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These one-bowl Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are silky smooth laced with creamy dulce de leche on a bed of cookie crust. They’re the perfect thing to make to bring to a gathering–easy to transport and a sure crowd-pleaser.
If you haven’t noticed, I love a swirl moment in my life. (Enter: my matcha swirl cheesecake and my marbled chocolate pumpkin cheesecake.) This is like a marriage between a delicious cheesecake and the perfect cookie (like my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies).
Ingredients for Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
- Dulce de leche – You can use store-bought or homemade. I love making mine at home but feel zero shame going the store-bought path.
- Cream cheese – this will make a creamy cheesecake like filling.
- Eggs – This helps make the cheesecake filling set to be the perfect consistency. And their used in the cookie crust.
- Sugar – It adds the perfect level of sweetness.
For the full list of ingredients, please take a look at the recipe card below!
Store-Bought Dulce de Leche vs. Homemade
Sweetened condensed milk is milk which has water removed and replaced with sugar. Basically it’s milk and sugar—simple!
To make fall baking a bit easier on myself, last week I made two batches of dulce de leche and I have it in the fridge just chilling, ready for all sorts of recipes that I can’t wait to use to add it to.
If you’re feeling short on time, feel free to use store-bought dulce de leche.
How to Make Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
There are two simple components that need to come together: the cookie dough and the cheesecake filling.
- Make your dulce de leche by cooking it in a pan until caramel-like in color. OR, skip this step by using store-bought.
- Make the cookie base by melting the butter and combining it with the sugars, eggs, vanilla and dry ingredients. I like to do this in one bowl.
- Add the dough it to your 9×13-inch lined baking pan. And then spread the cookie dough into an even layer.
- Make the cheesecake filling. In the same bowl you just used, no need to clean it out. Add the cream cheese, sugar and egg. Mix it until very smooth.
- Add the filling to the pan and smooth it out into one even layer.
- Drop dollops of dulce de leche onto the cheesecake filling and make swirls. You may need to do this up and down into different patterns.
- Bake in the oven until set. Allow to cool in the pan for 1 hour.
- Slice them up. Cut them up into the size you wish. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Absolutely. They’re perfect to make ahead. Make them up to 2 days ahead of serving. Store them in an airtight container.
If you like! You can use the chocolate swirl filling from my marbled chocolate pumpkin cheesecake and use that instead.
Tips and Tricks
The recipe is a total breeze and I hope it earns its way onto your fall baking to-do list!
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Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Cookie Bars Recipe
- 9×13 baking pan
Dulce de leche:
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- Pinch of salt
- Sea salt, for topping
To Make the Dulce de Leche:
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan. Set over medium-low heat and stir continuously, until the condensed milk has gone from white to light caramel color, about 30 minutes. If it at all clumps up, transfer it to the blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
To Make the Cookie Bars:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and line the bottom of the 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment. I like to cut the parchment and leave extra little flaps on the sides so the bars are easy to pull out of the pan.
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer), add the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat until combined, about 1 minute. Next, crack in the eggs and vanilla extract; mix until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat one last time until you no longer see any speckles of flour. Pour the cookie dough into the prepared pan, scraping out as much dough as possible; press the dough, spreading it to the edges with your fingers. Smooth the top as well as you can.
- In the same bowl (no need to wash it out, that’s why you scraped it out!), add the cream cheese, sugar, egg and salt. Beat until mostly smooth (it might be a tad bit lumpy and that’s ok!), about 2 minutes. Pour on top of the cookie dough and smooth it out with the spatula into an even layer.
- Drop small teaspoons (about 1/3 cup) of dulce de leche onto the cheesecake layer, leaving about an inch between the dollops. Using a butter knife or skewer, swirl the dulce de leche
- in loopy strokes until the surface is marbled.
- Transfer to the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the surface is only a little jiggly. Allow to cool completely, about an hour, before slicing into rectangles. Top with sprinkles of sea salt.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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