No-Bake Date-Swirled Cheesecake Bars

These delicious no bake cheesecake bars feature a rich caramel swirl with our gooey medjool dates and a nutty cornflake crust.

Makes: 16 bars

For the crust: 

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter 
  • 6 ounces cornflakes (about 5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • Kosher salt 

For the date caramel: 

  • 18-20 Rancho Meladuco Medjool Dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Kosher salt

For the filling: 

  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Zest of 1 small lemon 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 


Line a square metal baking pan (8×8 or 9×9-inch) with parchment paper so it hangs over all sides. Coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the crust: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until the foam subsides and the butter turns a deep brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a liquid measuring cup to cool slightly. 

Add the cornflakes, sugar, and a pinch of salt to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until finely ground. Add the brown butter and pulse until combined and the mixture resembles wet sand, about 10 (1-second) pulses.

Transfer to the prepared pan and use the bottom of a flat-bottomed measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even layer and all the way into the corners. Transfer to the freezer while you make the caramel and filling. 

Make the date caramel: Pit all the dates and set aside 12; return the rest to the cup. Pour hot water into the cup until the dates are just barely submerged. Let sit for 5 minutes. Transfer the dates and water to the food processor, add vanilla and a pinch of salt, and puree until smooth. Transfer back to the cup and refrigerate while you make the filling. 

Make the filling: Wipe out the food processor, then add the heavy cream. Process until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. (Do not over whip). Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the cream cheese and sugar to the food processor and process until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the yogurt, lemon zest, and vanilla and process until combined. Transfer to the bowl of whipped cream and gently fold until combined. 

Open the 12 reserved dates and press onto the chilled crust in an even layer (you may have one or two extra, depending on the size of the dates). Spread the filling on top. Add small dollops of the date caramel and swirl with a toothpick or skewer to create a marbled effect. (Save leftover caramel for serving with apple slices, or slathering onto hot buttered toast).

Carefully cover the bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to cut clean slices, at least 5 hours or up to overnight. Slice into 16 square bars.

Recipe & Photos: Grace Elkus

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