Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Creamy cheesecake swirled with strawberries and dotted with chocolate chips. These bars are so much easier than making an entire cheesecake!

Creamy cheesecake swirled with strawberries and dotted with chocolate chips. These bars are so much easier than making an entire cheesecake!

It’s Friday! TGIF. My weekends lately have been an extension of my work week. Bake, cookbook, blog, run, play with Jude, repeat. But this weekend we have plans to go out Saturday night. And I’m so excited, so I made cheesecake bars to celebrate.

Because why not?!

Growing up, my mom would make an impressive chocolate chip cheesecake during the holidays. It was so decadent! So rich! So perfect. I took her idea, swirled in a little strawberry jam (who doesn’t love strawberry and chocolate?!), and made fancy (yet simple!) cheesecake bars. They’re the best lazy-Friday kind of dessert. 😉

Creamy cheesecake swirled with strawberries and dotted with chocolate chips. These bars are so much easier than making an entire cheesecake!

Sometimes I’d rather make a big pan of cheesecake bars instead of an actual cheesecake. It takes much less effort, less ingredients, and less time to whip up a pan of these cheesecake bars than to make its cheesecakey cousin.

Dessert bars are also non-committal. Have a small one, a big one, have two, have three. Plus, they are finger food. No extra forks to wash. Less dishes is always a win in my book!

Creamy cheesecake swirled with strawberries and dotted with chocolate chips. These bars are so much easier than making an entire cheesecake!

To make the bars, I simply used the same basic idea as my Snickers Cheesecake Bars. I whipped up a quick homemade graham cracker crust. Graham cracker crumbs, some sugar, and melted butter. Nothing more, nothing less. The graham cracker crust is nice and crunchy, which is a fabulous contrast to the creamy dreamy cheesecake. Layer a few chocolate chips on top of the crust before the filling.

The basic cheesecake filling is beyond simple. 4 ingredients – that’s it! Softened cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat it all together until nice and smooth and pour it evenly over the chocolate chips. Make sure it is nice and smooth.

But that’s not all! Swirl 1/4 cup of strawberry jam into the filling before baking. Sometimes I use 1/4 cup, sometimes 1/3 cup. It’s up to you and how much swirl you want. If you’d like to make your own jam, you could use 1/4 cup of the strawberry filling from my Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes instead.

One more layer. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips onto the swirled cheesecake before baking. In my world, there is always room for more chocolate. Especially when strawberries are involved. I love everything about chocolate and strawberries together!

Creamy cheesecake swirled with strawberries and dotted with chocolate chips. These bars are so much easier than making an entire cheesecake!

So you have five easy layers worked into these cheesecake bars. Crunchy graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, creamy cheesecake, strawberry swirl, more chocolate chips. It’s complete texture contrast paradise for all you texture freaks out there.

Bake the bars for 30-35 minutes. Waiting for these babies to chill before digging in is torture. If you cut into them too early, the bars will fall apart. Just warning you now!

Creamy cheesecake swirled with strawberries and dotted with chocolate chips. These bars are so much easier than making an entire cheesecake! The festive strawberry swirl makes these bars completely appropriate for the 4th of July holiday. Christmas and Valentine’s Day, too. But you truly don’t need a holiday as an excuse to make these. When the mood strikes you for a creamy, fruity, chocolate treat – these cheesecake bars can be your answer!

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Strawberry Swirl Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Creamy cheesecake swirled with strawberries and dotted with chocolate chips. These bars are so much easier than making an entire cheesecake!


Ingredients

Crust

  • 10 full-sheet graham crackers (or 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs)
  • 6 Tablespoons (90 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar

Filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese (2 standard packages or 450 grams), softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/41/3 cup (90-100 grams) strawberry jam*
  • 2/3 cup (120 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides. 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 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. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips evenly on top of crust. Spread the filling on top of chocolate chips. Drop large spoonfuls of jam on top of filling and swirl with a knife. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set up and the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature and then completely in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Store bars in a covered container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
  2. Strawberry Jam: You can also use 1/4 cup homemade strawberry filling from this recipe.
  3. Larger Batch: Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch pan, baking time will vary – about 45-55 minutes.

Keywords: strawberry chocolate chip cheesecake bars, strawberry cheesecake bars

127 Comments

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    You have so many good ideas with cheesecake + bars. And bars are the way to go with cheesecake! I much prefer bars to whole cheesecakes because the filling is a different texture and taste, and not to mention, easier 🙂 And I love the way the strawberry jam just set up. I kind of want to pick it off – with all those luscious looking choc chips 🙂

    Great job on the black/white/red photos. Not easy when there’s that much contrast. Confuses the camera!

    1. Thanks Averie! The bars were quite annoying to shoot and I took about 100 shots of them just to get like 8. Thanks for noticing!!

  2. Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life says:

    Simple is best! And creamy cheesecake swirled with strawberries and chocolate?! Sign me up:)

  3. Love these decadent and creamy cheesecake bars! Definitely less effort and mess to make and eat 🙂 And that strawberry filling sounds fantastic! Can’t decide which of your fruity bars to make for a party I’m going to this weekend – they all sound fabulous! Have a fun night out tomorrow Sally 🙂

    1. Thanks Kelly! SO many fruity choices, I know! Let me know what you end up making. Thanks!

  4. Kaylie @ Skinny Muffin says:

    These look delicious and perfect. Your photography is seriously the greatest. Strawberries and chocolate are everyone’s dream and I NEED to make these. Keep the delicious recipes coming! Love them!

    1. Hi Kaylie! Thanks for the sweet message about my photography! I really appreciate it.

  5. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says:

    Sally, these are gorgeous! I love the combo of cheesecake, chocolate, and strawberries! So dreamy!

  6. Delicious dessert + Fork free = WIN! Thanks for this idea!

  7. Mmmmm. So many great flavors in these bars!

  8. ashley - baker by nature says:

    These look incredible, Sally! Have fun this weekend 😉

  9. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl says:

    My husband is typically a non-dessert eater (???) but he does love cheesecake. I rarely make it, though, because it’s kind of a time commitment…and because I usually end up eating 3/4 of it myself. 😉 LOVE these bars, Sally! So pretty, and so much easier. I’ll have to be a good wife and make these soon. 🙂

    1. That’s so funny because Kevin loves dessert but hates cheesecake! haha! But Ashley – you need to make these. 🙂

  10. I’m so grateful that you’ve included measurements showing grams, I’ve had some really bad experiences when I converted amounts myself and then baked! Lol
    These look absolutely gorgeous, and cannot wait to try them out

    xo

    1. Great, Adelle! I know some readers would appreciate it. Thank you!

  11. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says:

    These look so scrumptious, Sally! Love the strawberry and chocolate combo!

  12. Nicole @ FruitnFitness says:

    These look amazing, as do all of your recipes! I love cheesecake and usually make mini ones in a muffin pan but i love the idea of bars. Another great thing about bars is you can cut them into whatever size you like and have a little pice or a big one.

  13. Gloria @ Simply Gloria says:

    wow, you have a busy wkend! Love this recipe! So pretty and looks absolutely mouth watering! I love making anything with cheesecake flavor/texture involved! Have a great wkend! (=

  14. Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry says:

    Enjoy your rare Saturday night off! These bars look so creamy and full of texture from the chocolate chips and graham cracker crust. I know what I am baking this weekend.

  15. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    These are gorgeous Sally! LOVE cheesecake bars. The swirls are perfect!

  16. Heather @ French Press says:

    I’m not even that into cheesecake, but I an CRAVING these bars!

  17. Katy @ Katy's Kitchen says:

    I love strawberry and chocolate with pretty much anything. I am right there with you on baking bars vs. cakes- have one square, two, ten…totally up to you! No dishes is an absolute win.

    1. Exacty my train of thought on bars vs cake too, Katy. 🙂

  18. You deserve a break too, Amy! And thank you – we had so much fun going out last night! 😀

  19. These sound like the perfect summer treat to me. Then again, I’m partial to anything with cream cheese in it 🙂

  20. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says:

    Oh, girl! These cheesecake bars look divine! Love the strawberry swirl with the chocolate chips! Immediately when I saw them, I thought they would be great for Valentine’s Day, too. I like where your head is at. Thanks for sharing! xo

  21. Ari @ Ari's Menu says:

    I love your thick graham cracker crusts!!! The crust is always my favorite part, and so often there is never enough of it, but your cheesecake bars always have these super thick, drool-worthy crusts! Yummm!!

  22. I made these last night with mostly chocolate graham crackers… yum 🙂 Thanks!

  23. Alexis @ deliciousfoodideas.net says:

    OMG, thanks for this recipe Sally! I have only liked cheesecake since I’ve been pregnant. I’m making up for lost time and getting as many cheesecake recipes as I can. Your Snickers cheesecake bars look amazing as well.

    1. Sounds like a pretty good pregnancy craving to me. 😉

  24. Yum–strawberry swirl cheesecake bars are always my go-to for quick potluck desserts! Glad you’re making some to celebrate 🙂 who do you pawn all of these lovely baked goods to?? Lucky bugs!

    1. After we eat our share, my neighbors, family, friends, and Kevin’s coworkers get to taste test too. Thanks Ala!

  25. Hi Sally
    I made these this weekend…except I substituted raspberry jam for strawberry. I did find that I had to bake them a little longer than 35 minutes. Finally I set my oven a little higher (375) and the cooked thru. They were awesome and by far the biggest hit of the weekend. Thanks…I will def be making these again.

    1. So glad you tried them, Anne! And thanks for letting me know about your baking time.

  26. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh goodness, these look glorious! I love cheesecake bars 🙂

  27. Hi Sally! I’ve really enjoyed your blog! The recipes have added something to look forward to in baking. I had been in a rut for awhile and now I have tons of recipes to try thanks to your blog! Was just wondering….I love your cheesecake recipe (just 4 ingredients). If I want to make it a chocolate cheesecake, how much cocoa powder should I add? Do I need to increase the sugar? Thanks!

    1. Hi Amy! So glad you love coming to my blog for dessert inspiration. 🙂 I’ve never tried to add cocoa powder to it, so I am hesitant to give you advice about what would work or not in that case. If you give it a try, let me know!

  28. Inga Brauneis says:

    Hi Sally!

    I would like to try these in a silicone heart shaped mold like this one http://img0079.popscreencdn.com/126443659_lekue-silicone-8-cup-heart-shaped-muffin-pan-amazoncom-.jpg

    do you think they will hold up? got any advice I could use? It’s the first time I’m using this kind of mold.

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    1. Hi Inga! It would be very hard to get the cheesecake “hearts” out of the molds because of the graham cracker crust and the filling. Those molds would be great for brownies like these: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/12/30/ultimate-fudge-brownies-with-peanut-butter-chips-2/

      Not cheesecake.

  29. is it ok to just use non-stick spray instead of aluminum foil to cover the pan?

    1. Yes – but they are just easier to lift out of the pan and cut if using aluminum foil.

  30. Yum yum I am trying these soon! Have you ever tried these with white chocolate chips instead? So trying with white chocolate hopefully I won’t screw it up!!

    1. Hey Ashley! I don’t think I’d ever tried them with white chocolate chips but it would be just fine to use them instead of the semi-sweet. It will be delicious, I’m sure. Enjoy!

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