Recently, we had a fun Valentine’s Day party for all the little girls in our family. We made Chalk of the Town t-shirts, had a charcuterie tray full of sweets, and ate Love Bombs. These lovely Valentine Swirl Cheesecake Bars were part of the spread.
How to make Valentine Swirl Cheesecake Bars
This cheesecake is perfect for a party. 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. You can use chocolate OREOs or golden.
How to 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 pink, 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.
I was out of gel food coloring, so for these Valentine Swirl Cheesecake Bars I ended up using the liquid food coloring. For red, I used 40 drops, and for pink I used only 10 drops of food coloring.
Then, I just randomly drop each of the three 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.
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. I can see 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. When I cook cheesecakes this way, they come out beautifully.
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 Valentine Swirl Cheesecake
After the cheesecake has set overnight, I pull it out of the fridge about an hour before I want to decorate it. You can decorate however you’d like. I like to us a combination of sprinkles from confetti sprinkles and heart sprinkles to pink and white 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 knife is completely hot. Then, I wipe off the water and slice. This will make pretty squares without any extra clumps of cheese.
More Valentine Treats and Eats
- Valentine Bear Cupcakes
- Valentine’s Day Love Bombs
- Easy Valentine Treats
- Valentine’s Day Sweet Charcuterie Board
- Valentine Volcano Cookies
- Love Bug Monster Valentine Cupcakes
Valentine Party Ideas
- A Valentine’s Day Party with Chalk of the Town
- Three Valentine Party Games
- Valentine Scavenger Hunt
- Let’s Make a Loopy Yarn Valentine Wreath
- A Lascivious Love Potion
- 32 OREOs (including creme filling)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 24 oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup flour
- food coloring in pink and red
- Valentine and heart confetti sprinkles
- pink sanding sugar
- white sanding sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 F degrees.
- In a blender or food processor add the 32 OREOs with their creme filling. Pulse on high until they are crumbs.
- Melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Pour the butter into the food processor and pulse a few times to thoroughly mix it into the cookie crumbs.
- Layer a 9 x 13 pan completely with foil so you can lift out the cheesecake when it’s done.
- Press the OREO crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Let cool while making cheesecake batter.
Cheesecake Batter Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 325 F degrees.
- Place the top rack in the middle of the oven.
- Add a large cookie sheet to the lower rack, and fill it halfway with water.
- Cream together the sugar and cream cheese until they are smooth.
- Add the eggs and mix until they are incorporated.
- Add the vanilla, sour cream, and flour and mix until smooth.
- Divide the batter into three bowls and color one bowl pink, one bowl red, and keep one bowl white.
- Spoon each color in random places on the crust.
- Gently tap the pan on the counter to level out the batter.
- Gently swirl all the colors together with a butter knife.
- Place the cheesecake into the oven right above the pan of water and bake for 45 minutes. Do not open the oven.
- If it’s no longer jiggly in the middle, it’s done. Otherwise, check back every 2-3 minutes until no longer jiggly.
- Allow it to cool for an hour or so on the counter. Then, place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Let the cheesecake sit on the counter for about an hour after pulling it out of the fridge before decorating.
- Shake the sanding sugars all over the cheesecake.
- Add the sprinkles on top of the sanding sugars.
- Use a hot knife to cut into squares.