Berry cheesecake bars
Creamy, lemon scented cheesecake is studded with in-season berries for an easy and portable summer dessert. We made ours in an 8x8 pan, but you can double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 pan if you're expecting a crowd.
SideSwipe on your KitchenAid mixer delivers a well-incorporated smooth result - but be sure your cream cheese is room temperature. But that we mean between 67F and 70F degrees. So check it frequently if your kitchen is hot!
An easy dessert with a 30-ish minute bake and no water bath, you can adapt this cheesecake to suit any berry. We may try with cherries next.
Single recipe makes 9 large, 12 average or 18 small servings
For the crust:
- Cooking spray, for coating the baking dish
- 7 whole graham crackers, ground into crumbs (about 3-1/4 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the cheesecake:
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup (4-6 ounces) fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup (4-6 ounces) fresh raspberries
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat to 325°F. Line a 8x8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper so that it hangs over the two long sides, then coat with butter or cooking spray; set aside. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
- Grind graham cracker pieces in a food processor, mortar and pestle or a zippered bag (roll with rolling pin until crumbs). Place the graham cracker pieces in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process into fine crumbs, about 30 seconds. Mix with butter until combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and press into an even layer with the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown, 11-13 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
Make the filling:
- Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with SideSwipe or the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until very smooth, 1- 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar and salt until incorporated, about 1 minute more. Stop the mixer and scrape down the beater if unincorporated cheese is clinging to your beater. Add the lemon zest and beat until combined.
- With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs 1 at a time, waiting until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Dollop the mixture onto the crust and spread (or jiggle) into an even layer. Scatter the berries evenly over top.
- Bake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Place the baking dish on a wire rack and cool completely, 2 to 3 hours. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
- To remove, run a thin knife around the non-parchment sides to release. Using the parchment overhang, lift the cheesecake from the baking dish and place on a cutting board. Cut into pieces and serve. Our photos show 9 pieces.
- Serve cold. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or in a sealed container, up to 3 days.