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A&E >  Food

Dorothy Dean presents: Decadent sopapilla cheesecake bars are insanely delicious

UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 14, 2020

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

OK, readers, this is one of those recipes – one of those recipes that you must make. I mean, you should be making all my recipes, but life happens. I forgive you.

However, you can’t live your life another day without having these sopapilla cheesecake bars.

They’re insanely delicious, take little effort to make and – with the world we live in now – they’re essential for your well-being.

This decadent dessert combines a simple cheesecake with the New Mexican staple sopapillas.

Sopapillas are fried dough that can be served sweet or savory. The sweet version tosses the pillowy pastries in cinnamon-sugar and serves them with honey. They’re like the love child of a churro and beignet.

Now imagine that crisp sweetness paired with creamy cheesecake – it’s absolute bliss that will have you addicted at first bite.

This foolproof recipe calls for just six ingredients: canned crescent dough, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, butter and cinnamon.

The crescent dough sandwiches the sweet, luscious filling, creating a tender crust on the bottom. After a slather of cinnamon-sugared butter, the top crust puffs up and bakes to a delightfully crisp and flakey golden brown.

They’re cooled before being sliced into bars. Serve them warm with ice cream or chilled with fresh berries and whipped cream. Or try them with a drizzle of honey or chocolate.

If you can find the “sheets” of canned crescent dough, grab those (then you can skip having to pinch together the dough seams).

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

Adapted from

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1¾ cups sugar, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract until smooth.

Unroll one can of crescent roll dough and lay it flat into the bottom of the baking dish, pressing together the seams to create the crust.

Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough in the baking dish.

Unroll the other can of crescent dough and carefully place it over the filling, pinching the seams to seal.

Stir together the remaining ¾ cup of sugar, cinnamon and butter. Dot or spread the mixture over the top layer of the dough.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is puffed and golden, and the middle appears set. Cool completely before serving. Cover and refrigerate any remaining bars.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at

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