Dessert Bars

Easy Orange Cheesecake Bars

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I have always loved cheesecake (my husband even made me a cheesecake as a gift while we were dating). However, a cheesecake isn’t great for a big crowd at a cookout or potluck. These cheesecake bars are great for a crowd and are also so easy to make (they are also delicious). Enjoy!

cheesecake bar with chocolate drizzle

Easy Orange Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 42 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 12 minutes

Creamy cheesecake bars with a hint of orange on a crispy pecan shortbread crust.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Filling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Topping (optional)

  • 1 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Use a fork to cut in the pecans and flour until crumbly.
  3. Set aside 1/2 cup to use as a topping. Press the rest of the crust evenly into an ungreased 8x8" baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
  4. While the crust is baking, beat the granulated sugar and cream cheese together until smooth. Then beat in orange juice, zest, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Once the crust is baked, pour filling over the hot crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of crust over the top of the filling. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the center is no longer jiggly when you gently shake the pan.
  6. Place in the refrigerator until chilled.
  7. If desired, melt chocolate and vegetable oil until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the bars.
  8. Serve chilled.

Notes

I found that the bars turned out best when using an ungreased baking pan and had no difficulties removing the bars from the pan.

The current recipe has almost an equal amount of crust and filling. I liked the ratio of crust to filling, but if you prefer more cheesecake, you can make 1 1/2 or double the filling. It may need to bake slightly longer to fully bake the filling.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 107mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is an estimate only.

Storage

Cheesecake bars cannot be left out at room temperature and need to be stored in the fridge. They will last up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Cheesecake bars can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To freeze, place the cooled cheesecake bars on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Then wrap the bars (either cut or uncut) in aluminum foil and put them in your airtight container. To thaw, remove foil and place the bars in the fridge overnight.

How Can You Tell When Cheesecake Bars are Done?

The best way to tell if your cheesecake bars are done is to use oven mitts and (carefully) jiggle the cheesecake bars. They should only jiggle a little bit in the center. If the the whole thing is jiggly it needs more time.

If you’ve made this recipe, let me know how it went! I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Happy baking!

Hello! I'm Nichole and I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I have a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science and a master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. I love cooking, baking and anything food related. I look forward to teaching you more about food and sharing my favorite recipes with you. Enjoy!

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