These strawberry lime cheesecake bars are bright with flavor and so easy to make!
At the very beginning of summer, my mom landed a bunch of strawberries from a nearby farm.
They were a little bruised and battered, “seconds” as many would call them, but otherwise juicy and delicious.
Who cares what they look like if they taste wonderful, right?
Anyway, just like with the bushels of corn she gets later in summer, we’re often the lucky recipients of a portion of her produce haul.
Fresh strawberries are easy to save to use later in the year; just cut off the tops, spread them out in one layer on a sheet pan, freeze them, then toss into a zip top freezer bag and store them in your freezer till you need them.
I love my freezer chest for organizing food-stuff like this.
Flats of strawberries are also perfect for making homemade strawberry jam or strawberry preserves!
And, even though making jam or preserves at home is pretty darn simple, there are times … even when everything’s prepped perfectly … that it … just. doesn’t. set. up.
That happened to me back in June.
Four jars of strawberry preserves, canned, and then never set.
So, I did what any person would do.
I made lemonade out of lemons, or in this case, strawberry sauce out of failed preserves.
Good news is, if you have homemade preserves that set up properly, or if you just use store-bought (perfectly fine!), these strawberry lime cheesecake bars still turn out beautifully.
For the crust:
- 1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon butter (to grease the baking dish)
For the cheesecake:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temp
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons whole milk plain Greek yogurt
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime zest (about 2 limes)
- 2 large eggs, beaten and at room temp
- 1/2 cup strawberry sauce, preserves or jam
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x11" glass baking dish with a tablespoon of butter.
For the crust:
- Combine the graham crackers, sugar and melted butter in a food processor. Pulse until it's a fine crumb and everything's incorporated.
- Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the prepped baking dish and up the sides about 1/4".
- Bake for 8 minutes, then let it cool while you make the cheesecake batter.
For the cheesecake:
- Cream the sugar and cream cheese together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed for 1 minute, until smooth. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
- Add the yogurt, flour, vanilla and lime zest and continue mixing for 1 more minute. Add the eggs and continue mixing for 30 seconds, until the eggs are just incorporated.
- Pour the batter on top of the crust and use the spatula to smooth it out on top. Drop large spoonfuls of the strawberry sauce on top, and then use a knife to swirl it around (make sure not to push the knife as far down as the crust—just swirl the top).
- Bake the strawberry lime cheesecake bars for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden and the center barely jiggles.
- Let the bars cool for 30 minutes and then put them in the fridge, covered, to chill completely—at least 2 hours.
If you don't have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl with a hand-held mixer instead.
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