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Cream Cheese Crumb Bars - Get all of the wonderful flavors in cheesecake in bar form with these easy Cream Cheese Crumb Bars!

I’ve got a serious weakness when it comes to cheesecake – and these Cream Cheese Crumb Bars are an easy (and delicious) way to get my fix!

This recipe is another huge score from my mother’s old recipe box and it’s the perfect option for when you have a craving for cheesecake – but don’t have the time to prepare the full dessert. The same light and buttery walnut-crumb mixture makes up the bottom crust as well as the topping – and a light and creamy cream cheese filling sweetens up the middle.  The filling also has a slightly lemony flavor (thanks to the addition of fresh lemon juice) and it adds a perfect amount of brightness so that these bars are sweet – but not too sweet!

Cream Cheese Crumb Bars - Get all of the wonderful flavors in cheesecake in bar form with these easy Cream Cheese Crumb Bars!

We cut our cream cheese crumb bars into 18 triangles for a bite-size treat – or you could serve this as larger squares for dessert. Either way – these are a delicious – and any cheesecake lover in your life will surely love these cream cheese crumb bars!

Cream Cheese Crumb Bars - A Family Feast

Cream Cheese Crumb Bars

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 9-18 pieces
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


1/3 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup brown sugar plus two tablespoons, divided

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup walnuts, chopped and divided

1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

¼ cup granulated sugar

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 egg beaten

2 tablespoons whole milk or light cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil pressing tightly up sides. This will help remove the finished bars once baked.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and the 1/3 cup of brown sugar until fluffy.

Add flour until just combined.

Remove from mixer and blend ½ of the chopped nuts in by hand and stir mixture until a small crumb forms. Reserve one cup of this mixture. Take remaining mixture and press into the prepared 8X8 pan and bake for 12 minutes. Place on rack to cool.

To the reserved cup of crumb mixture, add the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, remaining ½ cup chopped nuts and the one tablespoon of oil. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Place stand mixer bowl back on with paddle and cream the sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl and mix again.

Add egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until very light and creamy.

Pour this mixture into cooled pan over the cooked crust and top with reserved topping pressing just slightly into mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes and cool on a rack in the pan. Once cool, lift the foil edges up and place the bar on a cutting board. Fold the foil down flat and slip the foil out.

With a sharp serrated knife, cut the whole pan into 3 rows x 3 rows for total of nine squares. Then, if you’d like, cut each square in half corner to corner yielding 18 triangle pieces like we show in our photos.

Keywords: cream cheese crumb bars

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  • Kobi Briggs wrote:

    My mom use to make this recipe when I was growing up. I haven’t had for years. This recipe is perfect! Absolutely as I remembered them! Delicious and simple.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kobi!

  • Jeanette Brice wrote:

    dont have any vanilla flavor , any suggestions

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jeanette – You can make it without, or if you have some bourbon (and don’t mind a touch of alcohol) that’s another alternative.

  • Sarah Wilson wrote:

    I really enjoyed making it Definitely pleased my fat

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Sarah!

  • Beckett wrote:

    I’m anxious to try these because they are made with natural, wholesome ingredients, not canned crescent rolls. The chemical taste of processed crescent dough is off-putting to me.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the recipe Beckett! This is quite different from the commercially-made cream cheese crescent rolls

  • Bee Wieder wrote:

    This looks amazing…was just wondering if I could skip,using aluminum foil and just leave them in the pan. Can they be cut and taken out easily with using the foil?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Bee – Yes – the purpose of the foil is to allow you to lift it out of the pan and more easily cut into bars. I suppose you can skip that step and just serve it right from the pan with a spatula. I’d make sure you grease the pan very well to avoid sticking. Enjoy!

  • Sheri Simmer wrote:

    Do these bars need to be refrigerated?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sheri – Yes – if you are baking them a day ahead, I would suggest refrigerating them. But I think they are best served closer to room temperature. Hope that helps!

  • Victoria wrote:

    Hello, just wondering if the crust can be baked a day ahead of making and baking the filling. I need to make a whole bunch of these for a work function and that would be a big help!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Victoria – I don’t see a reason why it wouldn’t work! If you chill the crust overnight after it is baked, I would suggest bringing it back up to room temperature before adding the filling and baking again. You could also do a test batch ahead of time just to be sure.

  • Victoria wrote:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this recipe. My mother, who passed away suddenly six years ago, made these each year for Christmas. I have searched high and low for this recipe and when I came across your and saw your pictures I knew I had found it. I can’t wait to make these for my father, sister, and the rest of my family each Christmas from now on.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Victoria! I hope they are as delicious as your mother’s!

  • Rebecca Orr wrote:

    I am definitely going to make these. I don’t have walnuts on hand, but I have slivered almonds and I also have pecans. I am going to try substituting for the walnuts. Thanks for sharing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Rebecca – Either of those nuts will substitute nicely for the walnuts! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Sandi K wrote:

    This recipe looks delicious. And I wanted to thank you for making it available in a “print” format that actually prints on one page with the photo and no other garbage. How refreshing! Can’t wait to try these – will be great with our morning cup of coffee!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Sandi – We do still have a few older recipes in a different printable format but we’re working our way through to update them all to this format. Hope you enjoy the recipe and thanks for the feedback!

  • Liz wrote:

    So excited to try this but I only have a hand held mixer. Do you think that will work?

    • Martha wrote:

      Yes Liz – A hand held mixer should do just fine!

  • Medeja wrote:

    Yummy! Nice snack with coffee..

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Medeja!

  • Susan | LunaCafe wrote:

    Holy cow, I may have to make these IMMEDIATELY. They look sensational! 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Susan!

  • Laura wrote:

    I am a streusel (crumb) fanatic. I am also a cream cheese fanatic. Those facts plus this recipe spell trouble. Delicious, delicious trouble. 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      LOL Laura – Yes – delicious trouble indeed!

  • Angela {Mind Over Batter} wrote:

    I LOVE cheesecake, but cheesecake takes SO long to bake. AND I’ll be the only one eating it. My family swears they hate cheesecake. These look amazing and easy. I’m going to have to sneak these in and call the cheesecake “filling”.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Angela! (I hope your entire family enjoys these bars!)

  • Jennifer | Bake or Break wrote:

    These look amazing! I adore cream cheese desserts!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Jennifer!

  • Shannon wrote:

    Do you have to use nuts? I’m allergic, and these look so yummy.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Shannon – No – you can leave the nuts out – or substitute in some oatmeal for a little bit more texture in the crumbs!

  • Marye wrote:

    What a great flavor and texture combination! I am with you – I love cheesecake but don’t always (almost never) have time to make it. Pinning these!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Marye! I rarely have time to make cheesecake either – which makes this easy recipe dangerously good! 🙂

  • Christie wrote:

    I love finding old family recipes. These look so scrumptious.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Christie!

  • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden wrote:

    I do so love how you raided your mother’s recipe box for this scrumptious dessert. A hint of lemon in any dessert just makes it so delicate and delicious for me. And once again, my Russian grandmother would be proud, she was famous for making cheese cake bars (and I was famous for eating them, so yes, I was quite a pudgy kid =) haha. She loved it though, I remember when I would ask for seconds.

    • Martha wrote:

      LOL Laura – I was a pudgy kid too! 🙂 Hope you enjoy the recipe!

    • Richard Roper wrote:

      These look so good and they are easy to make the coffee club will love them. The old time deserts are the best. Thanks for sharing them with us.

      • Martha wrote:

        I agree Richard! There is something very special about old family recipes! Thanks for writing to us today!

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