These are ultra creamy lemon blueberry cheesecake bars baked on a graham cracker crust. Enjoy fresh lemon flavor and smooth cheesecake, plus there’s no shortage of juicy blueberries and crispy crust!
One reader, Rob, commented: “A+ recipe. Got rave reviews from serious and finicky dessert people. And it freezes extremely well. Make it this summer, and use at least some frozen blueberries which makes it a beautiful color…★★★★★”
Like many bakers and dessert lovers, I enjoy baking a classic cheesecake. It’s a tall and mighty dessert with massive crowd appeal and endless topping options like strawberry sauce and salted caramel.
But there’s no arguing that baking a cheesecake can be daunting: Don’t over-sweeten! Avoid over-baking! Don’t forget the water bath! Will your springform leak? We’ll find out!
Here’s Why You’ll Love These Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- All the texture of traditional lemon cheesecake, but easier and quicker
- Extra creamy, extra thick
- Tangy-sweet flavor with loads of blueberries
- The cheesecake version of popular lemon blueberry cake
- Grab & go—no fork needed!
One reader, Pam, commented: “So delicious! Perfect amount of lemon tartness with the sweetness of the blueberries is to die for! Since blueberries are in season here right now I used fresh. Love the thick crust also. It holds up well to the weight of the filling…★★★★★“
Graham Cracker Crust Success Tips
Below you’ll find my basic graham cracker crust recipe. It fits into a 9-inch square baking pan perfectly, as well as many 8-inch and 10-inch pans. I love this particular crust because it’s altogether crunchy, buttery, thick, and not overly sweet like many crumb crusts of its kind. We use it for blueberry cream cheese pie, banoffee pie, and both these mini key lime pies and key lime pie bars.
Some helpful tips:
- You need a careful ratio of 3 ingredients: graham cracker crumbs, sugar, & melted butter.
- Use a food processor or blender to grind 12 full-sheet graham crackers into crumbs.
- Stir the graham cracker crumbs and sugar together before mixing in the butter.
- Press into your lined pan just until it’s no longer crumbly. Do not pack down too hard.
Pre-bake the crust for 8 minutes so it has a little head start:
Grab These Ingredients for the Filling
- Bricks of Cream Cheese: Make sure you’re using bricks of full-fat cream cheese and not the cream cheese in a tub you would use for spreading on bagels. Same rule applies when making cream cheese frosting and strawberry cream cheese pie.
- Sugar: When over-sweetening these bars, you can’t detect the natural lemon and blueberry flavors. 6 Tablespoons is the magical unicorn amount; it’s more than 1/3 cup and not quite 1/2 cup!
- Lemon: 1 large lemon or 2 medium lemons are typically enough for these lemon blueberry cheesecake bars. You need 3 Tablespoons of juice and 1 teaspoon zest, which together is the perfect amount for lovely lemon flavor (that isn’t pucker-your-lips-sour!).
- Vanilla Extract: For delicious, rich flavor.
- Egg: The cheesecake bars would fall apart without an egg.
- Blueberries: You can use fresh or frozen blueberries. If using frozen, your batter will be swirled blue/purple.
The filling we use for lemon blueberry cheesecake bars is a lot like this cheesecake pie. Lemon juice replaces the sour cream and we can get away with 1 egg since the bars aren’t quite as thick.
Expect a thick filling. Make sure you spread it over the crust while the crust is still warm. Why? This will help the filling adhere to the crust a little better.
Success Tip: Here’s how I like to line square baking pans. So easy! Lining the pan makes it much easier to remove the bars before slicing and serving. I use the same tip when making rice krispie treats and M&M cookie bars, too.
How to Cut Neat Squares
Cool baked bars at room temperature for about 1 hour, and then refrigerate them for 2 hours or until the bottom of the pan feels cold. If you cut the bars into squares too early, they’ll completely fall apart. If I’m serving these at a party or event, I prepare them the night before just so I know they’ll cool and chill long enough to yield neat squares.
Slice them with a sharp knife and wipe the knife clean between each cut.
I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe! The whole team loved how light they tasted, as well as how the buttery graham cracker crust complemented the lemon cheesecake filling. Finding the tasty balance between tart and sweet is tricky when it comes to lemon desserts, but these bars nail it!
More Lemon Desserts You’ll Love
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Citrus Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes or Lemon Blueberry Muffins
- Creamy Lemon Pie
- Lemon Pound Cake
Creamy lemon cheesecake bars studded and swirled with blueberries. They’re prepared on my simple graham cracker crust and will absolutely be your new favorite dessert!
- 12 full-sheet graham crackers (to yield 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) graham cracker crumbs)
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 16 ounces (452g) full-fat brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 6 Tablespoons (75g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (210g) fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily lift the chilled bars out as a whole. Set aside.
- Make the crust: If you’re starting out with full graham crackers, use a food processor or blender to grind them into fine crumbs. You can also place them in a zip-top bag and crush them into fine crumbs with a little arm muscle and a rolling pin. Stir the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl, and then stir in the melted butter. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Try to smash/break up any large chunks. Press into the bottom of the lined pan.
- Prebake crust: Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Cool for a few minutes as you prepare the filling in the next step.
- Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth. On medium speed, beat in the egg, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract together until smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Gently fold in the blueberries. Pour/spoon filling evenly onto the warm crust.
- Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set up and the edges are lightly browned. The bars will be very puffy, but will sink down slightly as they cool. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature on a wire rack and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut into squares.
- The bars stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 9-inch Square Baking Pan | Food Processor | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand)
- Non-US Readers: Don’t have graham crackers where you live? Use 200g ground digestive biscuit crumbs instead (about 13–14 biscuits), the same amount of butter, and add a bit more sugar (about 1/3 cup, or 67g). You may need to add a few extra minutes to the pre-baking time, as digestive biscuits are not quite as crispy-crunchy as graham crackers. And from what I understand, spreadable cream cheese sold in a tub in countries outside of the US is a little different from the spreadable cream cheese in the US. It’s thicker, sturdier, and more solid and should be OK to make cheesecake. I have no experience with it, but this is what I’ve heard from other non-US readers.
Keywords: lemon blueberry cheesecake bars