No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Bars are just delightful — with a graham cracker crust, a layer of fresh raspberry, a fluffy cheesecake filling, and a swath of dark chocolate on top — what could be better?
I found the inspiration for this recipe on my friend Tricia’s site, Saving Room for Dessert. I was drawn to her pie with these same pretty layers and had to make it my own. These are simple ingredients with a big payoff.
For the all important fruity layer I used a mix of regular red and gold raspberries that I found at the farmers market. Whenever I lightly stew or roast fresh summer fruit I’m reminded that it’s a killer way to enjoy it. I’d love to know the science behind it, because somehow the brief cooking enhances the flavor of these berries tenfold.
TIP: Raspberries come in several different colors, and the yellow or golden ones have a sweeter, less tart, and slightly floral flavor.
That little layer of raspberry really holds its own in this dessert and elevates a basic cheesecake bar to something special. I usually encourage substitutions in my recipes, and I would normally tell you to go ahead and use whatever fruit or berries you like, but in this case I really think raspberries work best, their flavor is bright and tangy and perfect for these bars. I suppose you could use a good jam in place of the fresh berries, but it would be much sweeter, and you’d lose that wonderful fresh taste.
The cheesecake filling is fairly soft, so it’s important that you serve these well chilled. Even when chilled it will be on the soft side, so expect that.
More raspberry love:
*This No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Bars recipe adapted from Saving Room for Dessert.
- 1 packet (about 9) full graham crackers
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to firm peaks
- 3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or use dark chocolate chips)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- I lightly spray and then line my 9x9 square baking pan with 2 criss-crossed sheets of parchment paper, with long ends hanging over the sides. This is totally optional, but it allows me to remove the chilled bars and cut them more easily.
- Crush the graham crackers into a fine crumb. I do this in my food processor. I find that it helps to break up the crackers a bit first before adding to the machine. Pulse in the sugar, and then drizzle in the butter and process or mix until all the crumbs are moist.
- Pat the crust evenly into a 9x9 square baking pan. Pop this is the refrigerator while you make the fillings.
- Put the raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook this mixture for about 2 minutes, or just until thickened, stirring often. Add a touch of water if it seems very dry, and mash the raspberries a bit as you stir. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Spread the cooled raspberries over the crust and put back in the refrigerator.
- Whip the cream to firm peaks in a small bowl. In another bowl beat the softened cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream gently. Spread over the top of the raspberries. Chill for an hour.
- Melt the chocolate with the butter and stir until smooth and silky. You can do this over the stove or in the microwave. Set aside and let cool for 10 minute. then drizzle over the top of the cream cheese, using an offset spatula to gently spread it over the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Serve chilled.
- It’s a little detail, but I don’t steamroll my graham cracker crust when I put it in the pan, I pat it firmly but with a light hand. I don’t want it to be rock solid, I like to see the crumb texture in the final product. If you like a firmer foundation for your bars, by all means pack the crust into the pan with more pressure.
- The butter in the topping makes it a little easier to cut through than if it were plain chocolate, but if you’re type A, you may want to run your knife under hot water, (and dry it) before slicing. Also, be aware that the soft filling will tend to squish out if you apply too much pressure, so I found it helpful to use the sharp tip of the knife to pierce the chocolate first, and then finish the slices.
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used to make No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Bars…(photos are clickable)