Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

One of the things that I miss most about being home in Kansas is my Grammy’s porch suppers on the Fourth of July. We rub extra butter on our corn on the cob, consume far too many ribs, and always end with a special, festive, homemade dessert like these Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars.

Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars. The perfect dessert for the Fourth of July!

While our main Fourth of July menu (ribs, baked beans, other foods that make America great) would remain untouched, dessert alternated. Most years, Grammy made classic shortcake (recipe right here), topped with blueberries, strawberries, and fluffy white whipped cream. On special years, she made the illustrious Strawberry Super Pie, a dessert of such magnificence, it could save the world—or at least make a table filled with dessert aficionados very, very happy.

Since I now spend my Fourth of Julys away from home, I wanted to bring a bit of our family tradition to Wisconsin by creating a festive dessert of my own to share with friends and family here “Up North.” The result: Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars.

Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars. The perfect red white and blue dessert for the Fourth of July!

Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars. Easy cheesecake bar recipe that's a perfect Fourth of July dessert!

The love story of these festive bars begins as so many great dessert romances do: a buttery graham cracker crust. While I certainly adore a good, classic flaky pie crust, the delicious simplicity of mixing melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together to form an undeniably scrumptious dessert base appeals to me immensely, particularly in late June, when I’m settling into easy-breezy summer mode.

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Graham Cracker Crust

In keeping with this low-maintenance approach, I took a shortcut on the blueberry filling by using Lucky Leaf Premium Blueberry Pie Filling. It’s made without high fructose corn syrup, is rich with summer flavor, and saves time at the stove too.

Easy Blueberry Cheesebars

In between the blueberry filling and golden graham cracker crust, we have an airy, lemony cheesecake. I incorporated Greek yogurt to keep it light, but the texture is still rich and the taste luxurious. I also love that this blueberry cheesecake is baked in bar form, instead of a giant springform pan. Bars are easier to transport and serve—plus, I don’t have to stress about unmolding them the way I do with traditional cheesecake—another victory for easy-breezy.

While these blueberry cheesecake bars are fit for any summer occasion, a two-second topping of sliced strawberries transforms them into the cutest dish at any Fourth of July gathering—or office. Ben brought the leftovers into work, left them unattended by the file cabinet, and they were gone before 10 a.m.

Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

While I still have a way to go before I’m ready to throw a Fourth of July porch supper that will rival my Grammy’s, with these Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars, I at least have my dessert ready. Maybe we can just eat cheesecake and call it it meal?

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Red White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

An easy recipe for fluffy blueberry cheesecake bars with strawberries. A fun and festive dessert for the Fourth of July or any summer gathering!


Yield: 16 bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Crust



  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full graham cracker sheets)

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


For the Cheesecake



  • 2 (8 ounce) packages reduced fat cream cheese (do not use fat free), at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt, at room temperature

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2/3 cup Lucky Leaf Premium Blueberry Pie Filling

  • Sliced fresh strawberries


Directions:


  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing some of the foil to hang over the sides. Set aside.

  2. Prepare the crust: Break the graham cracker sheets into a food processor or blender. Process until the crackers are fine crumbs, then add the powdered sugar and pulse once more to combine. Drizzle in the melted butter, then pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened, then press into the bottom of the foil-lined pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool as you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

  3. Prepare the filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese for one full minute, then beat in the sugar for 3 additional minutes, until smooth and creamy. Beat in the yogurt, then the eggs, one at a time, fully combining between each and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary Beat in the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

  4. Once the crust has cooled, pour half of the cheesecake filling over the crust and smooth. Dollop the pie filling over the crust and swirl lightly with a knife (the cheesecake base will not be completely covered). Top with the remaining cheesecake batter.

  5. Bake the bars in a 325 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is mostly set but still soft and barely jiggles in the center when the pan is wiggled. Remove the bars from the oven and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until completely cooled, at least 3 hours.

  6. Just before serving, lift the cheesecake out of the pan using the foil. Top with sliced strawberries. Cut into squares and enjoy.


Leftover blueberry cheesecake bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


All images and text ©/Well Plated.

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More festive ways to bring red, white, and blue to your table:

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

32 comments

  1. These patriotic cheesecake beauties are TOTALLY gonna have to make it on my 4th of July menu! That’s assuming of course, that I don’t eat them all myself beforehand. ;)

  2. Wow, these look so beautiful! And I also checked out that strawberry pie. That is some serious pie. I love that you make you own graham cracker crumbs!

  3. These are so festive! I love it! And your grammy’s porch dinners sound like they were fantastic! Making me hungry :)

  4. These are so festive and cute and I loooove blueberry cheesecake! These look delish :)

  5. How festive and adorable are these?! Bring on the fourth! 

  6. Um, YES to calling these a meal! No shame at all ;) Erin, these are soooooo adorable. They will definitely make an appearance at our 4th of July celebrations!

  7. Erin, wishing you and your family the BEST 4th of July ever! I love these festive blueberry cheesecake bars! delicious!!! and see you next week! Eeeekkk! :) 

  8. Some of the best recipes I have came from my grandma’s kitchen, sounds like it’s the same for you. I love that you started your own 4th of July tradition with these beautiful cheesecake bars, they look absolutely delicious! 

  9. What a perfect way to bring your childhood July 4th into the present. These bars look perfect! 

  10. These bars look amazing! This are a great summer treat! And fortunately Wisconsin summers don’t usually get too bad so you can enjoy plenty of time outside!

  11. It’s almost 4th of July already! I can’t fathom the time!! What a wonderful combination and so festive! I love graham cracker crusts and blueberries! Thanks, Erin!

  12. Erin – this sounds so yummy!  And I love how you photographed the blueberry pie filling can with the blueberries and strawberries!  Very artistic!

  13. Yummy!! These look awesome  girl!! I love sweets!!

  14. Yummy! cheesecake with berries!

  15. YES. I love blueberries, they are the best of all the berries, and cheese, well cheese is a magical food. Put those two together and you get one very happy little me. Absolutely yummy. :)

  16. I’m certain this patriotic treat will be a hit all summer long at my family get-togethers. 

    Thanks & Happy Sunday, Erin
    http://www.lovecompassionatelee.com/thinkoutloud/2015/6/18/6182015

  17. I adore the memory these bars hold for you.  The best thing about  memories like that and the food that go with it is how one day we will pass them down to our kids.  I think these are bars are not only festive but beautiful!

  18. Those cheesecake bars are perfect for the 4th of July! I love all the colors, and of course the flavors!! Pinned :)

  19. i love that these are a reminder of your Grammy. Those 4th of July celebrations sound like they were the best. I love cheesecake bars and I adore how festive these are!

  20. I just love the red, white, and blue festivity of the 4th of July. Beautiful sweet treat you have here, perfect for the occasion! And thank you for the sangria link love. :)

  21. I’m digging this tradition of cheesecake bars for the 4th of July!

  22. These bars are delightfully festive! (Not to mention they look incredible!)

  23. Can you substitute fresh blueberries for the canned or do you need the extra creaminess from the can?
    Thanks.

  24. So yummy! Thesse will be great for the 4th!  Last year I made a trifle and now I am trying to decide what to make this year!

  25. These are awesome – and the cheesecake is fantastic! I had cherry pie filling in my cupboard already, so decided to change it up a bit. I used the cherry filling on the bottom, and then skewered three fresh blueberries on blue toothpicks on the top. So cute and delicious!

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