Calamansi Cheesecake Bars

Calamansi Cheese Sticks are the ultimate sweet treat! Rich, creamy and bursting with citrus flavor, they’re sure to be a crowd favorite. Perfect as an after-meal dessert or mid-day snack!

If you are planning your holiday festivities and want to add Noche Buena to your menu, Kawaling Pinoy is the place to be! Every year I offer holiday recipes to help you celebrate the season in a delicious way, and this year we kicked off the tradition with Slow Cooker Ham, Lapu-Lapu de la Reyna, and Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.

Next up in our holiday series is the oldie but goodie calamansi cheesecake recipe I posted on the blog in December 2015! I’m excited to bring it back to the limelight just in time for Christmas.

There are two parts to the recipe, but don’t let that put you off. The steps are pretty simple, you’ll have these delicious dessert bars ready to enjoy in no time.

In fact, it’s so easy to whip up from scratch. Unlike the classic cheesecake version, there’s no water bath to contend with, and no cracking on the surface.

Cheesecake Dough

  • Start with room temperature cream cheese. It should be soft enough to spread smoothly and without lumps.
  • Do not over mix and use a low speed as too much air in the batter can cause cracks or small craters on the surface of the cheesecake.
  • Add flour or cornstarch. A small amount of starch prevents the eggs from over-curdling for a creamier texture and helps prevent cracking.
  • No calamansi on hand? Substitute freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice!

Graham cracker crust

  • Line the baking dish with aluminum foil to make it easier to remove the cheesecake after baking.
  • You can use store-bought graham cracker crumbs or make your own by grinding them in a food processor or crushing them inside a zip-top bag with a rolling pin into fine crumbs.
  • No graham crackers available in your area? Digestive biscuits work too!
  • For extra depth of flavor, use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar.

Pack the crust as tightly and compactly as possible with the bottom of a jar or measuring cup.
Allow cheesecake to cool completely before covering to prevent condensation from dripping on top. For easier slicing and serving, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight until completely chilled and set.

Dust the bars with powdered sugar or enjoy them as they are. Either way, the combination of the citrus flavor of the calamansi with the sweet velvety cheesecake makes for a delicious dessert that is hard to resist!

How to store

  • Do not leave the cottage cheese sticks at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store in an airtight container or cover the container tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 to 5 days.
  • To freeze, wrap individually in plastic wrap, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.