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Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Ube cheesecake bars combine two of your favourite ube desserts — brownies and cheesecake. Creamy and tangy cream cheese swirls on top of chewy and fudgy brownies. So good! Plus, they’re very easy to make and freeze well so you can make them when you have time and enjoy them any time you’re craving for a delicious ube treat.

(If you want straight up ube cheesecake, here’s the best ube cheesecake recipe everyone loves. And if you want ube brownies, here’s a mouthwatering ube brownies recipe packed with white chocolate chips.)

Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

I love ube and I have a lot of ube recipes here on TUB. Some of my favourites include:

  • The best moist ube cake recipe — the best ube cake frosted with the most amazing ube Swiss meringue buttercream
  • Ube muffins topped with a sweet coconut crumble and filled with a generous helping of ube halaya or ube jam
  • Ube pies, which are way better than the ones you can find at a popular fast food chain if I say so myself!
  • And ube pancakes or ube waffles to start the day right

I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy ube and these ube cream cheese bars fit the bill. 

Because really, what could be better than cheesecake and brownies in one? Let’s get baking.

Why you’ll love making this ube cheesecake bars recipe

Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

These ube cream cheese bars are rich, decadent and busting with ube flavour. You’ll want to make them all time.

  • The recipe is very easy. This is a simple and straightforward recipe to follow. Unlike regular cheesecakes, you don’t need a water bath and you don’t need to worry about cracks. 
  • Ube cheesecake bars look so pretty! Cream cheese swirls on top of a vibrant purple yam cake. They’ll be a hit at bake sales, get togethers, and they’ll make a lovely Christmas present.
  • Packed with ube flavour. I like my ube desserts loaded with ube, and not just from the ube extract. I like to put as much ube jam as I can in there and this recipe has a whopping 2 cups. 
  • You can make them ahead. You can make this cream cheese bars recipe up to a month ahead. I like having a Ziploc bag full of them in the freezer all the time (see FAQs below for more information).
  • They keep well. And if you ever have leftovers (which won’t be often), they keep well in the fridge too so you can enjoy them with your cup of coffee or tea up to a week after you made them.

How to make ube cheesecake bars

Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

To make ube cream cheese bars, you’ll need to prepare two batters: one for the cream cheese mixture and one for the ube mixture. Don’t worry, each step is super easy.

First you’ll need to gather your ingredients.

Ingredients

For the cheesecake layer, you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese
  • Large egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract

For the ube layer:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Large egg
  • Ube halaya or ube jam
  • Ube extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt

Baking tools

I like to use my electric mixer to beat the cream cheese mixture but I combine the ube mixture by hand.

Other than that, you’ll need:

  • 9×13 inch baking pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons

I also always recommend using a kitchen scale and an oven thermometer when baking.

Ube cheesecake bars recipe

1 PREP. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan then line with parchment paper with a slight overhang on each side. Set aside.

2 BEAT. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy.

3 EGG AND VANILLA. Add egg and vanilla extract and continue beating until incorporated. Set aside.

4 BUTTER AND SUGAR. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth and incorporated.

5 UBE. Add the egg, ube jam and ube extract and stir until combined.

6 FLOUR. Sift all purpose flour, baking powder and salt into your ube mixture and gently stir until no significant streaks of flour remain (do not over mix). The batter will be thick.

7 UBE BATTER. Transfer the ube batter into your prepared pan and spread around evenly with a spatula.

Transfer batter to prepared pan

8 CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE. Top with your cream cheese mixture and try to spread evenly.

Top ube batter with cream cheese mixture

9 SWIRLS. Run a thin knife through the batter to create swirls and help further even out the cream cheese throughout the pan.

Create cream cheese swirls using a sharp knife

10 BAKE. Bake the ube cheesecake bars for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with minimal dry crumbs.

11 COOL. Remove from oven, allow to cool completely in the pan on the counter, then chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight until set. 

12 SERVE. Remove from pan then cut into bars and serve. You can serve ube cream cheese bars slightly chilled or at room temperature. 

Tips for making the best ube cheesecake bars

Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Easy, isn’t it? Here are more baking tips to make perfect ube cheesecake bars every time.

  • Use room temperature ingredients. This is true not just for this recipe. Majority of baking recipes require that you use room temperature ingredients. This makes them easier to combine and helps create proper structure for your baked goods. And, in this case, it’s easier to work with room temperature ube halaya than one that’s straight out of the fridge.
  • Find the best ube halaya or ube jam. Speaking of ube halaya, it’s really the star of this show so try and find the best one that’s available to you. If you won’t eat it on its own, don’t use it. I make my own ube halaya and it’s better than anything I can find here. Check it out.
  • Use full-fat cream cheese. Also, use full fat cream cheese — the ones sold in blocks, not as a spread. You want that extra richness that full fat cream cheese brings. 
  • Don’t over mix. When mixing your ube batter, make sure to mix the flour just until blended. As long as you don’t see significant chunks or streaks of flour anymore, it’s okay to stop.
  • Don’t over bake. You also don’t want to over bake your ube dessert bars. In fact it’s better to slightly under bake than over bake these because they will continue to cook in the pan while cooling. When you insert a toothpick in the cake, you want to see minimal dry crumbs clinging to it.
  • Chill. Don’t skip the chilling step either. You want to give the bars a chance to set. And personally, I prefer to eat these slightly cold.

Ube cheesecake bars FAQs

Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Here are more FAQs to make this pinoy dessert recipe even easier to make.

Where can I buy ube halaya

You can usually find ube halaya or purple yam jam in the Asian or international aisle of your local supermarket, or in the Filipino aisle of an Asian supermarket. If all else fails, they’re available on Amazon.

I grew up eating Good Shepherd ube jam though (the best of the best, in my opinion) so I was never really happy with any of the ube jams I’ve tried here. 

Happily, like I mentioned above, I now make my own ube jam and it’s not hard to make at all. 

If you’re not happy with the jams you find at the stores either, try making your own. You won’t look back.

Where can I buy ube extract or ube flavouring

You can find ube extract at Asian supermarkets. If that fails, it’s available on Amazon. I use McCormick ube extract in all my ube recipes.

Can I make the cream cheese layer thicker

You can absolutely make a thicker cream cheese layer if you like. Just double the amount of cream cheese layer ingredients and prepare as per the recipe.

You’ll probably need to adjust your baking time so check halfway to see where you’re at.

Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

How to make the ube brownie layer chewy and fudgy

In my experience, the following help ensure your ube brownie layer is chewy and fudgy every time:

  • Brown sugar. The brown sugar in the recipe helps create that sticky, fudgy texture.
  • Bake time. Remember it’s better to under-bake than over-bake ube cream cheese bars. Use the baking time in the recipe as a guide. You’ll know you’re close to being done when the edges of the cream cheese start turning a light brown and the tester or toothpick you insert in the centre comes out with bits of crumbs (not wet batter) sticking to it.
  • Proper mixing. It also helps to mix your batter just until blended. Over mixing your batter after you’ve added the flour will result to dry, crumbly bars.

Can I make this cheesecake bars recipe ahead of time

You can make this recipe up to a month ahead of when you’re planning to serve them. See storage instructions below.

Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

How to store ube cheesecake squares

Ube cheesecake squares will keep in the fridge for up to a week but the best way to store them is to freeze them.

Cut the thoroughly cooled bars or squares into individual pieces, wrap each one in plastic wrap (wrap them snugly), then with foil. Place each one in a freezer safe container or Ziploc bag.

Frozen ube cheesecake squares will keep for up to a month.

How to serve ube cream cheese bars

When you’re ready to eat or serve ube cream cheese bars, just bring them out and thaw at room temperature. They’re good slightly chilled too.

They’re great with coffee, tea and milk. Eat them after a meal, as a snack, and even breakfast. Bring them to picnics, serve them over the holidays, give them out as gifts.

Easy Filipino dessert recipes

Looking for pinoy dessert recipes? Here are some of the most popular on the blog and each one is very easy to make.

You’ll find more Filipino dessert recipes you must try here. Enjoy!

Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Ube Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Author: Jolina
Ube cheesecake bars combine two of your favourite ube desserts — brownies and cheesecake. Creamy and tangy cream cheese swirls on top of chewy and fudgy brownies. So good!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 24 bars
Calories 173 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the cream cheese layer:

For the ube layer:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted and allowed to cool slightly
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 pc large egg room temperature
  • 17 oz ube halaya or ube jam (about 2 cups) room temperature
  • 2 tbsp ube extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan then line with parchment paper with a slight overhang on each side. Set aside.
  • Beat 1 block of cream cheese and ½ cup granulated sugar until smooth and creamy.
    Beat until smooth and creamy
  • Add 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract and continue beating until incorporated. Set aside.
    Beat until smooth and creamy
  • In a large bowl, combine melted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup packed brown sugar until smooth and incorporated.
    Stir until well blended
  • Add the egg, ube jam and 2 tbsp ube extract and stir until combined.
    Stir until well blended
  • Sift 2½ cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt into your ube mixture and gently stir until no significant streaks of flour remain (do not over mix). The batter will be thick.
    Stir until combined
  • Transfer into prepared pan and spread around evenly with a spatula.
    Transfer batter to prepared pan
  • Top with your cream cheese mixture and try to spread around.
    Top ube batter with cream cheese mixture
  • Run a knife through the batter to create swirls and help further even out the cream cheese throughout the pan.
    Create cream cheese swirls using a sharp knife
  • Bake the ube cheesecake bars for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with minimal dry crumbs.
  • Remove from oven, allow to cool completely in the pan on the counter, then chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight until set. 
  • Remove from pan then cut into bars and serve. You can serve ube cream cheese bars slightly chilled or at room temperature. 

Video

Notes

  1. Yield depends on how big or small you slice your bars. These are very rich and fudgy; a little goes a long way.
  2. Not all ube jams are made the same. I make my own ube halaya and if you use that to make your ube cheesecake bars, you don’t need to change anything in the recipe. If you use a store-bought ube jam, I suggest to taste your ube mixture before adding in the egg so you can decide if you need more sugar, ube or both. Make sure to add sugar or ube in small increments.
  3. I’s better to under-bake than over-bake ube cheesecake bars. They will continue to cook in the pan.
  4. These bars are also delicious chilled. 
  5. See post for complete step-by-step photos, lots of baking tips and FAQs.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 99mgPotassium: 37mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 237IUCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Christmas, Filipino Dessert, Holiday Baking, Ube Dessert
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I’d love to see your creations!

Happy baking!

Did you make ube cheesecake bars? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. And here’s the recipe for ube bars (ube bread bars) if you’re looking to make those delicious ube treats from childhood.

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Rate the Recipe




Mars

Thursday 11th of November 2021

Can I make this in muffin pans? My friend wants it in circles not square. Btw, this recipe was a hit!

Jolina

Monday 15th of November 2021

Hi Mars, I haven't tried but I think that will work. Make sure to line your tin with cupcake/muffin liners so they're easier to lift out of the pan. And they will bake faster so check at the halfway point. Enjoy!

Josie

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

This is so delicious! I divided the cream cheese into half and I put 1/2 in the middle and 1/2 on top for the swirls. Next time I might double the amount of cream cheese. Thanks for the recipe!

Jolina

Thursday 11th of November 2021

Hi Josie, glad you liked it!

Linda

Saturday 6th of November 2021

Love love these cheesecake bars! They're so good and addictive!

Jolina

Monday 8th of November 2021

Hi Linda, happy to hear that! Glad you liked them :)

Cathleen

Friday 8th of October 2021

Oh my goodness! These cheesecake bars were amazing! So good. Definitely making again!

Jolina

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Hi Cathleen, glad you liked them!

Jennifer

Tuesday 5th of October 2021

I'm an ube lover too and these were delicious! I've tried your ube cheesecake and now I can't decide which I like more lol. Thanks for another great ube recipe Jolina!!

Jolina

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

You're welcome Jennifer! Glad you liked them :)