Berry Cheesecake Bars

Strawberries and tart cherries are usually the MVPS of spring baking, but summer brings many other fresh fruits as well! I love black raspberries and blackberries in particular, and this recipe is the perfect way to showcase them. Berries and cheesecake are always a no-fail combination, whatever season you’re in and whatever berry you choose to use.

This recipe uses harder-to-find but no less-delicious black raspberries, set against a canvas of creamy, thick cheesecake. However, if black raspberries are out of season, blackberries or even red raspberries could be used instead.

The flavors and ingredients are simple, and the dessert is a perfectly light option for summer. Because the berries are cooked into a compote first, the flavors really suffuse the cake instead of just staying on top.

Plus, the swirl is just so pretty to look at! I strained the seeds out of mine, but you could just as easily leave them in for a more rustic, more flavorful taste. I love to use a graham cracker crumb base, and I always make sure to bake it long enough so it’s nice and crunchy under the cake.

Cheesecake always requires a few extra steps to get the texture just right, including the very necessary water bath and overnight chill in the fridge.

But this also makes it the perfect make-ahead dish, ready to be quickly pulled out and served. Because it’s in bar form, this cheesecake is a great option to bring to a group gathering—just arrange the squares on a serving plate with a few berries for garnish!

Try this unique berry cheesecake the next time you’re craving something sweet for fall and let us know how you like it!


Black Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Time:  2 hours 45 minutes (30 minutes active), plus overnight for chilling

Makes one 8×8 pan

  • Author: Abbi Shaeffer



Blackberry Compote

  • 8 oz black raspberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, fine
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar


  • 2 packages cream cheese (16 oz)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 large eggs


  1. To make the black raspberry compote: In a small pot, combine the berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook on medium for about ten minutes, until the berries are completely broken down and you have a thick sauce. I poured the compote through a sieve to remove the seeds, but you could leave them in if you want a stronger raspberry flavor.
  2. To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt the butter and stir it into the cookie crumbs along with the sugar. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan, using your hands to pack it in tight. Bake the crust for 10 minutes to set it. Lower the oven temperature to 325, bake for an additional five minutes, and then remove it from the oven to let cool.
  3. To make the filling: Beat the cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, salt, eggs, and sugar using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and beat until no lumps remain.
  4. Pour half the cheesecake mixture into the prepared crust. Spoon the compote on top, and use a knife to swirl it through the batter.
  5. Fill a 13 x 9” pan ⅓ of the way with water. Set the cheesecake into the water bath and put it all into the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes (or longer) until the cheesecake is set on the sides and barely wobbles when you shake the pan. Turn the oven off and prop open the door. Let the cheesecake cool for an hour inside the oven. Once it’s cool, bring it to room temperature and then set in the fridge overnight to chill.
  6. Serve cold chilled, garnished with fresh berries, and enjoy!

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