In: Food0

Luscious Lemon Cheesecake Bars made easy! Starting with a buttery shortbread crust, layered with creamy cheesecake and topped with bright lemon curd, this dessert will make you believe that dreams do come true.

Creamy and delicious lemon cheesecake bars, is what dreams are made of. If you’ve been reading the blog, you know cheesecake is my favorite dessert. I’ve made many variations, but these handheld bars are the perfect way to put a twist on a classic and make it that much better!

Show Love For Lemon

There are about 100 reasons why you’re going to love these bars, but let’s start with the basics. For one, they are super easy to make and use pantry/kitchen staple ingredients you’ll most likely have on hand already, and if not, they’re super inexpensive and easy to find at the store.

Second of all, lemon and cheesecake? I mean c’mon! The creaminess of the cheesecake, paired with the bright freshness from the lemon curd is to die for. Did I mention they are freezer friendly? That’s right! What are you waiting for? Let’s make them!

Ingredient Notes

SHORTBREAD CRUST

  • Flour – I used all-purpose flour.
  • Cornstarch – This will give the crust a melt in your mouth feel.
  • Sugar – Plain granulated sugar.
  • Butter – I always use unsalted butter to control the sodium.
  • Salt – Imperative when it comes to baking, don’t skip it!
  • Lemon Zest – Freshly grated.

CHEESECAKE LAYER

  • Cream Cheese – Softened. I used 3 packages of whole fat Philadelphia cream cheese. Reduced fat can also be used to cut calories.
  • Eggs – Large eggs.
  • Sugar – Plain granulated sugar again.
  • Sour Cream – To give us a nice tang and creaminess to the cheesecake.
  • Vanilla Extract – Without vanilla, our cheesecake may taste a little flat.
  • Salt – Again, don’t skip it!

LEMON LAYER

  • Lemon Curd – I used my recipe for homemade lemon curd (which I highly recommend). You can use store bought if you prefer.

How To Make Lemon Cheesecake Bars

SHORTBREAD CRUST

  1. Prep: Preheat your oven to350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray then line it with parchment paper, but with the parchment paper hanging off the sides to make it easy to lift out bars.
  2. Make Crust: Add all the crust ingredients to a food processor and pulse a few times until mixture resembles a dry coarse meal.
  3. Bake Crust: Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared baking dish and press it down evenly into the bottom. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

CHEESECAKE LAYER

  1. Make Cheesecake Layer: Using a hand mixer, mix the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla and salt, and continue to mix until the batter is well combined and smooth.
  2. Bake: Pour the cheesecake batter over the baked crust and bake for 45 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake has browned slightly. Set the cheesecake aside until it fully cools down.

FINISH THE BARS

  1. Add Lemon Curd: Pour the lemon curd over the cooled cheesecake and spread it evenly with a spatula. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until the cheesecake and lemon curd layers set.
  2. Cut & Serve: Carefully lift the cheesecake out of the pan and slice it into your desired size bars. I cut it 4 x 6, making 24 bars.

FAQs & Expert Tips

FAQS

Can I Make Different Varieties Of Cheesecake Bars?

Absolutely! You can switch up the lemon layer for any type or curd you want! I’ve also made pecan pie cheesecake bars, salted caramel apple pie cheesecake bars, as well as creme brulee cheesecake bars and all of them are just as delicious!

Can I Make These In Advance?

Yes you can! You can make these bars ahead of time and either store in the fridge or freezer for later dates. Scroll down to “storing/freezing” sections for full instructions.

Setting is Important

Letting your cheesecake bars set is of the utmost importance! I like to let my bars set overnight to ensure they are the perfect texture, but even if you’re impatient, you will need to wait at least 3 hours for them to set properly.

Will The Lemon Curd Layer Set?

Yes! If you let it set for at least 3 hours, the lemon curd will set.


TIPS

  1. Instead of shortbread, you can make a graham cracker crust.
  2. Leave enough parchment paper over the sides of your baking dish to allow for easy removal.
  3. How you cut your bars will determine how many you will get from this recipe. We cut it 4 x 6, making 24 bars.

Storing Lemon Cheesecake Bars

These little bars will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just store in an airtight container or wrap them up tightly before popping them in.

FREEZING

Place the bars fully cooled and uncovered on a pan in the freezer and allow to freeze entirely. Remove them and wrap fully in plastic wrap and aluminum foil till ready to eat. This method will ensure the lemon cheesecake bars will last 3 months.

 

LEMON CHEESECAKE BARS RECIPE

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Chilling Time: 3 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 35 mins
Luscious Lemon Cheesecake Bars made easy! Starting with a buttery shortbread crust, layered with creamy cheesecake and topped with bright lemon curd, this dessert will make you believe that dreams do come true.

EQUIPMENT

  • 9×13-inch Baking Pan (set of 2)
  • KitchenAid Classic 4.5 Quart Stand Mixer
  • Parchment Paper
  • Keep Calm And Bake On Spatula

INGREDIENTS

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter unsalted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest freshly grated

Cheesecake Layer

  • 24 oz cream cheese 3 packages, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

Lemon Layer

  •  cups lemon curd

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Prep: Preheat your oven to350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray then line it with parchment paper, but with the parchment paper hanging off the sides to make it easy to lift out bars.
  • Make Crust: Add all the crust ingredients to a food processor and pulse a few times until mixture resembles a dry coarse meal.
  • Bake Crust: Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared baking dish and press it down evenly into the bottom. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Make Cheesecake Layer: Using a hand mixer, mix the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla and salt, and continue to mix until the batter is well combined and smooth.
  • Bake The Cheesecake: Pour the cheesecake batter over the baked crust and bake for 45 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake has browned slightly. Set the cheesecake aside until it fully cools down.
  • Add Lemon Curd: Pour the lemon curd over the cooled cheesecake and spread it evenly with a spatula. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until the cheesecake and lemon curd layers set.
  • Cut & Serve: Carefully lift the cheesecake out of the pan and slice it into your desired size bars. I cut it 4 x 6, making 24 bars.

RECIPE NOTES

  1. Instead of shortbread, you can make a graham cracker crust.
  2. Leave enough parchment paper over the sides of your baking dish to allow for easy removal.
  3. How you cut your bars will determine how many you will get from this recipe. We cut it 4 x 6, making 24 bars.
  4. These little bars will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just store in an airtight container or wrap them up tightly before popping them in.
  5. To Freeze: Place the bars fully cooled and uncovered on a pan in the freezer and allow to freeze entirely. Remove them and wrap fully in plastic wrap and aluminum foil till ready to eat. This method will ensure the lemon cheesecake bars will last 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1squareCalories: 222kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 27g (9%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 11g (17%)Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 51mg (17%)Sodium: 262mg (11%)Potassium: 94mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 21g (23%)Vitamin A: 339IU (7%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 54mg (5%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
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