These Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars are a delightful 3 layer dessert that sandwiches a sweet cheesecake filling between two brightly colored cookie dough layers. Top it off with fun sprinkles for a dessert that’s perfect for holidays and parties.
If you love sugar cookies and you love cheesecake, you’ll want to make this recipe! These Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars are a brilliant way to combine these two classics into one amazing dessert. The fun part comes with being a little crafty with the recipe. By adding some food coloring to the cookie dough, it turns these bars into a holiday or party treat.
It’s an easy recipe to make and a fun one to assemble. Once it’s baked and you see the result, it will definitely be one that impresses your family and friends. Oh, and it tastes just as sweet as you imagine – cheesecake surrounded by sugar cookies, complete with sprinkles on top? It’s an epic cookie bar that’s sure to win you rave reviews!
For The Cookie Dough
Butter – You can use salted or unsalted. Set it out to soften so that it creams easily when mixed.
Sugar – Use white granulated sugar.
Vanilla Extract – For flavoring.
Egg – To add structure to the cookie dough.
Flour– Use regular all-purpose flour.
Baking Powder – Helps the cookie dough rise.
Food Coloring Gels – Aqua, purple, and pink – are used to color the layers of the bars.
Sprinkles – To decorate the top layer of the cookie dough.
For The Cheesecake Filling
Cream Cheese – Set it out to soften so that it creams easily when mixed.
Greek Yogurt – Adds that classic tang to the cheesecake. I use the plain full-fat.
Heavy Whipping Cream – Adds ultra creaminess to the cheesecake filling.
Sugar – Use white granulated to sweeten the filling.
Egg – Adds structure and helps the filling set.
Vanilla Extract – For flavoring.
Lemon Juice – Adds a little acidic tang and helps with the structure of the filling.
How To Make Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars
Note: This is a summary of the recipe steps. For complete instructions, see the recipe card down below.
STEP 1: Prepare an 8 x 11 baking dish by buttering it well or lining it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
STEP 2: Make the cookie dough by creaming together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing well until the dough is fully combined.
STEP 3: Divide the cookie dough evenly, leaving one part in the mixing bowl and reserving the other for later.
STEP 4: Add several drops of purple food coloring gel to the dough in the bowl and mix with the paddle attachment until the dough is all one color.
STEP 5: Remove the purple dough, and place it in the baking dish, pressing evenly on the bottom of the dish and up the sides.
STEP 6: Wipe out the mixing bowl and place the other half of the dough in it. Add several drops of aqua food coloring gel to it and blend into the dough with the paddle attachment until the dough is all one color. Remove the aqua sugar cookie dough from the mixing bowl and wrap it in parchment paper and set aside.
STEP 7: Wash the mixing bowl and dry it completely before adding and blending the softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, whipping cream, sugar, egg, vanilla, and lemon juice until it’s smooth and creamy.
STEP 8: Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the purple dough in the baking dish and smooth it out evenly.
STEP 9: Add a few drops of pink food coloring gel to the cheesecake batter and, using a sharp knife, swirl the food coloring gently into just the cheesecake layer, being careful not to cut into the dough.
STEP 10: Using a rolling pin, roll out the aqua dough on the parchment paper until it’s rolled out enough to cover the top of the baking dish. Place the dough on top of the cheesecake filling by rolling it around the rolling pin before unrolling it across the baking dish and onto the top. Press the dough around the top of the plate and cut off any excess hanging over the sides.
STEP 11: Garnish the top with your choice of sprinkles.
STEP 12: Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and let it cool completely before cutting into bars.
- I like to line my baking pan with parchment paper so that it overhangs the edges. That way, when I go to remove the cooled bars, I can easily lift them out to a flat surface and cut the bars from there.
- Room temperature ingredients are key. Go ahead and set the butter, eggs, and cream cheese out to soften. That makes everything easier to mix without clumps and bumps.
- Go easy on the gel food coloring. The gel variety offers a deeper saturation, so fewer drops are necessary to achieve your color. However, if you’re looking for vibrant colors to make a statement, go for it!
Do I Need To Use A Stand Mixer?
Technically, you don’t have to, but I find the whole process easier because a stand mixer with a paddle attachment does the mixing for me. That leaves me hands-free to prep the other ingredients while things are mixing.
How Do I Know When The Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars are Done?
At the 45-minute mark, check on the bars to see if the upper cookie dough layer is firm to the touch. You can also insert a toothpick in the center, just on the top layer, to check for doneness. The top layer should also have the texture of baked cookies. If in doubt, leave it in for the full 50 minutes. It will continue to cook in its pan just a bit even while it’s cooling, once out of the oven.
Ideas for color themes are so fun! Here are some food coloring ideas for the lower and upper sugar cookie dough. You don’t have to swirl any colors through the cheesecake layer if you want to keep it in its natural color, so I’ll leave that one up to you.
- Christmas: Red for the lower and green for the upper layer
- Valentine’s Day: Red for lower and pink for upper or purple for lower and pink for upper
- St. Patrick’s Day: Green for the lower and yellow for the upper layer
- Easter: Any pastel duo such as light blue and pink, pink and lavender, and lavender and yellow.
- Fourth Of July: Blue for lower and red for upper.
- Halloween: Yellow for lower and orange for upper; green for lower and orange for upper; green for lower and purple for the upper layer
- Plain: Keep it classic without any food coloring in the cookie dough layers. Think that’s too boring? Then definitely add some sprinkles on the top!
Top Garnish Ideas
While sprinkles are always a great idea, and you can color coordinate them for your theme, don’t forget about sanding sugars that also come in a variety of colors, as well. After all, these are sugar cookie bars!
Store these cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 5 days.
These Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars are a delightful 3 layer dessert that sandwiches a sweet cheesecake filling between two brightly colored cookie dough layers. Top it off with fun sprinkles for a dessert that's perfect for holidays and parties.
- FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH:
- 2 sticks of Butter - softened
- 1 cup of Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
- 1 Egg
- 3 cups of Flour
- 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
- Food Coloring Gel - Aqua, Purple, and Pink
- CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 2 packages of Cream Cheese - 8 ounces per package - softened
- 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 cup of Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon of Lemon juice
- Sprinkles for the top - to decorate
- Gather all of the ingredients.
- In a mixing bowl or a food processor, place the butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg, and mix, or blend until well mixed.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, and baking powder, and add to the mixing bowl a little at a time until you've added all the flour, and mixed to blend. Remove the mixing bowl, and divide the dough equally into two parts.
- Place one half of the dough back in the mixing bowl, add several drops of purple food coloring gel, and mix with the paddle attachment until the dough is all one color.
- Remove the dough, place it into an 8 X 11 dish, and press evenly into the bottom of the dish, and up the sides.
- Wipe out the mixing bowl, and place the other half of the dough in the mixing bowl.
- Place several drops of Aqua Food Coloring Gel in the mixer, and blend into the dough with the paddle attachment until the dough is all one color. Remove from the mixing bowl, wrap in parchment paper and set aside.
- Rinse out the mixing bowl and dry with paper towels.
- Place the softened cream cheese into the mixing bowl, and add the Greek Yogurt, whipping cream, sugar, egg, vanilla, and lemon juice, and blend until the cheesecake filling is smooth and creamy.
- Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the purple dough into the baking dish. Add a few drops of Neon Pink food coloring gel to the cheesecake batter, and swirl gently into the cheesecake with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut into the dough.
- With a rolling pin, roll out the Aqua dough on the Parchment paper, until it's rolled out enough to cover the top of the dish. Place the dough on top of the cheesecake filling.
- Roll the dough around the rolling pin, and starting at one end of the dish, unroll the rolling pin across the top of the plate, which will roll the dough out onto the top of the cheesecake filling.
- Press the dough around the top of the dish, or cut off any excess dough hanging over the sides. Sprinkle with your favorite sprinkles.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven to a wire rack, and completely cool before cutting. Cut into 3 X 3-inch bars, serve, and Enjoy!
These Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars are so good, and they're just as much fun to make as they are to eat. They're really delicious, and you could serve these for just about any occasion. They're so colorful everyone will love them. Make sure to keep this one in your favorites!
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Land O Lakes Heavy Whipping Cream, 1 Pint
365 Everyday Value, Baking Powder, 10 oz
365 Everyday Value, All-Purpose Flour, 5 lb
Rodelle Gourmet Pure Vanilla Extract, 8 Oz
Domino Sugar, Granulated, 4LB Canister
365 Everyday Value, Unsalted Butter, 16 oz
KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Kitchen Aid Hand Mixer
Amount Per Serving Calories 550Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 108mgSodium 375mgCarbohydrates 64gFiber 1gSugar 38gProtein 8g