Skinny Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

An easy recipe for lightened up cheesecake bars using light cream cheese, yogurt, egg whites, and a swirl of raspberry jam. 

raspberry cheesecake bars on a yellow plate with a bite taken out of one bar

Kevin and I just got back from vacation and making a skinny treat to start off a new week just sounded right. We spent the week enjoying s’mores, peanut butter pies, and maybe too much sangria. I’m welcoming a lighter dessert option with open arms today.

I’m excited about this recipe for a couple reasons.

(1) These lightened up cheesecake bars are really, really GOOD. Better than a full-fat version. Seriously.

(2) This is my first photo shoot with my new camera lens. I updated my photography page with the current equipment I am using. I am in love with this new zoom lens! It costed quite the pretty penny, but it is worth every cent. Paired with my Canon 5D Mark III camera, I find my images are tack sharp.

Ok, back to business. Raspberry cheesecake business.

raspberry cheesecake bars on a yellow plate

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you must know how much I love cheesecakey things. If i had it my way, dessert would be all cheesecake – all the time. However, we all know cheesecake isn’t the best thing for our bathing suits or skinny jeans. Sigh.

That’s why I created a lightened up cheesecake bar yesterday. I used 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 SO creamy. I used nonfat plain Greek yogurt, but you may use low fat and/or a flavored kind like vanilla or raspberry. Today’s dreamy cheesecake bars aren’t as thick as my full fat cheesecake bars, but they sure are creamier.

Those gorgeous swirls between the creamy cheesecake are brought to you by raspberry jam. I used a natural raspberry jam I picked up at the farmer’s market, but feel free to use any kind of jam and any flavor. I have a feeling peach or apricot jam would be fabulous. You’ll need a scant 1/4 cup of jam total.

To swirl, drizzle 4 parallel and horizontal lines of jam on top of the cheesecake batter. Then, drag a toothpick down vertically – making 4 lines perpendicular to the jam lines.

3 images of raspberry swirl cheesecake bars

The bars only take 25 minutes in the oven. Not too bad, right? But then you have to wait for them to fully chill before digging in. That is the worst part about cheesecake! There always has to be patience involved. Waiting to cut these skinny cheesecake bars is pure torture. But let me tell ya, that first bite makes every minute of waiting SO worth it!

The magic of these cheesecake bars is that they do not taste lightened-up at all! Rather, they taste like real cheesecake. I am shocked by how creamy they are considering how little fat is used in the recipe. Greek yogurt surely does work miracles! Do not leave out the lemon juice – it gives the bars a slight tang, like true New York Cheesecake.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Bake these cheesecakes next: 5 ingredient strawberry cheesecake trufflesskinny chocolate chip cheesecake bars, mocha cheesecake brownies, Funfetti cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake muffins, blueberry swirl cheesecake, raspberry cheesecake brownies, Nutella swirl cheesecake bars, and peanut butter cup pretzel cheesecake bars.

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raspberry cheesecake bars on a yellow plate

Skinny Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 32 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 12-16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

An easy and delicious recipe for lightened up cheesecake bars using light cream cheese, yogurt, egg whites, and a swirl of raspberry jam.


Ingredients

Crust

  • 3/4 cup (85g) graham cracker crumbs (about 56 full sheets graham crackers)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted (or melted coconut oil)

Filling

  • 8 ounces brick-style light cream cheese, softened to room temperature (do not use fat free)
  • 3/4 cup (185g) Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or flavored, low fat or fat free)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (16g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (80g) raspberry jam

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: Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a medium bowl until combined. Evenly press crust into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until completely smooth, about 1 minute. On medium-high speed, beat in yogurt until completely combined. Then beat in the egg whites until combined. Finally, beat in the sugar, flour, and lemon juice until everything is combined and no lumps remain.
  4. Pour filling onto the crust. Swirl the raspberry jam on top of the batter (see the text in the post for how I swirl).
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, covering the cheesecake bars at the 20 minute mark with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature set on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours or even overnight.
  6. Once chilled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. For neat squares, I use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel after each cut. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare the bars 1-3 days in advance and store covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Keywords: skinny raspberry cheesecake bars

29 Comments

  1. I made these today! They were amazing so creamy and not too sweet. Thanks sally for such a great recipe going to make them again soon!

  2. Made these bars for a neighbor’s 50th bday and everyone was talking about them and asking for the recipe!!! Thank you so much they are amazing!

  3. I made these on Friday morning (with my MIL’s blackberry jam). 1) They are SO good. So. Good! You’re right, you don’t taste the “healthy choice.” 2) So. Easy! I made them before 9am, before the baby got tired of being in his bouncy chair-thing and wanted to do something more exciting (and he has a short attention span for that bouncy chair-thing). Superb recipe! (Seriously. You are my go-to for baking. I think of A Something that I would like to bake and it’s always “What Would Sally Bake?” and I browse your collection. THANK YOU!)

  4. Sally we all loved these…including my boyfriend who loves cheesecake and is always skeptical of “light” desserts. I used Splenda to lighten it even more and replaced the flour with two tablespoons of vanilla pudding mix and a teaspoon of cornstarch. Then set beautifully and I’ve never made cheesecake anything before! I made them about three weeks ago and am making them again for Easter dinner upon request. My dad is diabetic so I like the idea of a lower calorie dessert he enjoys. Thanks!!

    1. What a great idea!! I am trying to find ways to make a more healthy version of the enjoyable food that everyone likes. We all could stand to lighten up a bit….. especially after a year in quarantine. Thanks for posting this substitution. I am going to make these for my family tomorrow on Easter Sunday.

  5. I’ve made these 3 times in the last few weeks and I’ve played around with the recipe a bit. I used chocolate graham crackers for the crust and it was awesome!

  6. Do you think I could substitute full fat cream cheese in this recipe no problem? I accidentally bought it instead of the light stuff when I went grocery shopping, and I need to use the stick up.

    1. That would be just fine! Enjoy.

  7. Hi Sally! I just love all your recipes and these look like the perfect dessert to make for my Girls Bunco night in a few weeks:)
    Since I have limited time with 2 kids, do you think I can make a couple weeks ahead of time and freeze? Thank you for your advice!

    1. Absolutely– thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

  8. Yum! Made with equal instead of sugar and it turned out fine. The only problem is that I could easily eat them all myself! Thanks for the recipe

  9. Omg!!!!! 
    These were sooooooooo good! Whenever I’m looking for something to bake, I always checks the comments and reviews. This sure had a load of good ones! 
    I made these, but used black currant jam instead. I also forgot to add the flour and lemon and I only realised that after everything was mixed and in the oven.
    Anyways, they still turned out amazing. (Me and my two sisters ate the whole thing in one day!)
    I also applied sliced strawberries and they were fab. Thanks again! 

  10. I made these bars and they were delicious! Unfortunately, the first time I made the graham cracker crust (baked for 8 minutes as per the recipe) it came out completely burnt. I had to make the crust over again, and this time only baked for 5 minutes, which turned out much better. I don’ think my oven runs hot, so I’d recommend checking on the crust after 5 minutes to see if it really needs the full 8 minutes directed by the recipe. Other than that minor snafu, these were scrumptious, healthy, and not too sweet. I am excited to make them again with other kinds of jam! 

  11. I added orange zest into the batter-Oh my! It takes like a creamsicle!!! Mine’s still in the oven and taking twice as long as stated.. Hmmm, not sure why! Thanks for the recipe I think it’s going to turn out great! (Fingers crossed!)

  12. Alex Vazquez says:

    Hi Sally,
    First time commenter, love your blog! 
    If I substitute the jam with your recipe for delicious lemon curd, can I exclude the lemon juice? Can’t wait to try it! 

    1. I’d keep the lemon juice in the cheesecake batter. 🙂 Thanks for saying hi!

  13. These are amazing. I didn’t have any raspberry jam, so i used a bit of solo raspberry cake and pastry filling. No one will ever be able to tell they are skinny. Thanks so much for a delicious recipe. I can’t wait to check out some other skinny recipes. You have a fabulous collection of recipes and I have made several. Thank you for doing what you do.

  14. I’ve made your cheesecake’s many time’s and they are always a hit. I wanted to try this. I have everthing but yogurt. Can I substitute with sour cream? Thank you for a nice place to go when recipe looking.

    1. Yes! Same amount of sour cream works just as well.

  15. Vesna Gerbec says:

    I made double batch in 9×13 pan and it turned out great.

    Sally has a recipe for skinny choc chip cheesecake bars, very similar to this one (https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/skinny-chocolate-chip-cheesecake-bars/) . I guess you could make it with white chocolate chips instead.

  16. So these seriously rock. I just made them and they came out perfectly — even though I used reg yogurt instead of greek yogurt because I was shopping too fast! Thanks for posting

  17. This recipe was very easy to follow and everyone at work loved them (esp with the New Year diets). Not too sweet and nice and creamy. I doubled the recipe and baked in a 4 quart pyrex. Only gave 4 stars because even with baking the crust, it was still soft and crumbly and not as crisp as I would like.

  18. Hi Sally, this is my first time baking cheesecake and i just want to ensure that this cheesecake version doesn’t need a water bath to bake it, right? I had mine baked as per your instruction and only realized that most recipes calls for water bath. My cheesecake looks OK, though. Can’t hardly wait to try it tomorrow! Love your site and recipes!!!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi MaryJane, One great thing that makes bars easier than a full classic cheesecake is that you don’t need a water bath for these. Enjoy!

  19. Delicious recipe. I did it with 50% fat soft cheese as I didn’t realised it needed to be full fat. And normal (full fat) Greek yogurt. It was perfect. This is the second recipe I did it from your website and I can wait to do many more. Love from the UK

  20. Hi! Where I live the cream cheese is sold in packages of 200 grams, so I am coming 25 grams short. Could I just replace that amount with 25 grams more greek yogurt? Look forward to making these!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Flora! You can certainly try it, though the bars may be a bit softer. Let us know how it goes!

  21. Hi can I use Greek yogurt cream cheese instead of low fat cream cheese?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Charisse, We haven’t tried Greek yogurt cream cheese in this recipe, but let us know how they turn out if you do. If the consistency of Greek yogurt cream cheese is different, the bars might not set up as well.

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