Tired of boring desserts? Brighten up the dessert table with these Easy Rainbow Vanilla Cheesecake Bars. They have a swirl of bright tie dye colors on top making it the perfect dessert any time of year. It is an easy cheesecake recipe to customize for any theme or holiday by changing the colors.
Spring has definitely arrived here in Florida. Flowers are blooming, and the weather has been getting warmer during the day. I love going to stores and seeing all the pretty plants that you can plant in your own yards.
I have been trying to acquire a green thumb by planting more flowers and plants outside. Over the years I have learned to avoid the inside plants because those tend to die way too quickly on my watch.
So far, only a few outdoor plants have decided to pass on living in my flower beds. A few others were nibbled on by the deer, so I’m not taking credit for their deaths.
It’s probably better if I stick to being a baker and making cheesecake bars instead of trying to be a gardener. These fun vanilla cheesecake recipe was inspired by all the flowers that I want to plant.
Cheesecake is one of those treats that you have to have patience with. You can’t just dive into it as soon as it finishes baking. There is cooling time on the counter, and then more cooling time in the refrigerator.
If you are baking these rainbow cheesecake recipe, make sure to add the cooling time into your plans. Luckily, cheesecake bars cool a lot faster than a full sized cheesecake.
These bright colored cheesecake bars are the perfect dessert to make for spring or Easter.
- Cream Cheese – Set the blocks out an hour or two ahead of time, so they are easier to beat into the sugar.
- Sugar – Granulated sugar helps to break down the cream cheese into a creamy texture and sweeten the dessert bars.
- Vanilla Extract – adds the vanilla flavor to the batter. You can also use vanilla bean paste instead of extract if you like seeing the vanilla bean flecks in your cheesecake.
- Flour – A little bit of flour adds some structure to the cheesecake and keep it from cracking.
- Sour Cream – Gives the vanilla cheesecake a little bit of tang like a New York style cheesecake.
- Eggs – Adding eggs gives cheesecake a creamy and smooth texture. Avoid over beating once you add the eggs because it can add air bubble to the batter and cause it to crack when baking.
These vanilla tie dye cheesecake bars are baked on a vanilla cookie crust. BRUCREW TIP: Leave the filling in the cookies when you crush the Oreo cookies into crumbs. The cream filling helps the crumbs stick together, so you can use less butter.
How to make Rainbow Cheesecake Bars:
Step One: Make the Crust.
- Crush the cookies and stir in the butter.
- Press the cookie crumbs into a foil lined pan and bake. Foil is optional, but it does make it easier to lift the bars out later before cutting them.
Step Two: Make the Cheesecake Batter.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
- Add the flour, sour cream, and vanilla and beat again.
- Gently beat in eggs until just mixed in.
- Place 3 cups of batter into 6 bowls. (1/2 cup in each)
- Pour the remaining batter on top of the cooled cookie crust.
Step Three: Color the Cheesecake Batter.
- Choose how many colors you want to swirl on top of your tie dye cheesecake. You can do as many or as few colors as you want.
- Color the bowls of cheesecake batter with different food coloring. Wilton gel colors are great because they do not add extra liquid to the cheesecake batter. They are available at craft supply stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby in the cake decorating aisle.
- Drop the colors randomly by spoonful onto the batter already in the pan.
- Use a butter knife to very carefully swirl the colors together. Keep the knife at the top of the batter, so it doesn’t mess with the vanilla layer underneath.
BRUCREW TIP: Use this fun technique to make seasonal cheesecake bars for every holiday. These Red White and Blue Cheesecake Bars are a fun variation for the 4th of July.
Step Four: Bake the Cheesecake Bars.
- Place the pan of cheesecake on an oven rack above a steaming pan of hot water. The water helps to add moisture and steam to the air inside the oven, so the cheesecake will bake up creamy.
- Once it is done baking, remove and place on a wire rack for 1-2 hours to cool.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to chill through.
Recipe Tips and Tricks:
How do you tell if cheesecake is done?
The secret is in the jiggle test. Gently shake the pan and watch for the wiggle. Cheesecake should be set on the outside and the center should jiggle slightly. It should remind you of a pan of Jello because it should jiggle as a whole.
How do you store cheesecake?
You will want to cover and wrap the cheesecake tightly in the refrigerator. This will prevent the cheesecake from drying out and from absorbing odors from the fridge.
Can I make cheesecake bars ahead of time?
Cheesecake is a great dessert to make in advance. It can be made and covered up to 3 days earlier.
Cheesecake can also be made weeks ahead of time and frozen. Defrost the frozen cheesecake in the fridge 24 hours before serving.
More cheesecake bars:
- Unicorn Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
- Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar
- Reese’s Cheesecake Brownies
- Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars
- Vanilla Cheesecake recipe
- Coconut Cheesecake
- Orange Cheesecake
- No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
- Banana Split Cheesecake
- Funfetti Cheesecake
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- 30 Golden Oreos
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 6 gel food colorings
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Crush the cookies (with the filling still in them) into fine crumbs. Stir the butter into the crumbs. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 11 minutes and cool.
- Place a large sheet pan on the bottom rack of the oven and fill with water. Preheat oven to 325° again.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
- Add the sour cream, vanilla, and flour and beat again. Add eggs and beat until mixed in.
- Remove 3 cups of batter and place evenly in 6 bowls. (1/2 cup in each bowls.
- Pour the remaining half of the cheesecake batter onto the cooled crust.
- Color the batter with the 6 food colorings
- Drop the colored batter onto the plain batter in a random pattern. Use a knife to swirl gently. Do not over swirl or put the knife in too far.
- Place the pan of cheesecake batter on the oven rack directly over the pan of steaming water. Bake 50-55 minutes.
- Let cool 2 hours on the counter. Refrigerate 4-6 hours or until completely chilled.
- Feel free to make these cheesecake bars without any colors if you like.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and are not guaranteed to be accurate. If you need special diet advice, please see a registered dietician.
(original photos from 2014)
*The post for Rainbow Vanilla Cheesecake Bars was first published April 8, 2014. The post, photos, and recipe was updated and republished March 9, 2021.