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Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

Combine two favorite desserts into one with these amazingly delicious Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars!

Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars on a white plate with a red decorative design around the outside

Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

As much as I try to be organized, sometimes I have planning fails when it comes to baking. Recently, I thought I had everything I needed for a recipe, only to realize that I’d forgotten to get a key ingredient. That left me with lots of strawberries that I didn’t want to go to waste. They ended up in these Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars, which are so amazingly good that my original recipe plans are now forgotten.

These bars combine two favorite desserts, strawberry shortcake and cheesecake bars, into one cool, creamy, sweet, so-very-summery treat. If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing summertime dessert, this is it!

It all starts with a simple, thin layer of pound cake. This is a fairly basic pound cake scaled down to be a perfect starting layer for these bars. It’s a soft, tasty alternative to a traditional cheesecake crust. Next comes sliced strawberries. On top of that is an easy no-bake cheesecake with just a hint of fresh lemon juice added to brighten it up a bit.

Then, it’s garnish time with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, a sprinkle of vanilla cookie crumbs, and some sweetened strawberries. The finished product is impressive looking without being difficult to make. It’s just the kind of dessert to share at a summertime gathering with friends and family.

overhead view of three slices of Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars on a rectangular white plate

What You’ll Need

Along with strawberries and lemon, you’ll need some common baking ingredients to make these bars. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

For the cake:

  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight or use the spoon and sweep method. Learn more: How to Measure Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter – Allow the butter to soften before mixing. That means it should be soft but not all the way to room temperature. Learn more: How to Soften Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs – Allow the eggs to come to room temperature for easier mixing.
  • Vanilla extract – Almond extract works well, too. Or try a squeeze of lemon juice.

For the filling:

  • Strawberries – Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices. I like to make these with a single layer of strawberries, but you can easily add more if you like.
  • Cream cheese – Let the cream cheese come to room temperature for a smooth filling. Full-fat, block-style cream cheese works best.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon juice – The lemon is a nice contrast to the sweetness. If you prefer to use vanilla extract instead of lemon, I’d suggest using about 2 teaspoons.
  • Heavy cream

Topping Ideas

  • Sweetened whipped cream – Make a little extra whipped cream for serving.
  • More strawberries – Go all in with strawberries and top these bars with more strawberry slices.
  • Cookie crumbs – Try adding a sprinkling of vanilla wafer crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, or golden Oreos.

Can I Use Frozen Strawberries?

While fresh strawberries will work best, frozen berries can be used for the filling. You won’t need to thaw them, but you may want to rinse and dry them well so the color doesn’t bleed into the cake. Learn more: Fresh vs Frozen Fruits in Baking

three slices of Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars lined up on a white rectangular plate

How to Make Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

Ready to whip up this delicious dessert? No springform pan needed! Just grab your trusty 9×13! Here’s what you’ll need to do.

To make the cake

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- by 13- inch baking pan. If you like, line the pan with parchment paper and grease the paper. I recommend a cooking spray with flour, like Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking.

Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Combine the wet ingredients. With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and lightened in color. Mix in the eggs one at a time, and then mix in the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Bake. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the edges are browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.

To make the filling

Add the strawberries. Arrange the sliced strawberries in an even layer on top of the cooled cake.

Start mixing the filling. With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix until smooth.

Whip the cream. In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whip the cream on high speed. Whip until soft to medium peaks form.

Finish the filling. Fold about a third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Then, gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the mixture, taking care not to over-mix.

Assemble. Spread the cheesecake batter over the strawberries on top of the cake.

Chill. Refrigerate the bars for at least 4 hours before serving.

Tips for Success

  • Don’t over-mix the filling. Fold the whipped cream gently into the cream cheese mixture so you don’t deflate the whipped cream and lose that light, fluffy texture.
  • Use more strawberries if you like. The amount in the recipe will make a single layer of berries. If you want more strawberry flavor, you can simply add more. Don’t overload it, but you could likely use a full pint of strawberries for the filling and topping combined.
  • Don’t skip the chilling time. Before slicing and serving, these cheesecake bars need to chill to allow the filling to set.

How to Store

Keep these cheesecake bars covered and refrigerated. They should keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days, although it will be at its best within a day or so.

Can These Cheesecake Bars Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze these cheesecake bars, although the texture may be affected. Wrap well or place in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Properly stored, they should keep up to 2 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

Yield 24 2-inch bars
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 52 minutes

Have your shortcake and your cheesecake, too, with these phenomenal Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars!

slice of Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

For the pound cake:

  • 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces (226g) strawberries, cut into 1/4-inch slices*
  • 16 ounces (454g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup (237ml) heavy cream

For serving:

Instructions

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9"x 13"x 2" baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
  5. Spread the batter in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until the edges are browned, and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.

To make the filling:

  1. Place the sliced strawberries in a single layer over the cooled cake.*
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whip the cream on high speed until soft to medium peaks form.
  4. Fold about a third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Then, gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Be sure not to overmix.
  5. Spread the filling smoothly and evenly over the strawberries and cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

To serve:

  1. Cut the chilled cheesecake into squares.
  2. Add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. Sprinkle a couple of pinches of cookie crumbs and add strawberries.

Notes

*This amount of strawberries will make a single layer of berries that's not too crowded. If you want more or fewer strawberries, then just adjust to your preference.

**It's optional, but I like to sprinkle the berries for the topping with just a bit of sugar (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) to sweeten them up a bit. If you're preparing in advance, you can combine the strawberries with the sugar and store them covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.

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    11 Comments on “Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars”

  1. Can frozen strawberries be used

  2. Can store bought whipped cream be used instead

  3. Very yummy! Slurp…… I will try to make it at home.

  4. I literally started having hunger pangs halfway through the post. It looks amazing and I bet it also tastes delicious too. It is the perfect dish to cook up in this season. I can’t wait to try it . Looking forward to reading more delectable recipes in the upcoming posts.

  5. Can this recipe be made a day ahead?

  6. Hello, Great site, great pics, great recipes. THANKS!  Do you make these squares in a metal pan? Have you ever tried them in a pyrex pan? Not sure about putting the fruit and lemon in a metal pan. Thanks.

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