Philadelphia and Kraft created some Philadelphia Strawberry Cheesecake Bars that made the consumer feel like they died and went to heaven when they were eaten. They were so good. According to social media, consumers were seriously disappointed when these bars were no longer available. We’ve created this no-bake Philadelphia Strawberry Cheesecake Bar Copycat Recipe to resemble those bars. You will not be disappointed. Enjoy!
Copycat Philadelphia Cheesecake Bars
Cheesecake bars can be enjoyed for dessert, but that’s not all. They’re made with dairy so I’m pretty sure you can consume them for breakfast, and why not lunch or dinner too? When is your favorite time to enjoy cheesecake?
Things You Will Need
Besides the ingredients listed below, here is the list of things you will need to make these wonderful dessert bars.
9×13 baking pan
food processor or zipped storage bag and rolling pin
Graham Cracker Base
For the graham cracker crust, you will need graham crackers and butter. When you work through the instructions, you will be crushing the graham crackers and mixing it with melted butter to form the crust.
No-Bake Cream Cheese Topping
Our goal is to create a no- bake cheesecake made with cream cheese. For this layer, you will need Philadelphia Cream Cheese, sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract, confectioner’s sugar, and heavy cream.
Bring Back Philadelphia Cream Cheese Snack Bars
If you follow food things on the internet, you’ll know that there are people who are disappointed that these pre-made Philadelphia Strawberry Cheesecake snack bars are no longer being made.
They viewed them as a simple, grab and go snack or dessert that tasted heavenly. And that food is missed. But we wanted to create a similar recipe that can be made quite simply and enjoyed at home. And we think this one does the job.
The History of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Bars
Philadelphia Cream Cheese Bars were created as a limited time specialty item created by Philadelphia / Kraft. They were individually wrapped cheesecake bars topped dipped in shape and topped with strawberry preserves, just like ours. Eventually, the company stopped producing them.
At one point, there was a petition circulating on the web that people could sign to ask Philadelphia to bring back their delicious cheesecake snack bars. People were really expressing their love for this item.
Why Were Philadelphia Snack Bars Discontinued?
Research indicates that Philadelphia snack bars were discontinued because they were difficult to produce. But I’m sure that it’s like many things, products are changed out from time to time to keep the consumers interested and purchasing specialty items.
Replicating Philadelphia Snack Bars
Our goal with this recipe is to create a no-bake cheesecake snack bar that resembles the ones that used to be available in a ready-made form in grocery stores. They were originally made by Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
We wanted the recipe to be no-bake to simplify it so that it could come together in a matter of a few minutes and be enjoyed by busy families.
Sweet & Creamy Dessert Bars
These sweet and creamy dessert bars are so delicious that they melt in your mouth. You might be skeptical about a no-bake cheesecake, but it’s actually a preference as far as flavor and the light feeling is concerned for some. It doesn’t have that heavy feeling that you can get with a baked cheesecake.
Strawberry Cheesecake Bars or Strawberry Cream Cheese Bars?
Are these Strawberry Cheesecake Bars or Strawberry Cream Cheese Bars? Either terminology is correct as far as we’re concerned. Both are included. Once the product is fully created, it is cheesecake, and cream cheese is used to make the bars. We’ll leave it at that.
Tips & Tricks
Here are some of the best tips to create the best cheesecake bars.
Cooling time: Make sure allow enough preparation time to incorporate the two cooling times mentioned in the recipe instructions. This will allow the cheesecake to setup properly.
Clean your knife: We recommend cleaning your knife after each cut. This will prevent you from creating a buildup of cheesecake on the knife as you go. It makes for nice and neat bars.
Compact graham crackers: It’s important to compact the graham crackers as much as possible, when forming the crust. The goal is to make these into bars, which in essence do not require the use of an eating utensil to be consumed. Compacting the graham crackers will help make that happen.
Substitutes and Shortcuts
There are some substitutes and shortcuts that you can use to customize this recipe according to your preference and to save time. Here are some ideas.
Whipped Cream: You might like to replace the homemade whipped cream with store purchased cool whip. Just fold it in at the appropriate time as indicated in the recipe instructions.
Crust: You can buy an already prepared graham cracker crust. Or use store bought cookie dough mix. This of course would add a baked element to your no-bake cheesecake. But you can simply bake the cookie dough after you’ve formed it in the pan. Allow it to cool completely before proceeding or you will risk melting the cream cheese layer.
Fruit Layer: You can consider using a can of pie filling or sliced fresh fruit in place of the strawberry jam. Feel free to alter the recipe to incorporate another kind of favorite fruit that will be enjoyed by those around your table.
Making Ahead and Storing
Making ahead: Philadelphia Strawberry Cheesecake Bars can be made ahead. You can make them the day before and keep them in the refrigerator overnight. If you choose to make them ahead, we recommend waiting to add the fruit layer until the same day they will be served. If added too far in advance, it can cause the fruit to bleed onto the cream cheese layer and cause discoloration.
Storing: Your cheesecake bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To read more about freezing cheesecake and cheesecake storage, check out our article here.
Philadelphia Strawberry Fields No-Bake Cheesecake
If you live in a region that grows strawberries and have fresh strawberries available to you, you might prefer to use strawberries fresh from the fields in your no-bake cheesecake recipe instead of strawberry jam. Any fruit can be used for that matter. Just crush or chop and mix with sugar and gelatin for added flavor and stability.
For More Yummy Strawberry Desserts, Try:
How To Make Them
Philadelphia Strawberry Cheesecake Bars a simple, no-bake cheesecake bar version that replicates the real Philadelphia Strawberry Cheesecake Bars that used to be available for purchase in grocery stores.
They include 4 layers, graham cracker crust, cheesecake, strawberries and a white chocolate drizzle topping. Once they are assembled, you can chill them briefly, serve and enjoy.
9×13 baking pan
food processor or zipped storage bag and rolling pin
Graham Cracker Crust:
2.5 cups graham crackers 1 sleeve
½ cup butter
2 boxes of cream cheese (8 oz. each)
2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup heavy cream
Prepared Strawberry Jam
White Chocolate Drizzle:
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup white chocolate melted
Graham Cracker Crust:
1. Crush the graham crackers using your food processor until they reach a fine crumb. If you don’t have a food processor, you can place them in a zipped storage bag and smash them with a meat grinder or use a rolling pin to crush them.
2. Transfer graham cracker crumbs to a mixing bowl. Melt the butter and whisk the graham cracker crumbs and butter together until thoroughly mixed. We are not adding sugar to the crust because the crust is perfect as is. But if you prefer a sweeter crust, feel free to add some granulated sugar.
3. Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Pack into the bottom of the pan with the palms of your hands until it is as tight as possible. Set crust aside.
No-Bake Cheesecake Filling:
1. Using an electric mixer, combine room temperature cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth.
2. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks begin to form. Right before stiff peaks form, add powdered sugar.
3. Reduce speed and fold cream cheese mixture in with the whipped cream mixture.
4. Gently spread the cream cheese layer over the graham cracker crust.
1. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
2. Remove from the refrigerator and cut the cheesecake into dessert bars. Using a teaspoon form the cheesecake into the desired shape, creating a dip for the strawberry jam to be placed.
3. Place the strawberry jam on each bar.
4. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler pan on the stove or in a microwave safe bowl, using 20 second increments. Stir until smooth. Add heavy cream and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Drizzle each bar with white chocolate drizzle.
5. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. Serve and enjoy!
There are so many possible flavor combinations for these delicious cheesecake bars. Here are some ideas.
Blueberry and Strawberry Cheesecake Bars with Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Incorporate a bit of blueberry jam or blueberry pie filling into your Philadelphia cream cheese bars for a delicious blueberry and strawberry combination. The fruit can be folded into the cream cheese layer itself, or you can layer it on top as we do in our recipe above.
Philadelphia New York-Style Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares
Rather than creating a dip in the top of your bars for the strawberry fruit preserves, try swirling it right into the cream cheese. You can use a bit on top and swirl it in before allowing it to set when it cools. Or you can increase the amount of preserves used and gently fold it into the cream cheese layer right before it is transferred to the pan to setup.
Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Add a teaspoon of lemon zest, plus 2 teaspoons of lemon juice right into the cheesecake layer. You can also add a few drops of yellow food coloring if desired. Finish the cheesecake as directed in the instructions above, layering strawberry jam and white chocolate drizzle on top for added interest and flavor.
Philly Caramel Cheesecake Bars
Instead of using strawberry jam and white chocolate drizzle, drizzle the top of your cheesecake with caramel sauce or caramel syrup. You can find our recipe here. Along with caramel, Philly Caramel Cheesecake bars can be topped with crushed toffee bars, pecans or chocolate shavings.