Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Bars, a great low carb dessert where strawberry crumble bars meets cheesecake bars, with a nice shortbread crust.
I don’t know how many of you are mother’s of school aged children… I looked at the calendar the other day and was shocked. My kids have 3 weeks of school left. Where did the time go? In 3 months another school year will begin and another year will fly by. Crazy!
Luckily, this recipe comes just in time for Summer gatherings and parties. Strawberries and other Summer berries contain less sugar than other fruits, making them the smart choice for low carb keto diets. Bring a batch of these strawberry cream cheese bars or one of my other low carb recipes to your next gathering and watch them disappear!
Summer is just around the corner and in Southern California it’s strawberry season. I love fresh strawberries. Their seductive color and sweet-spicy floral perfume are hard to resist. I buy fresh-picked strawberries straight from the farm, so I’m compelled to eat at least one in the car on the way home.
While I keep consumption of fruit to a minimum on my low carb keto diet, I always make room for fresh fruit in season. It’s just not strawberry season without low carb strawberry shortcake, cake with strawberries and cream or these delicious strawberry cream cheese crumble bars! I shared blueberry crumble bars last month, but this strawberry version with cream cheese is a new family fave.
This strawberry cream cheese crumble bars recipe starts with a low carb shortbread crust made primarily from almond flour and unsweetened shredded coconut. I chose Bob’s Red Mill brand because I can find it easily at my grocery store. Sukrin Gold is the perfect brown sugar sub and I love how it tastes in this recipe but you can use your low carb sweetener of choice if you want. Butter brings it all together.
Each serving of these scrumptious Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Bars is 4 net carbs.
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Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Bars
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup low carb powdered sugar
- 1 cup reserved shortbread crust mixture
- 8 oz strawberries, small dice
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Low carb brown sugar optional, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 9 inch metal pan with baking spray and line with a piece of parchment that covers all or most of the bottom of the pan and overhangs two opposite sides. This will help you remove the whole dessert from the pan after baking. Powder the coconut in a coffee grinder. Dice the strawberries.
- Measure all of the dry ingredients into a smallish mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk. Melt the butter and add it to the dry ingredients. Stir and press the mixture with a large spoon or rubber spatula until the butter is incorporated. Squeeze a small amount in your hand to test if it will hold together nicely. If not, add 1-2 more tablespoons of melted butter. REMOVE 1 CUP OF THE MIXTURE FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING
- Beat the softened cream cheese with the egg and Sukrin Melis (Icing Sugar) in a small bowl until completely incorporated.
- Dump the rest of the shortbread mixture into the prepared pan, spread it evenly and top with a piece of waxed paper. Press the crust firmly into the pan with a flat bottomed glass. With a spoon, drop the cream cheese over the crust and spread gently. There will be open spaces. Distribute the diced strawberries. Crumble 1/2 of the reserved crust mixture over the strawberries and then half of the almonds. Repeat. Sprinkle with additional sweetener if desired.
- Place into the middle of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely before lifting out of the pan.Cut the strawberry cream cheese crumble into 16 squares with a large chef’s knife, cutting straight down. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes 16.
- WHY PROTEIN POWDER? Whey protein powder is a great texture enhancer in many baked goods. It add a more bread-like texture to Fathead dough and a more cake-like and softer texture to cakes, muffins and quick breads. Adding a little to this crust makes it more like a shortbread crust or cookie. It does make a difference.
- POSSIBLE SUBS: If you are allergic to whey protein powder or do not have any what can you do? You can try adding a gluten-free baking mix like Bob’s Red Mill. Another substitution is finely ground GF oats or Oat Fiber 500. I would only use half the amount of oat fiber than protein powder in the recipe. Because it is pure fiber, it may make the crust too dry.
- JUST SO YOU KNOW: I have not tested the shortbread crust recipe with the subs I suggested. They will each add their own flavors and baking properties and will alter the texture from how it is written. Who knows, they may even improve it!
- METRIC CONVERSIONS: Looking for metric conversions? Visit the American to Metric Conversions on the Blog Menu Bar.