Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars are the perfect treat for any occasion. Jazz them up with a drizzle of fudge sauce or macerated strawberries. Everyone will beg for seconds!
This Vanilla Cheesecake is sweet and creamy with a double dose of vanilla flavor from vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste!
My family has gotten less picky as they’ve gotten older. One didn’t like peanut butter or white chocolate desserts, another doesn’t like rich chocolate dessert, then the hubby has a list too long to even mention.
But simple vanilla cheesecake squares can be dolled up to entice even the pickiest palates. Adding some vanilla bean paste along with vanilla extract provides an extra boost of flavor. Plus, you can get up to 24 servings with one batch!
Tips for Making Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars
- Have all your ingredients at room temperature, including the cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream.
- Use Philadelphia brand cream cheese for the best results. It’s the top-selling brand for a good reason!
- To speed things along, the eggs and cream cheese in its foil packaging can be placed in a bowl of hot, not boiling water.
- By not using cold ingredients, they will be more easily incorporated which results in a creamier batter.
- This recipe calls for both vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste. If you don’t have vanilla bean paste on hand or don’t want to purchase any, feel free to use a full tablespoon of vanilla extract instead of the combination.
- Do not overbake. The center can jiggle just a bit as these Philadelphia cheesecake bars will continue baking for a few minutes after being removed from the oven.
- If you don’t have a box of graham cracker crumbs on hand, you can pulse 24 full-sized graham crackers in your food processor to make your own.
They should be stored in the refrigerator. Keep them covered with either plastic wrap or foil to prevent refrigerator odors from being absorbed.
Yes, like full sized cheesecake, cheesecake bars freeze well. Freeze them in the pan and wrap with both foil and plastic wrap. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator to serve. Bars can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Chill the bars overnight, then use the non-stick foil to lift the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board. To slice, use a sharp knife and wipe it off after every cut to make the cleanest slices.
If you have trouble eying where to slice, get out a ruler and use a knife to mark where you’d like to cut. There will be 4 cuts on the short side and 6 on the long side, unless you’d like to make the squares larger or smaller.
If making for company, definitely garnish these bars before serving. Add fresh berries and a sprig of mint, another favorite fruit, a berry sauce, fudge sauce, or caramel sauce.
Cheesecake has an even creamier texture if it’s allowed to sit at room temperature at least an hour before serving. Set it out on the counter right before you start dinner.
This recipe calls for vanilla bean paste which is a thick, rich vanilla that’s flecked with vanilla seeds. It can be used in place of regular vanilla extract an equal measurement, though the flavor is more concentrated.
Two Sweetie Pies
These yummy vanilla cheesecake squares are part of a series of monthly recipes I test and share from my friend, Danielle, of the blog Hugs and Cookies XOXO. She loves to bake sweets as much as I do. Make sure to pop over and see which recipe of mine she chose to make. And follow her on all her social media channels, too!
More Cheesecake Bars You’ll Love:
- Hot Fudge Cheesecake Bars
- Ganache Topped Cheesecake Bars
- Blackberry Cheesecake Bars
- More of the Best Dessert Recipes
- 3 cups of graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup sugar
- 16 tablespoons (or 1 cup) melted butter
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 3 eggs
- 8 ouncessour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick foil. Set aaside.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until well combined. Press evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake for 7 minutes. Cool.
When the crust has cooled, blend the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment until creamy.
On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined.
Pour on prepared crust and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
Cool completely and chill a few hours. Texture is best if you can chill overnight before serving.
Cut into bars, garnish if desired, and serve.
If you don't have vanilla paste, just use an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract.
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Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g
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