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

Strawberry Shortcake Bars

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.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons of butter

Cheesecake Filling

  • 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

Streusel

  • 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

Instructions:

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.

Comments

  1. Carol says

    Hello,
    Just beautiful looking bars, my mouth is watering, love strawberries. I have a couple of questions, I didn’t see where you added the yellow cake in the directions for the filling, also what did you dizzle on top of the squares?? Just beautiful looking, thanks for sharing:)

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — May 7th, 2012 @ 6:13 am

      Hi Carol- thanks for the compliment! The drizzle is a simple icing made with 1cup of confectioner sugar and 2-4 tablespoons of milk. Add the first two tablespoons of milk to the sugar then whisk to combine. Add more milk as needed to achieve a drizzling consistency.

      Reply

  2. says

    These look fan-freakin-tastic, Naomi! I am sooo ready for strawberry season, and this post kicks it off perfectly. YUM. Also, I wanted to let you know you and your little one will be in my thoughts and prayers! here’s hoping he’ll get better VERY soon.

    Reply

  3. says

    I am a strawberry fan, so imagine how this recipe excites me…I love how you presented it with the blue ribbons and the colorful liners. They look like they can grace a kiddie party, a shower, or any other festive celebration This is a must try, indeed!

    Reply

  4. says

    Yum! I just bought a ton of strawberries from a coworker’s family farm. I’ll have to see if I can convince my boyfriend to let me use some for this. He’s such a greedy purist when it comes to strawberries!

    Reply

  5. says

    Oh my dear! That is disgusting (obviously, I’m talking about your son coming home sick and not these bars). Poor thing!

    Ok… these bars, however, do look fabulous! I bet you could serve these with some white port and they’d be marvelous!

    Reply

  6. says

    This looks delicious!! can I ask you how do you get such a white background? do you use extra lights or just natural light of the day?
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — May 7th, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

      Hi Agus – For the white background I use natural light. I have big white poster boards I use to bounce light and minimize harsh shadows. The white boards are placed opposite of my light source. In my set up the window is on the left hand side as well as having one behind my subject. The white boards are propped up on the right hand side to bounce light from the window on the left. Hopefully, that made sense.

      Reply

  7. Lemar U. says

    Those look really lovely! I will try my best, and I mean my very best, to make this. I fail in making desserts. By the way, how many days will it last if not refrigerated?

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Lemar

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — May 7th, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

      Hi Lemar-These should be kept refrigerated. I think you will be fine if they are left for an hour, hour and a half for serving and consuming, but to store keep it refrigerated.

      Reply

  8. laura says

    great pictures! I want to make these right away! my only question is do you bake it again after you put the streusel on or do you just leave it like that? and also can the yellow cake mix be replaced with flour? xx

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — May 7th, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

      Hi Laura- yes, you do and yes, the dry cake mix can be replaced with flour.

      Reply

  9. says

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one with mommy guilt over a sick child! Glad to hear he’s feeling better though and you’re back to business. These bars are so clever and fun! Definitely saving it for later :)

    Reply

  10. Lisa says

    My son had that twice and I swear it was the sickest he ever was! Good luck and thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

  11. Carol says

    Hello,
    Made these yesterday, oops I forgot to push the strawberries into the cheesecake mixture so the strawberries stayed on top. Next time I will make the bars correctly, they are so delicious, thank you so much for sharing:) Also, seen where somebody added banna’s, not in your recipe, sounded good too!! These bars are so pretty on a plate:):) Added the drizzle when too warm, just pooled in center but oh so good, I will get it right!!

    Reply

  12. Maggie says

    Beautiful Pictures!! I tried the recipe and it turned out very good. My crust turned out very hard I’m not sure why. Also the cheesecake part was very thin. Any comments on why this happened? Overall great taste and recipe!! Thank you :)

    Reply

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