Lemon Honey Slow Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Bars, inspired by the Japanese Flag

by Irvin on April 4, 2011 · 18 comments

So you’re probably wondering what I did with those slow roasted strawberries that I posted previously here on Eat the Love. Turns out I made two things with them for the Bake Sale for Japan that Samin organized. And though it didn’t turn out exactly as I had mentally imagined them to be, I was pretty happy with the way they looked. I present to you my first item. Lemon Honey Slow Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Bars, inspired by the Japanese Flag.

Lemon Honey Strawberry Cheesecakes

I had been playing with the idea of trying to replicate the Japanese flag in a dessert form for awhile. I had thought of sugar cookies, or blondies with a cherry center, or brownies with white frosting and strawberries in the middle. But then I thought back to my Japanese Castella post and how even though the sponge cake doesn’t have any cheese in it, it’s sometimes inexplicably referred to as a cheesecake. And then I realized, I just needed to make cheesecake bars with a red center dot. A basic and simple solution, and really, who doesn’t love a cheesecake you can eat out of hand?

Lemon Honey Strawberry Cheesecake

Making them, I really wanted a second layer of strawberry flavored cheesecake underneath the top layer of “plain” cheesecake but the strawberry layer didn’t quite show up as much as I had hoped. At least the flag idea came across, and the flavor of the roasted strawberries, coupled with the wildflower honey and subtle lemon scent really made these bars pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself.

Lemon Honey Strawberry Cheesecake

That said, I dropped them off at the Bi-Rite Market location around 10 am, along with another one of my items (I’ll be blogging about that later) as well as donations by Heather of Souffle Days (some awesome looking pistachio blondies as well as salted caramel & bacon brownies) as well as Theresa, One_Fork on Twitter, (blueberry bundt cakes and banana breads). They were both going out of town this weekend but wanted to donate, so I had them drop off items to me ahead of time. Of course, by the time I showed up, the Bi-Rite Market location was HOPPING with people and donations. And the baked goods, all of them, looked amazing.

Bake Sale for Japan

Bake Sale for Japan

Bake Sale for Japan

That’s sort of the point when I got all neurotic and thought to myself, oh wait a minute, I hope my cheesecake bars are decent enough to sell on this table of amazingness! So I was pretty pleased that the minute my cheesecake bars hit the table someone immediately picked it up and bought one. Whoo hoo! Turns out it was a co-worker of Anita of Desserts First who bought it. Yay!

Bake Sale for Japan

Yay! Someone bought my cheesecake bar

The food blogging community was out in full force as well as the local companies of San Francisco. I ran into Anita of Desserts First, as well as Nimisha of Club Dine in and we ended up going and getting brunch together. Later I had heard that Sabrina of the Tomato Tart donated food as did Sean of Hedonia/Punk Domestics and Vanessa of DIY Delicious. Annelies of La Vie En Route was up in the SPQR location volunteering there and a number of restaurants and bakeries up in that area donated food as well.

Anita taking photos at the Bake Sale

There were physical bake sales all over the San Francisco Bay Area and apparently the BiRite Market area had so much donated, that they started to disperse the goods to other locations in the city. So it’s very possible if you donated something to the Bi Rite location it ended up in the SPQR location or even up in Marin, East Bay or South Bay!

Bi Rite Location

All total, Samin tweeted that she thinks the bake sale across the US raised over $100,000 How amazing is that!?! Never underestimate the power of a cookie! Or cake. Or Pie.

Bake Sale for Japan

Or cheesecake bar as it is. I’m pleased to have been a part of fundraising efforts like these. If you haven’t had a chance, you can still make a donation. Visit the First Giving page and click the donation button to donate to help the Japanese victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Because every little bit counts.

Lemon Honey Strawberry Cheesecake Bars


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Phuoc'n Delicious April 4, 2011 at 7:57 am

Spectacular cheesecake bar! I thought it was lovely that you made it look like Japan’s flag. Good work to you all! I really want to hold a food blogger’s bake sale in Sydney but I think there are all these regulations about selling food without having a business etc :(


Irvin April 5, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Since this was a one time sidewalk bake sale, I don’t think it was an issue about selling the food without a license. But usually San Francisco is quite strict about it. That said there are definitely ways to skirt it. Every item, for instance, wasn’t priced, so much as given a “suggested donation” to the customer.


Dawn (KitchenTravels) April 4, 2011 at 10:11 am

These look incredibly yummy. And WOW – $100K?!? Awesome. Our little Sac-area bake sale raised a few thousand, too. Hooray!


Irvin April 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Oh no, it was actually $100K total, for ALL the bake sales across the US. Not just the bay area. I don’t know what the actual amount was that the BiRite location generated! Sorry for the confusion


justcooknyc April 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

they look cool to me, and the events looks great too


Irvin April 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm

The event was very cool. I was very pleased to be a part of it.


Winnie April 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm

These are so beautiful and I bet they tasted fantastic…kudos for donating so many fabulous treats for such a great cause.


Irvin April 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Thank you Winnie! It really was a great event.


faith April 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Oh wow. I drooled a little on my keyboard. Seriously. Those. Look. AMAZING! I am thrilled that the bake sales we able to raise that much money. That is impressive!


Irvin April 5, 2011 at 11:16 pm

I know! How cool is the food community?!? To really rally and get people to donate. So cool.


Heather April 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Thanks for helping me out! I’ve been stalking all the Bake Sale pictures, it looked like so much fun and I’m sad I missed the actual date. Your cheesecake bars are beautiful.


Irvin April 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Oh, I’m sorry that you missed the bake sale! There is another bake sale that I’m helping to organize on May 14th. Mark your calendars! It’ll be great too.


Nimisha (@clubdinein) April 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm

It was really fun hanging out with you on Saturday; thanks for introducing me to the “Pork Star”. Satish left a few bites of your cheesecake for me, it was delicious! I am going to make your red wine strawberries soon; it looks really easy. I have a cute picture of you and Anita on my recap of the bakesale.


Irvin April 5, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I love the pic of Anita and I! Thanks so much for taking it! You should definitely make the strawberries. They are super easy and really great on so many things.


Patricia April 5, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Ha – I went to high school with the guy who bought your bars in the photo! Haven’t seen that guy in 10 years! The spread at Bi-Rate is impressive, and your bars look amazing, and so appropriate!


Irvin April 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Shut up! That’s hilarious! I love it. The spread at BiRite was totally impressive. The table was groaning with the weight of all that amazing baked goods.


White Cocoa May 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Yum! Delicious and for a good cause… a winner!


Ria May 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm

That looks like a peperoni pizza!


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