Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

5 from 6 votes
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Lemon Cream Cheese Bars are tangy, sweet, soft, chewy, and perfectly delicious. These tasty treats are always a crowd pleaser!

Three Lemon Cream Cheese Bars on a plate.

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars are a true family favorite. My mom made these for years when we were growing up and we all loved them. The luscious, creamy bar cookies took center stage at every family reunion, every picnic, and every weekend lake trip and they were always the first thing to be devoured. I like them more than traditional lemon bars because they’re much creamier and more like cheesecake. The buttery crust layer and crumble on top complement the light, fluffy lemony cream cheese mixture. They’re so yummy; you will absolutely love this recipe.

Stack of three Lemon Cream Cheese Bars.

Benefits of Lemon

Cooking and baking with lemons is not just delicious; there are so many health benefits too! Lemons are high in vitamin C, fiber and is known to control cholesterol and improve overall health. Of course this is a rich dessert, but everything in moderation, right?

Spatula holding up a Lemon Cream Cheese Bar.

Ingredients in these Lemon Cheesecake Bars

All you need for luscious, rich lemon cream cheese bars is six ingredients! This dessert comes together really fast. Here’s all you need:

  • Lemon cake mix – you can always find lemon cake mixes in the baking aisle of your grocery store. This little shortcut gives you all the flour, salt, baking soda, and other baking ingredients right in one cake mix.
  • Vegetable oil – you could try other types of oil, or melted butter but regular vegetable oil helps give this the perfect consistency.
  • Eggs – you’ll need one for the cakelayer and another for the cream cheese layer.
  • Cream cheese – make sure it’s room temperature before you start to whip together your ingredients for a smooth, light texture.
  • Lemon juice – use lemon juice from a bottle, or you can squeeze fresh lemon. Then save a little of the lemon zest to sprinkle in for an extra zingy lemony flavor.
  • Sugar – regular white sugar works great.
Ingredients to make Lemon Cream Cheese Bars.

Tips for the Perfect Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

  • These bars taste delicious cold. When we were little, our mom would pack them in a cooler and bring them to the lake. I also love them right out of the refrigerator. They are a bit more chewy when they’re cold, which I love!
  • Make sure to grease your baking pan by spraying a light layer of cooking spray or a sheet of parchment paper.
  • ​Then, to the bottom of the prepared baking dish, gently press the crust into a nice, even layer. Sometimes I find that using my fingers is the best way to get it even.
  • Pour in the cream cheese mixture, then top with the rest of the crust in crumbles.
  • You can get fancy and top these with raspberries or strawberries too. So delicious!
  • When mixing the filling, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature! Cream cheese at room temperature mixes up light and fluffy with absolutely no lumps.
Plated Lemon Cream Cheese Bar.

How to Store Lemon Dessert

Store Lemon Cream Cheese Bars covered in the refrigerator for up to five days. Serve at room temperature by allowing them to rest on the counter for about thirty minutes.

Hand holding up a Lemon Cream Cheese Bar.

More Favorite Bar Recipes

Love this Lemon Cream Cheese Bars recipe? Here are a few of our most favorite bar cookie recipes.

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars on a plate with a single bar to the side.
Three Lemon Cream Cheese Bars on a plate.

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

5 from 6 votes
Lemon Cream Cheese Bars are tangy, sweet, soft, chewy, and perfectly delicious. These tasty treats are always a crowd pleaser!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15 bars

Video

Equipment

  • Conventional Oven
  • 9 X 13 inch Pan

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine dry cake mix, vegetable oil, and 1 egg until crumbly. Reserve one cup of crumble mixture and set aside. 
    Crumble mixture for Lemon Cream Cheese Bars.
  • Spread remainder of crumbs in a 9×13 pan and pat down to form a crust. 
    Pressed crust in a 9X13 pan for Lemon Cream Cheese Bars.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crust is lightly golden brown. 
    Baked bottom crust of Lemon Cream Cheese Bars.
  • Place remaining ingredients in a bowl; whip until fluffy and light.
    Lemon Cream Cheese Bars mixture.
  • Spread over baked crumb mixture nice and smooth, covering the whole pan.
    Lemon Cream Cheese Bars layer on top of crust in a 9x13 pan.
  • Add the crumble from the reserved cup of crumbs over the top. 
    Unbaked crumble topping on a pan of Lemon Cream Cheese Bars.
  • Return to oven and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool and cut. Delicious!
    Baked Lemon Cream Cheese Bars in a 9x13 pan.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 281kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 3gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 308mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 235IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 0.9mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These Lemon Bars did not last long at our house! They were AMAZING!! I will be making these again and again! Thank you!

  2. Could I make these two and a half days prior to serving?
    What about one and a half days?
    Will the quality suffer a lot?
    Refrigerate or not?

    1. Yes, you can make them ahead and keep them covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for a few days. The quality and taste will not suffer. Thanks for asking!

  3. I’ve made this recipe for years. It’s always wonderful. Always requested. Try them…you’ll love them!!

  4. I made these for a pot luck party I attended and they were an epic fail for me. They tasted okay but I didn’t feel they cooked up properly – just too gooey for my liking. Once I saw how gooey they were, I did cook longer than the recipe called for. I won’t be making these again but wish others the best of luck with them!

  5. Made these for a company bake sale. They sold them out first. Lol. Making again today for me and my team as a pick my up for a rough few days! Thank you!
    I do add lemon zest to the filling and the base for extra lemon flavor. Don’t want to waste lemon!

    1. Woohoo! It is always nice to be the “hot” item at bake sales haha. So glad that you (and your company) like them!

  6. These sound delicious. I would like to know the nutritional information first. My husband is diabetic and this would be very helpful for us. Thanks

    1. At this time we are unable to provide nutritional information but you can plug the recipe in a nutritional calculator like livestrong.com and you will be able to find the nutritional info!

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