Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars combine rich and creamy cheesecake with silky homemade salted caramel sauce! This sweet and salty dessert is super simple, yet elegant!
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If you love salted caramel, you have to try these scrumptious cheesecake bars!
These Cheesecake Bars Are...
- Swirled with sweet, homemade salted caramel sauce
- Rich, creamy and velvety
- Baked in a 9x9-inch square pan, so there’s no need for a water bath
- Done baking after 30-35 minutes
- Perfect for sharing at parties and potlucks
Graham Cracker Crust
The base for these cheesecake bars is a basic graham cracker crust, but you can always swap them for those delicious vanilla wafers!
All you gotta do is combine the graham cracker crumbs with sugar (for sweetness) and butter until it holds together. Then pour it into your parchment-lined pan and flatten it all down with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup. Pre-bake it for 8 minutes, before preparing the cheesecake filling.
Baker’s Tip: crumple up a sheet of parchment paper in your hands before placing it in the pan. This helps it stay in place on the bottom and up the sides, so you can add your crust and cheesecake without fuss!
You can even add some extra flavour by replacing the graham crackers with gingersnaps! You can use the gingersnap crust recipe from my beautiful pumpkin pie bars! The creamy vanilla cheesecake, salted caramel and spiced gingersnap would make such a lovely flavour combo!
Easy Vanilla Cheesecake Filling
The super easy vanilla cheesecake filling is made with only 6 ingredients! Beat 2 bricks of full-fat cream cheese, some sugar and cornstarch for sweetness and to prevent the cheesecake from cracking. A bit of sour cream to make it extra creamy, vanilla extract for flavour, and 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk for the perfect amount of structure!
You’ll also be happy to know that because this cheesecake is baked in a square pan, there’s no need for a water bath! On top of that, it only takes about 35 minutes to bake which is miles better than the 1 hour, 15 minutes it would take if we slow baked it in a springform pan.
Swirling the Salted Caramel Sauce
My lovely, easy homemade salted caramel sauce has been featured in many recipes on the blog! I highly recommend making a large batch and storing it in an airtight jar so you have some on hand to use in another recipe, as an ice cream topping, and of course, in these cheesecake bars!
I recommend making a batch of my caramel before you start the crust, so it has time to cool and thicken up a bit before you swirl it into the cheesecake. You can even make it days in advance and just reheat it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to make it easier to pour.
To swirl the salted caramel into the cheesecake, pour half of the cheesecake batter onto the crust. Then drizzle the caramel on top and use a butterknife to swirl it around. Pour in the rest of the cheesecake batter, drizzle on more caramel and swirl. This method ensures that the salted caramel can be tasted throughout the entire cheesecake, not just the top.
Want even more caramel flavour? Pour some extra caramel sauce on top of the bars!
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Let’s get baking!
- 1 and ½ cups (149g) graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (57g) Salted Butter, melted
- 2 (8-ounce) packages (16 oz) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup (149g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ cup (170g) sour cream, room temperature
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- ½ cup (120ml) salted caramel sauce, for swirling
- Extra salted caramel sauce
- Coarse sea salt
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9x9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl. Pour and press the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan.
- Bake the crust for 8 minutes, then set aside to cool.
For the Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars:
- In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add sugar and cornstarch and continue to beat on low speed until completely combined and smooth.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add sour cream and vanilla and continue beating until smooth.
- Add eggs and yolk one at a time, beating slowly until just combined, do not overbeat. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is fully combined.
- Pour ½ of the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle on ¼ cup of caramel sauce (can add more if you want) use a butter knife to swirl the caramel around in the batter.
- Pour on the rest of the cheesecake batter, along with another ¼ cup drizzle of caramel sauce and swirl.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the edges are set and the center jiggles just slightly.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm and chilled, about 4 hours or overnight. Slice and serve! Feel free to top the bars with more caramel and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt!
- Tools I Used:9x9-inch Square Pan | Measuring Cups & Spoons | Parchment Paper | Hand Mixer
- Storage: keep bars refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freezing: without the caramel sauce on top, freeze the bars in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Make Ahead: (1) Salted caramel sauce can be made weeks ahead of time and stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to get it back to pourable consistency. (2) Crust can be made and baked a day ahead of time and set aside, covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- Caramel Sauce: I have two recipes for caramel sauce on the blog. My salted caramel sauce uses the dry sugar method and my regular homemade caramel sauce uses the wet sugar method. Both caramels work well in this recipe, so choose your favourite!
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