Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars
The BEST Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars recipe has a delicious crust with a creamy layer of swirled sweet potato cheesecake. These cheesecake bars are delicious, creamy, buttery, and loaded with warm spices. This recipe can quickly become your new favorite fall dessert.
Did I mention that we’re going to finish these bars off with a praline sauce?!! I know a little drool just seeped out.
I was looking for a new way to serve a sweet potato dessert this year. It’s super easy to go to my old faithful, sweet potato pie recipe.
However, I like to switch things up to keep the joy and fun in cooking for my family for the holiday gatherings. So, making a sweet potato cheesecake seemed like more work than I wanted.
Plus, slicing and serving cheesecake can be tricky when you’re serving a large crowd. Then it hit me to make sweet potato cheesecake bars! This
I hope you and your family love this new recipe addition to your holiday table because they’re easy to make, tasty, and superb.
To make these excellent sweet potato cheesecake bars, you will need the following key ingredients:
You can use your favorite cookies for the crust but graham crackers are perfect for these cheesecake bars.
Cinnamon and sweet potatoes are flavor pals. Usually, when you see one, you’ll see the other.
Nutmeg is similar to cinnamon. It’s always paired with sweet potatoes.
This warm spice is going to add another layer of flavor to these great cheesecake bars.
I always prefer to use fresh roasted sweet potatoes to get more flavor from the sweet potatoes.
Dark Brown Sugar
Sweet potatoes and molasses work well together. This is why I choose to go with Imperial dark brown sugar. Imperial Sugar is one of the largest processors and marketers of refined sugar in the U.S., supplying high-quality products to food manufacturers, retail grocers, and food service distributors.
Full Fat Cream Cheese
The full-fat flavor will yield a rich and creamy cheesecake.
The oaky flavor of bourbon plays well with sweet potato, but you can use vanilla extract.
We cannot have a praline sauce without pecans. The key is to toast your pecans for a few seconds before finishing the praline sauce.
Ingredients For Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars
To make the best sweet potato cheesecake bars, you need a recipe that’s tested and proven to produce deliciousness. Here’s how you make these decadent bars.
- Graham Cracker Crust:
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Melted unsalted butter
- Sweet Potato Cheesecake:
- Sweet potato puree
- All-purpose flour
- Melted unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- Full fat cream cheese
- Imperial Sugar dark brown sugar
- Large eggs
- Bourbon Praline Sauce:
- Chopped pecans
- Heavy cream
- Imperial Sugar dark brown sugar
- Vanilla pure extract
- Unsalted butter
Common One to One Substitutions:
Don’t have everything you need? No worries. Here are some of the most common substitutions for this dish:
- If you want to make these gluten-free, use gluten-free cookies and gluten free-flour as a swap for the cookies and unbleached flour.
- You can use gingersnap cookies to create a gingersnap crust.
- Feel free to swap out the full-fat cream cheese for low-fat or vegan cream cheese to make these healthier.
- If you don’t consume alcohol, you can use pure vanilla extract to swap the bourbon.
- Feel free to use canned pumpkin as a swap for the sweet potato.
- You can use butter cookies, Oreos, or any other cookie to make the cookie crust. You also can use cake mix for a base.
- Feel free to use pumpkin pie spice as a swap for the cinnamon.
How to make the best sweet potato cheesecake bars
These are the steps and techniques you need to follow to make these excellent cheesecake bars.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, add graham crackers and cinnamon. Pulse graham crackers 7 times until they are a medium crumb. Turn the food processor on to low and slowly drizzle in melted butter until well blended. Graham cracker crust should stay together when squeezed in your hand.
Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper, and firmly press mixture into the pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown.
While the crust bakes, make sweet potato base in a medium bowl with a hand mixer on low speed, combine mashed sweet potatoes, flour, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, and ¼ teaspoon salt, until smooth.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer on low speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth for about 30 seconds on low. Add the brown sugar, and remaining salt, until combined. Add eggs one at a time until blended. Then add the bourbon with the last egg. Stir ½ cup of the cheesecake batter into the sweet potato mixture. Pour the rest of the cheesecake batter evenly over the crust. Take large spoonfuls of the sweet potato mixture and drop over cheesecake batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the sweet potato base, avoid going too deep, and scrape the crust. Bake for 26-28 minutes until the center is set with a bit of wiggle.
Turn the heat to medium-high in a medium-size pot, add the pecans and constantly stir for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the heavy cream, bourbon, and dark brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then cook at a rolling boil for 6 minutes, until sauce thickens and coats a spoon. Add the vanilla and butter until the sauce is smooth. Once sauce cools, transfer to an airtight container, leave out a room temperature.
Cool bar for 1 hour or until completely cooled off. Cover and pop in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight is best. Pour praline sauce evenly over before cutting into bars. Serve immediately.
Can I make it ahead?
If you want to make this dish ahead of time, here’s how to do it:
Cookie Crust – The cookie crust can be made hours in advance and kept in an airtight container on the counter.
Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars – You can make the bars one day in advance and stored them in an airtight container in the fridge. Bars will be good for 5 days. You can freeze the cut bars in the freezer by keeping them in a freezer-safe container for 3 months. Thaw 24 hours before eating.
Bourbon Praline Sauce – You can make the sauce one day in advance. Keep stored in an airtight container on the counter for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars Recipe Tips & Tricks:
Here are some of my top tips and tricks to help you make this dessert:
- If you realize you didn’t get your cream cheese at room temperature. Fill a bowl with warm tap water. Place sealed packages in water for 5-8 minutes. Once it’s reached room temperature, you should be able to leave a finger indention easily.
- Feel free to make any design with your cheesecake swirl.
- You can cut the bars smaller to feed a larger group.
- Oven temperatures can vary, so each oven bakes differently. If your bars seem underbaked, cook longer until the center is set with a bit of wiggle.
- If your bars are overbaked, the center will look puffed up and cracked when you take them out of the oven.
- All of the alcohol in the bourbon will cook out.
- Cheesecake is fully cooked once the internal temperature reaches 160°F in the center.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about sweet potato cheesecake bars.
Do sweet potato cheesecake bars need to be refrigerated?
Yes. After the sweet potato cheesecake bars cool completely after baking. It needs to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight to yield the best pumpkin bars.
Can you freeze sweet potato cheesecake bars?
Absolutely. I like to wrap the cut bars individually in wax paper and place them in a freezer storage bag. Wrapping in wax paper keeps the bars from freezing together, plus it’s easier to grab the amounts of bars you want. Bars will be good for 3 months.
Can I Substitute Canned Sweet Potatoes for Fresh Sweet Potatoes?
Absolutely. If you’re short on time, you use canned sweet potatoes in place of fresh sweet potatoes.
Latest Recipe Video:
Do I need to use a water bath?
No. I never use a water bath for baking cheesecakes. The techniques used in this recipe:
- Not overmixing the cream cheese
- Baking at a low temperature
- Baking for a shorter time allows us to have an outstanding texture and final product.
Why do sweet potato cheesecake bars crack?
There are a couple of reasons your cheesecake cracks. First, make sure you let your sweet potatoes and cream cheese mixture completely cool before mixing in the egg. Also, bake your sweet potato cheesecake bars at a low temperature for longer. If it still cracks, don’t worry about it- It will taste delicious!
However, following this recipe, you shouldn’t have any cracks in your bars.
What can I serve with sweet potato cheesecake bars?
More Delicious Sweet Potato Recipes
If you love sweet potato and cheesecake recipes, I hope you enjoy these Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars with Bourbon Praline Sauce this year! If you make them, please leave me a 5-star review on the blog post below or comment with your thoughts. Have fun celebrating with friends and family this holiday season.
Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars with Bourbon Praline Sauce
- 14 graham crackers 237g
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1g
- 12 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Sweet Potato Cheesecake:
- 1 cup sweet potato puree 235g
- 4 ½ teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour 11g
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon 4g
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg 3g
- ¼ teaspoon mace
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt 3g
- 24 oz. full fat cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup Imperial dark brown sugar 165g
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons bourbon 11g
Bourbon Praline Sauce:
- ½ cup chopped pecans 60g
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 cup Imperial dark brown sugar 205g
- 1 teaspoon vanilla pure extract 5g
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter cold
- Cookie Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, add graham crackers and cinnamon. Pulse 7 times until cookies are a medium crumb. Turn the food processor on to low and slowly drizzle in melted butter until well blended. Crumbs should stay together when squeezed in your hand.
- Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper, add cookie mixture, and evenly press mixture into the pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown.
- Sweet Potato Base: While crust bakes make sweet potato base, in a medium bowl with a hand mixer on low speed, combine sweet potato puree, flour, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and ¼ teaspoon salt, until smooth.
- Cheesecake base: In a large bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth for about 30 seconds on low. Add the brown sugar, and remaining salt, until combined. Add eggs one at a time until blended. Then add the bourbon with the last egg. Stir ½ cup of the cream cheese into the sweet potato base. Pour the rest of the cream cheese evenly over the cookie crust. Take large spoonfuls of the sweet potato base and drop over cream cheese. Use a butter knife to swirl the sweet potato base, avoid going too deep, and scrape the cookie crust. Bake for 26-28 minutes until the center is set with a bit of wiggle. Cool for 1 hour or until completely cooled off. Cover and pop in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight is best.
- Praline Sauce: Turn on the heat to medium-high in a medium-size pot, add the pecans and constantly stir for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the heavy cream, bourbon, and dark brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then cook at a rolling boil for 6 minutes, until sauce thickens and coats a spoon. Stir in vanilla and butter, until the sauce is smooth. Once sauce cools, pour over cheesecake evenly over before or after cutting bars. Serve immediately.
Made this recipe? Take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@kennethtemple_) or Facebook (@ChefKennethTemple)!