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Lemon Cheesecake Bars on a gray plate with jam dripping off of a slice.

New York-style Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Beth Lee
These New York–Style lemon cheesecake bars from my book: The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook are so easy to make! Enjoy this luscious treat anytime you need an easy, make-ahead dessert option. A seasonal jam or fruit compote makes the perfect topping!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Jewish Holiday Baking
Servings 16 bars

Ingredients
  

For the crust

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 10 graham crackers yield about 1 3/4 cups of crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Instructions
 

  • Prep/Preheat: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Make the crust: Use a food processor or a rolling pin and a plastic bag to crush the graham crack- ers to a fine crumb. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and stir in the melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Mix well so the crumbs are coated with butter. Transfer the graham cracker crust to the foil-lined pan and press down firmly with your fingers or the bottom of a glass. The crust should cover the bottom of the pan and extend up the sides of the pan by about 1 inch.
  • Bake the crust: Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool slightly before adding the filling.
  • Make the filling: Lower the oven temperature to 325°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed for about 1 minute, until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and flour. Mix well on medium speed for another 1 minute. Pour the filling into the cooled crust.
  • Bake the cheesecake: Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, checking at 40 minutes. The cheesecake should be mostly set, with the middle still a bit jiggly. Let cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate for 6 hours or over- night. To serve, use the foil overhang to lift it out of the pan onto a cutting board. Slice into squares, wiping the knife clean in between each cut. Enjoy as is, or top with fruit, jam, or whipped cream.

Notes

  1. Be sure to mix the cream cheese mixture enough to break up the cream cheese and fully incorporate the ingredients to a smooth texture.
  2. If you are gluten-free or want to change up the flavor of the crust, you can sub in a different graham cracker or even another cookie flavor.
  3. Sour cream or yogurt will work. If you've never baked with yogurt, give it a try! You might like it!
  4. Once these lemon cheesecake bars are fully chilled, you can cut them. Be sure use a serrated knife and clean it in between each cut!
Keyword cheesecake bars, lemon cheesecake, lemon cheesecake bars
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