Lemon curd cheesecake bars are a delicious and refreshing dessert that is perfect for any occasion. They are made with a graham cracker crust, a creamy cheesecake filling, and a tangy lemon curd topping. The bars are then baked until the cheesecake is set, and the lemon curd is bubbling. They are then cooled and cut into bars before serving.
Love lemon? So do we! These lemon cheesecake bars are a great way to enjoy the flavors of lemon and cheesecake in one delicious dessert. The graham cracker crust provides a nice crunch, while the cheesecake filling is smooth and creamy. The lemon curd topping adds a touch of tartness that balances out the sweetness of the cheesecake.
I love how Lemon curd cheesecake bars are easy to make and perfect for the warmer weather. You can use different types of graham crackers for the crust, such as honey graham crackers or cinnamon graham crackers. Plus, if you don’t feel like making fresh lemon curd, you can use store-bought brands.
No matter how you make them, Lemon Curd Cheesecake Bars are sure to be a hit with your friends and family. They are a delicious and refreshing dessert that is perfect for any spring or summer occasion.
Lemon Cheesecake Bars Ingredients:
Before starting this recipe, you’ll want to verify that you have the following ingredients:
Cream Cheese – This is by far the most superior cream cheese for this recipe is Philadelphia brand (when compared to store brands) for making cheesecake. After years of trial and error, I pay more for this creamy, quality brand when making all my cheesecake desserts.
Granulated sugar – Every cheesecake needs some sweetness. This one gets it from both the lemon curd and the sweet cream cheese base.
All-purpose flour – Used to thicken the cheesecake batter so it bakes up like a gem.
Salt – Commonly used in baking to enhance the flavors.
Vanilla extract – This adds a tasty vanilla flavor to the cheesecake batter.
Eggs – Farm fresh work best, but store-bought, large-sized eggs at room temperature are a must.
Lemon Zest – This adds the lemony POP of vibrance these bars possess.
Lemon Curd – You will need 1 cup of lemon curd. Follow this recipe, or use store-bought variety.
Graham Crackers – We used the cinnamon and sugar type for this crust which tasted superb! You can use plain honey graham crackers as well if you prefer.
Butter – Unsalted butter melted is what will help to bind your crumbs for your cheesecake bar base.
Equipment and Supplies Needed
We used the following equipment and supplies to make this recipe. Items that are optional or can be substituted will be noted.
- 9 x 13 Pyrex baker – This is what is used to bake these lemon cheesecake bars.
- Parchment paper – To line the baking dish. This makes cutting the chilled bars easy.
- 2 large mixing bowls – Used to mix the graham cracker crust and the cheesecake filling.
- Food processor – To get the graham cracker crumbs finely crumbled.
- Hand or Stand Mixer fitted with the paddle attachment – Needed to whip the cheesecake batter until smooth, creamy, and fluffy.
- Measuring cups & spoons – To measuring out your cheesecake and crust ingredients.
- Zester – To get the precious lemon skin off the lemon. Only zest the yellow portion since the pith is bitter. You will not need lemon juice for this recipe.
- Rubber spatula – To smooth the cream cheese over the baked crust.
- Oven – Adjust oven racks to the center position for baking.
This recipe is easy to make if you know the right tips and tricks! Here are my tips for ensuring your Lemon Swirled Cheesecake Bars comes out perfectly.
We used cinnamon and sugar graham crackers for the crust. I found them to be perfectly sweet and flavored for this crust. However, you can use plain or honey-flavored grahams. If you want to replicate cinnamon and sugar grahams, adds 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the finely processed crumbs and mix before adding the melted butter.
You can make these gluten-free by using gluten-free graham crackers, and flour.
Lemon Curd Swirl
I recently made fresh Lemon Curd which I have used in these Lemon Danish, and Lemon Hand Pies. I also made delicious Lemon Bars but those do not feature this exact curd recipe. This curd was spectacular in these bars, but you can also use store bought lemon curd.
Lemon Curd is made with fresh ingredients like eggs, butter, lemon juice, zest, and sugar. You can make it in 15 minutes and our recipe will yield about 2 cups. You can also buy it in-store and will find it in the specialty aisle, or jams and spread aisle.
Cutting the Bars
These bars must be left out for one hour after baking, and then (once the pan has cooled) chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before cutting the bars with a wet knife. These will cut with ease once cooled which will firm them up.
How to Store Cheesecake Bars
Lemon cheesecake bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months. To freeze, wrap the bars tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Here are some tips for storing lemon cheesecake bars:
- Store the bars in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
- If you are freezing the bars, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil before placing in the freezer.
- Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Do not store the bars at room temperature, as they will become soft and may spoil.
More Lemon Recipes to Try
Lemon Curd Cheesecake Bars
- 9 x 13 Pyrex or baking dish
- parchment paper
- 2 large mixing bowls
- food processor
- hand, or stand mixer *fitted with paddle attachment
- Measuring Cups & spoons
- rubber spatula
- 16 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup lemon curd
- 14 whole cinnamon and sugar graham crackers processed until fine in a food processor.
- 10 tablespoons butter unsalted, melted
- Add half the graham crackers to a food processor and process until fine. Add the first half to a large mixing bowl, and process the next half. Add the melted butter to the bowl, and mix until all crumbs are moist.
- Add moisted graham cracker crumbs in a parchment-lined pan, and press crumbs firmly to form a bottom crust layer.
- Bake crust for 15 minutes and then remove it from the oven to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy using an electric hand mixer on low speed. Add in the salt, flour, vanilla extract, and mix until combined. Add eggs in one at a time beating in-between each. Mixture will be smooth and fluffy.
- To assemble these bars, spread all the cheese mixture over the cooled crumb topping. Use a rubber spatula to smooth it out. Add 6 plops of lemon curd to the top of the cheese evenly spaced out. Use a large wooden skewer to swirl the curd into the cheesecake batter.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until set. The bars will have golden-brown edges and feel firm.
- Allow pan to cool on top of the stove for one hour. Cheesecake will continue to set as it cools. Refrigerate for 3 hours before cutting. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper overhang before cutting them with a wet knife into 12 bars.