Filed Under: Cheesecake | Chocolate

Bailey’s Cheesecake Bars

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
March 10th, 2020

Bailey’s Cheesecake Bars feature a chocolate graham cracker crust, Irish cream cheesecake filling with a hint of espresso, and a fudgy layer of rich chocolate ganache on top. Perfect St. Patrick's Day treat!

Yield: 9 bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 55 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Sweet with a punch of Bailey’s, a hint of espresso, and the perfect amount of chocolate.
Texture: My favorite part. A generous crunchy buttery crust is the ideal base for the rich and smooth filling and fudgy ganache topping.
Ease: Much simpler and easier than a full size cheesecake!
Pros: Perfect St. Patrick’s Day entertaining recipe since it’s made ahead of time.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Definitely.

This recipe truly has it all:

Chocolate.
Booze.
Cream cheese.

Does dessert get better than that?

Row of Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake Bars cut into squares

This recipe was made specifically for St. Patrick’s Day… but I won’t tell anyone if you make it throughout the year just because it’s so good.

For me, ganache basically belongs on cheesecake. And this ganache is special because it actually uses Bailey’s in addition to regular cream. So you’re getting Irish Cream both in the filling and in the ganache.

Slicing Bailey's Cheesecake into squares

I love cheesecake bars not just because they’re quicker and easier to make, transport, and serve. But also because you get a better crust to filling ratio.

As much as I love cheesecake filling, I particularly adore the contrast of that rich and lucious filling with the buttery crunchy crust. And with slices of classic full sized cheesecake, there’s sometimes too much filling.

I know that’s kind of heresy to say… but it’s just how I feel. I’m ALL about the texture. And that’s the absolute best part of this recipe!

How to Make Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake Bars

How to Make a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust

Simply use chocolate graham crackers instead of traditional ones! If you can’t find them, you can also use the same amount by weight of chocolate wafer cookies or even chocolate Teddy Grahams.

When I first tested this recipe I used Oreo cookies but really didn’t like the flavor combination with the Irish Cream. It was too sweet and rich and competed with the Bailey’s, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Bailey's Cheesecake Bars in the baking pan with fresh ganache spread all over the top

How to Make Rich & Creamy Lump Free Cheesecake

Make sure all of your cream cheese is completely softened. If it’s a cold day, then the cream cheese will need to sit on the counter for several hours or you may need to nuke it in the microwave until it’s completely soft.

For a smooth batter, be sure to scrape down your mixing bowl thoroughly after adding pretty much every ingredient. Even if you have a beater attachment that scrapes as it goes (those often make things worse unfortunately). Use a spatula with a pointed angle to get every little nook and cranny including the very bottom of the bowl.

If lumpy cheesecake is a common issue for you, try running your mixing bowl under warm water then dry thoroughly before mixing your cheesecake batter.

Use only high quality bricks of full fat cream cheese for cheesecake. Sometimes even generic cream cheese brands are too watery.

What’s the best baking pan for cheesecake bars?

I’d highly recommend using a quality metal baking pan. Glass and ceramic take much longer to bake and you’re more likely to end up with an undercooked or rubbery cheesecake.

How to Avoid Overbaking Cheesecake

You’re looking for the edges of the cheesecake to be just slightly golden and for the top of the cheesecake to look dry. However, the key is for the center to remain slightly jiggly.

After the cheesecake has baked we turn off the oven but allow the the cheesecake to remain inside with the oven door just cracked open for 30 minutes. This not only helps to finish off the cheesecake baking without over cooking, but the gentle cool down also helps to prevent cracks.

However, if cracks form in this recipe it’s not a huge problem because the ganache will hide any imperfections.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes! Just double all of the ingredients and bake in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan, checking for doneness at about 45 minutes.

How to Make Cheesecake Bars Ahead of Time

Store the cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.

Bailey's cheesecake bar on a plate with a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream

More Cheesecake Bar Recipes:

More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes:

How to make
Bailey’s Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 9 bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Chilling time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Bailey’s Cheesecake Bars feature a chocolate graham cracker crust, Irish cream cheesecake filling with a hint of espresso, and a fudgy layer of rich chocolate ganache on top. Perfect St. Patrick's Day treat!

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 10 (150 grams) chocolate graham crackers
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese, completely softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur

For the topping:

  • 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur

Directions

Make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan using the bottom of a measuring cup or glass. Bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Make the filling:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until it’s completely smooth and creamy. Add in the sugar and beat until totally combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add the sour cream then the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. Add in vanilla, espresso powder, and salt and blend on low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the Irish Cream. Don’t over mix.
  2. Spread batter evenly over cooled crust. Bake at 325°F until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and crack the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to rack to let cool completely.

  3. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours.

Make the topping:

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in the Irish Cream. If needed, allow to cool and thicken. Pour over the cheesecake.
  2. Serve or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: St. patrick's day

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Join the Handle the Heat Community
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!

Instagram

As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed
Join the Baking Challenge! Join the Baking Challenge!   Learn More
close
open