You guys. I can’t even with these bars!
So lately I’ve been on a cinnamon roll kick. This is probably because I never make cinnamon rolls because when I do, I promptly make it a one-woman race to see how many I can eat in a single sitting. Not surprisingly, I always win. Also not surprisingly, all the cinnamon rolls are gone.
In my head, I’ve been plotting and planning different cinnamon roll-esque recipes to share with you guys. One was the recipe for these Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Bars, the ones you see here. The other was for a cinnamon roll bundt cake which, it turns out, defied all laws of gravity and stayed inside the confines of the pan forever and ever.
I literally had to chisel it out with a knife and a spatula, contorting the pan around my body in ways no pan should be contorted, until it finally released and the bottom half plopped onto the counter all lame-like and pathetic.
I then had to exercise all of my muscle in order to pry the top half out of the pan. This resulted in me just giving up and soaking the pan in water for three days.
But luckily, these cheesecake bars were a screaming success. They are based off of my Perfect Cheesecake Bars, which, in my humble opinion, are totally the best. They’re creamy, light, fluffy and packed with flavor, and they’re basically foolproof. No scary springform pans. No frightening water baths. I mean, what’s up with water baths anyway? I don’t want to bathe my food period. I don’t even take baths, and I don’t want my food to get better treatment than I do. So yeah, no water baths. No spas or saunas either.
Here’s what goes down:
Prepare your cheesecake. Beat the living daylights out of some softened cream cheese with some sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla extract. Lastly, add in sour cream – this makes the cheesecake the creamy, dreamy success that it is. Pour it into your par-baked cinnamon graham crust. Allow me to repeat: CINNAMON GRAHAM CRUST (!!).
While all this is happening, make your oh-so-easy brown sugar cinnamon filling. You just melt some butter, brown sugar and a heap of cinnamon in a small saucepan until melted and gooey and divine. Then drizzle it onto the cheesecake bars and give it a little swirl. Bake until golden and juuuust about set and voila! Amazingness.
Also, I know I’ve been posting a lot of cheesecake recipes lately. If you mind, clearly you are in the wrong place. Sorry not sorry.
FYI: this is totally a breakfast food.
FYI #2: Even my dentist and dental hygienist approve. A DENTIST. So you know it’s good, y’all.
Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Bars
- FOR CRUST:
- 2 cups cinnamon graham crackers finely crushed
- 1/3 cup butter melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- FOR CHEESECAKE:
- 2 (8 oz pkgs) cream cheese at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- FOR CINNAMON SWIRL:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2-3 Tbsp ground cinnamon depending on how cinnamon-y you want it
- 6 Tbsp butter
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8 pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the cinnamon graham crumbs, melted butter and brown sugar together until completely moistened. Press the mixture evenly along the bottom of the pan and bake for approx. 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven but keep the oven on.
- While crust bakes, prepare your cheesecake. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla. Lastly, beat in the sour cream. Set mixture aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
- Spread half of the cheesecake mixture into the prepared crust. Top with half of the cinnamon mixture. I like to draw lines with the cinnamon mixture into the cheesecake and then swirl them together with a butter knife. Top with remaining cheesecake, then remaining cinnamon mixture, swirling together.
- Bake for approx. 35-40 minutes or until cheesecake is set and the center is just a little jiggly. Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Gorgeous, perfectly spiced, gooey and creamy, this cheesecake may be my favorite yet!
Craving more cheesecake? Try my other delectable recipes!
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
Have a super sweet day!
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
This looks SO DANG GOOD!!!
Ahhh thank you! They are SO AMAZING. Hence why I pawned them off to my dentist, lol!
Michele @ Alwayzbakin says
Loving EVERYTHING about this recipe! 😮 I used to work for a dentist who loved sweets too! I bet he was darn grateful to get these.
Oh man, my dentist was SO happy! Lol, who knew they were such sweet tooths?!
I’d like to make these in a 13 by 8inch pan. The 8 by 8 inch will be too small for us. Could I just double the recipe do you think? Anyone tried that before?
Amnah, you can absolutely double the recipe! I would double the crust ingredients for sure, add one more (8 oz) pkg of cream cheese, make it 3/4 cup sugar, 3 eggs and 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup sour cream, then of course, double the cinnamon sugar swirl mixture. Bake it at 325 for about 25-30 minutes, checking at around that time. If it’s slightly jiggly, that’s okay – remove it from the oven. If it’s sloshing around still, leave it in for another 5-10 minutes. Hope this helps!
Dionne Schoh says
We made it in a 9×13. We went 1 and a half recipe. We omitted the flour in the cinnamon portion of the recipe. That, we think, is a mistake.
I doubled this recipe. The crust and the cream cheese filling worked out but the brown sugar/cinnamon/flour mixture was very thick. I could not swirl it in. Next time I’ll use half the flour. They smell amazing though!!!
Same thing happened to me! Anyone know why??
This happened to me as well. Did using half the amount of flour prevent this?
BJ Snyder says
Just want to make sure — is that a quarter cup of flour? The indicator after “1/4” is missing. Thanks!
Hi BJ – yes! 1/4 cup. I’ll fix that now!
Can you elaborate in more detail, the process of making the cinnamon sauce. I inferred from reading this that it would be a sauce i could pour. I made it twice, just to make sure I was doing things right, the first time I threw all the ingredients in at once, the second time i melted the sugar and butter first and then added the flour and cinnamon. With both trials I received a very stiff sauce, it was not pourable, and would immediately harden when mixed with the cheesecake mixture. Did I do something wrong? How long do you melt the mixture for?
Hi Adam, it isn’t really a sauce – more like a paste almost. You just dollop it onto the cheesecake filling and swirl.
Thanks for the reply, that makes me feel better, I thought I screwed it up. Either way the end result was amazing, and they were a huge success. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!
I also struggled with the cinnamon swirl part. Do you really use flour? You don’t mention it in the narrative description. At the risk of sounding line a moron, a video of this part would be so helpful. First to see the process, but also to see the consistency at the end
Tori L Rabitoy says
I wish this would get fixed in the recipe as I expected more of a pourable substance causing me to over cook the mix almost candying it…however its still delicious. Just would like to see the recipe reworded to explain a paste substance vs pourable.
Horse Names says
OMG! They look delicious!
These are very
Delicious. I made them in a larger pan, and they came out delicious. The 2 to 3 tablespoons of cinnamon is a bit much so I used just short of 2. They are well loved by my family.
Hi L! Glad you loved the bars. I am a huge cinnamon fanatic which is why I said so much, but yours sounded like it turned out perfect!
Is there a way to make this recipe into a cake, like in a spring pan?
I completely agree regarding the issue with the cinnamon mixture. Mine aren’t even out of the oven and I know I won’t be making them again. It’s more like a crumb topping for a coffee cake or a crumb pie! I’m a very experienced baker and I had to leave much of it in the saucepan and need a chisel to get it out. No way to swirl anything with a knife. It’s more like pushing chocolate chips around. What a waste of time and ingredients. Frustrating to say the least.
Hi Lori, I am so sorry you had issues! I am going to try to reformulate this recipe to ensure it will be successful for everyone.
Looking forward to it. They were very tasty and got rave reviews, just not baker-friendly. With an adjustment, I’d be happy to try them again.
Hello! Did you ever reformulate the cinnamon swirl? Would love to make these for Thanksgiving.
Hi Danielle, oops, it has slipped my mind! Since some people were having trouble with the cinnamon swirl, I would recommend making it as stated with the 6 Tablespoons of butter, and if too pasty/thick, adding in 2 more Tablespoons of butter for a total of 8 Tablespoons. This should help thin it out some.
I was so frustrated when trying to make the “sauce”. I threw the 1st patch away and almost threw the 2nd batch away until I saw the comments about it being more like a paste. So I went for it and it turned into rocks as soon as it hit the cheesecake mixture. I was so not happy. I baked it, let it cool down and then refrigerated it. Today I cut it and tasted it and to my surprise, they were wonderful! Thanks so much for this recipe. DELICIOUS
This TASTED really good! BUT I had the same problem with the “sauce” as everyone else. I had to drop it into the cheesecake mixture in chunks, it was not anywhere near a sauce consistency, more like dough. The sugar/flour just separated from the melted butter.
I really want to make this again with a nice gooey swirl, has anyone been able to get the sauce right? And if so, how?
Hello – I have these in the oven NOW so you won’t be able to help me…I’m just gonna wing it & guesstimate the time in the oven. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to me, my 8×8 metal pan has left the building so I had to make this in an 8×8 GLASS pan. I’m on 45 minutes right now and it’s still quite jiggly out to about 1″ from the sides. I’m keeping my eye on it, extending the time by 1-2 minutes at a time as I don’t want to overtake….any time suggestions for making in a GLASS pan ? Thx for your help !!
Hi there! I am not a fan of glass pans only because they don’t conduct heat well in my opinion and they always take a LOT longer than metal! I’m assuming you figured it out but yes, in the future just note that glass takes quite a bit longer than metal.
Thanks for your reply. I don’t have an EXACT time i waited but pretty sure it was about an hour. Seems a little overdone around the edges but other than that it’s very good…apparently VERY good as I ate 3 bars in a row !!! I’m not a fan of glass either but couldn’t find my metal pan. Will get one before making these again. Thanks again and THANK YOU for the recipe !!
Hello, quick question, do you absolutely have to line the baking pan with tin foil? I will be traveling with them and don’t want to make a mess in the kitchen at a family members to take them out and cut them and try to but them back into the pan. Thanks!
Hi Natasha, I would highly recommend lining the pan with foil or parchment. The cinnamon mixture is sticky and when cooked against the baking pan may stick.
Made this, it was a big hit with everyone
Hi! Not sure if you can help, since this is a few years aged recipe, but I’m baking this now! For the brown sugar – are you using light or dark?
My crust seems a little too deep than my normal cheesecakes. Do you mean 2 cups graham crackers, that are then crushed? Or 2 full cups of crushed graham crackers? Thanks so much! Looking forward to the finished product!
Hi Holly, sorry for the delay – I mean two cups of crushed graham crackers. And light brown sugar is preferred, but dark will work!
If I can’t find cinnamon graham crackers here in Canada could I make my own?
Hi Linda, you can use honey graham crackers and just add some ground cinnamon to the crust. I would say maybe 1/4 tsp.