Cheesecake Lemon Bars

04.11.2017

Here, you have one of the all-time best spring desserts! I don’t know if dessert can get much better than these over-the-top Cheesecake Lemon Bars! With these you don’t just get one or two layers of utter decadence but FOUR layers of heavenly, sublimely lemony, utterly creamy, melt-in your-mouth bliss!

Cheesecake Lemon Bars

You will most definitely wow your family or guests with these delicious bars. How could you go wrong with buttery shortbread, a perfectly fresh and tart lemon bar filling, a rich and creamy cheesecake, and lusciously smooth sweetened sour cream all together in one bar? You just can’t!

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Yes, it may seem these have an overdose of sugar but it’s not much more than that cake I just baked. Also keep this in mind it will be split between about 20 servings. But who am I kidding, with these bars I’m not counting anything – I’m indulging in all of their goodness because they are worth every calorie! Self control, gone. Good bye. Hello Cheesecake Lemon Bars!

I actually originally shared these bars a few years ago (originally shared 3/28/15) but I never did like the pictures. So, since Easter is just around the corner it’s given me the perfect excuse to remake them – so that I can remind you this is the dessert you should be making this Easter Sunday!

Seriously, do it. You won’t regret it! I can’t get over how good these are every time I make them!

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Cheesecake Lemon Bars

4 from 2 votes

Such a rich and decadent brightly lemony treat! You get a layer of crust, a tangy lemon bar, a sweet cheesecake filling and a rich sour cream topping. Such a refreshing dessert!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesecake, Lemon Bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 285 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

Ingredients

Shortbread layer

  • 1 1/2 cups (213g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (68g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter, cold and diced into small cubes

Lemon Layer

  • 1 1/2 cups (33g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (4.6 oz) lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs

Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese, softened well*
  • 3/4 cup (165g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) sour cream

Sour Cream Layer

  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp (34g) powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish, set aside.
  2. For the shortbread layer: In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, powdered sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. 
  3. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and spread and pat into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until set, about 15 - 18 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly while preparing fillings.
  4. For the lemon layer: In a mixing bowl whisk sugar and flour, then add in lemon zest, lemon juice and eggs whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  5. For the cheesecake layer: In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, cream together cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  6.  Mix in eggs one at at time adding in vanilla with second egg. Mix in 1/4 cup sour cream. Tap bowl against countertop about 10 times to release any large air bubbles.
  7. Pour lemon filling over crust, then evenly drizzle cheesecake filling by the spoonful over lemon layer (work to evenly distribute, layers will separate once baked). Skim off any air bubbles. 
  8. Gently spread cheesecake filling into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until filling only jiggles slightly, about 29 - 33 minutes. 
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature 45 minutes then transfer to refrigerator and chill at least 2 hours.
  10. For the sour cream layer: In a small mixing bowl whisk together sour cream and powdered sugar. Spread into an even layer over chilled bars. 
  11. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  • *Cream cheese should be softened until it's nearly be melted. This way it's runnier and it will make the cheesecake filling easier to drizzle over the top of the lemon layer.
  • Recipe source: adapted with some changes from allrecipes
Nutrition Facts
Cheesecake Lemon Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 285 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 133mg 6%
Potassium 89mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Sugars 16g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 13.5%
Vitamin C 3.9%
Calcium 4.9%
Iron 4.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

69 comments

  • Ali: This is one of my all-time favorite bar recipes!! I’ve made it several times (usually for baby showers and Easter dessert), and it is always an incredible HIT. A bit more laborious than a typical bar, but so worth the labor of love. :)

    Each time I make it, I try and figure out a better way to get nice, clean squares. Today’s batch though put up the biggest fight yet. :/ I used a really sharp knife, and halfway through each cut, the cheesecake would start dragging through. I also tried a plastic knife (sounds weird, but my grandma swears by it!), and it wasn’t any better. Do you have any tips/tricks/recommendations?? Do you think cooking longer or chilling colder (freezer?) would help? Or what about an initial slicing *before* adding the final sour cream layer? That way the sour cream could cover up a poor cutting job… ;)

    Anyway, I still LOVE this recipe, but I’d love to try any tips you recommend!
    Thanks!! April 29, 2018 at 4:28pm Reply

  • Nanci: Por favor são lindas as receitas. Mas deveriam ter a opção da tradução para o Português.Obgada. December 15, 2017 at 7:13am Reply

  • Vicki: hi! How would you adjust cooking time for half a batch? July 6, 2017 at 9:23am Reply

  • Pat Karan: I made these yesterday for a family gathering. Love the idea of lemon cheesecake. For some reason my lemon layer soaked through to the bottom under the shortbread crust. I used parchment paper in the pan, cooled the crust completely before adding the lemon and cream cheese layer and refrigerated it before cutting. What did I do wrong? Wound up scooping the lemon off the parchment paper & eating it. Delicious but not what I expected to do! June 18, 2017 at 1:23pm Reply

  • Radka: Amazing!!!! Made these yesterday and they were fantastic! Thank you! I made the crust in my food processor and I lined my pan with parchment paper which really helped. Thank you for including the measurements in grams! I love weighing my ingredients as I’ve found it is SO much more accurate and I get the same great results every time:):) June 7, 2017 at 2:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! I’m glad you loved them Radka! June 13, 2017 at 12:09pm Reply

  • Veronica: I made these last night and they taste fantastic however I did have some issues with them. I followed the recipe to a T and for some reason the shortbread layer is a bit crumbly and was sticking to the pan even though it was buttered generously. Also, the lemon layer and the cheesecake layer are still much softer than they appear in your photos. Your photos look like they are bars you can pick up and they will not fall apart, but mine are very soft and falling apart. I’m not sure if the photos are a bit deceiving or if i did something wrong. The only thing I can think is that maybe they didn’t bake long enough even though I followed the instructions. They cooled on the counter about 30 min and then in the freezer for an hour and we ate a few. Then they were chilled in the fridge overnight which I thought would stiffen them up a bit but did not. They’re more the texture of cream pie rather than bars.
    Also, I was wondering what is the purpose for putting sour cream in the cheesecake layer? I did it per the recipe, but thought that was a bit weird. I’ve never put sour cream in cheesecake before and it seems you could do without just fine and maybe get a firmer cheesecake without it. May 10, 2017 at 8:14am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Hi Veronica, it sounds like it maybe needed to bake a little longer after you added the cheesecake and lemon layers, they will remain soft like a lemon bar or cheesecake is traditionally though. Then as far as the sticking goes – my edges did stick a little in places but you most definitely can butter the pan and line with two sheets of parchment next time. And I really like the addition of sour cream in cheesecake, you could try replacing it with heavy cream or even omitting it but I like the consistency of the cheesecake as is :). Hope that answers your questions! May 11, 2017 at 9:30pm Reply

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