Strawberry Basil Cheesecake Bars

READY IN: 1hr 30mins
YIELD: 1 9x13 pan




  • For Strawberry Basil Sauce:
  • Place strawberries, 2 T water, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest (if using), and a pinch of salt into a sauce pot and bring to boil over medium-low heat.
  • Whisk 2T water with 1T cornstarch and add to strawberry mixture.
  • Add basil leaves to strawberry mixture.
  • Use an immersion blender or transfer to blender and blend until smooth. Return to sauce pot.
  • Adjust basil, lemon, and sugar amounts to desired levels.
  • Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced to about 1 cup of thick sauce (a little thinner than the consistency of honey).
  • Let sauce cool.
  • For Crust:
  • Cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar.
  • Add the salt and 1 3/4 cup flour to sugar mixture and combine until the dough is well mixed. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed to form dough.
  • With floured hands, dump dough into a greased 9x13 pan and press to form crust.
  • Let the dough chill for 15-20 minutes (about the time it takes for the oven to preheat).
  • Bake crust at 350 until barely brown (10-12 min), let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
  • For Cheese Filling:
  • Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth.
  • Blend in eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
  • To Assemble:
  • Pour cream cheese mixture over crust.
  • Drop spoonfuls of strawberry sauce onto the top and use a knife to cut through the cheese layer to create a swirl appearance.
  • Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until the outer edges are set, but the middle is still slightly jiggles.
  • Let cool on the counter before transferring to the refrigerator.