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!

254 Comments

  1. Hey Sally! 🙂 I cant wait to get home from work and make these! I was wondering if I can use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour? will it work the same?

    1. Hmm. That should be fine, but there might be a slight “wheat” taste to the filling. I would use all-purpose if you can.

  2. Hey Sally! I recently became a big fan of your recipes – they’re amazing. I am planning on making these skinny cheesecake bars today. Out of curiosity, how would I make regular cheesecake into chocolate cheesecake? Is it as simple as adding cocoa powder?

    1. Hi Audrey – I’m unsure. I’ve never made chocolate cheesecake before but perhaps you can find a recipe online for one.

    1. I know it’s been a year since the stevia question, but I wanted to answer for anyone wondering about using stevia. I made these with Truvia Baking Blend last night and they are still divine. The product is a blend of sugar and stevia, so you use less than the recipe lists for sugar, only 2 tablespoons in this case (vs. the 1/4 cup).

  3. I changed the yogurt to strawberry greek yogurt and didn’t put the chocolate chips in and it was amazing!It tasted exactly like a strawberry cheesecake! Oh and I made these in muffin pans and they were so cute and bite size. I think they would be perfect for parties!

  4. HI Sally! Can’t wait to try these. What a great idea! But do you suppose your cheesecake mix could work to fill a graham cracker crust? I figure I’d have to double the recipe (or maybe not). We are BIG cheesecake fans around my house and I’m always looking for something different to fill the crust. In the meantime, I’m gonna get started on these bars. My family will love you!

    1. Hi Danielle, these cheesecake bars are baked in a graham cracker crust – so yes, this cheesecake batter will work in a graham cracker crust (regular or low fat like this one).

  5. Hey Sally! These looks delicious. I plan on making these later this week and was wondering if I can store them (well, half of them. lol) in the freezer in individual servings. Think that would work? Thanks. 🙂

  6. Sorry, Sally, but have you been to the Cheesecake Factory lately? Um, sorry, no way in Sugar Heaven (something we created in Culinary School in CA) can anything they produce top your recipes. Seriously. You’re pretty much a main goddess in Sugar Heaven, anyway.

    These cheesecake bars were G-O-N-E when I took them into the local hardware store where my fiancé works. I bake something different for them every day, but I think I’ll try a recipe a day from you for a little while!

    Thanks so much for your diligence, your palate, and, of course, for sharing! Congratulations (I’m so late!), wishing you a long and blissful marriage!

    1. Thanks Esme, loved reading this comment. Especially the Sugar Heaven part. =) I have to make these cheesecake bars again soon. They are soooo good, you’re right!

  7. So last time I made these, they tasted great but cracked a little; however when I made your raspberry swirl cheesecake bars, they didn’t crack at all but the crust was crumbly :/ my question is: what can I do to keep both these things from happening? I know adding a little more butter will stop the crust from being crumbly, but what should I do to stop the cracks, besides not overbeating the batter?

  8. I just read your post on tips to avoid cheesecake cracks. Do you think I could either:

    A – Cover the bars with aluminium foil the whole time they’re in the oven or
    B – Not take the bars out to cover with aluminium foil at all & bake the full 25 minutes uncovered?

  9. I want to use the whole egg for these, would I need to use 2 whole eggs or just 1 whole egg? Would it still make a cheesecake?
    thanks 🙂

  10. A friend and I made this today!! YUMM! Thank you so much for the recipe. We had to use a substitute for the graham crackers (they don’t exist over here in Europe, sad), but it was still delicious! 🙂

  11. I tried this recipe a few days ago for a get together. But they turned out horrible! Crumpled up with an odd texture. I am definitely NOT saying your recipe was the problem, but I think I did something wrong. When I made this I didn’t have graham crackers so I just didn’t make the crust at all. Maybe that was the problem? Also I did not use a stand mixer and instead mixed it myself. If you could please suggest what I may of done wrong, that would be wonderfull. It looks like such an amazing recipe I wouldn’t want to not make it just because I failed the first time!

    1. You really need a mixer to get that creamy consistency. I definitely suggest a crust. I feel the bars would just taste odd and much too wet without a crust to help seep up some moisture.

  12. Dear Sally, Im making these right now so I dont know the end product yet but my batter was very liquidy! now sure what i did wrong.

  13. Do you think I can use full fat cream cheese and get the same result? i know it won’t be skinny but will it still have the same taste??

  14. Sally, this is a wonderful recipe! My whole family loved it and my son even requested it as a future treat instead of ice cream. You hit it out of the park on this on one! Many thanks.

  15. Hi Sally-

    I just made these and they are cooling in the fridge. I did not read correctly about using aluminum foil as the way to get them out bc i was using aluminum foil tins to bake in…any advice on how i should get them out? Do you think they will come out? i dont want to ruin them and hoping the crust hardens while backing..and advice on what i should do would be helpful Thanks.

    1. They will still come out, though they will be a little harder to cut and the crust might stick a little to the pan.

  16. hiya Sally I love the look of this cheesecake recipe, but iam from the UK and we don’t have low fat Graham’s crackers so what could I use in its place please for the base?

  17. Hi. Is the lemon juice absolutely necessary? I don’t have fresh nor concentrate, I do have lemon zest though – will that work or can I leave it out and have the same taste? Also, can I replace the butter in the crust with vegetable oil? These look great, thanks!

    1. You can leave it out, but the tangy cheesecake flavor won’t be there. If anything, you can use lemon zest. Do not use oil in the crust.

  18. These look delicious but how do you get 16 bars out of a 8×8 pan? The pictures look normal size but that size pan would only give me 9 bars…?

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