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Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars

If you’re craving a sweet treat without a ton of effort, look no further than these sugar cookie cheesecake bars. Made with a shortcut of refrigerated cookie dough, a creamy homemade cheesecake filling, and a sprinkle of colorful sprinkles on top, they’re the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth in a snap.

Stack of three sugar cookie cheesecake bars.

Easy Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars

I love how this recipe combines two all-time favorites: sweet sugar cookies and luscious cheesecake. As I’ve mentioned countless times, I’m all about kitchen shortcuts (hello, my blog is called Semi Homemade Kitchen!), and these bars deliver on that front. There’s no fussing with a complicated water bath here, just creamy cheesecake goodness atop a layer of a sugar cookie crust. Plus, the fun part? You can switch up the sprinkles to suit any occasion—I went for a pastel blend to add a festive touch for Easter.

Sugar cookie cheesecake bar with bite missing.

Ingredients for the Cheesecake Cookie Bars

  • Refrigerated sugar cookie dough – This pre-made sugar cookie dough provides an easy shortcut for the crust and a topping for the cheesecake bars. 
  • Softened cream cheese – Provides the creamy base for the cheesecake batter. Ensure it is at room temperature before you begin.
  • Granulated sugar – Adds sweetness to contrast the tang of the cream cheese.
  • Egg – Binds the cheesecake together.
  • Vanilla extract – Add depth of flavor and a subtle sweetness to the cheesecake.
  • Optional sprinkles – Add a burst of fun and personality to the cheesecake bars.
Cookie bar ingredients on the counter.

Making the Cheesecake Cookie Bars

  1. Preheat and prep – Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  2. Cream cheese mixture – Using either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar together at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  3. Egg and vanilla – Add in the egg and vanilla extract, then beat on low speed until just combined.
Collage showing four steps to make the cheesecake filling.
  1. Sugar cookie base – Take about two-thirds of the cookie dough (approximately 16 cookies’ worth) and press it into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
  2. Cheesecake layer – Spread the creamy cheesecake filling evenly over the cookie layer, using a rubber spatula to smooth it out.
  3. Topping and sprinkles – Take the reserved cookie dough, slightly flatten it, and then break it into pieces. Scatter these pieces over the cheesecake filling, then sprinkle on those colorful sprinkles!
  4. Bake to perfection – Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center has a slight jiggle.
  5. Chill and set – Once baked, allow the bars to cool to room temperature before transferring them to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. This helps them set nicely.
  6. Serve and enjoy – Finally, once chilled, remove the bars from the pan, slice them up, and enjoy a delightful combination of sugar cookie and cheesecake goodness!
Collage showing four steps to layer the bars.

Variations and substitutions

Homemade sugar cookie dough – Instead of using refrigerated cookie dough, you can make your own homemade sugar cookie dough. You will want to use a recipe that yields 24 cookies, the same as the refrigerated dough.

Different cookie bases – Not a fan of sugar cookies? Try one of my Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars or Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars.

Lemony twist – Replace the vanilla with fresh lemon juice and add some fresh lemon zest to the cheesecake mixture for a refreshing citrus flavor.

Topping variations – Sprinkle M&Ms over the cheesecake layer before baking for a colorful and chocolatey twist. Add a crunchy texture by sprinkling crushed nuts such as pecans, almonds, or walnuts over the cheesecake layer. For an extra indulgent touch, try adding toffee bits to the cheesecake layer for a sweet and buttery flavor contrast.

Tray of sugar cookie cheesecake bars with sprinkles.

Tips for success

  • Line the pan with parchment paper – To make it easier to remove the bars from the pan and to ensure they don’t stick, line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper before assembling the bars. This will also make for easier cleanup!
  • Avoid overbeating the cheesecake layer – When mixing the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla for the cheesecake layer, be careful not to overbeat the mixture. Overmixing can incorporate too much air into the batter, which may cause the cheesecake to crack while baking. Mix just until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
  • Allow the bars to cool completely – After baking, allow the bars to cool completely at room temperature before transferring them to the refrigerator to chill. Cooling the bars completely helps to prevent condensation from forming on the surface of the cheesecake layer, which can lead to a soggy crust or surface cracks.
  • Chill before slicing – For clean and neat slices, refrigerate the bars for at least 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled and set, before slicing. This will allow the cheesecake layer to firm up, making it easier to cut into clean squares or bars.
Stack of two cheesecake cookie bars.

How to store the Cookie Bars

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

While you can technically freeze these bars, it’s not recommended as freezing can alter the texture of the cheesecake layer. If you do choose to freeze them, wrap individual bars tightly in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container. Thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.

Rows of cookie cheesecake bars.

Do you love sugar cookies?

Check out these great sugar cookie recipes.

Did you love these easy dessert bars? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Stack of three sugar cookie bars with cheesecake filling.

Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Classic sugar cookies meet creamy cheesecake in these irresistible cookie bars topped with colorful sprinkles. Perfect for any occasion, these easy-to-make treats are sure to delight your taste buds with every bite.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 Pieces
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature (1 block)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (16 ounce) package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough 24 count
  • Sprinkles optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and side of an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy with a hand or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low until just combined.
  • Press 2/3 (16 cookies) of the cookie dough into an even layer into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Spread the cheesecake layer over the sugar cookie dough and smooth into an even layer with a rubber spatula.
  • Slightly flatten the remaining cookie dough and break it into pieces. Place the cookie dough over the cheesecake layer and sprinkle over the sprinkles.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly.
  • Allow the bars to cool to room temperature before refrigerating for 2 hours to set.
  • Remove the cookie bars from the pan, slice, serve and enjoy.

Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • While you can technically freeze these bars, it’s not recommended as freezing can alter the texture of the cheesecake layer. If you do choose to freeze them, wrap individual bars tightly in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container. Thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.
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