This week I tried out a copycat Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars recipe! I tweaked the recipe a little, to give my strawberry cheesecake snack bars a crushed oat biscuit base. This copycat recipe of the original Philadelphia Snack Bars is delicious. It has a fresh strawberry topping and a drizzle of white chocolate to finish!
What can I say, I'm a lover of sweet treats. I'm particularly partial to a delicious cheesecake. It's my favorite type of cake to eat, especially in summer when you can use all sorts of fresh fruit toppings!
Recently, whilst searching for some cheesecake recipes I stumbled upon a recipe for some Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake snacks. It looked like an easy recipe, plus I had almost all of the ingredients to hand.
Table of contents
- Original Philadelphia Snack Bars
- Graham cracker alternatives
- Best dessert bars ever!
- Ingredients for making Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars
- Tools needed
- Shop equipment
- How to make Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars
- How to make a strawberry topping
- Assembling copycat cheesecake snack bars
- Making a white chocolate drizzle
- Strawberry snack bars taste test!
- A note about springform pans
- You may also like:
- 📖 Recipe
Original Philadelphia Snack Bars
I have to be honest, when I came upon the recipe for these delicious dessert bars, I had no idea what Philadelphia snack bars were. For those of you in the same boat as me, here's a short back story about real Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake snack bars.
Once upon a time, in grocery stores across the USA, divine treats called 'Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars' would be waiting for you in the refrigeration section of the snack aisle. Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake snack bars had a Graham cracker crust covered with deliciously creamy cheesecake and a strawberry topping. Kraft made the delicious cheesecake bars in various flavors, but apparently, the strawberry filling was most popular.
Graham cracker alternatives
Remember I said I had almost all the ingredients to hand? Well, I didn't have Graham crackers! I could have waited and made the snack bars when I had all the right ingredients but I just couldn't do that. My strawberries were ripe and begging to be cooked into a fresh strawberry jam topping for my Philadelphia cheesecake bars!
Here are some alternatives to Graham crackers
McVities Digestive biscuits: I always used digestive biscuits to make regular cheesecake bases. Digestive biscuits are not overly sweet and when mixed with butter and baked, they make a sturdy cheesecake base,
McVities Hobnobs: McVities hobnobs are oat biscuits that when crumbled and mixed with melted butter, make an excellent cheesecake crust.
I ended up using hobnobs to make these Philadelphia cream cheese snack bars. The base turned out really well and wasn't crumbly at all.
Best dessert bars ever!
These turned out to be some of the best dessert bars I have ever made. I'm sure this is going to be one of my most popular recipes just like my embossed cookie recipe! Follow my step-by-step instructions to make these yummy Philadelphia snack bars to see what I mean!
Ingredients for making Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars
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You can find the full list of ingredients and amounts required to make Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake snack bars in the recipe card below.
The snack bar base
- Graham crackers/Digestive biscuits/Hobnobs
- Sour cream/Greek yogurt
- Philadelphia cream cheese
- Seeds from one vanilla pod (or vanilla extract)
- Lemon Juice/lime juice
White chocolate drizzle topping
- White chocolate chips or chocolate bar
- Spring form pan (9x9 square pan or 26x26cm pan – see note below)
- Baking parchment
- Large mixing bowl
- Electric hand mixer
- Wooden mixing spoon
- Rolling pin
- Large knife
- Piping bag or a plastic food-safe bag
How to make Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars
Heat the oven to 350F/180°C (Fan).
Prepare the cake pan
Line a 9x9” pan with baking parchment. Grease the baking parchment with butter (or oil).
Make the cheesecake crust
Turn your biscuits into crumbs by popping them into a food-safe bag and rolling over them with a rolling pin. You might have to bash them with the rolling pin a little at first to break them up. The crumbs don't have to be very fine or all the same size, it's OK if they are a little bit chunky. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to whiz up the crumbs if you have one.
Melt the butter in a bowl over a simmering pan of water on medium-low heat. Add the melted butter to the crumbs and mix well.
Pour the crumb mixture into the pan. Spread the mixture over the entire bottom of the pan and press down well with the back of a spoon. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
Make the Cheesecake filling
Slice the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds.
Add the sugar, Philadelphia cream cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, and vanilla seeds to a large bowl. Use an electric mixer on a medium speed to combine the ingredients.
Once the ingredients are combined, add the eggs and mix again.
Bake the cheesecake base and filling
Remove the cheesecake crust from the fridge. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust and spread it around evenly.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
Tip: I'm using a fan-assisted oven. Your oven may bake more quickly or slowly than mine. I suggest testing the cheesecake after about thirty minutes to see if it's cooked. The cake should be firm when you shake the pan. It's OK if the cake is a little bit wobbly in the center, it will set more once cooled.
Once cooked, remove the cheesecake from the oven to a cooling rack. When the cake has cooled, place it in the fridge for two to three hours.
How to make a strawberry topping
While the cream cheese layer is cooking/cooling, it's time to gather the strawberry ingredients to make the strawberry topping.
Tip: If you can't get strawberries, you can use strawberry preserves to make the topping instead.
Cut the strawberries into small pieces and add to a small saucepan with the water, lemon (or lime) juice, and cornflower.
Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. (Around fifteen to twenty minutes). Set aside and allow to cool.
Tip: The strawberries won't break down in the sauce so the size they are in the pot will be the size that ends up on your snack bars.
Assembling copycat cheesecake snack bars
Remove the cheesecake from the fridge.
Run a hot knife around the insides of the pan to loosen the cheesecake if it's stuck.
The best way to lift the cheesecake out of the pan is by using the overlapping baking parchment as handles.
Cut the cheesecake into eight equal slices.
Tip: If your square cake pan has rounded corners, the corner slices of cheesecake will be rounded too. You could cut off the rounded corners to make all of the cheesecake slices nice and straight although, I find that a waste of good cheesecake!
Spoon some of the strawberry topping onto each of the cheesecake slices. Make sure to spread the topping to the edge of each cheesecake slice.
Pop the slices back into the fridge while you make the white chocolate drizzle.
Making a white chocolate drizzle
Melt the chocolate in a Bain-marie or a heat-proof jug over a pot of simmering hot water. It's important not to let the jug touch the bottom of the pan because that might cause the chocolate to burn.
Tip: You can melt the chocolate in the microwave if you prefer.
Pour the melted chocolate into a food-safe bag and snip off a corner with scissors.
Drizzle the chocolate back and forth over the cheesecake snack bars. I didn't get this bit perfect. Sometimes, more chocolate squirted out of the bag than I intended and I ended up in a bit of a mess! I figure, as these are supposed to be copycat Philadelphia strawberry snack bars, it doesn't matter if they are not perfect! I'm sure next time, I'll be better at drizzling!
Strawberry snack bars taste test!
Whether these copycat Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars taste as good as the original Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake snack bars I cannot say. However, when they disappear in no time and my entire family is in favor of me making them again, that is definitely good enough for me!
The hobnob crust is delicious and stays together nicely (you can even pick the slices up with your hands).
Thanks to the lack of heavy cream, the creamy cheesecake layer is smooth and light as a feather.
The fresh strawberry topping adds just the right amount of zing and together with the white chocolate drizzle completes this dreamy dessert snack bar.
This copycat Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake snack bars recipe with a creamy cheesecake layer and a zingy strawberry topping is an indulgent treat and perfect for summer. But then, why save them for summer? Strawberry snack bars would be great for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Birthdays, celebrations, or any other day with an 'a' in it too!
Tip: We all agreed that the Philadelphia copycat snack bars tasted better the day after baking. After being stored in the fridge overnight, they were nicely chilled and firm.
A note about springform pans
Springform pans come in many shapes and sizes. In the USA, you would use a 9x9 pan for this recipe. In Europe, you would use a 26x26cm pan and slightly increase the amount of filling used.
Lime juice is a good alternative to lemon juice. I used lime juice in this Philadelphia cheesecake copycat recipe and the strawberry topping was delicious.
This recipe makes eight slices.
You could easily cut the snack bar slices in half if you wanted to make them for a crowd.
Alternatively, double or triple the recipe accordingly.
Store Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to three days.
As with any cheesecake, copycat Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars can be stored in the freezer.
Wrap the snack bars in plastic wrap and freeze them individually. Once they are frozen you can pop them all into an air-tight freezer container.
I recommend freezing the snack bars before adding the strawberry topping to avoid the topping sticking to the plastic wrap. You can easily whip up some fresh strawberry topping when you're ready to eat your snack bars.
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Philadelphia cheesecake snack bars
Creamy cheesecake dessert bars with a zingy strawberry topping and white chocolate drizzle
- Crust ingredients
- 1 ½ cups / 80g Graham crackers/Digestive biscuits/Hobnobs
- 2oz / 57g Butter (softened)
- Cheesecake mixture
- ¼ cup / 60g Sour cream/Greek yogurt
- 2 8oz packs / 454g Philadelphia cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract or seeds from one vanilla pod
- 2 Eggs (room temperature)
- Strawberry & lime topping
- 1 ½ cups / 83g cups Fresh strawberries
- 3 Tablespoons Water
- 5 Tablespoons / 63g Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice/lime juice
- 2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
- Chocolate Drizzle
- ½ cup / 80g White chocolate (chips or chocolate bar)
- Line a 9x9” pan with baking parchment. Grease the baking parchment with butter (or oil).
- Crush biscuits with a rolling pin or whiz in a food processor.
- Melt butter in a bain-marie on medium-low heat. Add melted butter to crumbs and mix well.
- Pour the crumb mixture into the pan. Spread the mixture over the entire bottom of the pan and press down well with the back of a spoon. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds.
- Add the sugar, Philadelphia cream cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, and vanilla seeds to a large bowl. Use an electric mixer on a medium speed to combine the ingredients.
- Once the ingredients are combined, add the eggs and mix again.
- Remove the cheesecake crust from the fridge. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust and spread it around evenly.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove the cheesecake from the oven to a cooling rack. When the cake has cooled, place it in the fridge for two to three hours.
- Cut the strawberries into small pieces and add to a small saucepan with the water, lemon (or lime) juice, and cornflower.
- Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. (Around fifteen to twenty minutes). Set aside and allow to cool.
- Cut the cheesecake into eight equal slices.
- Spoon some of the strawberry topping onto each of the cheesecake slices. Pop the slices back into the fridge while you make the white chocolate drizzle.
- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or microwave oven.
- Pour the melted chocolate into a food-safe bag and snip off a corner with scissors. Drizzle the chocolate back and forth over the cheesecake snack bars.
- Your oven may bake more quickly or slowly than mine. I suggest testing the
cheesecake after about thirty minutes to see if it's cooked. The cake
should be firm when you shake the pan. It's OK if the cake is a
little bit wobbly in the center, it will set more once cooled.
- If you can't get strawberries, you can use strawberry preserves to make the topping instead.
- Springform pans come in many shapes and sizes. In the USA, you would use a 9x9 pan for this recipe. In Europe, you would use a 26x26cm pan and slightly increase the amount of filling.
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These sound so good. I remember the bars in stores years ago.
I don't know if they sell them in food stores in the US anymore.
Jayne Westerholt says
Hi Cindy! The original Philadelphia snack bars were discontinued years ago but these copycat snack bars are even better since they're homemade and very yummy!
These look SO good! You had me at cheesecake!
Jayne Westerholt says
I get it, Sara! I love cheesecake and these snack bars are so easy to grab and go!
Yum! These look so tasty. Your version of crust sound really good. Sometimes improvising yields the best results!
Jayne Westerholt says
Thanks, Marie! The cheesecake crust is probably the best I've ever made, it's so delicious and stays nice and firm!
Yum, this looks delicious! I am pinning this recipe.
Jayne Westerholt says
Thanks, Kippi! These cheesecake snack bars are so delicious!
I left a comment yesterday but not sure it went through! Anyway, these sound like the perfect sweet treat for any summer gathering!
Jayne Westerholt says
They definitely are perfect, Marie!
Yum, these look amazing! I cannot wait to try them.
Jayne Westerholt says
Thanks so much, Kippi! Definitely try these snack bars, they are delicious!