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pink valentine's day cheesecake bars
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4.34 from 12 votes

Valentine's Day Cheesecake Bars

Valentine's Day Cheesecake Bars are creamy pink and red swirled cheesecake bars making them the perfect Valentine's Day dessert. Easy to make and always a favorite at potlucks, parties and bake sales, these pink cheesecake bars are a sweet way to steal someone's heart.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16
Calories: 434kcal

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/2 cup Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 /3 cup butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Cheesecake Filling

  • 24 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Large squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Pink Food Gel Coloring

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust

  • To make these Valentine's Day Cheesecake Bars, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and place a baking pan filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven. Next, start by combining graham crackers, melted butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and then transferring the mixture to a 9 x 13 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Lightly press down on the crumbs with your hands or the bottom of a cup to form the crust. Set aside.

Cheesecake Bars

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese until creamy and then add in sugar and salt and mix well. One by one, add in eggs and beat until each is incorporated before adding in the next one. Add in sour cream, squeeze of lemon and vanilla and continue mixing until you have a creamy filling. 
  • Transfer 1/2 cup of cheesecake filling evenly into a separate bowls and add pink food. Mix the food coloring in to combine. Pour the white cheesecake filling on top of graham cracker crust and smooth until even. Using a spoon, pour pink cheesecake filling down length of cheesecake. Swirl the pink color into cheesecake filing using the back of knife (or a chopstick!) to create a beautiful swirl pattern, careful not to go so deep as to reach the crust. The more swirls, the better.. 
  • Bake in oven for 50-55 minutes or until center is no longer super wobbly. When baking time is done, turn off oven, open oven door and let your Valentine's Day Cheesecake Bars sit for one hour in the open oven. Remove Valentine's Day Cheesecake Bars from oven and refrigerate overnight before pulling up on parchment paper and removing from baking pan. Cut into squares and serve!

Notes

PRO TIPS FOR MAKING VALENTINE'S CHEESECAKE BARS

  • Be sure to beat your cream cheese until they are creamy and fluffy.  If you skip the creaming step, you will end up with large lumps of cream cheese in your cheesecake bars.
  • Use room temperature ingredients like cream cheese, eggs and sour cream.  They mix and emulsify better at room temperature.
  • Don't skip adding a squeeze of lemon to your cheesecake batter. Your cheesecake won't taste like lemon but it does cut through and add acidity against the heavy richness of three blocks of cream cheese.
  • You can make the pink cheesecake filling by simply using just a bit of red food coloring in the filling.  Mix well and see if it is pink enough for you .. if not, add a bit more red food coloring.  A little goes a long way so work bit by bit.
  • Don't care for a graham cracker crust? Graham cracker crumbs can easily be replaced with 20 cookie sandwich cookies pulverized or pulsed to crumbs in a food processor.  Then add the melted butter as called for and mix to combine.  Follow the remaining instructions to make your Valentine's Day Cheesecake Bars.
  • If your pink lines are uneven or messy, don't sweat it .. it's all getting swirled together anyways :)
  • Give clear vanilla extract a try in light colored batters.  Your batter will not tint due to brown vanilla extract. You can find it in your spice/extract section of most grocery stores.
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Nutrition

Serving: 12g | Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.8g | Protein: 7.1g | Fat: 29.8g | Saturated Fat: 16.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7.7g | Cholesterol: 128.5mg | Sodium: 288.6mg | Potassium: 155.7mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 30.2g | Vitamin A: 1210IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1.4mg