In my three decades of enjoying various sweet foods, there are few desserts that I've experienced that will make me claim that they've "changed my life." Cookie dough, buckeyes, gelato, Aunt Judy's chess noels, tempura fried Cinnamon ice cream at Ra Sushi (it's amazeballs), and deep fried Cadbury Creme Eggs pretty much round out the list. Well, we can add one more thing to this list, and it's super easy to make.

What dessert could possibly rank up there with the amazing list I've already laid out for you? I'm talking about Cinnamon Cream Cheese Bars. Since words can't adequately capture the sense of gastric euphoria that I typically experience when eating this dessert, we'll do the next best thing and share the supplies and steps necessary to construct the gustational superstar so that you may experience it on your own.

The ingredients necessary are actually quite simple, and total prep time should only take about 10-15 minutes. In addition to being simple and quick, Wendy has taken this classic dessert, and lightened it up a bit for those watching their waistlines. I'd call it a win-win dessert!


  • 2 Containers Reduced Fat Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 1/2 Packages Neufchatel or Light Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4-6 Tablespoons Cinnamon Sugar (mix sugar and cinnamon in a small container in a 1:1 ratio)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Open the first container of crescent rolls and unroll them into a single sheet. Do not separate the crescent rolls as you normally would. Instead, lay the sheets of crescent rolls into the bottom of a glass baking dish.

It's important to pinch together the perforations in the dough to reduce the likelihood that it will tear as you continue.

Next, combine the cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla into a large bowl.

We used a hand mixer for ours, but pretty much anything that will mix the ingredients into a consistent and spreadable mixture will do.

Using a spatula, carefully spread the cream cheese mixture onto the first layer of crescent roll dough. 

Here's where you'll be glad you pinched the dough together. Otherwise you'd have a potential mess.

Once the mixture is spread evenly across the first layer of dough, open the second container of crescent rolls and lay it out on top of your cream cheese mixture.

Next, melt the butter in a container that will allow you to pour it across the top of the dough.

After pouring the butter across the top layer of dough, brush it evenly, lightly coating the entire surface.

Then, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly across the top of the dish. Once it's evenly spread out over the top, pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

The dish is done baking when the top is bubbling a bit and the corners have slightly pulled away from the edge of the glass.

Finally, cut into squares or triangles and serve, then watch your friends, family, or strangers' mouths drop open after eating one.

This is a go to dish if you need to bring something to someone's house or party, and it works wonderfully if you are tight on time. And one of the best parts, the cream cheese mixture is absolutely perfect for beater licking and bowl scraping. This is one of those critical elements that makes a good dessert an absolutely great dessert.

We brought them to a party this past weekend and they were a huge hit. In addition to dessert, they could even be perfect for a delectable Mother's Day Brunch item since cream cheese makes them a good fit for early morning indulgences. 

What do you think, does this sound like something you'd like to eat or make? Does it fit your description for an ideal dessert? Will you be treating Mom to a batch of Cinnamon Cream Cheese bars this weekend?

The DIY Dreamer
Comments 19


5/9/2012 at 11:24 AM
I cannot wait to try this. I'm going to the grocery tonight to pick up ingredients.
They're seriously amazing, and so easy!
Jill PP
5/9/2012 at 11:46 AM
These sound awesome!!! How do you think it would work with reducing the butter a bit (down to 1 or 2 tablespoons)?
Believe it or not, the original receipe called for an ENTIRE stick of butter, full fat cream cheese, and full fat crescent rolls. I think you could probably get by with a little less butter than 3 tbsp., but you'll want to watch them when they bake to ensure they don't dry out on top.
Jill PP
5/9/2012 at 1:43 PM
whoa - thanks! :) If we give it a try we'll let you know how it goes!
5/9/2012 at 12:29 PM
BRB, I've gotta run to the store...
LOL. Hope you made it to the store and you liked them!
threadbndr (karla)
5/10/2012 at 8:49 AM
Of course, I'm reading this before work, eating my boring, drab little bowl of oatmeal...... (sigh).

Seriously stopping by the store on the way home. How well do these store? And do they eat warm ok at room temp?
They seem to keep pretty well at room temperature for at least a little while, but each time we've served them at a party they seem to be gone rather quickly, so it's hard to be 100% accurate.

The best part, they work for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just because.
5/10/2012 at 6:30 PM
Just pulled them out of the oven...the smell? WOW! Hope to have some tomorrow to bring to a meeting but am are already circling the kitchen..sigh... Many thanks!
Always a good sign when the kiddos are lined up! I hope they were a big hit Nance!
5/10/2012 at 9:31 PM
This just sounds like evil on every level. Can't wait to try them.
:-) You'll have to let us know if you like them.
5/12/2012 at 8:03 AM
The recipe sounds great, but OMG, that's my china that I inherited from my grandmother! I love it and haven't seen it much out in the world. I have some of each of the related designs -- Blue Fluted Lace and Blue Fluted Half-Lace. I think there's also something like Blue Fluted Whole Lace? Such a nice surprise to see this!
How cool! Unfortunately I can't claim ownership of this beautiful china. It actually belongs to the hostess of the party we took the cream cheese bars to. :-) She has impeccable taste, and I bet the related designs are gorgeous as well.
5/21/2012 at 9:58 AM
Made these Friday night to rave reviews! Thanks!
Excellent! So glad to hear it. :-)
5/28/2012 at 3:27 PM
These sounds awesome! The only problem for me, i am from the netherlands and i have no idea what the crescent rolls are?! Are these from the same dough you bake croissants with? Thank you for letting me know!
Love your blog! Greets from the Netherlands!
Hi Rosanne and welcome!

Crescent rolls are a pre-made dough made by a company called Pillsbury. The dough bakes to a consistency similar to croissants, except slightly less flaky. I would expect that croissant dough would be the closest substitution though.

Good luck and please let us know how they turn out! :-)
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