Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
The perfect dessert bars for spring are these lemon blueberry cheesecake bars. They are full of flavor and zest! The creamy cheesecake topping has a swirl of fresh blueberries, which tastes delicious on top of the graham cracker crust.
Whether you’re looking for a homemade Easter dessert or a simple, yet delicious, springtime recipe, these lemon blueberry bars are the answer. Something about a rich creamy cheesecake and graham cracker crust just hits the spot! Now, add a tangy citrus flavor and a pop of blueberries, and you’re in for a treat!
Why you will love the recipe
The flavor and texture is perfection. The citrus cheesecake filling is creamy and smooth with bursts of blueberry flavor. The crust is buttery and crunchy, which is a nice balance to the topping. Also, the bars are easy to make and perfect for sharing! It makes for a delicious springtime dessert.
- Graham crackers: Crush them up into fine crumbs using a food processor. Alternatively, you can place them in a ziptop bag and crush them with the bottom of a measuring cup.
- Cream cheese: Use block-style cream cheese. It’s thicker and better for baking.
- Eggs: To bind the ingredients, use two large eggs at room temperature.
- Lemon: You will need one large lemon to zest and juice. Use fresh for the best flavor!
- Blueberries: Fresh or frozen blueberries work in this recipe. If using frozen, keep them frozen until ready to mix in.
Try a different crust. You can also use Nilla wafers or digestive biscuits to make the crust. You need about 1 1/4 cup crumbs. Another option is making a shortbread crust (you can use the recipe from my lemon bars).
Mix in different berries. This recipe also works with raspberries, blackberries or diced strawberries! You can even swirl in 1/4 cup of your favorite fruit jam.
Make a large batch. Double the ingredients and bake in a 9×13 pan. This is great for entertaining guests or if you’re bringing dessert to a baby shower, brunch or Easter gathering.
Add a streusel on top. Believe me when I say streusel makes everything better—even cheesecake! Stir together 1/4 cup melted butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 cup flour. Break mixture into crumbles and sprinkle over the cheesecake before baking.
How to make lemon blueberry cheesecake bars
- Make the graham cracker crust mixture. Crush crackers into fine crumbs and mix together with sugar and melted butter.
- Bake the crust. Press mixture into an 9×9 baking pan. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until fragrant. Cool completely.
- Make the cheesecake mixture. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then add sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix just until combined. Stir in blueberries.
- Bake bars. Transfer topping to cooled crust. Spread evenly and sprinkle a few more blueberries on top. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely, then chill the bars for at least 2 hours.
Use room temperature ingredients. This is important for any type of cheesecake mixture. It makes a consistent and smooth texture. Weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale for accurate measuring.
Let the graham cracker crust cool completely before adding the filling on top. You want the filling to bake at an even rate. If the crust is hot or still warm, then this will affect the baking time.
Do not over mix the cheesecake mixture. Mix just until combined and scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated. If the filling is over mixed, the cheesecake may crack.
Chill the bars after they have cooled and before cutting. They need at least 2 hours in the refrigerator so the filling sets properly. Overnight is best so the flavors can meld together.
Make ahead and storage tips
Make ahead: The crust may be made ahead, covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The cheesecake mixture may also be made ahead of time, but only refrigerated for 24 hours before pouring over the crust and baking.
Storage: Lemon blueberry bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They may be served chilled or at room temperature. For best flavor and presentation, serve the bars within 48 hours of baking.
Freeze: After the bars have been chilled, cover them tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
The edges will be set, but the center will jiggle slightly when gently shaken. As the cheesecake cools, the filling will set.
Yes, double the recipe for a rectangular pan. Baking time will be 35 to 45 minutes.
Yes, keep the berries frozen until you’re ready to mix them in. Keep in mind the frozen blueberries may turn the mixture a little purple. The color will bake off a bit in the oven.
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Get the Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Graham Cracker Crust
- 10 graham cracker sheets/rectangles, (or 1 ¼ cup crumbs)
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
- 2 cup (16 oz) block style cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus extra for garnish
- 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan, line with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, crush graham crackers into fine crumbs, about 30 seconds (you can also place graham crackers in a zip-top bag and crush them with the back of a measuring cup). Add sugar and melted butter. Process until combined, about ten 1-second pulses.
- Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Press the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until fragrant. Cool completely. Prepare the filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl if necessary. Stir in 1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries.
- Transfer mixture to cooled graham cracker crust. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup blueberries over the top.
- Bake bars at 325 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until the center jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 2 hours. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 16 square bars. Garnish with fresh lemon zest and serve.