Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Lemon bars with a layer of cheesecake baked in. Absolutely a lemon lover's dream come true!

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These creamy lemon holiday cheesecake bars are light, refreshing and 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!

I’m definitely a bit of a lemon dessert geek and I always have my classic lemon bars and lemon better than sex cake on standby too if you fancy giving them a try!

white plate with a spoon and Lemon Cheesecake Bar garnish with lemon balm leaves

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!

Lemon Cheesecake Bar ingredients on a dark wood background with wooden cutting board

How to Make Holiday Lemon Cheesecake Bars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9×9 inch pan.
  2. Place a 9×9 inch square of parchment paper on top of the greased bottom of the pan.
  3. To make the crust: combine flour, cornstarch, butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a pastry blender until you get a mixture of coarse crumbs.
  4. Press the dough into the baking pan.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
  6. Remove the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Leave the oven on.
  7. To make the cream cheese layer, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  8. Beat the cream cheese and sugar for 3-4 minutes until light and creamy.
  9. Beat in the egg, pour the mixture onto the warm crust.
  10. Bake for 10-15 minutes until slightly set on top.
  11. Remove and leave the oven on.
  12. 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.
  13. Bake for another 25-30 minutes until the filling is just set in the middle.
  14. Cool at room temperature and refrigerate for 3+ hours until the filling completely sets.
  15. 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!

close up white plate with Lemon Cheesecake Bar garnish with lemon balm leaves

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!



Cheesecake Lemon Bars

Lemon bars with a layer of cheesecake baked in. Absolutely a lemon lover's dream come true!
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Total Time
40 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


Shortbread Crust

  • 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

Lemon Layer

  • 4 extra-large eggs room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups white sugar
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 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.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional values may vary.
  • You can double this recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan for even thicker bars that you serve as a “dessert slice” and not dainties. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 234kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 93mg, Potassium: 50mg, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 355IU, Vitamin C: 3.1mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 0.7mg

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.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Bars and squares Cheesecake Christmas Christmas dessert Lemon

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Lynett says

    Not happy with this recipe… way too thick of a base for a 9×9 pan and even after the cream cheese layer baked for 25 minutes…. lemon mixture went right through, what a mess! Should have gone with my guts and cooked the lemon topping separately…. or used lemon curd.

    • Janet says

      Agree 100%…way too much volume for a 9×9 pan…was only able to use a small part of the lemon topping leaving a very thin finished layer. Had to bake the remainder in custard cups.

  2. Suzin says

    Could this be made in a 10” spring form pan? Would you double the recipe or leave as is? I love your down to earth recipes. Reminds me of what my mom used to make.

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      No you can leave it as is and bake it in the springform pan. It would turn out wonderfully!

  3. Missme says

    I don’t have the tools (processor / mixer ) how would yo recommend going about this the ‘old fashioned ‘ way?

  4. Mary P Hoffman says

    I need a lemon cookie for my cookie platter – thanks!

    5 stars

  5. Leona Frances says

    I clicked on Ziplist and it tells me it is not available  –  is there another way in  —– I would love to have a place to save some of your recipes  –  I have your book and love it!!!!        

  6. Leona Frances says

    I clicked on Ziplist and it tells me it is not available  —  is there another way in  —– I would love to have a place to save some of your recipes  —  I have your book and love it!!!!

  7. Doug Chastkiewicz says

    these sound great! Sending my wife with grocery list so I can bake these up tomorrow night.

    5 stars

  8. cuzilikechoclat says

    I have made lemon squares before but never with cream cheese. What a great idea!

  9. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Aw thanks! I try to keep you all happy 😉

  10. The Kitchen Magpie says

    I know…then you add cheesecake and it’s all over from there… 😉

  11. Krista Michelle Gray says

    Oh zippy yumminess!!!! Not snowed-in over here, but I managed to make the dough for Empire Cookies before heading off to work, and I was so good, that I let myself lick the bowl! … I mean beaters! … OK…BOTH!!!! 🙂

    • ClariceOBrien says

      Any tips on how to keep the cream cheese layer from floating to the top once you pour the lemon layer? I’ve made this recipe twice and can’t seem to get it right. Not that it isn’t just as delicious, just maybe not as pretty. I made the best of it and kinda swirled it around so at least there were equal parts, so no big pockets of just one flavor. This recipe rocks. It was very well received at a dessert auction for charity and I’m making it for my husband’s men’s bible study group tonight. I just love lemon! (except silly me forgot we were low on lemons and has to sub in some fresh lime juice)

      5 stars

      • thekitchenmagpie says

        ClariceOBrien Put it in the fridge so the cream cheese layer hardens, then add the lemon. You might have to bake it a little longer, but that should help!

5 from 13 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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