Cheesecake Lemon Bars

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


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


  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 fromĀ allrecipes