Calamansi Cheesecake Bars

Calamansi cheesecake bars are the ultimate sweet treat! Rich, creamy, and full of citrus flavor, they’re sure to be a crowd favorite. Perfect as an after-meal dessert or midday snack!

If you’re planning your holiday festivities and looking to add to your Noche Buena menu Kawaling Pinoy is the place to be! Every year, I feature festive recipes to help you celebrate the season in tasty style and we’ve kicked off the tradition this season with slow cooker hamlapu-lapu de la reyna, and Hawaiian-style macaroni salad.

Next on our holiday series is an oldie but goodie calamansi cheesecake bar recipe I posted on the blog way back in December 2015! I’m excited to bring it again in the limelight just in time for Christmas.

The recipe has two parts, but don’t let that intimidate you. The steps are pretty straightforward, you’ll have these luscious dessert bars ready to enjoy in no time.

In fact, they’re so easy to whip up totally from scratch. Unlike with the classic cheesecake version, there’s no water bath to mess with or problem of cracking on top to contend with.

Cheesecake batter

  • Start with room temperature cream cheese. It should be soft enough to beat smoothly and without lumps.
  • Do not overmix and use low speed as too much air in the batter can cause cracks or little craters on the surface of the cheesecake.
  • Add flour or cornstarch.  A small amount of starch keeps the eggs from over coagulating for a creamier texture and helps prevent cracks.
  • No calamansi on hand? Substitute freshly-squeezed lemon juice or orange juice!

Graham cracker crust

  • Line the baking dish with aluminum foil with about an overhang to make removing the cheesecake easier after baking.
  • You can use store-bought graham cracker crumbs or make your own by grinding the crackers in a food processor or crushing inside a ziplock bag with a rolling pin into fine crumbs.
  • No available graham crackers in your area? Digestive biscuits work, too!
  • For extra depth of flavor, use brown sugar instead of granulated.
  • Pack the crust as tight and compact as possible with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup.

Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before covering to prevent the condensation from dripping on top. For easier cutting and serving, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight until fully chilled and set.

Dust the bars with powdered sugar or enjoy as is. Either way, the combination of citrusy calamansi taste with sweet velvety cheesecake makes for a mouthwatering dessert that’s hard to resist!

How to store

  • Do not keep the cheesecake bars at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store in an airtight container or cover the pan tightly with plastic film and refrigerate for up to 3 to 5 days.
  • To freeze, wrap individually with plastic film, place in an airtight container, and freeze for up to 3  months.

For more citrus-flavored dessert, try these yummy muffins or calamani bars.

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