Chocolate Cheesecake Bars {Gluten Free}

A decadent dessert, these Chocolate Cheesecake Bars have a creamy cheesecake filling that is nestled between a chocolate cookie crust and chocolate crumb topping. One of my favorite gluten free desserts!

I’ve never met a cheesecake bar that I haven’t loved.  To me, they are just about the most perfect dessert ever.  The flavor combinations are pretty much endless…and I’ve made a lot them.  Lemon, berry, snickerdoodle, chocolate chip, and double chocolate have to be some of my favorites.  But all of them have hailed from the recipe that I am sharing with you today.

I was first introduced to these little beauties at a Ladies’ Tea that my church was holding.  After the first bite I was smitten, and from that point on, I’ve been making these bars for holidays, birthdays, and just about any gathering that I can find an excuse to make them!

Making the Gluten Free Chocolate Dough

The key to making these bars lies in the dough.  Both the crust and the crumb topping come from the same dough mixture.  The simple recipe is a combination of gluten free flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and butter.  Working these ingredients together does require a few minutes of your time and a bit of elbow grease.  You can certainly opt to use a handheld pastry blender, but I find that combining the ingredients together with my hands allows me to “feel” when the dough is just right.

The goal is for all of the ingredients to be combined, so you will need to work the dry ingredients into the cold butter.  The dough is perfect when large crumbs form and hold together.  If you only have sandy type crumbs in your bowl, you’ll need to work a little longer.

Once the crumbs come together, set aside 2 cups into a separate bowl for later use.  Press the remaining crumbs into a parchment lined 8″ x 10″ baking dish.  Pierce the dough with a fork several times.  Then pop it into a 350 degree oven to bake for 15 minutes.

Making the Cheesecake Filling

The cheesecake filling for this recipe comes together in a snap.  Begin by creaming together an 8 oz. block of cream cheese that has been softened at room temperature.  Once the cream cheese is light and fluffy, add in one 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk and one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (I prefer to use Rodelle). Cream together until smooth.  Lastly, beat in one egg.

When the chocolate crust is done baking, spread 1/2 cup of your favorite berry preserves (mixed with 1 teaspoon of gluten free flour) on top of the crust.   Do not use jelly or jam; they contain a much higher water content.  Select preserves in your favorite flavor.  I recommend black cherry or your favorite berry variety (I used blackberry preserves).

Next, pour the cheesecake mixture over the top.  Lastly, take the reserved crumbs and sprinkle them on top.

Pop the baking dish into the oven to bake for 25 minutes.

Serve Them Chilled

These bars are best served completely chilled.  I know, I know…that requires waiting.  And, yes, it does, but it is so worth it.   I allow these bars to cool completely at room temperature.  I then cover the dish very loosely with foil.  Allow the bars to chill completely in the refrigerator.   Once chilled life the bars out of the baking dish by lifting up the overhanging parchment paper.  Cut into 12 large squares.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - The Gluten Fre Gathering

Select Quality Ingredients

Let me take a moment and just talk about how important it is to select quality ingredients for use in your recipes.  I am a firm believer that quality makes a huge difference in the final product.  If you start with the best, you’ll end up with the best.  Since chocolate is a key player in this recipe, I opt to use my favorite unsweetened cocoa from Rodelle.  While I’ve tried many different brands, I have found that Rodelle’s quality is superior.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a dessert treat that will please just about everyone, I highly recommend trying these Gluten Free Chocolate Cheesecake Bars.  They’ll be on the menu at my house for this Valentine’s Day!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - The Gluten Fre Gathering

I’m proud to be a Brand Ambassador with Rodelle and excited to bring you this recipe in partnership with them. My opinions are my own, and I will only partner with products and brands that I use myself and trust.

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars {Gluten Free}

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesecake, Chocolate, dessert, Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
chilling 6 hours
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Author The Gluten Free Gathering

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold, salted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 & 3/4 cups gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum (I used Bob's 1 to 1)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Jam Layer

  • 1/2 cup berry preserves (blackberry, raspberry, or cherry work well)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free flour blend

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line an 8" x 10" baking dish with enough parchment paper to overhang two opposing sides by an inch.  Set aside.
  • Cut the butter into very small cubes or slices.  Place into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the cocoa powder, flour, and powdered sugar into the bowl.  Using a pastry blender or your hands, work all of the ingredients together until well combined and when large crumbs hold together.
  • Set aside 2 cups of the mixture into a separate bowl for use later in the  recipe.
  • Press the remaining chocolate dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the dish.  Sometimes it is helpful to use a flat bottomed, metal measuring cup to press the dough down.
  • Pierce the dough several times with a fork.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Cream until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and sweetened condensed milk.  Mix until smooth.
  • Add in the egg and mix until all of the ingredients are well combined and smooth.
  • Remove the crust from the oven.  In a small bowl stir together 1 teaspoon gluten free flour with the berry preserves.  Spread the preserves over the baked crust.
  • Pour the cheesecake mixture over the top of the preserves. 
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool at room temperature.
  • At this point, I prefer to loosely cover the baking dish with foil and place it in the refrigerator to completely chill for 4 hours (or overnight).  I then lift up on the parchment paper edges and remove the uncut bars from the baking dish.  Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 large squares and serve.

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars {Gluten Free} - The Gluten Free Gathering

 

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars {Gluten Free} - The Gluten Free Gathering: A decadent dessert, these Chocolate Cheesecake Bars have a creamy cheesecake filling that is nestled between a chocolate cookie crust and chocolate crumb topping. One of my favorite gluten free desserts! #glutenfree #glutenfreedessert #cheesecake #cheesecakebars #chocolate #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreerecipes #chocolatelovers #dessert #theglutenfreegathering

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6 thoughts on “Chocolate Cheesecake Bars {Gluten Free}

  1. Looks awesome. I did not see when to put the reserved crumbs on top? I assume it is to just put on the top of the cheesecake layer before baking.

    1. Yes, after the cream cheese layer is poured in, the crumbs can be sprinkled on. I’ll go back in and make that a bit clearer!

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