These almond raspberry cheesecake bars have only 190 calories or 8 WW points per bar, and yet they’re rich, creamy, and memorable, with a hint of almond extract and a sweet, tart raspberry jam swirl.
The base, made from a mix of almond flour and all purpose flour, is like a buttery, crumbly cross between shortbread and chewy sugar cookie, and the cheesecake layer, made with low-fat cream cheese, is silky-smooth, scented with almond extract, and swirled with sweet raspberry jam.
To make lighter raspberry cheesecake bars with great flavor and fewer calories, I do two things. First, I use low-fat cream cheese (do not use fat-free), which is slightly tangier than full-fat but that tang actually works very well here, balancing the buttery base and the sweet raspberry jam. Second, I simply make thinner bars—almost a 50/50 split of filling and crust—and with all the rich, creamy flavor, you won’t even notice.
To make sure that your cheesecake bar crust is firm and sturdy, take your time mixing the flours with the melted butter, stirring and mashing the mixture until all of the flour is coated and it resembles damp sand or a thick paste. Use your fingers to press the mixture firmly into the bottom of your pan, packing it into an even, cohesive layer.
Lighter Almond Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
- Crust:¾ cup almond flour½ cup all purpose flour2 tablespoons granulated sugar4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- Cheesecake Layer:1 8-ounce block ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, softened½ cup sugar2 teaspoons lemon zest1 large egg½ teaspoon almond extract3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil and spray the bottom and sides with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, all purpose flour, and sugar. Stir in the melted butter, mixing well to create a thick paste. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of your lined pan. Bake for 14 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese. Add the sugar and lemon zest and mix until combined. Add the egg and almond extract and beat until smooth. Pour over the hot crust, pushing the batter to the sides of the pan and smoothing the top. In a small bowl, stir the raspberry jam to soften and loosen it. Drop spoonfuls of jam over the cream cheese layer and use a toothpick or butter knife to gently swirl the jam (be careful not to hit the crust. Bake until the center of the cheesecake is set but has a slight jiggle to it, about 20 minutes. Let the bars cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled before cutting and serving.