Eggnog Cheesecake Bars are the BEST treat for the holidays! These delicious and creamy bars are the perfect way to make-ahead cheesecake for a crowd. Whip up a batch for the holidays today!
Why this recipe is the best!
While traditional cheesecake can be a labor of love, these bars have all of the cheesecake flavor and texture you love, with a lot less work and fuss. They have been tested and perfected and are sure to become your new family favorite.
Plus, if you love eggnog, these bars give you that flavor without being overpowering. Both adults and kids are going to love the sweet smooth taste of this dessert.
And, if you have leftover eggnog, you can also use eggnog to make a tasty overnight Baked Eggnog French Toast Casserole. Also, if you are looking for a truly special cheesecake recipe, be sure to try my Amaretto Mascarpone Cheesecake. And if you want a no-bake treat, try my no-bake Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake is a fan favorite!
The ingredients for Eggnog Cheesecake Bars are easy to find and fairly standard for cheesecake with some additional touches to make it extra special.
For the crust, you will need graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. For the filling, you will need cream cheese, sugar, flour, eggnog, nutmeg, and eggs.
- Cream Cheese: If possible use the full-fat cream cheese for this recipe. Low fat versions can be substituted, but they won’t give as smooth and creamy of a texture. Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature before starting the filling.
- Eggnog: Use the store-bought eggnog you find in the dairy section here. Note that this recipe calls for the non-alcoholic eggnog. Again, use the full-fat version rather than low fat if you can find it.
- Nutmeg: The nutmeg really makes this recipe special. It gives amplifies the flavors of the eggnog. Either freshly grated or jarred nutmeg work here.
How to make Eggnog Cheesecake Bars
You can make these bars a standard 9 x 9 inch baking pan. To make serving simple, I suggest lining the pan with foil (leaving an overhang) so you can easily remove the bars from the pan when they are set. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray to ensure that the bars don’t stick.
To make the crumb bottom, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. If you are using graham cracker sheets to make the crumbs, simply place 12 graham cracker sheets in the food processor and pulse until a fine crumb forms.
Next, add in the melted butter and mix until combined. The mixture will resemble coarse wet sand. Press into the prepared pan (step 1). Bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.
Use a handheld mixer to mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until light and fluffy. Then, mix in the eggnog and the eggs, beating between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients are fully incorporated (step 2).
Pour the filling over the crust and smooth using a rubber spatula (step 3).
Place the bars in a large pan, like a roasting pan. Fill up the pan with about an inch of warm water to make a water bath for the bars (step 4).
If you are using a water bath, you will need to bake the bars slightly longer. The total bake time will run about 40-50 minutes, or until the center of the bars look set. Be sure to be extra careful removing the pan from the oven so that you don’t splash water and burn yourself, or get water into the cheesecake.
However, without a water bath, these bars take only about 30-40 minutes to bake. Again, you want to make sure the center of the bars look set. You can check for doneness using a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars.
Let the bars cool on a cooling rack for a least an hour. Then transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours before serving. You can make this up to three days in advance and just leave covered in the refrigerator until ready to slice.
Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your eggnog cheesecake bars come out perfect every time!
- Line the pan with foil so that the bars can easily be removed and cut.
- Use room temperature cream cheese to get a smooth cheesecake filling.
- Don’t go low-fat here! If possible, try to stick to the full-fat cream cheese and eggnog versions if you can.
- Cool the bars on a wire rack then chill for at least 3 hours before cutting. You can also make up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate until ready to cut and serve.
- To get clean lines when cutting, be sure to use a sharp knife and wipe it down in between cuts.
- Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg right before serving.
A water bath for cheesecake is when a pan of warm water surrounds the cheesecake while baking it in the oven. The cheesecake is placed in a pan slightly larger than it, then the pan is filled with about an inch of warm or hot water. Note, if you are doing this with a springform pan, it is important that you wrap the pan in foil to ensure that no water seeps into the cheesecake.
It helps to cook the cheesecake more evenly and at a slightly lower temperature. Additionally, the steam generated by the water helps the keep the cheesecake moist and prevents cracking.
No. You can always omit the water bath if you want. Cheesecake bars are thinner than a normal cheesecake, and they cook more evenly. You may have slight cracking on the top of the bars, but it won’t be too visible once the bars are cut and topped with whipped cream.
More Holiday Baking Recipes
If you are looking for more delicious and simple desserts to bake this holiday season, be sure to check out some of these fan favorites:
Eggnog Cheesecake Bars
- 9 x 9 inch baking pan
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 graham crackers)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup butter, melted (one stick)
Eggnog Cheescake Filing
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ⅔ cup eggnog
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- whipped cream for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
Graham Cracker Crust
- In bowl, whisk together the graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the melted butter and mix to combine. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared baking dish. Use your hands or a spatula to press the crumbs in the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
Eggnog Cheesecake Filling
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour, until mixture is smooth and fluffy; about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the eggnog and nutmeg and continue to mix, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition, until mixture is smooth and just combined.
- Pour the eggnog cheesecake filling over the graham cracker crust. If using a water bath, place the baking pan in a large roasting pan. Fill up the roasting pan with about one inch of hot tap water, being careful not to splash any into the bars.
- Bake the bars for about 45 minutes, if using the water bath. If baking the bars as is, bake for about 30-40 minutes. You will know the cheesecake is done when it appears almost set in the middle. You can also test for doneness using a toothpick inserted in the center of the cheesecake. Remove from oven and let cool on a baking rack for one hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Remove the bars from the pan using the foil. Cut into 16 bars and serve with a dollop of whipping cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
- If you are using graham cracker sheets to make the crumbs, place them in the food processor and pulse until a fine crumb forms.
- Use room temperature cream cheese to get a smooth filling.
- The water bath if optional and will keep the bars from cracking.
- Be sure the bars are completely chilled before cutting.
- Eggnog Cheesecake Bars are a great make-ahead recipe. Make the bars up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve.