Lemon Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Lemon Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Sunny cheesecake bars with lemon yellow swirls and a tender, buttery crust. The filling is sweet, creamy and a little softer than a regular cheesecake thanks to the addition of sour cream. It melts in your mouth with an explosion of tangy lemon.

The recipe starts with making the crust in the food processor with almond meal or flour, a small bit of sugar, lemon zest and cold butter. It’s pressed into the bottom of a baking pan and baked off.

Lately I’ve been making my crusts with almond meal instead of flour because it has more flavor. If you don’t have almond meal on hand you can use flour instead. The crust is also on the thin side, but it doesn’t deter from the dessert at all.

The lemon curd is quick and easy, only taking about 5 minutes to make with sugar, lemon juice, egg yolks, cornstarch and lemon zest. It adds a burst of intense lemony flavor to every single bite.

Lemon Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Although there’s three different components this isn’t a dessert that takes a long time to make. As the crust cooks you can work on the lemon curd, then while they’re cooling off you can make the filling. [Just remember to take out the cream cheese and eggs about an hour ahead of time.]

The filling is fairly simple with cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, eggs and a small amount of flour all beaten together then poured over the crust where it gets dolloped with the lemon curd and swirled. Easy-peasy.

Then it gets baked again.

Out pops an impressive dessert that everyone will love!

The hardest part is waiting for it to chill so you can eat it.

It’s perfectly refreshing for a hot summer night but just as delicious on a cool night because sometimes you need a sunny dessert to brighten up your winter days.

Lemon is for all seasons.

Lemon Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Lemon Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 9 big bars or 16 smaller

Lemon Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Sunny cheesecake bars with lemon yellow swirls and a tender, buttery crust. An impressive but easy to make dessert that everyone will love.


1 cup almond meal or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest, just the yellow not the white
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
2 large egg yolks
1 + 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest, just the yellow not the white
1 pound room temperature cream cheese (regular or light)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream (regular or light)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
whipped cream, for serving, optional


    Make the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter or line with parchment a 9-inch-square baking pan.
  2. Add the almond meal or flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse to make a soft, crumbly dough.
  3. Add the dough to the pan and press it out to cover the bottom evenly. Bake 20 minutes, cool on a wire rack.
  4. Make the lemon curd:
  5. Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves.
  6. Add the egg yolks, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice to a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves and it starts to bubble and thicken about 3 minutes.
  7. Turn the heat up a little and bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour through a wire mesh strainer set over a bowl. Mix in the lemon zest. Allow to cool.
  8. Make the filling:
  9. Beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in the flour then the eggs, 1 at a time.
  10. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until the batter is smooth. Pour it over the crust and smooth it out to make it even.
  11. Drop spoonfuls of the lemon curd over the cheesecake batter and then drag a knife through them to make swirls.
  12. Bake 40 minutes until set in the center and the edges start to pull away from the pan a little. Cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour, then refrigerate until completely chilled about 4 hours.
  13. Cut into 9 big or 16 smaller bars and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. For easy cutting dip a chef's knife into hot water and wipe clean then repeat between each cut.
  14. Refrigerate leftovers up to 4 days.


Recipe is from Food and Wine

Copyright ©2014 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


Lemon Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Lemon Swirl Cheesecake Bars

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  1. BeadedTail says

    I love, love, love lemon anything and these look absolutely delicious! I will have to make these for sure!

    Moon, hope you are having a wonderful week! Purrs, Angel & Isabella

  2. Joanne says

    I definitely prefer my cheesecake to have a little bit of fruitiness or tart flavor to offset all that cream cheese! These sound pretty perfect. Lemon is kind of my favorite.

  3. Ann says

    oh wow does that ever look good and it’s pretty too. My husband loves everything lemon so I’m pretty sure I would have to share this with him :)

  4. Joyti says

    Almond flour is indeed so good. Also, if you haven’t tried it, hazelnut flour is excellent too.

    And these lemon bars, they look so pretty and sunshiny and delicious. The tart lemon with that buttery crust = YUM!

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