Salted Pretzel Cherry Cheesecake Bars are a scrumptious, no-bake dessert! A salty, buttery pretzel and graham cracker crust is topped with a decadently smooth cheesecake mixture. Cherry pie filling makes this dessert perfectly fruity and cuts the sweetness with it’s tart cherries. Layers of deliciousness!
Cherry cheesecake bars hold a special place in our family as they are my mother-in-law’s specialty. And John’s favorite! Highly requested for holidays and family gatherings of all kinds. When you go about re-creating a beloved family-favorite recipe, you just know it’s never going to be the same as the classic recipe. So, I decided to change things up a bit because why compete with a classic?! That’s where the pretzel crust comes into play. The slightly salty, buttery, rich cookie-like crust cuts the decadence of the cheesecake filling and pairs wonderfully with the slightly tart cherries.
Firstly, the Pretzel Crust
When it comes to making this pretzel-graham cracker crust, a food processor is your best friend. It gets everything blended up to extra-fine crumbs so that when the melted butter gets added in, a perfect crust is formed!
In order to form the prepared crust to the bottom of the pan, I use the bottom of a measuring spoon or flat bottom of a cup to press the crust in. That way, it creates a formed, packed crust for your topping to sit on.
Sticking the prepared crust in the freezer while you make the filling really does help it set! Especially since this is a no-bake dessert.
Next, the Cheesecake Filling
Now, we’re onto the best part – the cheesecake filling! A few simple ingredients bring this filling to life. When working with the cream cheese, make sure to get it nice and fluffy before folding it into the whipped cream. A nice, cloud-like cheesecake filling is wanted here!
Since it is a no-bake dessert, the cheesecake filling doesn’t have any eggs that need to be cooked. Folding in freshly whipped cream is what helps give the cheesecake filling it’s classic fluffy texture.
Finally, the Cherry Topping
Nothing fancy here, just classic cherry pie filling! Typically, this can be found in the dessert aisle at your grocery store. Evenly spread the topping over the cheesecake filling for a glossy finish.
A true test of self-discipline comes next: waiting for the cheesecake to set in the refrigerator! I recommend at least 4 hours to give it a chance to form together. Cutting into it sooner can cause all the layers to moosh together.
Whether you’re making this decadent no-bake dessert for a family picnic, holiday (even Christmas or Thanksgiving!), or just to have a sweet treat on the weekends, I hope it becomes a family-favorite as it has in our household!
Looking for other no-bake desserts? Check these out!
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