The perfect pairing of creamy cheesecake with cinnamon swirls atop a cinnamon graham cracker crust.
Yield: 9 squares
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
I'm going to cut right to the instructions, because no one has time to be scrolling through giant blocks of text just to be served ads!
- 1 and 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers + cinnamon or crushed cinnamon graham crackers.
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 (8oz packages) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Optional: 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2-3 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- In a separate bowl, mix together cinnamon graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and brown sugar. Add melted butter and mix until combined. Press the mixture into the greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
- To prepare the cheesecake mixture, in a stand mixer or bowl cream together sugar and softened cream cheese until silky. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and a dash of fresh lemon juice. Mix in sour cream briefly.
- Melt 2 tbsp butter in a microwavable bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of flour to thicken.
- Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the baked crust, use the cinnamon swirl mixture to make 3 evenly spaced lines then proceed to swirl 3 “cinnamon rolls” into each line. This layer is great practice for the top layer swirls (feel free to get creative with your swirls however you’d like also). Pour in the other half of the cheesecake mixture and do the lines and swirls again.
- Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until cheesecake is set. The center should be jiggly and the top lightly browned. Cool the bars (I like to leave mine in the oven cracked for a bit before letting cool at room temp, dirastic changes in temperature often lead to cheesecake cracks). Refrigerate before serving, best if overnight.
This recipe has been one of my staples in my cheesecake arsenal and truthfully my friends have mentioned it being the best thing i’ve ever crafted! This recipe is always a crowd pleasure and my house has never smelled better when baking these. These bars are decadent and taste quite true to a cinnamon roll. The recipe is easy and fun to make as well! These Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Bars may have you questioning if you’re having breakfast or dessert… and ultimately does it even matter if it tastes this good!? ￼ Now down to important cheesecake business:
- Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Grab a square 8×8 pan and lay some foil inside, folding it up and over the edges. Grease that bad boy up however you’d like (personally I spray it with some Pam quick and easy style).
- In a separate bowl, mix cinnamon graham crackers with melted butter (optional: add brown sugar). Mix until the graham crackers are well coated and the mixture is packable and of course pack it into the pan! Throw it in the oven for 10 minutes or meanwhile you can start the cheesecake mixture goodness.
- In a bowl or stand mixer, add the room temperature cream cheese. I always prefer to use Philadelphia cream cheese. Begin to soften it even more with the mixer set to medium speed. Start to add the sugar little by little. I stop every once in a while and scrape the sides of the bowl. The mixture should begin to look super smooth, you may end up mixing it for nearly 10 minutes to achieve this. Once the cream cheese and sugar have become one. Take the speed down below medium. Incorporate the eggs one by one. I always crack my eggs in a separate bowl to prevent unwanted shells. After the eggs have become mixed in, add a tablespoon of the vanilla extract of your choice. This is where I add a dash of lemon juice also. Lastly, mix in the sour cream on low speed. ￼
- Now that our cheesecake mixture is all well incorporated and lovely — pour half of the mixture into the pan with our baked and cooled off crust. Heat up about 2 tablespoons of butter to a microwaveable dish for ~30 seconds. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and a dash of flour (to thicken) to the melted butter and mix well. You can choose to make this as cinnamony as you want here. Use a spoon and add 3 lines of the mixture down in the pan. Then the fun part — swirl those lines into 3 circles per lines and they should look, of course, like cinnamon rolls! Since this layer gets covered you could honestly mix in some however you’d like, however I think it’s good practice for the top layer. Pour the remainder of the cheesecake mixture into the pan and smooth it out. Use the remainder of the butter/cinnamon/brown sugar mixture and make cinnamon roll swirls as desired (creative leeway here)! ￼
- Finally, we can bake this beauty! Pop the cheesecake bars into the oven for about 50-55 minutes at 325. Let it cook until it is set which should be lightly browned with the center still slightly jiggly. I let my cheesecake sit in the oven for another 20 minutes or so with it cracked. If you’re eager pull it out and let it cool at room temperature. I recommend letting it sit in the fridge overnight to fully set and to really bring out the flavor. Cut into as many squares as you’d like and enjoy!