Lemon Bar Cheesecake

This Lemon Bar Cheesecake recipe is an absolute explosion of lemony goodness. A lemon-flavored crust is topped with delicious, zesty lemon cheesecake, which is THEN topped with lemon filling. It’s a triple shot of lemon deliciousness that is always a winner.

Closeup shot of slice of lemon bar cheesecake on white plate

Are you a fan of cheesecake? Do you love lemon everything? If you answered yes to those questions, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve concocted an absolutely delicious lemon bar cheesecake recipe that combines the best of two amazing desserts – lemon bars and cheesecake.

This recipe is filled with a metric ton of lemon-flavored goodness, and it’s a lot easier to make than you might imagine when you first look at it. It’s the perfect dish for any occasion, and because it’s not overly complicated, you won’t feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

But this is cheesecake and lemon so it is drool worthy in my eyes. We love whipping up all kinds of cheesecakes. when we tried this one we knew it would be a favorite. Not only it is moist and creamy but the perfect combination of cream cheese and lemon.

Piece of lemon bar cheesecake on spatula being removed from the whole cake

Cheesecake and Lemon

Everyone knows we are crazy in love with lemon! I mean there isn’t anything lemon we don’t crave.

Let’s face it we us if we had a choice we would pick lemon over almost anything. I know peanut butter and chocolate is a favorite too. Ok so we have a bunch of favorites!

But lemon is so crazy good! and so refreshing. Even in a cheesecake dessert. We have always loved lemon cheesecake so why not this lemon bar cheese?!

The History of Cheesecake and Lemon Bars

This lemon bar cheesecake recipe combines two classic desserts into one super dessert. It’s like a delicious, edible, lemon-flavored Transformer. Without both cheesecake and lemon bars, we’d never have been able to come up with this fantastic dessert. I want to take a quick moment to look at the history of both because it’s just plain interesting.

History of Cheesecake

Cheesecake has a long, long history. In its earliest forms, cheesecake is mentioned by Aegimu, a 5th century BC physician. A later, more closely related version called sambocade can be found in Forme of Cury, an English cookbook from 1390.

Because of its similarity to modern cheesecake and its mention in Forme of Cury, many food historians credit England as the birthplace of modern cheesecake.

Over hundreds of years, Europeans began removing the yeast that was a common ingredient in the earliest modern cheesecake recipe and began adding beaten eggs instead. Around the 18th century, with the overpowering yeast flavor done away with, cheesecake became more of what it is today.

The cheesecake that we all make today is the result of the creation of commercially available American cream cheese. Developed in 1872 by William Lawrence who was looking for a way to recreate Neufchatel, cream cheese is the result of Lawrence creating an “unripened cheese”.

Overhead shot of slice of lemon bar cheesecake on white plate next to whole lemon bar cake

History of Lemon Bars

Lemon bars, also called lemon squares have been around for a much shorter time than cheesecake. However, their flavors have been around for far longer.

Lemons have been used prolifically throughout history in both savory and sweet dishes, being found in everything from chicken dishes to desserts and various sweets. The two main ingredients in lemon bars were quite popular during the Renaissance period. Both lemon custard and shortbread crust were beloved during the time.

While these ingredients have been around for a long time, they weren’t combined in bar form until the 20th century. Cooke bars have been around since the 1930s, but food historians have no idea who originally invented them or where. They do know, however, when lemon bars came onto the scene.

The first known reference to lemon bars appears in a 1962 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune. The recipe, submitted by Mrs. Eleanore Mickelson, called for just two eggs and three tablespoons of lemon juice. Because food historians have no other point of reference for lemon bars, this submission is often pointed to as the unofficial official origin of lemon bars.

Lemon Bar Cheesecake

This lemon bar cheesecake combines the best of both lemon bars and cheesecake into one delicious dessert treat that everyone loves. It absolutely explodes with lemon flavor. There’s lemon in every single part of this recipe, even the crust!

This recipe is perfect for a special weekend dessert, potlucks, parties, and even holiday get-togethers. While it’s a bit more involved than some of our recipes, it’s still very much leans toward easy. It’s so tasty and easy to make, you really should give it a try.


Unlike many of our recipes, this lemon bar cheesecake recipe has several ingredients. It’s a completely from-scratch recipe, after all. BUT don’t let that deter you. All of these ingredients are easy to find, and you probably have many of them in your kitchen already.

And if you set everything out before hand this is an easy as pie recipe. We know some recipes are harder to make the first time but this one is pretty simple. don’t let the Ingredient list scare you off.

Cooked base of cake in springform pan

For the Crust

  • Butter – softened
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Egg
  • Neon yellow food coloring
  • Baking soda
  • Cream of tartar
  • Salt
  • Flour
Pouring batter over base of cake in springform pan

For the Cheesecake Filling

  • Cream cheese – softened
  • Greek yogurt
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla
  • Sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Flour

For the Lemon Filling

  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon zest

See? When you break it down, it’s not so bad.

Making the Cheesecake

Making this lemon bar cheesecake is simpler than you might think at first glance. Although there are three distinct parts to this delicious recipe, when you take a look at each one individually, you quickly see that it’s not an overly involved process.

You’ll find the complete recipe featuring amounts and times at the end of the post, but we’re giving you the highlights here so you can see just how easy it really is to make this delicious lemon bar cheesecake recipe.

  • Mix butter, oil, sugar, powdered sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and eggs, and blend all together until smooth and creamy. Add about 8 or 9 drops of yellow food coloring gel, and mix well.  Add the Baking soda, Cream of tartar, salt, and flour, and mix until well blended. 
  • Line the bottom of a 7-inch springform pan with parchment paper, and press the crust dough into the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Blend cream cheese, Greek yogurt, heavy cream, and vanilla until smooth. Add sugar, powdered sugar, and flour and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into springform pan over the crust. Bake for 30 minutes, turn down the heat, and bake for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool.
  • Make the lemon filling with the cheesecake bakes by mixing sugar, flour, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest until well blended. Pour into a parchment-lined cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool.
  • When the lemon filling has cooled invert the pan over the cooled cheesecake and pop it out onto of the cheesecake. Cut away any excess with a knife.
  • Wrap it all in parchment paper and then foil and let chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and serve. Yum!

Again, the directions for this lemon bar cheesecake might look like a lot, but when you really break it down, it’s actually very easy, as you’ve just seen!

Closeup shot of lemon bar cheesecake with bite taken out


This lemon bar cheesecake may be on the easy side as baking goes, but it does require knowing a few things to get the best possible outcome. It’s important that you read this section to ensure that you get the best cheesecake you can possibly make. Don’t worry, these tips are easy and so helpful!

Pressing Down the Baked Crust

Before placing your cheesecake mixture over the baked crust, you’ll need to press it down into the pan again. This crust will rise a bit while baking, so take a smooth-bottomed glass and gently press the crust back down into the pan firmly.

Place a Small Dish of Water in the Oven When Baking the Cheesecake

When baking your cheesecake, add a small oven-safe dish filled with water on the lower rack. This will add humidity to the oven and keep the cheesecake from cracking.

Eyeballing the Cheesecake

Eyeballing the cheesecake is the only real way to know whether or not it’s done. The center of the cheesecake should resemble Jello that has set up. Jiggle it a bit. If it seems like it’s still on the runny side, it’s not ready to come out.

Serving Lemon Bar Cheesecake

This lemon bar cheesecake is so rich and decadent, you should serve it just as it is. It’s sweet, tart, and delicious all on its own. There’s no need to add any kind of whipped cream or another topping to it. In fact, I think it takes away from the flavor.

Serve up this delicious dessert for a family dessert, at potlucks and backyard parties, and at holiday get-togethers. It’s a delicious treat that is perfect for any occasion you can think of!

Storing Lemon Bar Cheesecake

This lemon bar cheesecake will keep well in the refrigerator for up to five days in an air-tight container. I recommend placing a layer of cling wrap over the top of the cheesecake before adding the lid to your container to ensure that it stays as fresh as possible.

For longer storage, you can freeze this cheesecake for up to a month. To freeze, cut the cheesecake up into individual slices and wrap them tightly in cling wrap. Then wrap again in foil. Easy peasy. To defrost, place a slice in the freezer until it reaches your desired level of thawing. I say desired level because it’s pretty darn good frozen!

Try This Lemon Bar Cheesecake

You need this lemon bar cheesecake in your life. You just don’t know it yet. It’s so lusciously lemon-filled, and it’s easier to make than you’d think. Once you break everything down into steps, you’ll quickly see that it comes together quite easily.

If you love Lemon Bars, and you love cheesecake, this is sure to become your new favorite.  This is so creamy and tangy, you’ll want to eat the whole cheesecake.  From the lemon cookie crust, to the gooey lemon bar filling with the cheesecake in between, this is just delicious. It’s easy to make, and makes a stunning presentation.  Make sure you keep this one in your favorites!

Give this recipe a try, and I know you and your family will be so glad that you did!



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Lemon Bar Cheesecake

This Lemon Bar Cheesecake is three layers of luscious, lemon-flavored heaven. A shortbread crust is topped with lemon cheesecake AND filling!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 Servings



  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup icing or powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • several drops Neon Yellow Food Coloring Gel
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups flour

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup flour

Lemon Filling:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  • powdered or icing sugar for dusting the top


  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, and using the paddle attachment, add the Butter, oil, sugar, powdered sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon zest and eggs, and blend all together until smooth and creamy. Add about 8 or 9 drops of Yellow food coloring gel, and mix well. Add the Baking soda, Cream of tartar, salt, and flour, and mix until well blended.
  • Line the bottom of a 7 inch Spring Form pan with Parchment paper, and press the Crust dough into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and with a smooth bottom glass, gently press the baked crust down evenly into the pan, and it will have puffed up a little during baking. Set aside.
  • Rinse out the mixing bowl, and dry with paper towels. Add the 3 packages of Cream Cheese, Greek yogurt, Heavy Cream, and Vanilla, and blend all together until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and blend again. Add the Sugar, powdered sugar, and flour, and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the cheesecake filling into the Spring-form pan, over the crust. Fill a small oven proof dish with water and place on the rack underneath the Cheesecake.
  • Place the cheesecake in the oven at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the temperature down to 325 degrees and bake another 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheesecake is barely jiggly in the center. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to a wire rack to cool.
  • NOTE: You'll have to check the cheesecake to know exactly when to remove it from the oven. The center of the cheesecake should resemble Jello that has set up, then you know it's done. If it jiggles like it's still runny, then its not done baking.
  • While the Cheesecake is baking, make the lemon filling – Line an 8 inch cake pan with Parchment paper, and set aside. In a mixing bowl, add the Sugar, flour, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and mix until well blended. Pour the lemon filling in the cake pan, and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set cake pan on a wire rack to cool.
  • When the Lemon filling has cooled, invert the filling from the cake pan to the top of the cooled Cheesecake. If the Lemon filling is wider than the cheesecake, simply cut around the edge of the filling with a knife, and remove the extra filling from the cake pan, so when you turn the filling upside down on the cheesecake it will fit.
  • When the Cheesecake and filling have completely cooled, wrap the pan with parchment paper, and then foil, and place in the refrigerator overnight to set. Before serving, dust the top of the cheesecake generously with powdered sugar. Cut in 2 inch pieces, serve, and Enjoy!


  • NOTE: Placing the small dish of water on the rack underneath the cheesecake will help prevent the cheesecake from cracking during baking.

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