While many of us typically snack on cherries straight from the bag, its always nice to have a tasty potluck dish tucked away in our back pocket for that perfect backyard occasion, and these Cherry Cheesecake Bars fit the bill.
Featuring a buttery, graham cracker crust that holds a delicious cheesecake filling and gooey, sweet-dark cherry topping, no one can deny this dessert!
Just like a cheesecake, this recipe takes a little time to set in the fridge. After making the graham cracker base and cheesecake filling, the cherries require time on the stovetop to achieve that perfect flavor and texture.
When making the cherry mixture, patience is key as that will really bring out the essence and consistency you want for the top of this dessert.
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For the Crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter
For the Cheesecake Filling
- 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Cherry Topping
- 2 cups fresh Stemilt Moon Cherries, stems removed and pitted
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Water, if needed
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Spray an 8×8 glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
- In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until the crumbs are moist. Lightly press crumb mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Using an electric mixer or handheld beaters, beat the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add the sugar and continue mixing.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, to the cream cheese mixture, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.
- In a sauté pan over low heat, cook the cherries, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar after 1-2 minutes and stir. When the cherries have started to soften, after about 4-5 minutes, mash them, leaving some chunks. The mixture should be a little saucy, so add water, one Tbsp. at a time, if necessary.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of graham cracker crust and smooth with a rubber spatula.
- Spoon the cherry mixture on top of cream cheese mixture, distributing spoonfuls evenly. Swirl with rubber spatula.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the center no longer wobbles and the edges are just starting to turn golden.
- Remove from the oven and let come to room temperature. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.