Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars | Handle The Heat
Filed Under: Bar Dessert | Cheesecake | Dessert

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars

By Tessa Arias
January 9th, 2019
4.88 from 8 votes
4.88 from 8 votes

These Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars turn the classic French dessert into something even easier and tastier! Graham cracker crust, vanilla bean cheesecake filling, and a bruleed sugar topping. YUM!

Yield: 9 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 45 minutes

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! 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, it's such a crowdpleaser.

You know what’s great about these Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars? 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. Certainly easier than traditional creme brulee!

These Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars turn the classic French dessert into something even easier and tastier! Graham cracker crust, vanilla bean cheesecake filling, and a bruleed sugar topping. YUM!

But truly the best part? You get to light them on fire with a kitchen torch! If you don’t have one, you can also use your broiler. But the kitchen torch produces much better results. Plus it’s just plain fun to use. Add one to your wish list!

These Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars turn the classic French dessert into something even easier and tastier! Graham cracker crust, vanilla bean cheesecake filling, and a bruleed sugar topping. YUM!

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. Also be sure to torch the topping on a heat-safe work surface with nothing flammable nearby. Who knew cheesecake could be so fun?

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars Recipe Tips

How to Make Smooth & Creamy Cheesecake

Make sure all of your ingredients are completely at room temperature. The cream cheese specifically needs to be totally 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.

To ensure there’s no lumps, also 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 don’t always catch everything, especially at the very bottom of the bowl.

If it’s a cold day, you often have lumpy cheesecake, and you’re using a metal mixing bowl, you might want to run the bowl under warm water then dry thoroughly before mixing your cheesecake batter.

Creme Brulee Key Ingredient

The key to making that deliciously flavorful and rich creme brulee flavor is VANILLA. I love to use vanilla paste in this recipe because it gives a generous dose of vanilla without having to cut open and scrape a vanilla pod. If you’d prefer to use a pod, then use 1. If you only have extract, then just use the same amount as the paste called for.

How to Make Ahead of Time

Store the untopped (non-bruleed) cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The bruleed topping should be completed soon before serving so it stays crunchy.

These Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars turn the classic French dessert into something even easier and tastier! Graham cracker crust, vanilla bean cheesecake filling, and a bruleed sugar topping. YUM!

More Cheesecake Bar Recipes:

4.88 from 8 votes

How to make
Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 9 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Chilling time 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
These Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars turn the classic French dessert into something even easier and tastier! Graham cracker crust, vanilla bean cheesecake filling, and a bruleed sugar topping. YUM!


For the crust:

  • 9 whole (135 grams) graham crackers
  • 5 tablespoons (72 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese, completely softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the brulee topping:

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar


For the crust:

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

  2. 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:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese at medium-high speed until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

  2. Add the cream then the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla paste, and salt one at a time and beat until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 300°F until the cheesecake is set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 35 minutes. Do not overbake.

  4. Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack to cool completely in the pan. Cover and chill until firm, at least 4 hours. Using the foil overhang, transfer the cheesecake to a heat safe work surface and cut into squares.

  5. 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 (just don’t walk away – it goes from bruleed to black fast!). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

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!)

Tessa Arias

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  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Julia — October 25, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    Hello! I am planning on making these for a work meeting at around noon. If I brule the morning of, do you think they will be fine by noon? In other words, how long will the brule last before it softens?

    • #
      Emily — October 26, 2022 at 7:28 am

      Hi Julia! Wow, how lucky are your coworkers! For best results, we recommend serving soon after the tops are torched as they typically begin to soften after about an hour. It’ll still be delicious after softening, but obviously won’t give you that delicious crunch factor. While a bit strange to bring to work lol, would you be able to bring the sugar topping and your kitchen torch with you and torch them just before serving? 🙂 Let us know what everyone thinks!

  2. #
    Laura — August 4, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Hi! Can they be frozen after they’ve been bruleed? Thanks!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 8, 2022 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Laura! These bars will freeze beautifully before bruleeing, but they are definitely best served when bruleed right before serving, so the topping stays crunchy and delicious. If you freeze them after they have been bruleed, the sugar will melt when thawing and it will likely become a sticky mess – but it should still taste fine! 🙂

  3. #
    Liz — March 20, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Made this today, they are absolutely delicious! I did however have some troubles along the way, I had to bake them probably for 20 minutes longer than the recipe asks for (so like 55min ish instead of 35) until it was somewhat set and so I think I might have overbaked the top – any tips on how to improve this? higher temps? (I made it in a glass dish as that’s all I have, but I don’t know if that is even that relevant)
    Can strongly recommend the recipe, such a beautiful mix of cheesecake and creme brulee, but if you’re making it for an event I would suggest a test run just to ensure that things run smoothly on the day of.

    • #
      Emily — March 21, 2022 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Liz! Yes, your glass dish would be the issue as glass pans actually take longer to bake. I’m so glad you still enjoyed this recipe 🙂 Try using a metal baking pan next time (our favorite is by USA Pan). Also, do you have an oven thermometer? If not, I’d recommend getting one so you can ensure that your oven is at the proper temp (everyone’s ovens are different – mine actually takes an additional 15 minutes after beeping that it’s ready for it to be at the correct temperature!). I hope that helps!

  4. #
    kelly — January 30, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    Fail. Undercooked. Afterward, I looked through similar recipes on this site and they say to cook with filling at 350 for 45 minutes, but this one says to cook at 300 for 35 minutes. Did I misread?

    • #
      Emily — February 1, 2022 at 12:42 pm

      Sorry to hear of your issues, Kelly! No, the recipe is correct. What kind of pan did you use? Also, do you have an oven thermometer?

      • #
        Kelly — February 2, 2022 at 11:42 pm

        metal. 8X8. No oven thermometer, but oven does run hot. I even left it in about 5 minutes over the 35. It was jiggly in the center, but not sloshy, so seemed like it looked as is suppose to. Was just curious why this recipe would have a lower temp./cook time than the other cheesecake bars. I’m definitely going to try it again – will just cook higher/longer, because it tasted really good (just more custardy than cheesecakey).

        • #
          Emily — February 3, 2022 at 11:55 am

          This recipe has less cream cheese than our Classic Cheesecake Bars, for example, so it doesn’t take as long, and the texture is meant to be custardy and smooth. Did you let it chill to see if it set up?

  5. #
    Kate — July 12, 2021 at 5:25 am

    These are AMAZING!! I made them for a family get-together and everyone went crazy over them. One person said they were the best thing they’ve ever eaten!

    • #
      Tessa — July 12, 2021 at 3:39 pm

      Wow! I’m so happy to hear they were such a hit!

  6. #
    Vered Carmel Dahbash — January 25, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Very good one! How did you do this lemon above the cake?

  7. #
    Jessica — January 7, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Made this recipe for New Years Eve with gluten free graham crackers and served with some mixed berry coulis and it was BOMB! The texture of the cheesecake was lovely and smooth. I used a vanilla bean because I had one and its what I would normally use to make creme brulee (and I also like when you can see the vanilla seeds) but even with an added splash of vanilla extract it still could have used a little more vanilla flavour. It think because you don’t heat/steep the cream with the vanilla, the batter just doesn’t take on the flavour the same way, so I will definitely give the vanilla paste a try next time as is recommended in the recipe. Thanks so much, this one is a keeper!

    • #
      Tessa — January 8, 2021 at 10:53 am

      So happy to hear that! Thank you so much, Jessica!

  8. #
    Emy — December 26, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    If we don’t have graham crackers what shall we use?
    Digestive biscuit is ok ?

  9. #
    Farin — July 13, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Can I make these into teeny bite size cheesecakes? If so how long do you think I should bake them for.

  10. #
    Suzanne — February 4, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    This looks so good! What a delicious twist on some classic cheesecake bars!

  11. #
    Sarah — November 19, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Everyone who tastes this loves it and wants the recipe. It is a staple at our family gatherings.

  12. #
    Dalia — October 11, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Estupendo!!!! Fácil y delicioso. Cariños desde Argentina.

  13. #
    Nancy Leatherman — April 1, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Big hit! Mine took almost 10 minutes longer to firm up while baking but otherwise really eat!

  14. #
    cake lover — January 19, 2019 at 1:16 am

    cheesecake… so delicious dish

  15. #
    Ashley — January 12, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    OMG! I’ve never seen anything like this before! Yum!

  16. #
    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

  17. #
    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

  18. #
    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

  19. #
    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

  20. #
    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.

  21. #
    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!

  22. #
    Alisa — January 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Nevermind, I re read the top, thank you.

  23. #
    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.

  24. #
    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!

  25. #
    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


  26. #
    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!

    • #
      Mitch — January 29, 2022 at 8:29 pm

      Hi, how much extract if I dont have paste on hand? Tnx

      • #
        Emily — February 1, 2022 at 9:31 am

        Hi Mitch! Check out the pink tip box above the recipe for more details 🙂

  27. #
    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!

  28. #
    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.

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


  30. #
    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.

  31. #
    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?

  32. #
    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.

  33. #
    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.

  34. #
    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.

  35. #
    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 –

  36. #
    Marie-Claude — April 26, 2014 at 7:28 pm

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

  37. #
    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!

  38. #
    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

  39. #
    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.

  40. #
    cristina — November 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

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

  41. #
    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!

  42. #
    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!

  43. #
    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.

  44. #
    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.

  45. #
    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.

  46. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — August 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

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

  47. #
    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! 🙂

  48. #
    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.

  49. #
    Sarah — August 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

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

  50. #
    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!

  51. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — August 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

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

  52. #
    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!!

  53. #
    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!

  54. #
    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. 🙂

  55. #
    cassie — August 23, 2013 at 8:03 am

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

  56. #
    [email protected] — August 23, 2013 at 7:34 am

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

  57. #
    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!

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