These creamy lemon holiday cheesecake bars are light, refreshing and absolutely delicious. This recipe is just the right balance of sweet and zesty and each bar is basically a taste of cheesecake heaven! They’re always a big hit at parties and get-togethers and these luscious bars are the perfect light dessert to serve after a holiday meal (or any day of the week!). I mean, who needs a reason to indulge in an awesomely sweet treat after a long day? Not me!
These Cheesecake Bars Are Super Freezer-Friendly
Any leftovers will last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, just make sure that you cover with foil or plastic wrap to retain moisture and stop the bars from drying out. You can also freeze them if you want them to last a bit longer.
Your lemon cheesecake bars will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just slice the individually, place them on a cookie sheet and freeze until firm. Then take them out of the freezer, wrap in aluminum foil, place in a freezer bag, and return to the freezer. To defrost just remove the bars and leave them to thaw out at room temp, easy!
How to Make Holiday Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9×9 inch pan.
- Place a 9×9 inch square of parchment paper on top of the greased bottom of the pan.
- To make the crust: combine flour, cornstarch, butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a pastry blender until you get a mixture of coarse crumbs.
- Press the dough into the baking pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Leave the oven on.
- To make the cream cheese layer, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar for 3-4 minutes until light and creamy.
- Beat in the egg, pour the mixture onto the warm crust.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until slightly set on top.
- Remove and leave the oven on.
- To make the lemon layer, whisk the ingredients together by hand and pour over the cream cheese layer. Spread out the lemon in an even layer.
- Bake for another 25-30 minutes until the filling is just set in the middle.
- Cool at room temperature and refrigerate for 3+ hours until the filling completely sets.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar, slice into squares and serve.
Don’t Over Bake!
These delicious bars will harden as they cool, so don't worry if they’re a bit soft when you remove them from the oven – that’s normal. Just make sure you keep an eye on them as cheesecake is custard so it overcooks VERY quickly. If you wait until they’re completely set in the oven, the bars might over bake and start to dry and crumble!
How is your Christmas planning going? I almost feel that I am behind, as we just do a gift exchange in my family now.Sure, there are a few friends and teachers that are getting gifts, but really, when you take away my immediate family, there's not much gift buying to be done! I can spend the time baking, putting up two Christmas trees…the usual fun Christmas stuff!
Don't forget to try my Buttercream Frosting Recipe too if you love cake and sweets, it's famous for a reason!
Happy Baking everyone! Thanks for stopping in!
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Cheesecake Lemon Bars
- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 30 minutes
- Total Time
- 40 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ cup salted butter
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Cream Cheese Layer
- 1 package (8 ounce/226 cream cheese cubed
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 extra-large eggs room temperature
- 1⅔ cups white sugar
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup lemon juice 2 to 3 large lemons
- Preheat the oven to 350°Grease a 9- × 9-inch baking pan.
- Cut out a 9- × 9-inch square of parchment paper and lay on top of the greased bottom of the pan
- For the crust, use a pastry blender to combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, butter, and lemon zest until the mixture is coarse crumbs, with the butter worked in. Press the dough into the greased baking pan, on top of the parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove and place the pan on a wire rack to cool slightly. Leave the oven switched on.
- For the cream cheese layer, fit a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until light and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the egg completely, then pour the mixture onto the warm crust. Return to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until slightly set on top. You need to have the top cooked in a slight crust so the lemon layer doesn’t seep through when poured on top. Remove. Leave the oven switched on.
- For the lemon layer, whisk together all the ingredients by hand. Gently pour over the cream cheese layer, trying not to disturb it. Spread out the lemon in an even layer.
- Return to the hot oven and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is just set in the center.
- Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate uncovered to letthe filling set completely. This should be refrigerated at least 3 hours, but more time may be needed.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired. Slice into squares to serve.
- These can be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator, or frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
- You can double this recipe and bake in a 9x13 pan for even thicker bars that you serve as a "dessert slice" and not dainties.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.