Dessert is always such a fun thing to experiment with, and we have no problem trying out new recipes and trying to come up with the best versions of anything we try. As you may already know, we’re pretty hooked on all things cheesecake over here, so we’ve done a fair amount of trial and error with any number of cheesecake-related desserts. Whether it’s bright and citrusy lemon cheesecake bars or rich, silky chocolate cheesecake pie, you can’t go wrong with a cream cheese-based dessert…which is how we knew ahead of time that these sopapilla cheesecake bars would be a smashing success!
So, what exactly is a sopapilla you ask? Also known as a sopaipilla, this dish has roots in many Spanish countries, but it’s the New Mexican version of it that influenced our recipe today. New Mexican sopapillas are little fried pillows of dough that rise up after being fried and that are served with honey or cinnamon sugar. They’re light and airy, which means you can have a bunch of the without feeling full…which is usually what we do. Here though, we took crescent rolls as our dough, then made a creamy cheesecake filling, and topped everything off with a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar. The result is a decadent dessert bar that never fails to hit the spot!
1 hour to prepare serves 12-16
2 (8 oz.) packages crescent rolls
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
Unwrap 1 package of crescent rolls and carefully place it into baking dish, gently pinching seams together to form a uniform crust layer.
Optional: place in oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large bowl or mixer, beat cream cheese for 3-4 minutes, or until fluffy, then mix in 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla extract until combined.
Spread cream cheese mixture over (now) cooled crust, making sure to get all the way to the sides.
Take remaining crescent rolls and place them gently over the cream cheese layer, gently pressing seams together again.
Brush melted butter over dough. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon, then evenly sprinkle mixture over top crust.
Place baking dish in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 1-2 hours, or overnight before serving.