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These Cherry Cheesecake Bars are the perfect make-ahead dessert for any occasion! Creamy cheesecake sits atop a homemade graham cracker crust, and is finished off with a generous helping of cherries.

These cherry cheesecake bars on a white plate with cherries on top.

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

I happen to love homemade cheesecake. Sometimes I don’t want to go through the effort of making a big giant cheesecake and worrying about water baths, cracking, and all those considerations that come along with traditional cheesecake. These cherry cheesecake bars are super simple to make and are always a crowd pleaser!

The first step in this recipe is to make the crust. You’ll need graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar which get pressed into the bottom of a square pan, then baked until crisp. While the crust is baking, I prepare the filling.

Cherry cheesecake bars on a white plate with cherries on top.

The filling is a simple combination of cream cheese, vanilla extract, eggs, sugar and heavy cream. If you don’t have heavy cream on hand, sour cream will also work. The bars will need to chill for at least 2 hours, so plan accordingly! You can actually prepare the bars up to 3 days before you plan to serve them, then simply slice and top with cherries right before serving.

Closeup of cherry cheesecake bars on a white plate with cherries on top.

I actually think the trickiest part about this recipe is cutting the bars into neat squares! The bars are easiest to cut straight from the fridge. I coat a knife in cooking spray, make a cut, wipe down the knife, coat it in cooking spray, and make another cut. I repeat this process until all of the bars are sliced. This recipe makes 9 larger square or 12 smaller squares.

The finishing touch is a spoonful of cherry pie filling. What I love about this recipe is that you really can change it up by using a different flavor of pie filling, like apple or blueberry, or even using sliced fresh fruit instead of pie filling.

These cherry cheesecake bars are perfect for bake sales, parties, or for days when you just have a hankering for some cheesecake!

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Cherry Cheesecake Bars

4.34 from 3 votes
By: Sara Welch
These cherry cheesecake bars are the perfect make-ahead dessert for any occasion! Creamy cheesecake sits atop a homemade graham cracker crust, and is finished off with a generous helping of cherries.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 squares


For the crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • cooking spray

For the cheesecake:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 can cherry pie filling


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8"x8" pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons of sugar and melted butter.
  • Firmly press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
  • Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add the sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Pour the mixture over the crust.
  • Return the pan to the oven and bake for 38-40 minutes or until set and edges are light brown.
  • Cool the pan to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  • Cut the cheesecake into 9 or 12 squares, depending on your preference.
  • Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of cherry pie filling over each bar.
  • Serve.


Alyssa Also Recommends: 
Want to make this even easier? Here are a few products that I LOVE:
•KitchenAid Stand Mixer
•Finedine Mixing Bowls
•Utopia Kitchen Cooking Knives


Calories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 4gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 230mgPotassium: 126mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 831IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!


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About Sara Welch

With 3 kids aged 6 and under, meals can feel like feeding time at the zoo! I’m Sara, a foodie turned mom. I traded in elaborate dinners for simple, yet delicious dishes to please the palates of my growing girls, and I blog about my recipe creations over at Dinner at the Zoo.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 3 stars
    Took off a couple stats because I don’t think the crust ingredients are right. I made a directed and had over 1/3 chip melted butter standing on top. Drained as much as I could off before baking. Baked it 20 min instead of 10 and it never got crispy like it indicates. The filling is great, but I would use a different graham crust recipe next time. Crust came out edible in the end, but I’ve definitely had better & easier to make graham crusts. I suspect the measurements are just off in this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    These were a great finisher for a cookout- so much easier than regular cheesecake and everyone loved them! The only thing I changed was stirring a teaspoon of lemon juice into the pie filling for a bit of tart against all of the sweet. Would work with a variety of toppings. For some reason a deep crack showed up down the center, but it didn’t matter because I was going to cut them, anyhow. Keeping this one for future use!

  3. Hi there,
    I love the idea of mini cheesecakes If I made them a couple days ahead would I cover loosely with saran when stored in fridge? I’d hate for them to accumulate moisture. What do you think?

  4. Going to try these super soon!!!!
    Just wish we did not have to use foil
    on the bottom. Does it really stick that badly?
    Thanks for the cool recipe!!!

  5. wonderful calorie splurge opportunity, thank you! It’s okay on occasions like the one these are designed for, thank you!