What happens when one combines three of their favorite desserts into one bite?
Pure bliss, that’s what.
Pure over the top, I can’t stop eating them bliss. So I should confess that one bite is a bit of a stretch.
Here’s the low down. I love fresh fruit. I love it as a dessert with whip cream or in a cobbler or on ice cream. Yes, fresh fruit is a must!
But then there is shortbread. (Girl Scouts love me.) Have you tried them dipped in milk or even better, dunked in coffee? Oh my!
So when I whipped up this shortbread oat type of crust, I could have pretty much called it a day and just eaten it as is because it’s that good.
But no, after the shortbread crust and the fresh (or frozen if you must) fruit, we then poured a cheesecake filling over those two.
Now cheesecake purists, do not dismay, mixing these three together takes my love of this dessert to a new level.
And because I love a bit of tart in my cheesecake, I squeezed tons of fresh lemon into the cheesecake mixture, but this is personal preference, not a must. You will see that I list a varying amount of fruit. If you note the picture above, the fruit doesn’t cover the entire pan fully. That’s because I ran out. I prefer an overabundance of fruit in this dessert, so to fully cover the entire crust, it’s about 4 cups, but if you want the cheesecake taste to come out more, stick to two cups.
Fresh fruit is preferable, but when snow covers the ground and fresh fruit is running $5/bite, I use frozen or a mixture of both. No need to go into debt for fresh berries. 🙂
Since this needs to be made hours in advance, it’s perfect for gatherings because you can make it the night before, checking one more item off your to do list. The fact that is has such a blend of flavors and textures makes it appear difficult to make, but it’s not. Trust me.
This will definitely be on our Easter meal plan, along with my traditional trifles.
Enjoy!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Recipe: Very Berry Cheesecake Bars
Summary: This delicious mix of fresh berries, cheesecake and an oatmeal shortbread crust blends the best of flavors.
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 TBs all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 1 2/3 cups sugar, divided
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 cups salted butter, melted
- 2 (8 ounce) packages of softened cream cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 2 TB fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 (or more if you want) cups fresh berries (your choice – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) May use frozen, if necessary.
- powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray 9×13 baking dish with non stick floured baking spray.
- In large bowl, create crust mixture by tossing oats, 1 1/3 cups of the flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder and butter.
- Lightly press mixtures into the bottom of greased pan.
- Bake approximately 15 minutes or until crust begins to brown.
- Let cool for 30 minutes.
- Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy, then add remaining 1 cup sugar and remaining 2 tb flour.
- Beat until blended.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended.
- Add lemon juice and vanilla.
- Spread berries over cooled crust, then pour cream cheese mixture over berries.
- Bake approximately 40 minutes, or until knife comes out clean and center feels firm when touched.
- Let cool two hours, then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (approximately 3 hours).
- Cut into squares and garnish with powdered sugar.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
This was delicious! Thanks for sharing it with us!
Thanks Marty. It was wonderful having you and honestly, I love it more with additional fruit. I overcooked it for us just a bit. 😉
This looks amazing! Just one stupid question – by fresh lemon extract do you mean fresh squeezed lemon juice or are there different types of packaged lemon extracts (fresh lemon versus just regular lemon extract)?
Not a dumb question at all. I made a typo. Fresh lemon juice. While I used freshly squeezed juice from a lemon, you can just use lemon juice from a bottle. Sorry about the confusion.
These look great – I can’t wait tip those fresh summer berries are in season!
Hi Jen –
Do you think this could this be made with fresh peaches?? This sounds yummy as is but as a SC girl, I am always trying to find ways to use peaches. :o)
Oh, fresh peaches would be SO yummy with them!! Definitely! I may just do the same when they come into season. 🙂
What could I substitute the all purpose flour with? Could I use ground oats? Can’t have wheat….
In your recipe ingredients it states 1 1/4 C AP flour but in the recipe directions it states to add 1 1/3 C AP flour, so which is the correct amount of flour? Thanks!
Hi can these bars be frozen once they have been baked?