Copycat Philadelphia cheesecake bars are made with layers of graham cracker crust, baked cream cheese filling, strawberry sauce topping, and a white chocolate drizzle. Everyone loves these homemade Philadelphia snack bars!
Philadelphia Cheesecake Bars
Have you ever tried Philadelphia Cheesecake Bars? If not, you’re in for a real treat! These copycat Philadelphia snack bars feature a delicious combination of a cinnamon graham cracker crust, creamy cream cheese filling, strawberry topping, and a white chocolate drizzle. They’re an absolute crowd-pleaser and are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.
These layered cheesecake bars are seriously amazing – probably the best I’ve ever tasted! The first layer is a thick, sweetened graham cracker crust with a hint of cinnamon. The cheesecake layer is perfectly baked and set. It’s thick, creamy, melts in your mouth, and has a subtle touch of vanilla. The strawberry topping layer features a thick homemade strawberry jam with softened strawberry chunks that isn’t overly sweet. The dessert is finished off with a delicious white chocolate drizzle.
This cheesecake is perfectly balanced in sweetness, allowing you to savor all the flavors from the cinnamon, vanilla, and even a hint of lemon from the strawberry topping. It’s incredibly delicious, and it’s sure to be a hit with everyone!
Graham Crackers: The base of our crust, graham crackers create a subtly sweet and tender crust for these cheesecake bars.
Sugar: Adds sweetness to the crust, filling, and strawberry topping.
Cinnamon: Gives the graham cracker crust a hint of warmth and spice.
Butter: Melted butter adds richness and helps bind the graham cracker crumbs to form a solid crust.
Cream Cheese: The star ingredient, Philadelphia cream cheese is the key to a creamy and delectable cheesecake filling.
Sour Cream: Enhances the flavor and texture of the cheesecake, making it extra smooth.
Vanilla Extract: Complements the cream cheese flavor and adds depth to the filling. I recommend using pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
Eggs: Helps to set the cheesecake filling during baking, which provides structure and stability to the cheesecake.
Strawberries: Fresh strawberries create a deliciously sweet and flavorful topping for the cheesecake bars. You could also use thawed frozen strawberries (just be sure to include all the juice left in the bowl after thawing), or you could swap it for raspberries or blueberries. If you’re looking for an even easier strawberry sauce swap, try using strawberry jam instead.
Cornstarch: Helps thicken the strawberry topping for the perfect consistency.
Lemon Juice: Adds brightness and a hint of acidity to the strawberry topping.
White Chocolate Chips: Melted white chocolate creates a decadent drizzle for the cheesecake bars.
Half and Half: Helps create a smooth and pourable white chocolate drizzle. Heavy cream would also work.
How To Make Philadelphia Snack Bars
Preheat the oven. Prepare the graham cracker crust by pulsing the graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Mix in the melted butter.
Press the mixture firmly into a prepared baking pan and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the room temperature cream cheese with a handheld mixer. Add sugar, sour cream, and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth.
Gently mix in the eggs, being careful not to overmix the batter.
Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and bake until the edges are puffy, with just a slight jiggle in the center.
While the cheesecake is baking, prepare the strawberry topping by combining strawberries, sugar, water, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook until the strawberries have softened and thickened, then let the sauce cool.
Once the cheesecake has cooled, cut the cheesecake into bars and add the strawberry topping.
When you’re ready to serve, prepare the white chocolate drizzle by melting white chocolate chips and half and half in the microwave.
Drizzle over the cheesecake bars and enjoy! See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
To ensure your cheesecake bars have the perfect texture, avoid overmixing the batter. Overmixing can cause too much air to be incorporated into the batter, which may lead to cracks in the cheesecake layer. Instead, mix just until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
Why Did They Discontinue Philadelphia Cheesecake Bars?
Supposedly they were discontinued because of issues in the manufacturing process, but I think the homemade ones are so much tastier that I don’t even mind!
Why Do You Put Sour Cream In Cheesecake?
Sour cream is added to cheesecake recipes to enhance the flavor and create a creamier texture. It adds a slight tanginess that complements the sweetness of the cheesecake, while also helping to create the smooth, velvety consistency that we all know and love.
Make Ahead Tips
You can easily prepare these cheesecake bars a day or two ahead of time to make your life easier. Simply follow the recipe up until the white chocolate drizzle step, then store the bars in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or foil. When you’re ready to serve, prepare the white chocolate drizzle and finish the bars just before serving.
Storing And Freezing
Store the cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days.
To freeze, skip the toppings, and wrap individual bars in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving, then top with the toppings.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our dessert recipes! Some reader favorites are:
- Strawberry Brownies
- Lemon Blueberry Bars
- Raspberry Crumble Bars
- Cake Mix Cookie Bars
- Pumpkin Pie Bars
- Pecan Pie Brownies
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs (about 1 sleeve of graham crackers)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup melted butter (2/3 stick)
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (2 full bricks)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
White Chocolate Drizzle:
- 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon half and half
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Use parchment paper to make a sling and line an 8x8 baking pan with handles hanging over two opposite sides. Use cooking spray to grease the bottom and sides. Set aside
Graham Cracker Crust:
- To a food processor fitted with the S-blade attachment, add the graham crackers. Chop on low for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon to the graham crackers, and chop on low until almost a fine crumb (another 15 seconds).
- Next, add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. Carefully remove the blade, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides down.
- Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared baking dish. Use the rubber spatula to spread it out evenly, then firmly press the crumbs down into the pan (you can use your hands or the bottom of a glass to help you pack it firmly). Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the room temperature cream cheese. Use an electric handheld mixer to beat the cream cheese on low for about 90 seconds.* Next, add in the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat again on low to incorporate, then turn the speed up to medium for 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs to the cream cheese and beat on low until just combined, do not over mix. Use a clean rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and give a quick mix. (it’s ok if you see a few small clumps in the batter).
- Pour the filling over the crust and spread it out to the sides. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are puffy, with a slight jiggle in the center. While the cheesecake is baking, prepare the strawberry topping.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, water, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to just a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries soften and they turn a deep red (about 15 minutes). Once done, remove from the heat and allow the sauce to cool in the pan.
- Once the cheesecake is done baking, remove it from the oven and place it onto a wire rack to cool for about 1-2 hours. Once cool, place the cheesecake into the refrigerator and allow to cool for another 3-4 hours.
- Once the cheesecake has cooled completely in the refrigerator, remove it from the baking pan leaving it on the parchment paper. Cut the cheesecake into 8-10 even bars, then keeping the bars close together, carefully lift the bars up with the parchment paper and place them back into the baking pan. Transfer the strawberry topping to the cheesecake and spread it out evenly. Remove the bars again from the pan and place them onto the serving tray to apply the white chocolate drizzle.
White Chocolate Drizzle:
- When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake bars, prepare the white chocolate drizzle.**
- To a small microwave safe bowl, add the white chocolate chips and half and half. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each time, for about 2 minutes total (if the mix is looking too thick, add another small splash of half and half, just to thin it out a bit more). Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and stir until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Transfer the melted white chocolate to a small ziplock bag and cut a small hole in one corner. Squeeze it over the cheesecake bars in a back and forth motion, then serve!
*I highly recommend using an electric hand mixer instead of a stand mixer. Since stand mixers are more powerful, it’s easy to over mix the cheesecake batter, which incorporates too much air. As those air bubbles burst while it’s baking, the cheesecake can fall and crack.
**Don't put the white chocolate drizzle on the bars until just before serving. As the drizzle sits on the strawberry topping it melts/blends in over time.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 27.5gCarbohydrates: 37.4gFiber: 1.5gSugar: 28.1gProtein: 5.5g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
I hope you enjoy these homemade Philadelphia Cheesecake Bars and that they become a favorite in your household. There’s nothing quite like the combination of creamy cheesecake, fresh strawberry topping, and a white chocolate drizzle to satisfy your sweet tooth.