The Taste of Summer, pt. 2– Sugar-Free Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

This time of year, I like to cool off with my treats. My new Cuisinart ice cream maker has been running constantly lately. To mix things up and take a break from the brain freeze, I decided to try something new. Cheesecake is the ultimate cool, creamy indulgence that’s naturally low in carbs. There are tons of variations and different recipes out there for this classic dessert. I’ve never made it, though. The idea of using a whole pound of cream cheese, a giant round pan, and a water bath was always intimidating. It just sounds hard, worrying about cracks in the top and achieving the right consistency and whatnot. Though I’ve never experienced intense cravings for this particular food, cheesecake seemed like the perfect excuse to use up a CostCo-sized tub of blueberries sitting in my fruit bin.

Blueberry cheesecake called my name! It’s rather simple to de-carb cheescake–you simply remove the sugar. Erythritol (see the bold term for info) works like a charm for “wet” applications like cheesecake, so you don’t have to worry about using any special ingredients to offset its menthol-like “cooling” effect. Stevia rounds out the sweetness of these incredibly creamy bars. This sour-cream based cheesecake recipe posted in its original form here is a real winner. Thanks to BawdyWench for her simple, delicious recipe!

Even if you’re not a “cheesecake person,” you should definitely give this recipe a try. It takes minutes to whip up, and doesn’t have that thick, gummy mouthfeel elicited by a ton of cream cheese. The blueberries burst in your mouth as you bite through the silky base and nontraditional but oh-so-delicious gluten-free shortbread crust (check oats for gf label!). Get your brain-boosting antioxidants in for the day with these fresh blueberries. Studies show that blueberry consumption positively affects your memory. These delicious summer fruits are naturally low in carbs, so eat up! The batch of cheesecake bars from yesterday is almost gone. Some serious nibbling has been happening. I don’t blame the cheesecake bandit–it was love at first bite with these babies!

Creamy Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from this recipe by BawdyWench

Makes eight servings


Shortbread Crust:
3/4 cup finely ground almonds
2 tablespoons sifted oat flour (check for gluten-free certification if necessary)
1 tablespoon erythritol
1/8 teaspoon pure stevia extract
1/4 cup butter, melted

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup organic sour cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons erythritol
1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract
8 ounces cream cheese (1 package), softened
1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whisk together dry ingredients for crust. Mix in melted butter and press into the bottom of a foiled lined 8 by 5 loaf pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Let crust cool.

Turn oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Blend together eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and sweeteners. Beat cream cheese and melted butter together until smooth, then add to first ingredients and beat until just combined and smooth. Stir in half of the blueberries. Pour cheesecake batter into loaf pan and sprinkle the rest of the blueberries over the filling. Bake for 35 minutes using the water bath method (see this post). Remove from oven and let the cheesecake bars cool completely, still submerged within the water bath. Remove the loaf pan from the water bath and move it to the refrigerator when the bars have cooled to room temperature. Cover with a layer of paper towels and plastic wrap. Refrigerate for four hours or until firm. Don’t sneak a bite until they have set up properly and attained the perfect creamy consistency!

~6 grams net carbs per serving

Cuts like a hot knife through buttah!

21 Comments on The Taste of Summer, pt. 2– Sugar-Free Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

  1. jeri
    July 29, 2008 at 2:30 am (15 years ago)

    I have my cheesecake bars in the oven right now!! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  2. Anonymous
    August 5, 2008 at 12:59 am (15 years ago)

    They are soooo amazing. I was lucky enough to have the testers Lauren made!!

    I love you and your low card tasty treats

    `Alex 🙂

  3. Amanda
    July 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm (14 years ago)

    Lauren, I am wanting to make these but you have a "dead link" to your old brownie recipe regarding the water bath. Please direct the cheesecake-impaired!

  4. Anonymous
    July 12, 2009 at 7:39 pm (14 years ago)

    These are really, really good. Thanks so much! Mine turned out just like your pictures!

  5. Diane
    January 19, 2011 at 3:46 am (12 years ago)

    Cheesecake is easy! I've never used a water bath, and always been amazed by how simple it is to beat together some common ingredients, pour into a pan, and come out with a dessert that most people swoon over.

    And who cares about a crack now & then? Plop cherry pie filling on top and nobody knows. 😉 (Sugar-free, of course.)

    Just encouraging you to revise your apprehensions!

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    March 3, 2011 at 9:08 pm (12 years ago)

    This is delicious, I love cheesecakes but I've never tasted Sugar-Free Blueberry Cheesecake Bars, it could be perfect for a baby shower my sister will get next week, I'm gonna prepare it for her.m10m

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  8. Miss Kitty
    June 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm (12 years ago)

    Hi Lauren! I tried these, using roasted almonds-the crust then looked and tasted more like graham cracker crust- even past the hubby test! Fantastic!

  9. Anonymous
    July 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm (12 years ago)

    aExcellent recipe Lauren. Hubby gave it top marks
    Joan Mercantini

  10. Anonymous
    February 6, 2012 at 12:30 am (11 years ago)

    I just made these for our Super Bowl party and they were a HUGE hit! Even my hubby who hates all things “sugar free” LOVED them! I left out the Oatflour to reduce the carb count and they still turned out AMAZING!!

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  13. Betsy
    February 25, 2013 at 3:14 am (10 years ago)

    I messed this up somehow. The crust was very crumbly, what did I do wrong? 🙁

  14. Yokie
    June 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve been reading some negative articles about erythritol lately. Any other non-sugar sweetener options you could recommend?

    • Lauren Benning
      June 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi, Yokie! Could you provide links to the articles? Erythritol appears to be one of the safest sugar-free sweeteners on the market, so I recommend trying it and seeing how it works for you. It does not raise blood sugar, is excreted from the body quickly, and is naturally present in fruits and vegetables. Stevia is another great tasting, plant based calorie-free sweetener. Unfortunately, stevia cannot be used as the sole sweetener inmost recipes. You need erythritol and/or xylitol to sufficiently boost the sweetness. You could also use a sweetener like honey, but it does contains calories and carbohydrates, and it will elevate your blood sugar. Hope that helps clear up some doubts for you!

      • Yokie
        June 13, 2014 at 6:26 pm (9 years ago)

        I personally have had some distressing digestive reactions to it. . Also, I have to watch my sugar and it does affect my sugar level.
        There are many sites now if you just google “side affects or dangers of erythritol.
        One of the articles is on Live Strong

        • Stacy Belinski
          September 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm (9 years ago)

          Yokie, unfortunately this article is more than a little erroneous in terms of erythritol versus other sugar alcohols. Employing a bit of chemistry, erythritol has a similar molecule structure as both xylitol and sorbitol, but the important difference is the length of these molecule chains. Erythritol has the shortest molecule chain and, because of that, is not broken down the same way as the other two; it simply is flushed from our bodies as waste and never truly broken down or absorbed like some portions of xylitol or sorbitol can be.

          I would be more inclined to think that a different sugar alcohol or other product in whatever you “tested” your erythritol in was causing your problems. This article you have linked is true of sugar alcohols like xylitol and sorbitol because of their longer chain molecules, but this does not hold true for erythritol.

          • Lauren Benning
            September 19, 2014 at 3:48 pm (9 years ago)

            Stacy, I really appreciate you sharing that information about erythritol! Very few people seem to have issues digesting it, so the molecular structure could be why it is so well tolerated. Do you have a source for this information?

          • Stacy Belinski
            September 19, 2014 at 6:58 pm (9 years ago)

            Lauren, I might be able to dig it up – I wrote a paper on the subject for a chemistry class. I’ve been low carb for about a year and a half so it was an interesting topic. 🙂 One good (but technical) source is a book: Sweeteners and Sugar Alternatives in Food Technology.

          • Lauren Benning
            September 20, 2014 at 4:47 am (9 years ago)

            Stacy, it’d be great to read your paper if you still have it. It’s very cool you were able to write about erythritol for your chem class. In biochem, I was able to do a presentation on ketogenic diets, so that was interesting and meaningful. 🙂 Checking out that book now!

  15. Jennifer
    April 9, 2015 at 5:41 pm (8 years ago)

    My husband’s favorite dessert is cheesecake. Chocolate, strawberry, pumpkin, and gold ol’ plain cheesecake. Sweets is a huge down fall for us and I know that if I get a plethora of low/ultra low-carb desserts that we can do this. We have been trying for about a year on 20-40net carbs/day but the sweets and laziness has been kicking out butt. What can I use in place of oat flour??