Chocolatey crust, creamy filling, and decadent Nutella make these Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars a delicious and easy dessert.
Nutella is the Greatest!
I love Nutella! I first had Nutella when I went to Italy when I was 10. We would sit at the hotel eating breakfast and they had this delicious, chocolatey spread in the bowl where they kept the jelly. I had no idea what it was at the time, but it quickly became out favorite. We would spread it on toast and eat as much of it as we could. Now, my daughter has Nutella almost every morning on crackers or a bagel. Sometimes I sneak some Chia Seeds on them just to add some nutrition.
Let's Make the Crust
The easiest way to get the bars out of the pan is to first lay a piece of parchment paper down on the pan. This can be kind of tricky, but I have a tip for you! Take the parchment paper that you are going to use and crumple it into a ball. Then uncrumple it and place it in the pan. It will now get all in corners of the pan without coming up! Make sure that there is enough parchment paper left so you have a little handle over the edges of the pan. This will allow you to easily lift the bars out of the pan.
Normal cheesecakes have a graham cracker crust. When I was thinking about making these cheesecake bars, I wanted to try something a little different, and chocolate bunny crackers were the answer! I've linked them here!
Pulverize them in the food processor just as you would regular graham crackers for the crust. I did not add sugar because the cookies have enough sugar in them already. Add melted butter to the food processor and continue processing it until it resembles wet sand. When that happens, pour it into the pan and evenly spread it throughout the bottom of the prepared pan. A trick to doing this is to take the bottom of a ¼ cup measuring cup and pat it down on the crust. This will get it into all the corners of the pan. Bake that for about 5-8 minutes and then let it cool.
Let's Make the Filling
You will want to use 2 bricks of cream cheese and make sure that they are at room temperature. If they aren't at room temperature and softened, the mixture will look curdled. It will still be fine, but you want to try to get the mixture as soft and as smooth as possible. Beating the cream cheese and the sugar for a few minutes before adding anything else will keep these cheesecake bars airy and light. Once you have beaten the cream cheese and the sugar together, add the egg and the vanilla. Continue to beat that until the mixture is completely combined. You may need to scrape down the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated. Once everything is combined, pour that on top of the crust.
Time to Swirl!
Now let's get to the swirling fun! It's easiest to melt the Nutella before you try to put it on the cheesecake filling. Put it into a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for about 1 minute. Then, take a spoonful of the Nutella and place it on the cheesecake. Continue doing that until you are happy with the amount of Nutella on the cheesecake. In this size pan, you usually can get 5 or 6 drops of Nutella throughout. Then, take a butter knife and gently swirl the Nutella into the cheesecake mixture. You will want to get the knife into the cheesecake part through the Nutella. Move the knife throughout the cheesecake to get the swirling effect. Try not to go so far into the cheesecake that you hit the crust. You want to avoid hitting the crust.
These bars will need to bake for about 30-35 minutes. The bars should be puffy and lightly golden brown. They will still be a little bit jiggly when you take them out, but that's ok, there's some carry over cooking that will take place. Cool them for about an hour before you try to take them out of the pan. Lift them out of the pan with the overhung parchment paper. Cool them even further on a cooling rack. You can drizzle them with some more Nutella once they are cut and cooled. The more Nutella the better if you ask me! The bars can be eaten room temperature, but I think they are even better if you refrigerator them and serve them cold.
Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups Chocolate Bunny Graham Cracker Cookies I used Annie's
- 6 TBS Melted Butter Salted
- 2 Packages Cream Cheese Room Temperature
- 1 Egg
- ⅓ cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Nutella
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, process the chocolate bunnies for about 1 minute until they are pulverized and the texture of sand. Pour in the melted butter and continue to pulse that until it is thoroughly mixed together and the consistency of wet sand. Pour the crust into the prepared pan and pack it down so it forms a tight crust. Place that in the oven and bake it for 8 minutes. Take it out and let it cool while you make the filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and the sugar on high for 3-4 minutes until it is light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat that for another minute. Pour the cream cheese filling into the prepared 8x8 pan.
- Place the Nutella in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 1 minute to get it thinner and able to be easily spread.
- When the Nutella is ready, take a spoonful and drop it on the cheesecake. Do that 4 or 5 times evenly throughout the cheesecake. When you feel there is enough Nutella, use a butter knife and swirl the cheesecake and the Nutella together. Do not go too far into the cream cheese filling. You don't want to disturb the crust.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will expand and look puffy, but it will sink back once it is cooled. The cheesecake should look lightly browned and puffy when it is done, which takes about 30 minutes depending on your oven.
- Let the cheesecake bars cool completely before you take them out of the pan. You can eat these as soon as they are cooled, but they are so good cooled in the refrigerator and them eaten chilled. Drizzle with more Nutella if you would like.
- Allow the bars to cool to room temperature before cutting into them.
- They will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
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