With less than 200 calories per serving, these skinny cheesecake bars are light enough to enjoy a creamy dessert every night of the week! Top with cinnamon baked apples for the ultimate Fall treat.
One of my favorite desserts that doesn’t get a ton of traffic on the blog is my Light and Lemony Cheesecake Bars with Strawberry Roses recipe. So perfectly creamy and tangy, whenever I serve those bars (sometimes with just regularly-cut strawberries) people can’t believe that they’re not packed with calories and saturated fat.
While I personally think lemon cheesecake is appropriate any time of the year, after making these simple baked apples last week I knew they’re meant to go on top of cheesecake. So, to make these a bit more Fall-ish, I subbed in cinnamon graham crackers for the lemon cookies in the crust and replaced the strawberry roses with baked apples.
Because I already had the apples made, I just topped my cheesecake bars with the cinnamon apples; however, if you don’t already have pre-baked apples, you have plenty of time to bake them while the cheesecake bars chill. I personally would prefer to make the topping immediately before eating so that the apples are still nice and hot. You can always heat up apples made in advance as well. I’m such a sucker for the hot and cold contrast with desserts (think hot apple crisp with cold vanilla ice cream).
I’m super excited for tonight as it’s Bry’s and mine first time attending the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. My parents have gone a couple years and have always had a blast (even my mom who doesn’t drink much beer). So while I’m getting my pretzel necklace ready, I’ll be hoping at least one of you is baking these cheesecake bars to get your weekend off to a sweet start!
So here’s a toast to cheesecake and beer – what more could you need ;)!
Skinny Cheesecake Bars with Baked Apple Topping
- ¾ cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs about 6 full sheets
- 2 tablespoons melted salted butter
- 8- oz block 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- ¾ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup raw cane sugar can use regular white sugar
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup diced baked apples recipe in post
- Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8×8 baking pan with foil.
- Place graham crackers in food processor and pulse until small crumbs form.
- Combine crumbs and melted butter in a small mixing bowl, then press mixture into baking pan.
- Place crust in oven and bake for 8 minutes.
- Remove crust from oven and make filling while crust cools off a bit.
- Using a mixer, beat softened cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add in Greek yogurt, flour, sugar, and egg whites. Beat until creamy, it took me about 2.5 minutes.
- Add in vanilla extract and lemon juice. Beat for an additional 30 seconds to combine.
- Pour filling evenly over prepared crust and place in oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, place foil over cheesecake to prevent it from getting too brown. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes, or until set.
- Remove cheesecake from oven and place in fridge for at least 3 hours.
- For the topping, you can either bake the apples before or immediately after baking the cheesecake, and serve the whole dessert chilled. Or, you can bake the apples just before serving the cheesecake for a hot apple topping (my preference).
- Slice cooled cheesecake into 12 bars, top with apples (if not baked in) and enjoy!