Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 9 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 45 minutes

These Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars turn the classic French dessert into something even easier and tastier!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: I love the intense vanilla aroma and flavor from the vanilla bean paired with the tang of the cream cheese which is offset by the sweetness of the sugar.
Texture: The best part! The crust is chewy and buttery, the filling is thick, smooth, and luscious, and the brulee topping is shatteringly crunchy.
Ease: Much easier than a full cheesecake or creme brulee! I used a kitchen torch to make mine but if you don’t have one a broiler should work fine.
Appearance: I just love the deep amber color of the burnt sugar on top. Plus these are perfect little squares!
Pros: Tasty twist on the classic dessert.
Cons: Not exactly diet friendly, but hey, at least the bars are smaller than slices of big cheesecake!
Would I make this again? Yes, probably because Jared loves cheesecake + vanilla so much. I prefer chocolate!

Creme Brule Cheesecake Bars from

Are you guys on Vine? I hopped on the Vine bandwagon when it was first released then completely forgot about it afterwards. That is until my little brother reintroduced me with some hilarious videos and now I am completely addicted. I seriously did not realize how much time I could dedicate to watching videos that are only 6 seconds long. It’s pretty crazy how much time some of these Vine “celebrities” spend on creating their wild videos. Who are your favorite people to follow? Favorite videos? I wish I was funny and interesting but the only things I’ve ever posted to Vine or Instagram are basically pictures of food and my dog…

So let’s talk more about food then! I happen to think these creme brulee cheesecake bars are pretty interesting, actually. They require no custard making skills, no ramekins, no water baths, nothing too difficult at all. These bars are even easier than a traditional cheesecake. And you get to light them on fire with a kitchen torch! You may have noticed I recently purchased a kitchen torch and have been slightly obsessed with finding uses for it. It came in handy when making these S’mores Fudge Bars. It’s just plain fun to use. It’s also pretty cool to watch the sugar turn into liquid, deepen in color, and completely harden all within minutes. Don’t get too carried away, though, or you may set off your smoke detector. Who knew cheesecake could be so fun?

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Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars

Yields 9 bars
Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 45 minutes Total Time 1 hr


  • For the crust: 9 whole graham crackers 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • For the filling: 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 large egg yolk 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • For the brulee topping: 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. For the crust:
    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil, leaving an overhang.

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

    For the filling:
    Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth (you can also use an electric mixer). Add the sugar, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla bean seeds, and salt and pulse until well combined and smooth.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the cheesecake is set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 45 minutes. Do no overbake.

    Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack to cool completely in the pan. Cover and chill until firm, at least 2 hours. Using the foil overhang, transfer the cheesecake to a work surface and cut into squares.

    On a heat-safe work surface, sprinkle the tops of each square with sugar and torch the tops with a kitchen torch until it turns a deep amber color. Alternatively, use a broiler to brown the sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Recipe Notes

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram with #handletheheat so we can all see!

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!)

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57 Responses to “Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars”

  1. #
    Tieghan — August 23, 2013 at 5:01 am

    These look incredible! I actually just made a similar bar dessert because I am kind of obsessed with torching things! LOl!

    These look amazing, Tessa!

  2. #
    [email protected] — August 23, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Creme brulee in cheesecake form?! Yes, please! These bars look wonderful!

  3. #
    cassie — August 23, 2013 at 8:03 am

    This is such a great idea. We love cheesecake and the brulee topping is gorgeous!!

  4. #
    Erica Lea | Buttered Side Up — August 23, 2013 at 8:05 am

    This looks amazing, Tessa! Reuben would be pretty pleased if I made these for him – cheesecake is about his favorite dessert. Gorgeous photo, BTW. As far as Vine goes, I enjoy Donna Boucher, Iambaker and 5ftinf’s videos. And yeah, I mostly post video of food and Helen. 🙂

  5. #
    Diane @ Vintage Zest — August 23, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Uh oh, this looks ridiculously amazing (and therefore dangerous!). I don’t know whether or not to thank you or not! I just used a kitchen torch for the first time a few weeks ago to torch some marshmallows for National S’mores Day. I’m obsessed!

  6. #
    Gerry @ foodness gracious — August 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Aww why’d you have to go and make these, my fav dessert of all time!!

  7. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — August 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Honestly, I’m drooling here! These look amazing!!

  8. #
    Bethany — August 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I’m just curious how these keep? I make desserts for my coworkers all the time, and these would be perfect! But would the creme brulee topping stay crispy overnight so I could take them to work in the morning?

    • #
      Tessa — August 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      We had them in the fridge for about 3 days and they kept well – the creme brulee topping was relatively softened by the third day but still tasted great! Serving them the next morning should work fine!

  9. #
    Sarah — August 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    My best friend would LOVE these – can’t wait to make them for his next birthday:)

  10. #
    Pook — August 24, 2013 at 8:08 am

    There is no cream or creme to this recipe. They are just Brulee Cheesecake Bars. No big deal. Really nothing original about this recipe.

  11. #
    Amanda @ — August 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Beautiful! I made a similar recipe a few months back, but with grapefruit bars instead of cheesecake. Check it out! 🙂

  12. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — August 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    What an amazing dessert idea. Love the spin on this!

  13. #
    Dominique — August 26, 2013 at 10:21 am

    These sound incredible. Love the creativity! Thanks for sharing. I’ll be pinning this in hopes of impressing dinner guests at a later date.

  14. #
    Stefanie — September 5, 2013 at 7:38 am

    I’m wanting to make these a day ahead of time for a wine night with friends. Do you think it would be best if I made the bars ahead of time and then torched them before walking out of the door?

    • #
      Tessa — September 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      You could really do it either way. Just be sure the bars are chilled before serving.

  15. #
    Bossyjocey — September 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Is there a good subsitute for the actual vanilla bean that I can use instead? Having a hard time finding it..:

    • #
      Tessa — September 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      You can just use pure vanilla extract (about 2 teaspoons). At the bottom of the post (above the comments) I included an Amazon link for some vanilla beans but you can also find that at spice or gourmet food stores like Penzey’s or Whole Foods or even Cost Plus World Market.

  16. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    These may just be the best cheesecake bars EVER!

    • #
      Tessa — November 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Thank you Chung-Ah!

  17. #
    Debbi — November 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Rather than using graham crackers, I’d like to use graham cracker crumbs. Any idea how much to substitute for the 9 crackers?

    • #
      Tessa — November 20, 2013 at 9:19 am

      It’d be a little more than half a cup!

  18. #
    cristina — November 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    What a beautiful dessert with all time favs – cheesecake and creme brulee!? Making (and pinning!).

  19. #
    Wendy — January 3, 2014 at 9:43 am

    In the U.K we dont have Graham Crackers. What are they similar to? I guess I could use digestive biscuits which is what I use when I make an ordinary cheesecake?? How many biscuits would I have to use? Could you give me the amount in ounces? I cant wait to have a go making them. And, the recipe is easy enough for me to give it a try!!! I’ll let you know how I get on! By the way, I found you just by accident on a post on facebook. I love the style of your cooking. The only downside is that we dont always have the ingredients available in UK, like the Graham crackers. But then Im sure I could find some substitutes!! Look forward to hearing from you.

  20. #
    Farah @everylittlecrumb — January 23, 2014 at 3:05 am

    Omg these look so good! I love how easy these seem and concise the ingredient list is 🙂 to jump in and answer Wendy above, I live in the Middle East and we also don’t have graham cracker bars. I always sub digestive biscuits and they work just fine. The amount listed in the recipe would come to around 4.5 ounces or 125 grams 🙂 When you’re creative Wendy, even with limited supply at supermarkets you can sub just about anything 😀 Hope that helps

  21. #
    Angela — February 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Oh do you have this in an Australian version, I have never heard of a Graham Biscuit 🙁

    • #
      Tessa — February 23, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      I think digestive biscuits should work fine!

  22. #
    Marie-Claude — April 26, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    This is delicious! I did double batch of crust and it was perfect 🙂

  23. #
    Peter @ Feed Your Soul Too — August 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Really cool recipe and the brulee topping looks great. I featured it on my Friday Five – Cheesecake addition over @Feed Your Soul Too –

  24. #
    Sílvia — August 21, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Hi, this recipe looks amazing and i want to trie ir, but i have kind of a stupid question. i’m purtuguese and i’m having trouble understanding something. The amount if creem chease: is it just 8 ounces or 2 packages, 8 ounces each? Thank you and osrry for my english

    • #
      Tessa — August 21, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Each package is 8 ounces, so a total of 16 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese for the entire recipe.

  25. #
    Diana — September 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Hi when you say 1/2 stick butter… Do you mean half a cup of butter so 1 stick or do you mean 1/2 of a stick which is a 1/4 cup of butter?

    Thank you

    • #
      Tessa — September 9, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Yes 1/2 stick butter = 1/2 stick butter or 1/4 cup or 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons.

  26. #
    Katie — September 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I wanted to use the filling part of this recipe to make cupcakes. I’m making half of the batch. Should I cut the cook time in half??

    • #
      Tessa — September 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Yes! About 22 minutes for cheesecake cupcakes.

  27. #
    Kate — October 1, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Can I use organic cane sugar instead of granulated sugar? Or would you suggest sticking with granulated sugar?

  28. #
    Kaka — October 3, 2014 at 6:35 pm


    Here is Friday night, I am going to make it ahead tonight and serve on Sunday night.
    When the cheesecake is baked, cool it completely and chill it at least 2 hours, do I need to put in freezer or fridge ?
    Then on Sunday, Take it out and cut it, sprinkle sugar on top (I don’t have a burner) and broiler it until brown. How to broil? What’s the temperature?
    After broiler to brown, need to put it back to fridge until serve?

    • #
      Tessa — October 3, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Lots of questions! Chilled means place it in the fridge. Simply adjust an oven rack to the top position and use your oven’s broiler function to brulee the sugar on top. Most ovens simply have a “broil” button, there’s typically not a temperature setting. I would keep the bars chilled until you’re ready to serve, though nothing bad will happen if they’re at room temperature for a couple of hours.

  29. #
    kaka — October 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm


  30. #
    Tara — March 4, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    These were perfect! I loved the crisp brulee topping combined with the cheesecake. Two of my favorite desserts in one.

  31. #
    Paris — April 19, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I have made these twice so far. Had to convert to Aussie measurements and they turned out AMAZING! Hubby isn’t a big cheesecake fan but absolutely loves these ones. I only baked for 30 minutes though as the first time, even though I took off 5 mins, they still over baked (but tasted amazing still). Second time I reduced the time to bake and they turned out perfect!

    • #
      Tessa — April 21, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Wonderful! Were you using a convection oven? That could explain the baking time discrepancy. Either way… glad you and your hubby enjoyed!

  32. #
    Thao @ In Good Flavor — April 27, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    This is going on my must try list! What a brilliant idea to do with cheesecake!

  33. #
    Julie — June 9, 2015 at 7:43 am

    This recipe is very similar to the chocolate covered cheesecake bites. I wanted to make both. Can I just double this recipe and dip half in chocolate?

    • #
      Tessa — June 10, 2015 at 9:49 am


  34. #
    Kim — August 11, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Some cheesecakes recipes calls for sour cream or heavy cream, but u don’t use in this. what difference does it make, thanks.

    • #
      Tessa — August 11, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Kim! Sour cream or heavy cream in cheesecake act as a tenderizer, making the texture more soft and moist. That’s not really necessary here since these are just cheesecake bars and since we are doing the brulee topping!

  35. #
    Alisa — January 6, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Hi, I have a question that may seem obvious to others, but what is the foil overhang? I didn’t notice any mention of foil prior to that part, so I am confused. Excited to make these.

  36. #
    Alisa — January 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Nevermind, I re read the top, thank you.

  37. #
    Candice — March 24, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Love these, can’t wait to try!
    1. I’d like to make these in a mini muffin tin- what time do you estimate for baking?
    2. After I chill them for 2 hours, can I keep them in the mini muffin tin while I broil the sugar topping or should I take them out?
    Thank you!

    • #
      Tessa — March 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      I’d estimate around 20 minutes for the baking time, but keep a careful eye on them! And I would take them out of the tin before broiling the sugar topping, otherwise it might stick to the tin and make a mess. Good luck!

  38. #
    May — April 23, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I have a question, if I want to make it a cheesecake instead of a little bars, do I have to increase anything in this recipe or add something in??

    • #
      Tessa — April 24, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      I’m really not sure, May. I’ve never tried that before.

  39. #
    Martina — December 19, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I’m doing a test run tomorrow for Christmas Day. I would like to bake these in those half pint jars. If I wanted a softer consistency, could I add a little sour cream? (2-4oz?) And do you feel it would freeze for a few days, or should I just wrap tightly and keep refrigerated? Thanks in advance

  40. #
    Shelley Brant — December 24, 2016 at 8:31 am

    I’m making these today and so far so good……I can’t wait for the end product

  41. #
    Shelley — December 24, 2016 at 8:32 am

    I’m making these today and so far so good……I can’t wait for the end product

  42. #
    Nadia — September 17, 2018 at 5:22 am

    Great recipe! I has two questions, if i would bake it by using ℃ how much would it be? And do you bake it normally or by using water bath technique?
    Thank you

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