Lusciously creamy goat cheese cheesecake bars with a sweet and salty, cinnamon-spiced graham cracker crust, layered with fresh figs and a drizzle of honey.
for the crust:
1–1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs¹
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cups unsalted butter, melted
for the filling:
12 oz cream cheese, at room-temperature
4 oz goat cheese, at room-temperature
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 large eggs, at room-temperature
1–1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
optional: zest of one lemon
4–6 medium fresh figs,² thinly sliced
1 Tbsp pure honey, or to taste
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving about an inch overhang on two sides to create a sling. Set aside.
Make the crust: Use a food-processor to pulse together the graham crumbs, salt, and cinnamon. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse a few times until combined.
Spoon the crumbs into the prepared pan then press down gently into an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, make the cheesecake: Add the softened cream cheese, goat cheese, and sugar to the mixing bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together on medium speed, until light and creamy, and no lumps remain. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Beat in the eggs, followed by the vanilla and lemon zest, if using.
Pour over the crust, and use an offset spatula to smooth the top into a smooth, even layer. Gently tap the bottom of the pan on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles.
Bake until the sides of the cheesecake are gently puffed, and just beginning to color, 30-35 minutes. The center should still have just a tiny bit of jiggle to it, and the cheesecake will continue to cook as it cools. Remove from the oven and let cool to room-temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator and let set and chill thoroughly for 2-3 hours.
When ready to serve, slice the figs, and layer in a pattern over top the cheesecake. Drizzle or brush on honey, to taste. Once topped with the figs, the cheesecake bars are best served immediately.
¹ Expect to use about 11-12 traditional graham cracker sheets.
² The figs are so delicate and can get a little mushy and sad the longer they sit out, so slice them right before topping and serving. If figs aren’t in season, or tough to find, try using fresh berries, or thin peach slices, or another favorite!
³ The cheesecake itself can be made up to a day in advance. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.