White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars with a hint of lemon and a yummy shortbread crust are easy to make and just right for bridal showers, dinner parties, or simple family suppers.
If you’re constantly on the hunt for good, easy recipes that you can add to your repertoire for parties or just to serve on a Wednesday night, this recipe for White Chocolate Cheesecake bars will quickly become a favorite. You can even turn these easy cheesecake bars into cute little mini cheesecakes if you want to fancy things up a bit!
Easy Cheesecake Bars
Sometimes you don’t have time to make a classic New York style cheesecake, but you still want the cheesecake flavor, and that’s where having a great cheesecake bars recipe comes in handy. This recipe is much simpler and less time-consuming than my traditional cheesecake, although it does require a few hours chill time.
When I made these White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars, I chilled them overnight in the refrigerator and I definitely think that’s best. They were very creamy when I first sliced them to take to a potluck party, but a few hours later they were perfect! If making again, I would make them in the morning, remove from the pan and cut them into squares the following morning, and serve that evening.
Cheesecake Bars Recipe
This recipe is so simple! Here’s what you need:
- White chocolate
- Shortbread cookies
- Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
- Heavy cream
- Fresh lemon zest and juice
The White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is originally a Kraft recipe, which I tweaked for some additional flavor like a little almond extract, extra white chocolate, and a little heavy cream for a creamier texture.
How to Make White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
You’ll need to melt the white chocolate first so it can cool slightly while you’re preparing the crust. Then crumble some shortbread cookies—you can do this in a food processor, or like I do by placing them in a large, sealable bag and crushing with a rolling pin. Then add melted butter and a little sugar and mix well to make a crust.
I used a 9×9-inch baking pan, but you could also make these easy cheesecake bars in a muffin tin lined with papers.
You’ll need to bake the crust for about 8 minutes to set.
While the crust is cooling, beat cream cheese, vanilla extract, almond extract, whipping cream, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until blended, scraping the sides frequently. Then add lemon zest and juice, and the melted white chocolate, and then the eggs. Mix on low speed until blended and spoon over the cooled crust.
Bake the bars about 20 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven and cool completely then allow to chill at least 8 hours.
I waited until the following day to slice these cheesecake bars, which was probably about 18 hours after I had made them. I thought they were a little too loose at that point, but by the time I served them later that evening they were perfect.
To make these cheesecake bars extra special, drizzle some white chocolate over the top and sprinkle with extra cookie crumbs.
- 1 1/4 cups shortbread cookie crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 ounces white chocolate
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ounces white chocolate, melted
- 2 tablespoons shortbread cookie crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375°.
Line 9x9-inch square baking pan with heavy foil and spray with cooking spray. In small bowl stir together crumbs and sugar. Add butter. Toss until combined. Evenly spread crumb mixture over the foil. Alternatively, use a regular muffin pan lined with paper liners and place about a tablespoon of crumb mixture in each cup. Bake at 375°F for 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown. Cool.
- Reduce oven to 325°F.
- Melt 4 oz. chocolate as directed on package; set aside to cool. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and heavy cream in large bowl until blended. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and melted chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over cooled crust.
Bake 20-30 minutes (15-20 if using muffin pan) or until center is almost set. Cool completely then place in refrigerator and chill at least 8 hours, preferably 24 hours.
- Carefully remove foil from pan and place on a cutting board. Slice bars into squares and drizzle with cooled, melted white chocolate then sprinkle with cookie crumbs.