These scrumptious raspberry cheesecake bars have a chocolate crust, creamy cheesecake layer and a thin sweetened sour cream topping. With raspberries sprinkled throughout, these fruit-filled cheesecake bars are both tasty and beautiful – perfect for a Valentine’s treat or for anytime you want a festive dessert.
You couldn’t offer me a better dessert than these raspberry cheesecake bars! For lovers of cheesecake, this recipe adds enough pizazz to make your taste buds stand up and tingle… without going over the top.
I say that because, as much as I love cheesecake, I don’t really enjoy the gazillion varieties or add-in flavors that overwhelm cheesecake’s creamy tangy essence and take away from the main cheesecake concept. For example, pumpkin cheesecake? I know it’s all over the Internet, but I don’t love it. It’s not pumpkin pie-ish enough or cheesecake-ish enough – it falls somewhere in the middle and I’d rather eat a good piece of pumpkin pie to fulfill my pumpkin dessert cravings… or pumpkin cake! But that’s just me. ?
And I don’t love apple cheesecake either. There are other flavors that go amazingly well with cheesecake for me – like chocolate and raspberries. Add those two into cheesecake in any manner of form and that will always be a hit in my book!
But for these raspberry cheesecake bars, I’ve kept it simple, and sometimes (not always!) simple is better ? Especially for Valentine’s Day, because these are not only delish, but oh, so pretty!
Let’s Make Some Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
The first step to making this dessert is the crust, which is a kind of cookie/shortbread crust with flour, butter, chocolate, and cocoa. We’ll be pressing the crust into a 9×13 inch baking pan. We prick the bottom (like shortbread) and bake the crust for a few minutes. If you want fewer, thicker bars, you can also use an 8-inch or a 9-inch square pan. Just bake a tiny bit longer to account for the deeper filling – keep an eye out if you choose a smaller pan!
While the crust is baking, we’ll blend together the filling, add in the raspberries and then bake that layer. The cheesecake filling recipe is one of our family favorites from my childhood. It’s my favorite, because it also has a little layer of sweetened sour cream that we put on top, after the cheesecake layer is almost done. That bakes for a few more minutes and then the cheesecake is chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours (if you can wait that long! But really, you should!) before slicing and eating.
It’s so hard to wait for cheesecake to chill but something magical happens when the cheesecake has chilled and set for a while… and it’s just so not worth it to try and eat warm cheesecake!
Then you can garnish each serving with more fresh raspberries and some chocolate shavings. So delicious. So easy. So perfect for your favorite Valentine.
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Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
For the Crust:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup melted semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 TBSP + 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Cheesecake Layer:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- ⅛ cup + 1 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1½ cups fresh raspberries, + more for garnish rinsed and dried
For the Sour Cream Topping
- 1½ cups sour cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Additional semi-sweet chocolate for chocolate shavings
- Fresh raspberries for garnish
Set out the cream cheese and eggs to warm to room temperature
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring to mix
- In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together
- Remove chocolate mixture from heat and add dry ingredients to wet, stirring to incorporate.
- Press crust mixture into the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish to create a thin, even layer
- Bake crust for 10 minutes at 350°
- While crust is in the oven, using either a hand mixer or a blender, mix together all of the cheesecake ingredients except for the raspberries until smooth, with no lumps. I always use a blender.
- When crust has baked for 10 minutes, remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 450°
- Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the crust
- Cut larger raspberries in half (optional, use your judgement) and then sprinkle the raspberries evenly over the cheesecake mixture, swirling slightly with a toothpick or fork to make a nice design and to distribute and submerge the raspberries evenly
- Bake cheesecake for about 10 minutes at 450°, then reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes or until edges are set and the center is nearly set, still jiggling a bit.
- While cheesecake is baking, prepare the sour cream topping
For the Sour Cream Topping:
- Mix topping ingredients together in a small bowl
- When cheesecake is ready, remove from oven and gently spread the sour cream topping in a thin layer over the cheesecake
- Return cheesecake to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until layer is set. Watch carefully to be sure that the top layer does not brown!
- Remove from oven and refrigerate cheesecake for several hours (preferably overnight, if you can wait that long!) before cutting or serving
- Garnish cheesecake squares with additional fresh raspberries and make chocolate shavings or curls using a cheese grater