Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Recipe and Photos by Molly Bolton

As beautiful as they are delicious, these Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars are the perfect treat for warmer months. Fresh blackberry syrup is swirled atop a light and creamy cheesecake filling and crunchy Biscoff cookie crust. The perfect balance of sweet and tangy and deceptively simple to create, you’ll find yourself making these again and again this summer—not to mention fall, winter, and spring! 



For the blackberry swirl:

2 cups blackberries

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the Biscoff cookie crust:

2 1/2 cups Biscoff cookie crumbs (about 38 Biscoff cookies) *

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, melted 

For the cheesecake filling:

32 oz. (4 bricks) full-fat cream cheese, very soft

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon table salt

4 large eggs, at room temperature


Step 1: Make the blackberry swirl. Add the blackberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the berries begin to soften and release their juices. Once the berries are very soft, start mashing them—I use a potato masher for this!. Once the berries have released all their juices and are completely mashed, add the cornstarch and cook, stirring constantly, for another 60 seconds. This process takes about eight to 10 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh sieve set over a heatproof bowl, pushing the mixture through and scraping the bottom of the sieve so that you get all the juices. Set the syrup aside to cool and discard the pulp. 

Step 2: Make the crumb crust. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13" baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the two long sides of the pan. Place the cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Press the mixture firmly into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, nine to 11 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

Step 3: Make the cream cheese filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until the blocks are blended together. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the sugar and mix at high speed for five minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through and again at the end. 

Next, add the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt and mix on medium speed until combined. Scrape down once more. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until each egg is just incorporated into the batter. Be careful not to overmix once the eggs have been added, as this increases the chance of cracking. 

Step 4: Layer the elements. Pour the cream cheese filling over the cooled crust and gently smooth into an even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Spoon the blackberry syrup in small dots all over the surface of the filling (you might not use all of it), then gently run the tip of a toothpick over the surface to create a swirl pattern.

Step 5: Bake. Bake for 34 to 38 minutes, until the edges are set and slightly puffed and the center is almost set but maintains a slight jiggle. (Tip: you want the center to jiggle like Jell-O, not slosh like water). Be careful not to overbake. Set aside to cool completely.  

Step 6: Chill. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge to chill for at least eight hours, ideally overnight. Use the parchment paper handles to remove the chilled cheesecake from the pan before slicing into bars and serving. 


*You can use graham crackers in place of Biscoff cookies. Be sure to measure out 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs.

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Additional info:

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes (plus 8-hour cooling time)

Total time: 9 hours, 15 minutes

Makes: 24 bars