernation! And so I turned to you to tame the beast. It worked! The first cheesecake I’ve made, and it was so easy. Turns out all of my have-I-baked-it-long-enough-yet and oh-no-I-think-there-are-still-lumps-in-the-batter worries were all for nothing. The cold creaminess of the cheesecake bars were utterly divine, and I thank you so much! (It’ll be a miracle if you read through the whole of my word-y, cheesecake-evoked eloquent comment. :D)

  15. Hi Sally~
    These are really nice. I made them today. (Unfortunately I cant make your buttery treats all the time, so this is a very good alternative!)
    My only slight concern was that my crust was bit too crumbly, but I’m guessing that’s because there’s not that much fat to hold it together?! Regardless, we will be enjoying these chilled from the fridge for the next few days.
    **I swear, the HARDEST part of following your blog is deciding what to make- they all look delish.
    Stay warm

  16. These look so delicious! I’m about to try them out but I have one question. Wouldn’t the chocolate chips melt in the oven?

  17. Hey, loved this recipe! Just made it for my fiancé and I, and we both loved it! I did everything according to the recipe but did not make the crust. I just made them crustless, and they were delicious! Thanks!

  18. Hi Sally! These look delicious as always! I was wondering if it would make too much of a difference if I used lemon juice from concentrate? Thank you so much!

  19. Hi Sally,

    Would it be okay to leave out the chocolate chips in this recipe? Would it change the way the cheesecake sets up? Im looking for a light cheesecake recipe but without chocolate.

    Thank you for your blog! Its amazing!

  20. Once again, another delicious and easy recipe Sally. I used Honey Maid chocolate graham cracker crumbs for the base and it tasted even more chocolate-y! Can’t eat just one though…they are THAT good! Creamy & rich and no one, I repeat NO ONE would ever know they are lower in calories!

  21. These were amazing and my husband who doesn’t like greek yogurt had no clue these had it in them. They were eaten so quickly at the party I made them for.

  22. I halved this recipe because I was trying to use up a partial bar of Neufchatel. I also used some frozen wild blueberries in place of the chocolate chips, and used plain greek yogurt. The bars seemed a bit too tart for me, perhaps when adding blueberries, I need to add some sugar or cut out some of the lemon juice?

    1. Hi Robin! Feel free to add more sugar or take out the lemon juice. I like the little tartness, but adjust and test the recipe to suit your tastes.

  23. Hi there ms. Sally! I am from phil. (Such a fan!) well anyway, i just wanna ask if i could use oreos for the crust instead of grahams? I would love to do this right away! Haha!

    1. Hi Anne! You may certainly use an Oreo cookie crust instead – here is my favorite oreo cookie crust: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/28/snickers-cheesecake-bars/

  24. Sally, I’ve made these before, and they were delicious! I’m making them again for a demonstration speech, and I was wondering if regular size chocolate chips would be ok? Or is there an easier way to chop them up than cutting them? Thanks!

  25. Hi Sally!

    Absolutely loove your recipes! I was wondering if you a have non-fat variation of these. I bought a bag of chocolate chips and I’m looking for a creative way to use them. Want to prepare the chocolate chip cheesecake bars for the boyfriend, but he’s not into the whole non-fat trend. I would really appreciate it if you could help me out!

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Maria! I suggest using this cheesecake bar recipe: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/28/snickers-cheesecake-bars/

      And subbing some chocolate chips for the snickers bars. Or you can try these: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/06/28/strawberry-swirl-chocolate-chip-cheesecake-bars/

  26. Hi Sally, Quick question. Do you think I can substitute cornstarch instead of the flour? My aunt is gluten-sensitive and I want to make sure she can eat them.

    Thanks!

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