Honey Yogurt Cheesecake Bars with Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crusts


Any cheesecake fans out there? I love the stuff and it always reminds me of two things…

Thing #1 is my mom’s no-bake cheesecake – light and fluffy and so easy to make.  It was a go-to dessert in my house growing up.  My family would top their slices with cherry pie filling, but I always thought – and still do think – that that is SO not the way to go.  No putting fruit on my desserts, no sir.  I’ll take the cheesy goodness all by itself.

Thing #2 is The Cheesecake Factory.  Obvious, yes.  Impersonal, hardly!  I used to LOVE going to Cheesecake.  Hello Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough! My adoration for all things cocoa and PB indeed started at an early age.  Every time we went to TCF, I made sure to save room in my belly to fit a whole slice.  Then I’d roll myself out of the restaurant in a sugary, cheesy, sweet bliss.  Ahh…those were the days.

Anyway, Kristina from Stonyfield Farm recently contacted me to see if I’d like some coupons for free Oikos.  She had spotted me using Greek yogurt back when I made Yogurt Glazed Carrot Cake and thought I might be interested.  Umm…yes please!  I promised to come up with a fun recipe to spotlight my Oikos and – BAM! – cheesecake bars popped right into my mind.  Actually, cheesecake popped in there first, but I don’t have the right pan for that.  So bars it was!

Since Greek yogurt was to play a key role in these cheesecake bars, I let it be my inspiration as well.  I asked myself, what kind of cheesecake bars should I make? Well, I replied – does anyone else have conversations with themselves? what do I like to put in Greek yogurt? Ooh ooh!  I like honey and cinnamon and vanilla… And that’s pretty much how it happened.  Before I knew it, I had created Honey Yogurt Cheesecake Bars with Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crusts.


Here’s the recipe:


1 cup whole wheat graham cracker crumbs*

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon


16 ounces Neufchatel cheese

1/2 cup honey

1 egg

1 egg white

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* I used MI-DEL Honey Grahams to make my crumbs – 100% whole wheat and sweetened with only honey and molasses.

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Spray an 8 x 8-inch pan with cooking spray.  To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, canola oil, honey and cinnamon until well-moistened.  Press mixture into prepared pan and bake for about 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.  To make the cheesecake, beat together Neufchatel cheese and honey until well blended.  Add egg and beat well.  Add egg white and beat well.  Add Greek yogurt and vanilla extract and beat well.  Pour mixture on top of graham cracker crust.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Let cool and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.  Makes 16 bars.


These cheesecake bars were uber cheesy and creamy and subtly sweet.  I enjoyed my bites with a bit of honey drizzled on top – just like in the pics!  Next time I might even add extra honey to the batter.  Yum!

Have you ever baked with Greek yogurt? How do you like to use it?


46 Responses to “Honey Yogurt Cheesecake Bars with Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crusts”

  1. 1 VeggieGirl April 3, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough = I USED TO ALWAYS GET THAT FLAVOR CHEESECAKE AT THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY!!!!!!!!! Nostalgia, haha 😀

  2. 2 Melissa April 3, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    cheese cake is my favorite. these look awesome

  3. 3 Jessica April 3, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I share the same childhood fondness of my mothers no-bake cheesecake. Your vars look wonderful. i’m looking forward to serving my childhood cheesecake on Easter…there’s nothing like a slice of it. I agree no fruit, I just want that classic taste.

  4. 4 Pearl April 3, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    oh my god cheesecake nosg;aksdkgs nomomom!

  5. 5 Pearl April 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    and my family would say the exact same thing, but probably in a more coherent method.

  6. 6 Sarah April 3, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    yummmmmmmmmmm! those cheesecake bars look so light and airy. bet they are delicious. i don’t bake much with yogurt because the heat kills off the healthy bacteria (the rest of the good nutrition does stay intact, though!), so i usually prefer to use it on top frosting-style 🙂

  7. 7 Erin April 3, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Those look INCREDIBLE. Honestly. Nom. My mom makes an amazing one but that looks close!

  8. 8 Sarah April 3, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    This looks delicious! I love honey and it sounds great with cheesecake.

  9. 9 verbalriot April 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    that looks scrumptious!

  10. 10 ttfn300 April 3, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    i love cheesecake!!! haven’t had it in awhile, maybe it’s time to make these 🙂

  11. 11 Amy April 3, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    I want this now! Why do you torture me so?

  12. 12 Kerstin April 4, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I’m not a huge cheesecake fan (it’s just too rich for me!), but I think I would definitely enjoy a slice of yours – it looks super delicious!

  13. 13 sweetandnatural April 4, 2009 at 11:23 am

    VeggieGirl – Hahaha – The chocolate-PB cheesecakes are SO the best ones!

    Melissa – Thanks! 🙂

    Jessica – There’s something about the treats you grew up with! Ohh nostalgia…

    Pearl – Haha – love the enthusiasm!

    Sarah – I will have to try your frosting method. 😛

    verbalriot – Thank you! 🙂

    ttfn300 – I hadn’t had it in a LONG while! It’s still quite tasty though. 🙂

    Amy – They were super easy to make – I bet you could pop into your kitchen and whip them up in no time!

    Kerstin – If you ever make them, let me know!

  14. 14 coco April 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    oh…. God, this looks scrumptious~~~ I loveeee cheesecake and haven’t find a healthy version of it! this seems healthy! 😀

  15. 15 raspberryrunner April 4, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    “any cheesecake fans out there?” YES, RIGHT HERE!!! **raises both hands and jumps up and down**

    your cheesecake looks heavenly!! i love that you used greek yogurt in it! yum!!!!

  16. 16 Mariposa April 4, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    these look fantastic! what a creative way to use greek yogurt!

  17. 17 Hangry Pants April 4, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Mmmmmm! This looks delicious. I kind of like cheesecake, but then it’s always so heavy and this seems nice and light. I made my first and only cheesecake for christmas and the recipe required low fat sour cream, but I used greek yogurt and I loved the results!!!!

  18. 18 Emily April 5, 2009 at 9:33 am

    I got that e-mail too, but I don’t think I’m brave enough to try your recipe! that looks sooooo good, I am a cheesecake fan but this version actually sounds better than the original!


  19. 19 sweetandnatural April 5, 2009 at 11:03 am

    coco – Healthier than your typical cheesecake, that’s for sure!

    raspberry runner – You win the biggest cheesecake fan prize. 🙂

    Mariposa – Thank you! 🙂

    Hangry Pants – I like Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream too!

    Emily – No need for bravery – it’s SO easy! Even my temperamental oven could handle it. 🙂

  20. 20 Hayley April 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Stonyfield contacted me too! I’ll have to come up with an equally delicious recipe to keep up with the tastiness you’ve shared here. Thanks for another awesome one!

  21. 21 Lauren April 6, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Any cheesecake fans? My hands (and feet) are raised! These look awesome Ashley!

  22. 22 Betsy April 6, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Holey moley… no I’ve never cooked with Greek yogurt, but I sure plan to now!

  23. 23 carlie April 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    wow this looks great and awesome job on the photos. I tried a couple recipes on http://www.cheesecake-recipes.org that came out graet and would definitely want to add this one to my list.

  24. 24 sweetandnatural April 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Hayley – Ooh – can’t wait to see what you make!

    Lauren – Thank you! 🙂

    Betsy – Hope you share what you make!

    carlie – Wow – a whole cheesecake website!

  25. 25 Danielle April 6, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Oh I loved my mom’s no bake cheesecake, thanks for reminding me about that!

  26. 26 lauren (athlEAT) April 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    ok – seriously – these LOOK UNREAL. the best thing I have seen all day on all of the blogs I read. nice recipe!

  27. 27 Marianne April 8, 2009 at 2:33 am

    *Raises hand*

    I’m a cheesecake fan! Yum! I love baking cheesecakes for family holiday dinners – you could say it’s my signature. These look awesome. Too bad we can’t get Greek yogurt in Canada, at least not that I’ve seen. Perhaps if I went to a Mediterranean store, but not in our regular grocery stores.

  28. 28 Sweet and Fit April 9, 2009 at 12:29 am

    these look so good! I have never baked with greek yogurt – I have a really great cheesecake recipe on my blog, I wonder what would happen if I subbed greek yogurt for cream cheese

  29. 29 Shannon (The Daily Balance) April 9, 2009 at 4:38 am

    I cannot believe how AMAZING these look! I may have to attempt to create them this weekend for an easter treat for my family — delish!!!

    love your blog by the way, I just found it! 😉

  30. 30 sweetandnatural April 9, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Danielle – Yay moms!

    lauren (athlEAT) – Wow – thanks so much! 🙂

    Marianne – No Greek yogurt! Eek!

    Sweet and Fit – Not sure about subbing it for cream cheese, but I definitely think you can sub it for sour cream if that’s in your recipe.

    Shannon (The Daily Balance) – Hi and welcome! Hope you come back! 🙂

  31. 31 Hangry Pants April 9, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I was also wondering if you’ve ever made your own graham

  32. 32 sweetandnatural April 10, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Hangry Pants – I have not! But now I want to!

  33. 33 Dr. Talli van Sunder, DPT April 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    It is nice to have a dessert that not only looks and tastes great, but also is good for us. The pictures make my mouth water. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us! 🙂

  34. 34 sweetandnatural April 14, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Dr. Talli van Sunder, DPT – Thanks so much for reading!

  35. 35 snowygrl April 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Just found your blog and this looks amazing. I LOVE both honey and yogurt. I will have to make them this weekend. Thanks 🙂

  36. 36 pigskin May 2, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    thx for sharing ^^

  37. 37 Liza May 22, 2009 at 5:53 am

    What if I don’t have Greek yogurt? Can I substitute plain yogurt instead?

  38. 38 Elina May 24, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Ashley, I just made these cheesecake bars last night and they came out incredible… so rich and creamy. Delicious!! Thanks for creating such an indulgent tasting treat, we can enjoy without any guilt.

  39. 39 Elina May 24, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Liza, I would strain your plain yogurt for a little while to get in to a thicker (greek-yogurt like) consistency. You should definitely make these bars!

  40. 40 sweetandnatural May 26, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Liza – I wouldn’t substitute plain yogurt b/c Greek yogurt has a thicker consistency. Elina’s suggestion of straining it sounds like a good one though if you can’t find Greek yogurt anywhere!

    Elina – SO glad you enjoyed the bars!

  41. 41 Cristina August 4, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Ok, I gave my mom this recipe to make for my birthday cake. She obliged. All I can say is- YUM! It was just like a full-sugar cheesecake!! Only, dare I say, better! I made a chocolate-carob syrup to top it with. So good! Also, I made my own graham crackers for the crust. I totally recommend this recipe and can’t wait ’til I have an excuse to make it again! 🙂

  42. 42 Cristina August 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Ok, I gave my mom this recipe to make for my birthday cake. She obliged. All I can say is- YUM! It was just like a full-sugar cheesecake!! Only, dare I say, better! I made a chocolate-carob syrup to top it with. So good! Also, I made my own graham crackers for the crust. I totally recommend this recipe and can’t wait ’til I have an excuse to make it again! 🙂 Oh, and my mom used yo-creme yogurt, I guess it’s yoplait’s whole milk fat plain yogurt. It worked just great! So, if you can’t find greek yogurt, maybe you could find that.

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