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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!

lemon blueberry cheesecake bars on a white plate
lemon blueberry cheesecake bars

This recipe is a spin-off of my Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars. Same flavors, but prepared differently. My originals have a streusel crumb crust and topping. Try them! After you make today’s recipe, of course.

stack of lemon blueberry cheesecake bars

This is my basic graham cracker crust recipe and it fits into a 9-inch pie dish if you’re looking for a base for pies and cakes. My graham cracker crust is slightly crunchy, nutty, buttery, and is not overly sweet like most crusts of its kind.

3 ingredients are all you’ll need for the simple graham cracker crust.

2 images of graham cracker crust ingredients in a glass bowl and crust mixture in a glass bowl with a spatula

The cheesecake topping is thick, sweet, tart, and lush. The creamiest of creamy, smooth as silk, and laughably simple to make. In fact, I use this easy, basic cheesecake filling as the base for all of my cheesecake bar recipes.

Flavoring the cheesecake filling is a whole lotta lemon. Both lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. I used the zest of two medium lemons and the juice of one. I do not recommend using bottled lemon juice, which tends to be much stronger and taste harsher/more acidic than fresh.

The cheesecake bars will have a light lemon flavor that’s not too sour, not too sweet. And certainly nothing to make you pucker up your lips! You’re going to load the cheesecake filling with blueberries. Tons of them speckled throughout each bar. The more, the better. I used a blend of frozen blueberries and fresh, so either will work just fine. The frozen blueberries let off some of their juices during bake time, giving the bars their beautiful purple pops of color.

Play around with the berries you use—I have a feeling raspberries, blackberries, and/or strawberries would be fantastic in these lemon cheesecake bars. Or leave the berries out completely for a simply pure lemon treat.

overhead image of lemon blueberry cheesecake bars

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 zingy, sweet 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

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lemon blueberry cheesecake bars on a white plate

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars 1x
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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!


Ingredients

Scale

Crust

  • 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

Filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese (2 standard packages; 454g), softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • zest of 2 medium lemons*
  • juice of 1 medium lemon*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (225g) fresh or frozen unthawed blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8-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.
  2. Make the crust: Using a food processor or blender, pulverize the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Pour into a medium bowl and mix with melted butter and sugar. Press into the lined pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepare the filling.
  3. 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. Spoon filling onto the crust.
  4. 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 slightly down as they cool. Allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature on a wire rack and then chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours.
  5. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut into squares.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The bars stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  2. Lemons: 1 medium-size lemon = approximately 1 Tablespoon of lemon zest = 2–3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
  3. 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I made these last night (for dessert after making two pizzas using your pizza dough recipe–which is always a huge hit in my house!). They were so amazing! I snuck a bar before everyone else had one a tried to convince them they were horrible, but no one believed me and I had to share. 🙂 Thanks for yet another great recipe!!

  2. SUCCESS!! These tasted soooo amazing!! Everyone that tried them, loved them!! I will be making these again for sure!! My boyfriend made the comment “this is your second good dessert in a row!” I told him that they were both from the same person!

  3. Sally, this is absolutely amazing! I’ve made them twice now, and the second time I didn’t cut them and just served the whole thing as a cake. That worked especially well since I used a spring form instead of a baking sheet! I did tweak it a little: less sugar, and different cookies (no Graham crackers in the Netherlands). Anyway, I write about and photograph my food experiments at my blog Looking Down On Food – you can find my entry with your recipe here

  4. I made these today, and already half the tray is gone! Delish! Lemon and blueberry are a hit in my house.

    I left the sugar out of the graham cracker crust, as I’m not big on too much sweetness, and luckily it still came out okay! Maybe a bit crumblier than normal, but certainly manageable and definitely yummy!

  5. I loved the look of these so gave them a go and they are fab! Made the whole house smell divine 🙂 I did substitute the Graham crackers for digestive biscuits (UK) and made 50% more of the base than you said in the recipe as it was very thin for me! But absolutely loved them 🙂

    Thank you very much for sharing all these wonderful recipes! I have just bought your cookbook on amazon and can’t wait for it to arrive.

  6. I made this recipe for a spring party at my house and it was a big hit. I used reduced fat cream cheese and it turned out excellent. Love the lemon and blueberry combo.

  7. Hello Sally,
    The recipe sounds easy to make and I love the combination of lemon and blueberries. I was just wondering , should it be done in a bed bath. I’ve done a cheese cake before and it required one. Please respond soon. I was planning on having it ready for a dinner party after tomorrow and wanted to make it tomorrow.

    1. No need for a water bath for these bars. That’s really more needed for a large, thick cheesecake.

  8. I made these for my family. We used cane sugar and oranges instead as that is all we had. Thank you!

  9. This was just incredible!! Baked it as a whole cheesecake and everyone went crazy! Thank you 🙂

  10. I  made these last week after hearing rave reviews from my mom and sister.  :-))  They are amazing…addictive, actually!  I live in Germany so I made my own “graham cracker” crust.  (For those in a similar situation, I used Leibnitz Vollkorn Kekse and added nutmeg and cinnamon, with the 6 tablespoons butter and sugar per the recipe. For the cream cheese, I used Philadelphia “Doppelrahm” because I couldn’t find the “Regular”. They turned out perfectly….). Thank you for the recipe!  I think I will be making them frequently.  🙂

  11. These are delicious. While the adults all loved the intense lemon flavor, my grandchildren thought they were too lemony. I changed the recipe to use only the juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon and they are perfect for the little ones. Thanks so much for sharing.

  12. These are delicious!  Sally, I have been reading your blog for several months now and I have tried over a dozen recipes and each one is amazing.  I am an avid baker and I spend most of my free time in the kitchen, so I definitely consider myself a bit of a food snob, ha.  But your recipes continually exceed expectations!!  
    I grew up in rural SC, and I remember baking all the time with my mom as a kid.  Isn’t it funny how once you’ve had amazing homemade goodies it becomes difficult to settle for store-bought goods?? 🙂  I am usually that person who always brings the dessert or homemade goodies to a get together, and your lemon blueberry cheesecake bars are definitely going into my repertoire.   In fact, my best friend has had a terrible week so I am making another batch to surprise her with tomorrow.  Also love your pancake recipes, amazing.  

  13. THESE BARS WERE A HIT at my neighborhood cookout this weekend. Your lemon oatmeal creme bars are an absolute favorite of mine so I decided to give this one a whirl. They literally were gone 5 minutes after I put them out and I received so many compliments. Little did they know how simple this recipe was! I can’t wait to make them again. 

  14. I need to make some cheesecake bars that can be served as canapé type deserts. How strong structurally are these? If I cut them and they are at room temperature for up to an hour, will they still be bars?

    Thanks
    Polly

  15. Just made these today for a crawfish boil this weekend, and hey came out great! They’re tangy but still sweet (and not too sweet). Lemon and blueberry is such any amazing flavor combo. Thank you!

  16. These are wonderful! The light and fluffy cheesecake is perfectly citrus without being tart. The pop of blueberries is both tasty and pretty, and the thick and fresh tasting crust is the right amount of sweet. These were a hit. Thanks Sally.

  17. These turned out perfectly. They were so rich and yet perfectly refreshing for a hot summer day. Everyone couldn’t get over how perfect the crust was.

  18. I am so sad as I type this comment. I’ve made your Pineapple Upside Down cake many times before and it was a huge success. I had people come to me with hugs to thank me for such a delicious treat. Now, this recipe for Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars? They turned out to be soggy and fell apart as I cut them. I had to scrap the whole deal and go make a new batch. I think the reason for it was the frozen blueberries. Next time I will use fresh OR will thoroughly thaw out the frozen ones.

  19. I am making this recipe today and they are taking a long time to bake! The edges are golden but the inside is still very wet and jiggly. I’m assuming they are set when a toothpick comes out clean? I hope the longer baking time helps! The recipe looks amazing and I know my family will love them for after Easter dinner! 

  20. These beautiful cheesecake bars right now are in the oven! I used homemade blueberry jam to make a design with the filling! It is going to be a bday present.
    Thanks for always sharing.

  21. I made these, they are amazing, zingy, sweet, creamy and smooth and crunchy – great flavours and textures. Thanks Sally! I’m excited to try it with other fruits one day. And so glad it freezes well too. So refreshing 🙂

  22. Hi Sally, is it possible to substitute half of the cream cheese with marscapone? I’ve made the original recipe several times before and they were fantastic, but right now I only have one package of cream cheese so was looking to combine it with some marscapone for a cheesecake. Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Alyssa! That should be just fine. The cheesecake bars will be a little softer from the mascarpone.

  23. Can you adapt this recipe for a springform pan? Or do you suggest going to another recipe for that? I’ve made this tons of times as dairy free bars using dairy free cream cheese, comes out delicious. Hoping to make it into a full cheesecake if possible….have you ever tried?

    1. Hi Lisa! You can definitely bake these bars in a springform pan. I suggest a 9-inch springform pan.

  24. Hi Sally, I have made these bars several times before and they are delicious! I’ve got this thick cranberry-blueberry compote in my fridge (from the holidays). I am wondering if I can use this concoction swirled into the cheesecake layer instead of the blueberries before baking it up? Any thoughts or tips on that? Thank you in advance for your help!

  25. Made this many times and they are always a hit! Thanks for the great recipe Sally!

  26. I made these two nights ago and they’re almost all devoured! Like your Creamy Lemon Pie (also delicious), I added salted almonds to the crust, and a teeny bit of almond extract in the filling along with the vanilla. I made slightly sweetened whipped cream as an accompaniment, in case the cheesecake was too tart, and it was divine! Thanks once again, Sally!

  27. I’ve been baking thing from your site like crazy the past couple months challenging myself to become a better baker/cook. Of the many different recipes I’ve tried from your site (all of which have been great) these were my husband’s favorite (he is my official taste tester for everything). The kind of dessert that you take a bite of and your eyes roll back in your head while you go “mmmmmmm” lol. I have a feeling he will request these again.

  28. Hey everyone! I made these yesterday, instead of using blueberries I used frozen saskatoon berries. Also I used zest + juice from only one lemon. I didn’t want the lemon to overpower the saskatoon flavour and they turned out great! Had to increase the baking time (approximately 20 minutes additional time) most likely due to the frozen berries? Anyway, they turned out amazing! Thank you for this.

  29. These came out AMAZING! I love anything with blueberry and lemon combined, and these are the most delicious and light dessert. The crust by itself was so good I was eating the residue out of the bowl. I am going to use this recipe for the rest of time lol

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