Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars

These lemon cheesecake bars are delightfully tangy, sweet, cool, creamy, and oh, so divine! A lemon lover’s dream treat.

Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars on a glass serving pedestal.

A buttery shortbread crust topped with creamy lemon cheesecake and a lemon streusel topping. Perfection!

Lemon cheesecake shortbread bars are a perfect spring or summer treat.

This dessert actually received several “oh my gosh” comments after the first bite.

Try our Strawberry Shortcake!

Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars

Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars - baked shortbread crust in foil lined pan

Make the shortbread crust first and bake while you prepare the other layers.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a foil sling.

In a food processor, place the flour, powdered sugar, and salt process together for a few seconds before adding in the cubed cold butter.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture with about 6-8 pulses or until the mixture resembles small peas. Press the mixture into the prepared pan with the flat bottom of a glass or small dish.

Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browning. When you remove the crust from the oven, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

While the shortbread bakes make the streusel. Combine the flour and sugar in a food processor by pulsing a few times. Add the cubed butter and pulse 6 or 7 times until the butter is the size of small peas and is coated with the flour/sugar mixture. Place the streusel in the fridge until ready to use it.

Make the lemon filling with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until it’s fluffy. Add the lemon zest, sugar, lemon juice, and egg, and beat until combined.

Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars on a gray plate garnished with lemon slices

Pour the filling over the hot shortbread crust and spread it evenly.

Top with the streusel and spread out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling registers 160 degrees on a thermometer.

Remove the shortbread crust from the oven. While still hot pour the cheesecake filling over the crust evenly.

Top with the streusel and bake about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.

Once the bars have cooled place them in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.

closeup of the Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars on a gray plate

These lemon bars are to-die-for!

Slice, serve and enjoy.

Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars stacked on a glass cake stand

Check out our Peanut Butter Balls!

Lemon Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars on a glass serving pedestal.

Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars Recipe

Lemon cheesecake shortbread bars a perfect spring or summer treat. These bars are delightfully tangy, sweet, cool, creamy, and oh so divine! A lemon lover’s dream treat.
4.34 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bars, cheesecake, lemon, shortbread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 9
Calories: 293kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed

Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 egg, room temperature

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a foil sling.
  • In a food processor, place the flour, powdered sugar, and salt process together for a few seconds before adding in the cubed cold butter.
    1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cut the butter into the flour mixture with about 6-8 pulses or until it looks like small peas. Press the mixture into the baking dish with the flat bottom of a glass or small dish.
    1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browning. When you remove the crust from the oven, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Streusel

  • While the shortbread bakes, combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a food processor by pulsing a few times.
    1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Add the cubed butter and pulse 6 or 7 times until the butter is the size of small peas and is coated with the flour/sugar mixture. Place the streusel in the fridge until ready to use it.
    3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

Filling

  • With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until it’s fluffy.
    2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • Add the lemon zest, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and egg, and beat until combined.
    zest of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 egg, room temperature, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pour the filling over the hot shortbread crust and spread it evenly.
  • Top with the streusel and spread out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling registers 160 degrees on a thermometer.
  • Cool completely.
  • Place the finished bars in the fridge to chill for about 2 hours before slicing and serving.

Notes

Be sure the cream cheese and egg are at room temperature. This ensures the mixture will be smooth and combined thoroughly. 
Line the pan for easy removal. Use aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Cheesecake needs to be chilled for a minimum of 2 hours but overnight is best.
Storing – Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Freezing – If you want to freeze individual bars I recommend placing them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freezing until hard. Then place them in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

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One Comment

  1. Your Lemon Cheesecake Shortbread Bars look delicious! Hope you have a great 4th of July weekend and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen5 stars

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