Exceptionally quicker and easier than a full cheesecake, these white chocolate raspberry cheesecake bars are luxuriously creamy, perfectly sweet, and swirled with layers of homemade fresh raspberry sauce.
- 2 teaspoons room temperature water, divided
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 and 1/2 cups (205g) fresh or frozen raspberries (do not thaw)
- 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
- 20 Oreos (Regular or Double Stuf)*
- 5 Tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter, melted
- 6 ounces (170g) white chocolate, finely chopped
- two 8-ounce blocks (16 oz; 450g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (8g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- Make & Cool the Raspberry Sauce: The raspberry sauce must cool down completely before using, so I recommend making it first. Mix 1 teaspoon water with 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a very small bowl. Set aside. Combine raspberries, granulated sugar, and remaining 1 teaspoon of water together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture as it begins to cook, breaking up some of the raspberries as you stir. Once simmering, add the cornstarch mixture. Continue to stir and allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and press through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Allow the thin raspberry sauce to cool completely before using. Cover and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan (8-inch is too small) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
- For the Crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse the whole Oreos into a fine crumb. Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter together in a medium size bowl. Press tightly into the bottom of the lined baking pan. Pre-bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Leave oven on.
- For the Filling: Melt the chopped white chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave: place the white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Let the warm chocolate cool as you work on the other cheesecake filling ingredients. You can place it in the refrigerator, but just don’t let it solidify!
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt, then beat until fully combined. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. After the 2nd egg is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing. A few small lumps can remain. Pour in the cooled (but still liquid) white chocolate. Beat on low speed just until combined.
- Pour half of the cheesecake filling onto the crust. It’s ok if the crust is still slightly warm. Drizzle half of the raspberry sauce all over the top. Spread remaining cheesecake filling on top. (It’s ok if the raspberry sauce has spread to the sides or slightly incorporates into the top layer of cheesecake.) Drizzle remaining raspberry sauce on top, then use a toothpick or knife to gently swirl everything together.
- Bake for 32-36 minutes or until the cheesecake appears set on top and the edges are lightly browned. The bars will be puffy, but will sink slightly down as they cool. Place pan on a wire rack. Cool for 45 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (and up to 1 day) before slicing. If you plan to chill the bars for longer, loosely cover with aluminum foil after 3 hours of chilling.
- To slice, lift the bars out of the pan as a whole using the parchment overhang on the sides. Cut into squares with a sharp knife. For extra neat squares, wipe the knife clean between each cut.
- Cover and store leftover cheesecake bars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make-Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare the raspberry sauce up to 1 week in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Prepare recipe through step 6 up to 2 days in advance. Cover unbaked cheesecake bars and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Continue with step 7. Since they’re cold, bars will take a few extra minutes to bake. To freeze– cool, chill, and slice bars as instructed. Freeze bars between layers of parchment paper for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Oreo Cookies: You need 20 whole Oreos, which pulse down into about 1 and 1/2 cups of crumbs. You can use any chocolate wafer cookie as long as you have 1 and 1/2 cups of crumbs. You can substitute 1 and 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs. Use only 4 Tablespoons of butter for graham cracker crumbs.
- White Chocolate: Use 6 ounces of “baking chocolate” bars found in the baking aisle. They’re sold in 4 ounce bars, so you’ll need 2. (You’ll have 2 ounces leftover for another use.) I prefer Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. Do not use candy melts, white chocolate dipping wafers, or white chocolate chips– all contain stabilizers or added ingredients preventing them from combining evenly with the cheesecake filling.
- Lemon Juice: This recipe does not taste like lemon. The 1 teaspoon of lemon juice brightens up the otherwise flat white chocolate flavor.
- Raspberry Jam: You can try using raspberry jam instead of the homemade sauce. I recommend 3 Tablespoons for each layer. (6 Tbsp total)
- 9×13 inch or Full Cheesecake: For a 9×13 inch pan, you can double the filling recipe. Do not double the raspberry sauce or crust ingredients. For the sauce, use 3 teaspoons of water (1.5 teaspoons with the cornstarch, 1.5 teaspoons with the raspberries & sugar), 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, and 3 Tablespoons of sugar. For the crust, use 36 Oreos and 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) of melted butter. Bake time is closer to 45-50 minutes. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature, then chill for at least 4-5 hours before slicing. Use these same amounts for a full cheesecake in a 10-inch springform pan (no smaller). I recommend following the baking and cooling instructions, including using a water bath, as found in my regular cheesecake recipe. I found the edges rose up and burned quickly, so tent with aluminum foil after about 30 minutes. (I found the cheesecake then stuck to the foil, creating a bit of a mess on top.) For these reasons, I strongly recommend using this recipe for bars instead of a full cheesecake.
- Mini Individual Cheesecakes: Use the baking and cooling instructions found in my mini cheesecakes and use this recipe as written. Recipe makes about 2 dozen cheesecakes in a muffin pan. Line 2 12-count muffin pans with liners. Firmly press 1.5 Tablespoons of crust mixture into each. Pre-bake for 5 minutes. Pour filling on top, about 1 Tbsp filling for each. Drizzle each with raspberry sauce. Swirl with a toothpick. Again, use the baking and cooling instructions found in my mini cheesecakes. Feel free to top cooled mini cheesecakes with whipped cream.
Keywords: cheesecake, white chocolate, raspberry, cheesecake bars