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3 lemon blueberry cheesecake bars with graham cracker crust on white plate.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 49 reviews
  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • 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

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 (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)

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Prebake crust: Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Cool for a few minutes as you prepare the filling in the next step.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut into squares.
  7. The bars stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): 9-inch Square Baking Pan | Food Processor | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Cooling Rack
  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.