Strawberry shortcake bars made with nilla wafers cut into squares

Nilla Wafer Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

The title of this recipe may be a mouth full but it’s worth every syllable. These bars are made with the classic and delicious Nilla Wafers, a no-bake Cheesecake filling, homemade strawberry compote, and a strawberry shortcake layer made of freeze-dried strawberries and more Nilla Wafers. This combination of ingredients and flavors is simply put – incredible. I promise that recipe will be a crowd-pleaser for everyone and their mothers.

side view of strawberry shortcake cheesecake layers taken out of pan

How To Make Nilla Wafer Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

This recipe is extremely easy to make and requires no baking. It makes for a great make-ahead-of-time recipe as well as a refreshing summer treat.

Layers Of The Nilla Wafer Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

Let’s talk about the delicious layers of this dessert. Starting with the base, we have a Nilla Wafer Crust. Much like a graham cracker crust on a cheesecake, this Nilla Wafer Crust is made of crushed Nilla Wafers and melted butter – super simple, extremely delicious. On top of our crust, we’re pouring about 1/2 of our no-bake cheesecake mixture then topping the first half with our strawberry compote made with fresh strawberries, lemon juice, and a few other simple ingredients. We’re completing our Cheesecake with an even layer of whole Nilla Wafers, the other half of our cheesecake mixture, then a strawberry shortcake crumb to top everything off.

layers for cheesecake ready to be used

How To Store Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

These bars should be kept and stored in the fridge at all times to keep them fresh as well as keep their structural integrity perfect and cool. These bars can stay good in the fridge sealed for up to one week. They can also be stored sealed and frozen for up to 2 months.

strawberry shortcake cheesecake bars after sliced into squares top view

How To Make Strawberry Compote

Making Strawberry Compote is super easy and only requires a few simple ingredients.

  • Strawberries – Fruit, and in this case, strawberries, are the main ingredient in making a compote. You can use most berries when making a compote, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. You can also use other fruits like peaches, cherries, and apples – there are so many options. The levels of pectin contributing to the consistency of the compote will vary from fruit to fruit so you may need to adjust measurements for different ones.
  • Granulated Sugar – The sugar of course is going to add the sweetness we need. It’s also going to help give us that syrupy, delicious texture. Depending on the sweetness level you want, you can always add a bit more or less to your compote.
  • Cornstarch – Cornstarch plays an important role in our compote, and that’s a thickener. You can substitute cornstarch for arrowroot powder as well. Fruit releases a lot of liquid while it’s cooking, the cornstarch will help soak up and thicken those juices.
  • Lemon Juice – It’s always a great idea to add acid to balance the sweetness of a compote. Fruit on their own contain a lot of sugar and of course, with compote, we’re adding more sugar. The lemon juice just enhances the overall flavor.
nilla wafers cheesecake bar on it's side to show the cheesecake and strawberry layers

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strawberry shortcake cheesecake from a side view before being sliced
top view of strawberry shortcake bars sliced with nilla wafers on the side
nilla wafers cheesecake bar on it's side to show the cheesecake and strawberry layers

Nilla Wafer Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Bars

Recipe by Maddison Koutrouba – thesqueakymixer.com
4.8 from 11 votes
Servings

12

servings
Cooking time

0

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on.

Nilla Wafer crust

  • 2 1/2 cups Nilla Wafers

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • No-Bake Cheesecake
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream

  • 24 oz cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • Strawberry Compote
  • 2 cups diced strawberries

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

  • Strawberry Shortcake Topping
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries

  • 1 cup Nilla Wafers

Directions

  • Prepare a 9″ x 13″ pan by lightly greasing then placing a piece of parchment to fit snug inside the pan with enough hanging over the sides to help release the dessert from the pan later on. Set aside.
  • Beginning with the crust, place the nilla wafer cookies in a large ziplock bag then use a mallet to crush them into fine pieces. You can also use a food processor for this step. Place the crushed nilla wafers in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter to the nilla wafers then mix to combine.
  • Place the crust into the prepared pan then press them into the pan evenly. You can use the back of a measuring cup for this step as well. Make sure that the mixture is distributed as evenly as possible and packed down nicely and tightly. Set aside.
  • To make the cheesecake layer, in a medium-sized bowl, use an electric mixer or stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment to whip the heavy cream until it has thickened to a cool whipped consistency. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Next, in a large bowl use an electric mixer or a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment to beat the room-temperature cream cheese until smooth.
  • Once the cream cheese is nice and smooth, add in the confectioner’s sugar, granulated sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Continue to beat until everything is evenly combined and there are no lumps in the mixture.
  • Once this mixture is smooth, use a silicone spatula to fold the heavy whipping cream from earlier into the cream cheese mixture. Fold this in until it is just combined and the mixture is evenly incorporated.
  • Place about half of the cheesecake mixture on top of the nilla wafer crust in the pan. Set the other half aside. We will make the strawberry compote now.
  • Place all of the strawberry compote ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan. Place over medium heat, while stirring constantly, and bring the mixture to a rapid bubble. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before adding to our cheesecake layers.
  • Once cooled, add the strawberry compote to the first layer of cheesecake in the pan. Spread evenly.
  • Top the strawberry compote with an even layer of Nilla Wafer cookies. To fill the sides perfectly, you may need to cut some of the nilla wafers in half.
  • Top the Nilla Wafers with the remaining cheesecake mixture. Set aside.
  • To make the Strawberry Shortcake topping, place the nilla wafers and freeze-dried strawberries into a large ziplock bag and use a mallet to crush them into small pieces. We still want some big chunks so I don’t recommend using a food processor for this step.
  • Top the cheesecake bars with the strawberry shortcake crumb. Spread as evenly as possible.
  • Allow this to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Slice into squares and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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