Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars Recipe

There’s something dreamy about this cheesecake bar — maybe it’s the soft yellow hue of the lemony cheesecake against the dusky blue of fresh blueberries or maybe that soft buttery top. You could say it’s the zing of bright lemon or maybe the union of a buttery graham cracker crust with luscious and sweet cream cheese.

You May Also Like: Our Ridiculously Easy Blueberry Muffin Recipe with a quick recipe video showing you how we make them.

Whatever it is — it just plain works. We made these for Betty Crocker not too long ago and they were a hit, so we just didn’t feel right not sharing with you!

Making Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

You really can’t start any cheesecake bar without making the perfect graham cracker crust. Crumbled up graham crackers, sugar, melted butter and lemon zest is all you’ll need. We use our food processor twice for this recipe, something that to be honest, we rarely do. We usually go the appliance-free route because we hate doing dishes, but in this case, it’s crazy easy when you use that food processor! If you don’t have one, though — add the graham crackers to a plastic bag, find something heavy and bash the heck out of them until fine crumbs then you can just stir everything else in with a spoon.

The base gets thrown in then patted down into a baking pan and baked just until it toasts. Then, you can make the luscious lemony cheesecake filling!

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars 2

We went simple, here. Cream cheese, eggs, sugar as well as lemon juice AND zest come together for the filling. We rarely use citrus juice without using the zest these days — you can add so much flavor with that zest. It’s heart breaking to see others throw it out!

If you’re like us and are a zest lover — try buying organic citrus and give them a wash just to make sure nothing funky goes into your dessert. We have lots of recipes with lemon and lime, so this was a great change for us.

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars 1

We give the food processor a quick rinse and use it for the second time to get our filling super smooth. If you don’t have a food processor or you just don’t feel like pulling it out from behind everything else in your pantry, you can totally use a hand blender.

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars 3

After a few pulses, you’ll be left with a light yellow creamy filing (so pretty). Then, pour that on top of the baked crust, top with fresh sweet blueberries and finish everything off with one of our favorite things — streusel. How can you go wrong with butter, sugar and flour? We used this same recipe for streusal for our Apple Pie Cupcakes and they were a hit!

Bake then allow to cool — in fact, if you’re okay with a little extra waiting time, once cool throw the whole pan into the freezer for 30 minutes to really firm up. This way, you can cut perfectly even cheesecake bars.

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars 4

4.8 from 16 reviews
Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These cheesecake bars are a dream. The lemony cheesecake matches perfectly with fresh blueberries and that buttery streusel really makes everything work. If you can't find fresh blueberries, try ripe red raspberries or even blackberries. We really prefer to stick to fresh berries for this, not frozen, since we like how the fresh berries stay intact while baking.

When making these cheesecake bars, you really want them to be cold before cutting, so there is some time spent chilling the baked cheesecake. To speed things up a bit, place the cheesecake into your freezer for 30 minutes instead of the refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting into bars.
Created By:
Yield: 9
You Will Need
For the Crust
  • 9 graham cracker rectangles (1-1/4 cups of cracker crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Filling
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
For the Streusel Topping
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 325°F then line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. If you have a food processor, add graham crackers, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon zest to it then cover and process until fine crumbs form. Add the melted butter then cover and process with until the cracker crumbs are evenly moistened. If you do not have or want to use a food processor, add graham crackers to a plastic bag then use something heavy such as a pan or rolling pan to bash the crackers until fine crumbs form. Then, add crumbs to a medium bowl along with 2 tablespoons of sugar, lemon zest and melted butter. Stir until the cracker crumbs are evenly moistened.
  3. Press graham cracker crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool 10-15 minutes.
  4. While the graham cracker base cools, make the cheesecake bar filling: If using a food processor, wipe it with a paper towel to remove any crumbs from earlier then add cream cheese, eggs, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Cover then process until smooth and creamy. If you do not have or do not want to use a food processor, use a hand blender to blend cream cheese, eggs, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour cheesecake filling over crust, and then top with blueberries.
  6. Make the streusel topping by adding brown sugar, flour and cold butter to a medium bowl then use a fork or your fingers to mix until crumbly, and then sprinkle over filling.
  7. Bake cheesecake 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and center is almost set (center should jiggle only slightly when moved).
  8. Cool 1 hour on at room temperature then refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled. Cut into 9 bars.

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58 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Giselle July 21, 2016, 9:48 am

    I made these for a dessert social for new parishioners at my church last night. I mistakenly baked the crust before I realized the one teaspoon of lemon zest I had set aside for it was still on my counter. I thought there was too much crumb topping so I refrigerated half of it so I can use it when I make these again very soon. Also, after reading some of the comments that the cheesecake layer is too lemony, I tasted it and I thought it needed to be tempered with a half-teaspoon of vanilla. I had to bake it almost twice as long as the directions state, but that’s typical of my oven. When I shook the dish and the center was only SLIGHTLY jiggly, I knew it was perfectly baked. These squares are creamy and delicious! I will definitely make them again and I have the extra graham cracker crumbs to motivate me to do it! Thank you for a great recipe!

    Reply
  • Sara March 25, 2016, 3:37 am

    Made it with blueberry jam ( high quality)

    It looks fantastic I like the swirls

    Reply
  • Sharmila September 17, 2015, 1:59 am

    Hi! Just tried your recipe and it is delicious! My only problem is my filling is a little runny and doesn’t appear as creamy and thick as yours. Still chilling it hopefully will harden.

    Reply
  • Shirley Neily July 20, 2015, 9:56 am

    Could you tell the amount of (graham cracker crumbs)that are needed to make the crust? Thanks

    Reply
    • Joanne August 10, 2015, 1:51 pm

      Hi Shirley, I just updated the recipe with this. You need about 1-1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs for this.

      Reply
  • Katie February 26, 2015, 9:06 am

    I know this is an old post but I thought I’d ask! I want to make this for my husbands birthday, but I will be so busy that day. What is the best part to make ahead. Or better yet, can I make the entire thing ahead of time, freeze or refrigerate it, and then bake it when Im ready?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Adam March 2, 2015, 2:02 pm

      The whole thing can be made in advance. Baking, cooling completely then then freezing is a good idea.

      Reply
  • Andy May 25, 2014, 9:17 pm

    Made this over the weekend. I agreed with the comment that there streusel amount could have been halved as there was a lot left over. Also, the filling was thinner than yours was too so not sure what I need to do in the future to thicken it.

    One thing I have to comment on though was that I found the cheesecake with the blueberries to be way too tart for my liking. Blueberries are in season and are very sweet, but like all blueberries they tend to “tarten” when they’re cooked. This in conjunction with the lemon zest and juice made the entire thing very tart and not as rich/sweet as I would have wanted. Not sure if anybody else experienced that but overall it was good.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 28, 2014, 12:37 pm

      Hi Andy, We’re glad you gave our recipe a try. If you’re up to it, you could add a little more sugar to the cheesecake mixture to sweeten things up a little. Thanks for coming back and commenting.

      Reply
  • Vanessa May 12, 2014, 8:18 pm

    This recipe is nothing short of spectacular. I literally made it a dozen times last summer during blueberry season! I can’t wait to share it with even more people this summer 🙂
    Love the website and so many of the great recipes you have shared!! Thank you for so many delicious ideas!

    Reply
    • Joanne May 16, 2014, 11:40 am

      Thank you so much! We are thrilled you enjoy our lemon bars so much!

      Reply
  • Audrey March 5, 2014, 7:04 am

    Hi there. This recipe looks beautiful and delicious as spring approaches! I live abroad and don’t have graham crackers, so I’ll have to supplement. Could you give me the cup or gram measurement for crumb crust quantity, please? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Joanne March 17, 2014, 5:10 pm

      There should be about 1 1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs. By the way, a great alternative is finely crushed Digestive biscuits.

      Reply
  • Erin Senica February 25, 2014, 11:01 am

    HI! i just made this recipe twice with in the past 2 weeks. once i brought it into work and it was eaten within 2 hours. the other we had a baby shower and i made it with fresh rasberries. I preferred it with the blue berries because they bring out the lemon flavor the best. thank you so much for sharing this will definately be a staple in my house hold and functions.

    Reply
  • Zkay November 3, 2013, 3:22 pm

    I really want to try this recipe, but I a wondering whether it can be done with chocolate. My niece specifically asked for chocolate cheesecake and I’d like to accommodate her. Can this recipe be modified?

    Reply
    • Joanne November 3, 2013, 3:36 pm

      Hi there — you could try. We have never tried it ourselves. You could leave the blueberries out and add chocolate chips or add a layer of chocolate ganache on top once it has cooled instead of the streusel topping. Or, make the recipe as stated and drizzle melted chocolate over the streusel after it is done.

      Reply

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