Happy Birthday, America! We’re celebrating with these 4th of July Patriotic Cheesecake Bars, homemade cheeseburgers, and heading out to the fireworks show. This post contains affiliate links.
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How to make 4th of July Patriotic Cheesecake Bars
This cheesecake is perfect for Easter or a little Spring Equinox celebration at home. It’s made in a 9 x 13 pan.
You can cut large bars and get about a dozen, or you can cut them smaller and get up to two dozen bars. I prefer to cut the smaller bars because it’s such a rich treat.
Before you begin, cover the bottom and sides of the 9 x 13 pan in foil, so you can easily lift out the cheesecake for cutting into squares.
For these cheesecake bars, I always use an OREO cookie crust. I much prefer the flavor to a graham cracker crust. Plus, the creme filling of the OREOs just hold the crust together. For this Easter version, I like to use golden OREOs, but chocolate OREOs work just as good.
I do not recommend using double stuff OREO cookies. I have made so many of the cheesecakes and tried it, and the crust just doesn’t hold up as well as with regular OREO cookies.
How do you color your cheesecake batter?
While the crust is cooling, make the cheesecake batter.
Once you have made the batter, divide it into three bowls – one in blue, one in red, and one not colored. I find that gel food coloring work best for brighter colors, but in a pinch, the liquid food coloring works well, too.
These food coloring gels are what I use. They’re made in the USA and color beautifully. For this patriotic cheesecake, I used royal blue and super red. I find two squirts of each color is best for a more vibrant coloring.
Then, I just randomly drop each of the colors onto the crust. Tapping the pan on the counter a couple times smooths out the batter. Then, I run a butter knife through the colors to swirl it, and then I tap again before putting it in the oven.
How do you prevent cracks in a cheesecake?
The secret to a good cheesecake without cracks is preventing it from getting too hot. I’ve seen many times where a recipe has you place the cheesecake pan directly in a water bath while it cooks, but I don’t like that. There are just so many ways I would mess that up.
Awhile ago, I found What’s Cooking America recommends just setting a baking pan like a cookie sheet half filled with water on the lower rack and placing the cheesecake in the middle of the top rack with the top rack set at the middle level of the oven.
I put the water pan in the oven about 10 minutes before I put the cheesecake. When I cook cheesecakes this way, they come out beautifully.
I will warn you that the cheesecake will come out puffed up when it’s hot and there might be some tiny cracks on the edges. However, if you let it sit on the counter for an hour before putting it in the fridge to cool, the cheesecake will settle down, and you won’t see any cracks once it settles.
To keep it looking lovely, I let the cheesecake cool on the counter for an hour or so, and then I put it in the fridge for a minimum of four hours. If I have the time, I will keep it in the fridge overnight.
Decorating your 4th of July Patriotic Cheesecake Bars
After the cheesecake has set in the fridge, I pull it out and let it sit for about an hour before I decorate it. You can decorate however you’d like or keep it plain. I like to use a combination of sprinkles and colored sanding sugars.
How do you cut a cheesecake into bars?
My secret to cutting pretty squares of cheesecake is using a hot knife. I run it under hot water until the blade is completely hot. Then, I wipe off the water and slice. This will make pretty squares without any extra clumps of cheese. I do this after cutting each line vertical and horizontal in the cheesecake.
More 4th of July Patriotic Treats & Eats
- 4th of July Fruit Pizza
- Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Hot Cocoa Bombs
- 4th of July Fireworks Ice Cream Floats
- Bomb Pop Cupcakes
- Cherry Bombs
More 4th of July Fun
- Free Kids 4th of July Printable Games
- Red, White & Blue Edible SLIME with a 4th of July Scavenger Hunt
- DIY Marshmallow Catapult
- DIY Patriotic Flag Waving Wands
- 30 Golden OREOs, crushed
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- 24 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4-pack pastel gel food coloring
- Red, White, and Blue sprinkles
- Colored sugar sprinkles
- Line a 13 x 9 pan with foil.
- Preheat oven to 325 F degrees.
- Use a food processor or blender to crush 30 Golden OREOS.
- Combine the crumbs with 1 melted stick of butter.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
- Place a large cookie sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Add water to the cookie pan and fill it half full.
- Combine softened cream cheese and sugar until completely blended.
- Add the eggs and mix one at a time.
- Add the vanilla and mix.
- Add the sour cream and flour and mix until combined.
- Divide into three bowls and dye each bowl - uncolored, red, and blue
- Drop random spoonfuls of each color cheesecake on the crust.
- Gently swirl the cheesecake colors with a butter knife.
- Gently tap the pan on the counter to smooth out the batter.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- Allow cheesecake to cool for an hour before putting it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Allow the cheesecake to set on the counter for awhile after taking it out of the fridge.
- Shake sanding sugars all over the cheesecake.
- Shake sprinkles all over the cheesecake.
- Slice into squares and serve.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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U.S. Cake Supply 12 Color Cake Food Coloring Liqua-Gel Decorating Set - .75 fl. Oz. (20ml) Bottles Primary Colors
KOOV Bakeware Set, Ceramics Baking Dish Set, Rectangular Casserole Dish Set, Baking Pans, Lasagna-Pans Deep for Cooking Cake Dinner, Kitchen, 9 x 13 Inches, Reactive Glaze 2-Piece (Variable Blue)