These No-Bake Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars are a rich, decadent dessert that tastes heavenly. Made with a buttery graham cracker crust and a cheesecake filling that is smooth and creamy, this no-bake cheesecake will become your new favorite dessert!
This post is sponsored by Karo® Corn Syrup. All opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for continuing to support the brands that help make ‘Mike Bakes NYC’ possible!
A slice of luxuriously rich cheesecake has become one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but despite this love of cheesecake, I rarely make cheesecake at home, because it can be a bit fussy. These no-bake salted caramel cheesecake bars, however, are a completely different story. You get all the great flavor of cheesecake without the fuss of making a big cheesecake. Total game-changer.
My secret ingredient? Karo® Light Corn Syrup! I use it in the graham cracker crust, the cheesecake, and the salted caramel. I absolutely love Karo® Corn Syrup because it’s not overpoweringly sweet, but it provides sweetness AND moisture in your baked (or unbaked) goods. For these no-bake cheesecake bars, it provides a subtle sweetness and smooth texture to the cheesecake, it helps control sugar crystallization in the caramel, and it adds a sweetness that helps bind the graham cracker crust together; you really just can’t go wrong here!
These no-bake salted caramel cheesecake bars are surprisingly simple to make; here’s what you’ll need:
There are three main components to these delicious no-bake salted caramel cheesecake bars.
It’s important to make the salted caramel first in this recipe so it has time to cool down before you mix it with the cheesecake filling! The first three ingredients for the caramel are granulated sugar, Karo® Light Corn Syrup, and water which gets brought to a boil over medium-high heat. The Karo® Corn Syrup provides a touch of extra sweetness and also helps prevent crystallization; talk about a win-win! Once the sugar has melted and the mixture has boiled long enough, it will turn amber in color, and then cubed butter is carefully added, followed by the heavy whipping cream. After you stir for a minute or two, you add the salt & vanilla, and then you’re done. The most amazing salted caramel sauce with such a smooth, buttery flavor; it’s basically liquid gold!
To make the buttery graham cracker crust, start by grinding up your graham crackers, light brown sugar, and salt using either a food processor or blender. You need 18 full sheets of graham crackers; 18 full sheets = about 3 cups of graham cracker crumbs. Don’t have graham crackers where you live? (I’m looking at you, UK readers!) Use 300 grams of crushed digestive biscuits instead.
Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and the Karo® Light Corn Syrup and stir it all together. I like to use a little bit of Karo® Corn Syrup in my graham cracker crust because it’s the perfect sweetener to help bind together a buttery graham cracker crust. Corn syrup isn’t overly sticky and the flavor is mild, perfectly complementing the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter!
Once you mix the crust ingredients all up, the mixture will be thick, sandy, and coarse and you’re ready to press it into your prepared pan! Once firmly pressed in, you’ll refrigerate the crust while you prepare the cheesecake filling; this ensures a stable bottom rather than a crust that is too crumbly and falls apart.
They wouldn’t be cheesecake bars without a delicious cream cheese filling! What I love is that you can make these completely by hand or use a hand/stand mixer if you have one; whatever you prefer! To make the cheesecake layer, you’ll start by combining some powdered gelatin and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat until the gelatin is melted, then set it aside. Next, you’ll whip some heavy cream up until medium peaks are achieved. Then, you’ll beat together the cream cheese, Karo® Light Corn Syrup, some of the salted caramel, powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt until smooth. Normal cheesecake usually calls for granulated sugar which will dissolve as it bakes. But in no-bake cheesecake, those granules can leave you with a gritty cheesecake. Using a combination of powdered sugar and Karo® Light Corn Syrup makes for a silky smooth texture and the perfect amount of sweetness!
After you’ve combined all of the key cheesecake ingredients together, you’ll beat in the gelatin and cream mixture and pour the filling on top of the slightly chilled crust. Then dollop the remaining salted caramel over the top of the cheesecake batter and swirl with a knife. The hardest part of making this recipe is waiting for the cheesecake to chill and set, honestly! But oh, is it worth it!
NO-BAKE SALTED CARAMEL CHEESECAKE BARS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I bake the graham cracker crust and chill it before adding the filling?
Unfortunately, no! No-bake truly means you do not have to bake the dessert. Trying to bake the graham cracker crust will make for a soggy crust, as this crust has more fat than a traditional baked crust would. Trying to use a baked crust (even one with less butter) means your filling will ooze into the crust and make it soggy.
Can I make these no-bake salted caramel cheesecake bars ahead of time?
Of course! In fact, you kinda have to! While these no-bake cheesecake bars don’t require any time in the oven, they do need some time in the fridge. Your cheesecake will need at least 3 hours to set before you can slice it and serve it up, so you’ll probably want to make it the day before you plan on serving it! You can even make it up to 3 days before… just make sure you cover it tightly with plastic wrap or tin foil to prevent the cheesecake from drying out developing a weird film on top.
Can I use storebought whipped cream instead of making my own from scratch for the cheesecake filling?
In theory, yes… but I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t advise you on how much to use! I don’t ever use storebought whipped cream because homemade whipped cream truly tastes better and is thicker & creamier. Also, you need heavy cream to melt the powdered gelatin in… so you might as well just use it for the filling too!
How long will these no-bake salted caramel cheesecake bars last?
As long as you keep the cheesecake bars covered tightly, they will last 5-7 days in the fridge. They are perfect for making ahead of time for parties and events. Or you can just enjoy them all week long.
NO-BAKE SALTED CARAMEL CHEESECAKE BARS: TROUBLESHOOTING
Help! My cheesecake has lumps of cream cheese in it! What did I do wrong?
Sounds like your cream cheese wasn’t softened enough! Room temperature cream cheese becomes creamier when it’s mixed and it incorporates much better with the other ingredients in this recipe. If your cream cheese is too cold, it tends to stay lumpy in the batter and doesn’t fully mix!
Help! My cheesecake is soft and not holding its shape when sliced! What did I do wrong?
These no-bake cheesecake bars need proper chilling, a minimum of three hours but preferably overnight, to set into sliceable sections. Don’t attempt to rush the chill process either; freezing the cheesecake results in a too-hard-to-enjoy crust and filling!
Help! My salted caramel has chunks of caramel in it! What did I do wrong?
After you add the butter and the heavy cream, the sauce should be smooth and creamy. If there are chunks of caramel, don’t fret! Just return the pan to low heat and stir occasionally until the sauce is smooth, then remove from the heat.
MikeBakesNYC LLC owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this website unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my Disclosure page. This post may contain affiliate links.
These Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies are the perfect treat to make for the chocolate-peanut…