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!

Calamansi Cheesecake Bars stacked on a white plate
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 ham, lapu-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.

cutting butter into graham crust in a bowl using a pastry cutter

 

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.

making cheesecake batter in the bowl

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!

forming the graham cracker crust and pouring cheesecake batter over the baked crust in a baking pan

AD

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.

cheesecake cut into bars

 

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!

slice of calamansi cheesecake bar on a white plate

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.

Calamansi Cheesecake Bars stacked on a white plate

Calamansi Cheesecake Squares

Rich, creamy and full of citrusy calamansi flavor, these luscious calamansi cheesecake bars are easy to make and delicious for after-meal dessert or anytime you need a sweet treat.

Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter

For the Cheesecake

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup calamansi juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with foil, leaving about a 1-inch overhang on sides.
  • In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, brown sugar, and salt. Stir until well-dispersed.
  • Add butter and using two knives or pastry cutter, cut butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Transfer graham cracker mixture into the prepared pan. Using hands, press crumbs onto the bottom of the pan. Use a flat-bottomed glass to press the mixture evenly and to ensure the crust is well compacted.
  • Bake in a 350 F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Add eggs, beating at low speed after each addition.
  • Add flour and stir well.
  • Add calamansi juice and baking powder. Stir until well-combined.
  • Pour over the crust and spread evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake in a 350 F oven for about 25 minutes or until the center is set.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight until completely chilled and set.
  • Dust top with powdered sugar just before serving and cut into squares.