A homemade graham cracker crust topped with a smooth and creamy cheesecake filling and blackberry swirl. These Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars make a gorgeous and delicious dessert!
Ever since I went to Utah a few months ago, I’ve been wanting to go back and visit Colorado too. So, Josh and I planned a trip later this month to drive out to Colorado for a vacation. The best part? We’re bringing the dogs with us too. I feel like a crazy dog lady, but I also feel like it would be such a shame to spend a week hiking in the mountains and not bring the dogs with us.
Also, I realize this doesn’t have anything to do with cheesecake bars. But I wanted to put a call out and see if any readers are from Colorado and have any suggestions for trails to hike or places to eat? Or even those who have been and found a place they loved! Please feel free to comment or e-mail me and share. I’d love to hear!
Okay, enough about Colorado and back to these blackberry swirl cheesecake bars. Want to know why I love cheesecake bars so much? They’re really just easier to make than a full cheesecake and take less time. Plus, you can just slice them up however you like and serve them.
The base of these blackberry swirl cheesecake bars starts with a homemade graham cracker crust. Just three easy ingredients: crushed graham crackers, sugar, and some melted butter. That’s it. Mix everything together, press it into the pan, and bake it for about 10 minutes before adding the cheesecake filling.
For the cheesecake filling, you’ll need some cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and a couple of eggs. I love to add some sour cream to these cheesecake bars because it helps create an incredibly smooth and creamy cheesecake.
One important thing when it comes to the filling, make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. You’ll want to set everything out a little bit ahead of time. Why? If the cream cheese is softened it helps to prevent any lumps and you’ll end up with a much smoother cheesecake filling. Also, room temperature eggs and sour cream will incorporate much easier when mixed together with the other ingredients.
For the swirl, I went with fresh blackberries because they’re literally everywhere right now. You’ll only need about 1/2 cup of fresh blackberries. It won’t seem like much, but it’s just enough to create that beautiful little swirl on top. Also, if you have another type of berries on hand feel free to switch it up and use those instead!
The hardest part of making these bars is really just waiting for them to cool and chill. They’re perfect topped with a little homemade whipped cream and some fresh blackberries. You can find my favorite recipe for homemade whipped cream here, just omit the gelatin and water if you’re not worried about stabilizing it.
Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
For the crust:
- 9 full-sheet graham crackers or 1 and 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
For the blackberry swirl:
- 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the cheesecake:
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal, and set aside.
- Add the graham crackers to a food processor or blender and process until you have fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a large mixing bowl, add in the granulated sugar and melted butter, and mix until all of the crumbs are moistened. Scoop into the prepared baking pan and firmly press down into one even layer.
- Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the blackberry swirl:
- Add the blackberries to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Strain the blackberry puree through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl and discard any large pieces. Add the granulated sugar to the blackberry mixture and mix until well combined.
To make the cheesecake:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Next, add in the sour cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract and continue mixing until well combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix on low until just combined.
- Pour the cheesecake filling over the prepared crust and spread it out into one even layer. Spoon the blackberry mixture in different spots on top of the cheesecake filling and gently swirl with a knife.
- Bake at 325°F for about 30-35 minutes or until the cheesecake has set up.
- Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, cover tightly and transfer to the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, or overnight, or until fully chilled. Slice into bars and enjoy.
Prep time does not include cooling and chilling time.
This recipe can be sliced into 9 larger bars or 16 smaller bars.
Adapted from these delicious Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Squares.