Let me be honest: when I have to choose between a cookie and a cheesecake I usually choose the former. But this changed when I made these luscious Mixed Berry Swirl Cheesecake Bars. These have everything I would ever want from a dessert. The velvety smooth white chocolate cheesecake filling, the tangy and fruity homemade berry jam and the Oreo crust checks all the boxes. Also, look at those beautiful swirls!
Yes, they’re cheesecake bars, not a full-sized cheesecake, but I will try to tackle that in a later post. Maybe that’s why I love it – the proportion of Oreo cookie crust vs filling is more balanced, also it’s much easier to eat in this shape. I’ve seen some recipes that take forever to make, but this one takes just about 5 hours (including chilling time) and it comes together in 20 or so minutes. In addition to that, you don’t even need a water bath!
Valentines Day is right around the corner. This recipe is perfect for a dinner date dessert, but you can also look at my Classic Apple Galette with Bourbon Caramel Sauce and Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies recipes.
Cheesecakes need more attention than your typical dessert. However, once you have read the entire recipe you’ll see they’re fun and easy to make. I divided this recipe in 3 main parts:
- Mixed Berry Sauce
- Oreo Cookie Crust
- White Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
1. Mixed Berry Sauce
This is the starting point. The homemade sauce must cool down before adding it to the cheesecake filling. You can make this up to a week in advance! You’ll need fresh or frozen fruits, water, cornstarch and sugar. That’s all. I’ve used a combination of frozen blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. There’s no need to thaw the frozen fruits. You could definitely use a store bought jam, but there’s really no fuss to make this from scratch.
- Combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Cook fresh or frozen berries with water and sugar in a small saucepan until simmering.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and cook for 3 minutes more.
- Remove the seeds by straining the thickened berry sauce.
- Cool completely before using.
2. Oreo Cookie Crust
Oreos are the perfect cookies for crusts! Yeah, graham crackers will work too, but that rich cocoa flavour cannot be replaced. You’ll need 20 Oreos and 75 g of melted, unsalted butter to bring it together.
- Pulse the whole Oreos into crumbs.
- Mix with melted butter.
- Press tightly into a 23 cm baking pan. (I like to alternate between a spatula and the smooth bottom of a glass or cup).
- Pre-bake for 8 minutes while you prepare the filling.
3. White Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
The last step of this recipe before assembly.
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, in 20 seconds increments, stirring after each increment. Set aside to chill.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Mix in flour, lemon juice (to bring out the flavour of the white chocolate), vanilla extract and salt.
- Beat in one egg at a time until JUST combined.
- Add melted and chilled white chocolate.
How to assembly the Mixed Berry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
- Add half of the white chocolate filling on top of the crust.
- Drizzle half of the chilled berry sauce.
- Pour the remaining filling on top.
- Drizzle with the rest of the berry sauce.
- Make big swirls with a butter knife or a toothpick.
- Bake for 35-37 minutes in the preheated oven.
The cheesecake bars will puff up a little bit, but then they’ll settle back down. Cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. To make clean edges, use a sharp knife and wipe it after every cut.
Tips for making mixed berry swirl cheesecake bars
- Bring the cream cheese and eggs to room temperature – I can’t recommend this enough! This is how you’ll end up with a clump free, smooth and creamy cheesecake filling.
- Don’t over mix the filling. The extra air bubbles that enter the filling will cause cracks in your cheesecake.
- Don’t over bake the cheesecake. I usually check if the center is wobbly around 32-34 minutes. It should be just barely set in the middle.
These berry swirl cheesecake bars are addictive, but they’re quite filling. I couldn’t eat more than 2 bars at a time – but that’s good news. Get your hands on your favorite assortment of berries and prepare these creamy, luxurious cheesecake bars. The colour of the swirled jam is perfect for your Valentine’s Day dessert.
Easy Mixed Berry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
For the Mixed Berry Sauce
- 2 tsp water room temperature, divided
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 200 g mixed berries fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
- 25 g granulated white sugar
For the Oreo Cookie Crust
- 20 Oreos
- 75 g unsalted butter melted
For the White Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
- 180 g white chocolate finely chopped
- 450 g cream cheese room temperature
- 70 g granulated white sugar
- 1 tbsp flour all-purpose
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- Make the mixed berry sauce: In a small bowl mix 1 tsp water with 1 tsp cornstarch. Set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine mixed berries, 1 tsp water and granulated white sugar. Stir as it cooks, breaking the berries. When the mixture starts simmering add the cornstarch and continue to cook and stir for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and press through a fine strainer to remove the seeds. Allow to cool completely before using.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 23 cm square baking pan with parchment paper (leave some extra parchment paper on the sides to easily take out the baked cheesecake). Set aside.
- Make the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse the whole Oreos until fine. Add the melted butter, pulse a couple of times, then transfer to a bowl and mix with a spoon. Press tightly in a smooth layer into the bottom of the lined baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Don't turn off the oven.
- Make the filling: Melt the finely chopped white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, in 20 seconds increments, stirring in between each until completely melted and smooth. Let the warm white chocolate cool while you work on the other filling ingedients.
- Beat the softened cream cheese and granulated sugar using a handheld or stand mixer on medium-high spped until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined. Add one egg at a time and beat on medium speed until just blended. Stop mixind right after the second egg is combined. Pour the melted, cooled, liquid white chocolate and mix on low speed until combined.
- Pour half of the cheesecake filling onto the crust. Drizzle half of the mixed berry sauce. Then spread the remaining cheesecake filling. Drizzle remaining berry sauce on top and swirl with a toothpick or butter knife.
- Bake for 34-37 minutes until the edges will be very slightly browned and the center is still wobbly. Place pan on a wire rack and let it cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before slicing.
- When ready to serve, lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into 16 squares using a sharp knife. Wipe the knife after each cut for smooth edges.