Orange Vanilla Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust Recipe

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orange vanilla cheesecake bar with gingersnap

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I thought this delicious cheesecake with citrus flavoring would be a wonderful option for a Spring gathering such as Easter. I’ve made this about 4 times in the last few months. I just had to share it with everyone!

It is so yummy that you would probably never guess that it came from a Clean Eating cookbook and that it has less calories and saturated fat than many similar desserts. Greek yogurt replaces half of the cream cheese! Perfect!

You will want to make it early in the day or the night before in order to leave enough time for cooling and chilling.


This recipe was slightly adapted from Clean Eating for Busy Families by Michelle Dudash, R.D.

clean eating for busy families


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  • Crust:

  • 2 3/4 c gingersnaps (1 1/2 c fine crumbs)
  • 3 Tbsp expeller-pressed grapeseed or coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Filling:

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg light cream cheese, at room temperature for 30 mins
  • 1 c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 granulated sugar or granulated raw sugar (evaporated cane juice)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 large orange, 2 tsp grated zest and 3 oz juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, slit open lengthwise, inside bean paste scraped out)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 8x8 or 9x9 pan.
  2. To Make the Crust: Whir the gingersnaps in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil and sprinkle in the salt. Mix until blended completely. Spread crumbs evenly into the pan and about 1/2 inch up the sides. Press crumbs firmly. Bake for 11 minutes until fragrant and surface appears dry.
  3. To Make the Filling: Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Add yogurt and sugar and beat until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until incorporated completely. Add flour, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, and vanilla. Pour the filling onto the crust and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 325 and bake for an additional 35 minutes until only the center jiggles when shaken.
  4. Place pan on a cooling rack and gently run a knife around the top edge to release the cheesecake from the sides of the pan. (This will help to prevent cracking.) Allow it to reach room temperature; then chill for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Cut into bars and serve!


Make it clean by using natural gingersnaps and granulated raw sugar (evaporated cane juice).

Ingredients: Cheese, Coconut Oil, Egg, Lemon
Meal Type: Desserts, Easter, Clean Eating, Meatless
Categories: Brownies and Bars, Cakes and Cupcakes, Oven

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