Strawberry Shortcake Bars
I couldn’t decide whether or not I wanted to make a regular strawberry cheesecake or strawberry shortcake, so I went with a combination for what you see here. It has a cheesecake filling with a little dry yellow cake mix and puréed strawberries. Along with that I threw in a surprising ingredient, a banana, which I discovered helps create a super creamy cheesecake filling. Then I sprinkled the filling with some strawberries and finished it with a streusel topping
Last week was real light on the posting since I was busy taking care of a kid who came home sick and feverish. Honestly, he never complains and since he had intermittent spurts of energy, I really thought he was faking it to get out of going to school for the next day.
As it turns it out he had massive, disgusting barnacle-like sores growing on his throat, from . . . are you ready – hand, foot and mouth disease. Gross. And of course I felt terrible for not knowing how sick he truly was. My guilt finally passed once his sickness did, so now that we are both better I’m back to baking.
A few notes:
- I placed fresh cut strawberries throughout the cheesecake, but feel free to skip this or replace the strawberries with raspberries. Next time I will be doing just that – replacing the strawberries for raspberries. The strawberries became a little too soft for my prefernce.
- I added a little dry cake mix into my streusel for added flavor, but again, feel free to skip this as well.
- Feel free to replace the cake mix in the cheesecake filling for all purpose flour.
Strawberry Shortcake Bars
Makes one 8×8 pan. | Preparation: Cover inside of pan with enough foil for a one inch overhang on all sides. Cover foil with bake spray. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons of butter
- 6 oz strawberries, pureed (about 1 cup of whole strawberries)
- 4 oz banana, pureed (about 1 whole banana)
- 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of dry yellow cake
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dry yellow cake mix
- 4 tablespoons of butter (1/2 stick)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 salt
To make crust
1.Place graham cracker crust and sugar in a bowl and toss to combine. Add in melted butter and mix to combine. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while making cheesecake portion.
To make cheesecake
1. Place strawberries and banana in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed; set aside. Place cheesecake, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat until fully combined and smooth. Add in pureed strawberry mixture and mix to combine. Add in dry cake mix and mix to combine.
2. Pour mixture over crust (optional add in whole fruit to cheesecake mixture) and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F. Make streusel while cheesecake bakes.
3. Remove pan from oven after 30-35 minutes and sprinkle streusel on top. Return pan to oven and bake for another 12-15 minutes. Remove and cool shortcake bars before cutting.
To make streusel
1. Place all ingredients in and using a pastry blender or a fork, cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles crumbled wet sand.