It really doesn’t get better than these No Bake Caramel Cheesecake Bars. A simple graham cracker crust topped with a creamy no-bake cheesecake filling and then a batch of gooey homemade caramel drizzled all over.
Dessert in Under 30 Minutes
Have I got a treat for you! Caramel Cheesecake Bars.
They take less than half an hour to put together and are all kinds of creamy, and buttery and ultra-indulgent.
Marie here again from Sugar Salt Magic and the part I really love about making these is they are entirely no-bake! The easy buttery crust is a simple mixture of graham cracker crumbs, butter and a touch of brown sugar.
6 Ingredient Dessert
The no bake cheesecake layer needs just 6 ingredients and sets in the fridge. Can I get a yes please, for no water baths or cracking cheesecakes.
The smooth caramel topping is real-deal caramel and it’s so easy to make, right on the stovetop. Pour it all over the cheesecake and let the whole thing set for 3-4 hours.
The last part is to slice it up into bars and serve it to all your swooning guests.
If you love a baked cheesecake these Mini Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Sauce are very similar but use a baked cheesecake filling. Also, they’re cute and made in muffin pans.
How to make perfect no bake cheesecake
- Lump free cheesecake – You’ll need to start with room temperature cream cheese and this part is really important to make sure your cheesecake is smooth and totally lump free.
- How to make cheesecake light and airy – Whipped cream gives this cheesecake it’s light texture and the cream will need to remain cold to whip properly. You’ll be adding it slowly to the cream cheese so that it doesn’t start setting that cream cheese again and causing lumps though.
- How does no bake cheesecake set? There are a number of ways you can do this but, in this version, a little gelatin powder is all you need. This gets melted into a small portion of the cream before whipping the rest.
No Bake Dessert
Homemade Caramel Topping
This caramel topping is a simple homemade caramel sauce that thickens when cold but it never sets firm. What this means is upon cutting, you’ll get caramel sauce slowly oozing down the sides in a gloriously gooey way.
For this reason, these bars are best served on a plate but personally, cutlery is optional.
Also, it’s worth leaving it until you serve to sprinkle over the sea salt so that it doesn’t disappear into the caramel.
Tips for how to make caramel sauce
- Low heat: You’ll start this caramel by dissolving sugar in a touch of water. Keep the heat low as you don’t want the mixture to boil until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Make sure your pan is ultra clean: This is because even the tiniest bit of grease can turn what starts as a lovely caramel into a grainy mess. I will often run a cut lemon around the inside of the pan then rinse, right before I make caramel. The lemon will cut any grease away.
- Don’t stir: at least not until you add the cream and butter. Instead, swirl the pan every so often to make sure it’s heating evenly.
Can you freeze cheesecake bars?
You can absolutely freeze these no bake cheesecake bars, in fact you can even eat them as a frozen treat straight from the freezer. Can you say frozen cheesecake ice cream?! Yum
Will the Caramel Harden?
The caramel will still never harden and that’s due to it having such a high proportion of sugar but that’s fine. You can keep these in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Place each piece on a small square of baking paper and fold up the sides to make them easier to take out when you feel the urge.
How Long Will Cheesecake Bars Keep?
These bars will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Comforting when it’s cold and the perfect treat cold on a hot day. Everyone will love these gorgeous little cheesecake bars.
More cheesecakes you’ll love
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- Churro Cheesecake
- No Bake Banana Cheesecake
- No-Bake Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
- Mini S’mores Cheesecakes
- Raspberry Mini Cheesecakes
Caramel Cheesecake Bars
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
- 2 cups (8oz) graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup heavy cream (divided 1/4 + 3/4)
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
- 1 pound cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
FOR THE CARAMEL TOPPING
- 1 cup superfine sugar notes
- 1/3 cup water
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes (optional)
FOR THE CRUST
- Grease and line an 8x8 inch square baking tin with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the crumbs, butter and sugar, then press into the base of the tin firmly.
FOR THE NO BAKE CHEESECAKE
- In a small saucepan sprinkle the gelatine powder over 1/4 cup of the cream and let it sit for 5 minutes, before heating over low and stirring until dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl with an electric beater or in a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip the remaining cream to soft peaks. Set aside.
- In a new bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and gelatine mixture and beat through just until combined.
- Mix one third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Use a spatula to gently fold the rest of the cream through trying not to beat out the air.
- Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the base.
FOR THE CARAMEL TOPPING
- Place the sugar and water in a large heavy based stainless steel saucepan over low heat. Heat, swirling gently from time to time until all the sugar is dissolved. Let it come to bubble until it turns amber in colour.
- Carefully pour in the cream and whisk it in to combine. Be careful as it will start to bubble up.
- Stir in the butter until it melts and is combined, then bring it back to a bubble for a further minute.
- Let it cool for about 10 minutes before pouring over the cheesecake.
- Place in the fridge to set. Sprinkle over the sea salt (if using) right before cutting into squares.
- Superfine sugar (not powdered) is best as it will dissolve quicker. If you can only use regular white granulated sugar, just keep the heat a little lower so that it is mostly dissolved before it starts to bubble.
- Make sure to use a large saucepan that is perfectly clean to make the caramel.