These delicious Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars are made with a base of snickerdoodle cookie dough made of butter, cinnamon and brown sugar, a smooth creamy cheesecake layer, and topped with cinnamon sugar and even more sweet crunchy crumbles!
Table of contents
Easy Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars
Snickerdoodle cheesecake bars are a simple dessert bar combining elements of snickerdoodle cookies and a decadent cheesecake into one stinkin’ delicious bite.
I can’t help but dream of these cookie bars as they are absolutely crave-worthy. They’re so easy to make which is why they’re a go-to when I need something quick and easy for a no-fuss dessert. Especially when making an entire cheesecake isn’t on my to-do list!
Cutting them into bars makes it easy to serve a crowd, and when wrapped individually, they freeze well for later!
What are Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars?
Snickerdoodle layer. They’re made with a base layer of buttery snickerdoodle cookie dough made with brown sugar for a deeper flavor and moisture.
Cream cheese layer. Then it’s topped with a sweet creamy cheesecake filling made with the traditional creamy and tangy combination of cream cheese and sour cream.
Top crumble. Finally, it’s finished with even more crumbles of sweet crunchy snickerdoodle and a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar.
All of this is baked until gooey and amazing!
For the snickerdoodle layer
- Light brown sugar. Brown sugar is a signature sweet flavor of snickerdoodle so it’s a must!
- Butter. The other is non-negotiable. Melted butter provides the needed fat and moisture but also the buttery goodness. Use salted or unsalted butter
- Egg. Used to bind the crust together so when you slice the bars they don’t fall apart.
- Vanilla extract. A delicious flavor addition that always pairs well with cheesecake.
- All-purpose flour. Needed to create the structure of the base layer.
- Baking powder. A leavening agent that gives it a bit of lift, and prevents it from becoming too dense.
- Ground cinnamon. A beautiful warm spice that takes the flavor up a notch. Also a staple ingredient in a snickerdoodle!
For the cheesecake layer
- Cream cheese. Softened cream cheese to be taken out at least an hour ahead of time. Easier to cream into a smooth consistency, without lumps.
- Sour cream. Lightens up the heavier cream cheese and mellows out the tang. Creates a lighter fluffier filling.
- Sugar. For the filling, I use white sugar. Brown sugar would give it a different color and not the flavor we’re after in a cheesecake.
- Egg. We’re using another egg for binding since these are baked snickerdoodle cheesecake bars.
- Vanilla extract. Enhances the flavor of the filling making it just dreamy!
For the cinnamon and sugar layer
- Sugar & cinnamon. Every cheesecake bar needs a little something on top!
How to Make this Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars Recipe
There are two separate layers in this recipe, each as simple as the next. The hardest part is waiting for them to chill and set but it’s worth the wait!
Step 1: Whisk melted butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add egg, and vanilla extract and mix, scraping down the sides as you go. Then, add the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon and blend until there are no large lumps.
Step 2: Transfer ⅔ of the mixture to a 9×9 inch prepared baking dish lined with parchment paper and press down gently into the bottom of the pan an even layer. Keep the remaining mixture aside to use on the top layer.
Step 3: Beat cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar in a medium bowl with a hand mixer on high speed until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla and continue blending for another minute until smooth. (you can also use a stand mixer.)
Again, you always want to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to make sure it’s all incorporated.
Step 4: Pour the cheesecake mixture over the snickerdoodle cookie layer and spread it evenly using a spatula. Grab the remaining dough that you set aside from step 2 and crumble the mixture in an even layer across the top of the cheesecake layer.
Finish with a sprinkle of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Step 5: Bake assembled bars for 35-40 until golden around the edges. The center should be set and not jiggle when shaken lightly.
Step 6: Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely before putting it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours. Slice into 9 bars and enjoy!
1. Add ½ cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the bottom crust layer.
2. Make a graham cracker crust by using the same amount of crushed graham crackers instead of flour for the bottom snickerdoodle layer. (I like to use a food processor to pulse graham crackers into fine crumbs)
3. Use equal amounts of almond flour in place of the flour and granular stevia for the sugar for a low-carb alternative.
4. Almond flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour are great ways to make it a gluten-free crust.
- Room temperature ingredients. Make sure to use room temperature cream cheese. Allow the eggs and sour cream to come to room temperature as well. It’s a great way to ensure even baking.
- If you prefer a softer, less crunchy crust, bring your butter to room temperature rather than melting it completely.
- Use low-fat cream cheese (neufchatel cheese) and sour cream if preferred. You may find the texture and flavor differ slightly, as the fat lends to the richness of the cheesecake filling.
- For clean lines, be sure to press down the base snickerdoodle layer gently with your hands to flatten it out. This way, when you slice the bars, you’ll be able to see clean lines which are great for presentation!
Keep any leftover bars in airtight containers for up to 4 days in the fridge.
You can and you should! It’s a good thing these snickerdoodle cheesecake bars are so easy to make because I like to make two at a time!
I like to flash freeze the bars first separate from each other. Then, transfer them to a freezer-friendly Ziploc bag or airtight container.
Freeze them for up to 3 months and because they won’t freeze in a clump you can grab one whenever the mood strikes!
Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars
For the Snickerdoodle Layer
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 stick butter melted (½ cup)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Cheesecake Layer
- 12 ounces cream cheese 1.5 blocks at room temperature
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cinnamon Sugar Layer
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make the Snickerdoodle Layer
- Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 9×9 square baking dish with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar. Whisk to thoroughly combine. (you can also beat with an electric mixer on medium speed)1 stick butter, ¾ cup light brown sugar
- Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you mix.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Then add the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon and blend until there are no large lumps.1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pour about two-thirds of the mixture into the bottom of the pan and evenly into the bottom of the dish. Set aside the the remaining snickerdoodle mixture aside to use later.
Make the Cheesecake Layer
- Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and white sugar to a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.12 ounces cream cheese, ⅓ cup sour cream, ⅓ cup white sugar
- Beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until blended well.
- Then add the egg and vanilla extract and blend for an additional minute on medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you mix.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the cheesecake mixture over the snickerdoodle layer and spread evenly.
- Add the remaining snickerdoodle mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake layer.
Make the Cinnamon Sugar Layer
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the white sugar and ground cinnamon.¼ cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the cheesecake bars.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the golden brown around the edges and the center is fully set and no longer soft when shaken slightly.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely then place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before slicing.