These Berries and Cream Cheesecake Bars are my favorite dessert! The easy oil pie crust pairs with the most delicately sweet cheesecake filling and is topped with a simple berry topping.
We’ve teamed up with my dream brand, Oregon Berries to bring you the BEST berry dessert that you will find online this year. I’M SERIOUS. I cannot stop eating it!!
I debated on whether to call these no-bake or not. You bake the crust, but the cheesecake layer is no-bake. And I’m telling you, this is a totally unique crust and it’s life-changing!
My friend Megan always tells me about this yummy chocolate pie business, but then she mentioned that there’s a berry version and I couldn’t help it, I needed the recipe immediately. Like, yesterday. And you all should be forever grateful that I got it because this is going to be one of the dreamiest berry desserts you’ll ever devour. In fact, I’m writing this post before I’ve even photographed the recipe because I’m just so excited!
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I had berries written into my very soul! There is no berry quite like the Oregon Marionberry. Oregon was made for growing blackberries- HELLO, Optimal soil, air, water, climate and love!
It’s all about the local families who are total stewards of the land, supporting environmentally sustainable practices and always picking at the height of ripeness. And blackberries are actually good for you so you can feel good eating them in multiple ways.
If you’re the wanderlust or bucket list type of person I absolutely insist you make visiting the Oregon coast during the summer appear on your calendar. There is absolutely nothing like the breathtaking drives with music blasting, wonderful friends and conversation in the car and then pulling over to the roadside stands to buy freshly picked berries. It’s my favorite thing ever.
Ingredients for Berries and Cream Cheesecake Bars
I’m going to divide up the ingredients list into what you will need for each layer. Here is what you will need:
Pie Crust Layer
- Flour: just regular all purpose flour is all you need
- Sugar: adds sweetness to the crust
- Salt: enhances all the flavors
- Vegetable Oil: the fat needed to create a flaky strong base for the bars
- Milk: helps bind everything together
- Berries: for this recipe we are using blackberries and raspberries, but you can use any combinations of berries you want (see section below for suggestions)
- Sugar: adds sweetness and balances the tartness of the berries
- Cornaby’s Ultra Gel: my favorite way of thickening the berry layer, cornstarch can be used as a substitute (see recipe card notes)
- Water: thins everything out to create a beautiful glossy berry layer
- Heavy Cream: thins the cream layer out a little
- Vanilla: adds flavor
- Cream Cheese: make sure it is room temperature so it doesn’t get lumpy,
- PRO TIP: you can use full fat or 1/3 fat but I do feel like the full fat sets up better
- Powdered Sugar: adds the sweetness to this layer while maintaining smooth creaminess
The measurements for the all the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to Make Cheesecake Bars
I know people can get quite intimidated by making cheesecake, but there is no need to fear with this bar dessert recipe! The crust couldn’t be easier and you don’t even have to bake the cream layer. Here is what you do…
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingrdients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until it forms into a ball.
- It will be quite crumbly but it should hold together when it is squeezed. Add tiny splashes of milk if needed.
- Store the dough in an airtight container for at least 15 minutes.
- Roll dough out between two pieces of wax paper into a square and transfer to your baking pan.
- Bake and let cool completely.
- While the crust is baking and cooling, get the berry layer going by combining the sugar and ultra gel in a saucepan.
- Then add the water and berries and turn the stove on to medium heat.
- Once the berry mixture begins to simmer and thicken remove it from the heat and let it cool. You can also transfer it to a bowl to help it cool more quickly.
- Start by whipping the cream until stiff peaks form then add the vanilla and mix.
- In a separate bowl, whip together the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
- Combine the cream cheese mixture and whipped cream together and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Spread the cream layer evenly on the cooled crust. Then pour the berries on top and let the bars chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
The detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post. You can also save or print the recipe there.
Watch How to Make Berries and Cream Cheesecake Bars
What Kind of Berries Should I Use?
You can play around with what berries you use. I’ve decided I prefer only raspberries and blackberries (actually, I prefer the marionberry, the best berry ever grown, but they are hard to find here). You can do any combination of these options or snag a bag of the mixed berry blend from Costco which is literally always in our freezer.
How to Cut Cheesecake Cleanly
We all have been there…you spend valuable time and money making a delicious cheesecake dessert and then you go to cut it, and the knife gets all gunky and the pieces come out all clumpy and ugly. So frustrating!
The key to cutting a cheesecake or cheesecake bars cleanly is to let the bars cool completely. Use a very sharp knife and run it under hot water before making your first cut. Then wipe the knife clean with a paper towel and run it under hot water between each additional cut. It sounds cumbersome, but it will make all the difference!
Do Cheesecake Bars Need to Be Refrigerated?
Yes, cheesecake bars should be kept in the refrigerator. With all the dairy in the cream layer, you don’t want these bars to get too warm or they will start to spoil.
Can Cheesecake Bars Be Made Ahead of Time?
This is a great dessert to make ahead of time. Since everything is cooled before combining and refrigerating helps them set up even better, they can be made up to 6 hours ahead of time. You can make them in the morning and then store them in the fridge until dessert.
Storing and Freezing Cheesecake Bars
Cheesecake bars should be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will keep for up to a week.
These also freeze extremely well. I like to cut them into individual pieces and then place them on a baking sheet and stick them in the freezer for about an hour to freeze them. Then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight (or at room temp for a couple of hours) before serving.
Reasons You Will Love this Recipe
- Easy: all three layers are simple to make and there is no baking the cheesecake layer so it’s totally foolproof
- Texture: the cheesecake layer is perfectly smooth and creamy with the texture of the flaky pie crust, it’s heaven in every bite
- Crust: the crust might be my favorite part and is different than most cheesecake bar recipes you’ll find out there. If you’re a die hard graham cracker crust with cheesecake person, go ahead and make follow our graham cracker crust recipe.
- Crowd Pleaser: you can cut the pieces as big or as small as you need depending on the occasion and the number of people you are feeding
- PRO TIP: You can double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan if you have a bigger crowd to feed.
Mixed berry desserts might be my most favorite thing! There’s just something about the tartness of the berries with the creaminess of a cheesecake that makes my tastebuds dance. And the crust is too yummy! You have to try it!
These berries and cream cheesecake bars are like eating both a cheesecake and a berry pie all in the same bite and it’s a match made in dessert heaven!
More Cheesecake Bar Recipes:
For the Crust
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
2 1/4 Cups Flour, 1 teaspoon Sugar, 3/4 teaspoon Salt
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the oil and milk. Add liquids to the flour and salt mixture. Stir with a fork until a ball forms. There should still be crumbs but press tightly into a ball. Add splashes of milk if it is very crumbly and not at all holding.
2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil, 1/4 Cup Milk
Place in an airtight container and let rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Roll out between two pieces of wax paper into an 8×8 square and then transfer into your baking pan.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
For the Berry Layer
In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and ultra gel (see note for cornstarch).
1/3 Cup Sugar, 2 Tablespoons [Cornaby’s Ultra Gel]
Add the water and berries and stir to combine. Heat over medium heat until simmering and thickening. Turn off and set aside to cool. I like to put mine in a bowl so it doesn’t continue to cook.
4 Cups Blackberries, 1/2 Cup Water
For the Cream Layer
Whip cream until stiff and add vanilla.
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
In a separate bowl, cream the cream cheese and powdered sugar together.
12 Ounces Cream Cheese, 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
Add the cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream mixture and beat on low until combined.
Spread the cream mixture evenly in the bottom of the crust.
Pour the berries over the top and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
For cornstarch, use 3 tablespoons but I prefer Ultra gel as you can’t taste it at all.
Fresh berries are a great choice, but frozen is a great option when fresh, local berries aren’t in season. In fact, I generally use frozen berries as I keep them on hand for smoothies and other desserts.