Lemon Cream Cheese Bars


These are not your average lemon bars. Rather than a tart and delicate bar with a crumbly base, our Lemon Cream Cheese Bars are rich, creamy, and sweet with a thick and chewy bottom crust that makes up almost half of the bar. The bottom crust is made of a few pantry staples but it bakes into a buttery, hefty, and satisfying cookie base that's perfect for the fluffy and gooey layers on top. To make the cream cheese filling, beat softened creamed cheese and powdered sugar with eggs, vanilla, and a little flour to make an airy spreadable mixture. Pour this filling over the crust before adding jarred lemon curd. Use a butter knife to swirl the curd into the cream cheese filling before baking—as the bars bake, the cream cheese puffs dramatically, sets around the swirls of lemon curd, and browns beautifully to make a dramatic pattern of color on the top of the bars. While the cream cheese filling becomes a fluffy solid texture, the lemon curd maintains its loose and jammy consistency in ribbons running throughout the bars. Decadent, sturdy, and easy to throw together in less than 30 minutes, these dessert bars are perfect for entertaining or keeping on the counter for a sweet lemon treat!

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins



  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup jarred lemon curd


  1. Make Crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a square 9-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper. Combine butter, sugar, and egg in a bowl with a spoon until well incorporated. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until no dry pockets remain. Sprinkle dough in prepared pan and press to make an even layer. Bake until lightly browned across surface, 12-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  2. Make Filling: Lower oven temperature to 350°F. In a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl; add eggs, vanilla, and flour. Beat on low until combined. Increase speed and beat on medium-high until lightened and airy, about 3 minutes.

  3. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over crust. Stir lemon curd to make sure it's loosened and dollop curd across surface of cream cheese mixture. Use a butter knife to make swirls in the lemon curd and cream cheese. Bake until evenly browned, rotating the baking pan halfway through baking, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan and slicing.

    Lemon Cream Cheese Bars
    Micah A. Leal
Related Articles