Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
It’s no secret that I am an unadulterated cheesecake fanatic. If it’s on a menu, I can’t turn it down. It’s my birthday cake of choice, and I’ll come up with the most obscure excuses to bake one up at home. I love trying new varieties when out, and experimenting with new recipes when at home. If there ever happens to be time when I don’t want to make a full-blown cheesecake, I’ve found cheesecake bars to be a more than acceptable substitute. In some cases, they’re (gasp) even better. You can pick them up and eat them without a plate and a fork, and you don’t feel nearly as guilty if you eat multiple pieces (I speak from experience, of course). In the past, I’ve whipped up Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars, Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares, and Eggnog Cheesecake Bars, all of which were amazing. With summer on our doorstep, I was salivating just thinking about the bright, fresh flavors of cheesecake bars loaded with lemon and blueberries. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert, and blueberries are absolutely my favorite fruit, which makes them a match made in heaven!
Last Sunday, my mom and I had a marathon garden-planting day, which included a 2-hour trip to Lowe’s. We had a list of plants we definitely wanted to buy, and then, of course, we impulse-shopped like nobody’s business. Among those impulse purchases? A beautiful blueberry plant. Although berries grow wild around many parts of the area we live in, I’ve never attempted to actually grow fruit myself. All of those little budding blueberries were too much to resist, and I snatched it up faster than a cute pair of shoes. Hopefully in a couple of months I can walk out onto the deck and grab the blueberries for my oatmeal (or my latest baking project), instead of going to the fridge and opening a plastic container!
In the meantime, I’ll trek to the grocery store for blueberries if the end result is a plate full of cheesecake bars infused with lemon and loaded with blueberries! Hello summer!
Have any of you grown blueberries (or strawberries or blackberries) before? Any tips?
One year ago: Root Beer Float Cake
Two years ago: Classic Lemonade
Three years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie-Topped Brownies[/donotprint]
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
For the Crust:
- 9 graham crackers, broken into pieces
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 16 ounces (453.59 g) cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 1½ cups (222 g) fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x9-inch baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, letting excess hang over the sides of the pan.
- Make the Crust: In a food processor, process the graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon until you have the texture of bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Press the mixture into the lined baking pan and gently pat down evenly. Bake for 12 minutes, until golden. Set aside to cool.
- Make the Filling: Wipe out the food processor. Add the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice. Process until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency. Pour the filling onto the cooled crust and then sprinkle the blueberries over top. The blueberries will sink slightly, but should still be half exposed. As they bake, they will sink a little more and break down.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 16 square bars.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Can these bars be frozen after baking?
Do you need more filling and crust to fill a 9×13 pan? I feel like the my might be too thin otherwise. How much more filling and crust do you need to use a bigger pan?
Can I line the pan with aluminum foil instead of parchment? Hate to buy another roll to jam into the drawer. I already have regular foil and nonstick foil. Thanks.
Hi Linda, Yes, you can use aluminum foil, just be sure to grease the foil, as unlike parchment paper, it is not non-stick.
I made these with fresh raspberries, and they were AMAZING! :) Thank you sooo much for the amazingly delicious recipes, just thought to drop few lines to thank you :) <3
I made these for a bbq we had this past weekend and they were delicious! I did not have a square pan so instead I used a 9 inch pie plate and made a cheesecake pie instead of bars, amazing either way!
I made these tonight and they turned out great!! I did them in a muffin tin with liners – it made 18 little treats and I baked the crust about 5 minutes before I added the cream cheese mixture – and then baked them for about 25 minutes at 325 degrees. I am serving them at a get-together tomorrow and I thought they would look prettier in the muffin liners than trying to cut them pretty! Thanks for sharing a winner!
Just made these–delicious! Blogged about them (http://chefincollege.blogspot.com/2013/06/lemon-blueberry-cheesecake-bars.html) and credited you for the recipe. They were a huge hit. Thanks!
Would it be possible to use a spring form pan to make this? What are your thoughts on a water bath?
Hi Kristen, These bars would be much too thick in a springform pan. There is no need for a water bath; I would recommend sticking with the 9×13-inch pan unless you want to make an actual cheesecake; in that case, I wouldn’t recommend just pouring this batter into a springform pan. I would adapt an actual cheesecake recipe.
I actually made this recipe last night. I needed good way to use up some frozen blueberries that a friend gave us. I followed the recipe it to the T except: I used about 1/4 cup less blueberries and I put the juice of only ONE lemon in. It came out great. I had to use an 8-in pan rather than nine, so mine’s a bit thicker. As you could have predicted, all that lemon rind drowned out the always weak flavor of the blueberries. But still I like it. It is very difficult to get blueberries to stand out from surrounding flavors. I might try to leave the lemon out entirely next time as an experiment, but I love lemon so. This is a relatively healthy type recipe: It uses just the right amount of sugar, not sickening sweet, as I so often find.
I made these last week, and they were completely delicious. Everyone (even non-cheesecake lovers) adored them. The lemon is so.fresh. Perfect recipe that is now a part of my regular rotation! Thanks so much. Just delightful!
I made these for a party last night and my friends raved! These are so decadent and I am keeping this recipe as a go to for spring and summer parties.
I made these twice already in the last week! It’s such a perfect recipe for summer – simple, quick, and oh-so-delicious! Who knew dessert could be so effortless? I blogged about it here (http://ohmyomiyage.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/lemon-blueberry-cheesecake-bars/). Thanks for sharing – this is going to be a family favorite for years to come :)
I made these last night and had a few issues. I had to improvise with the crust as I had graham cracker crumbs on hand and not whole crackers, but the crust came out delish! My real issue was not having a food processor. I should have creamed the sugar, eggs and cream cheese prior to adding the juice (of which I had too much since my lemons were HUGE). But, I followed the recipe as written. The flavor of the bars is AMAZING! Sadly, the texture isn’t creamy as pictured, it’s almost chunky, which for me takes away from the goodness of the bar. I will try again when I have more blueberries.
made these twice this week…SOOOOO good!!!
yummy bites…gotta try these out…everyone else really love them
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made these on wednesday and they were amazing!! My boyfriend ate almost half the pan that night! The lemons I had were really big (I got over half a cup of juice from them) so I wasn’t quite sure how much to use. In the end I just winged it and went with 1T of zest and about 4 or 5T of juice. I was going for a capital L in the Lemon department. I even had enough batter to make my mom her very own mini cheesecake with a gluten free graham cracker crust! My next mission, oreo cheesecake cookies!!!
Your cheesecake bars looks absolutely deliciously! :)
I made these yesterday and brought them to my office today and everyone loved them! I even used reduced fat cream cheese and I think the lemon covered up any difference in the taste between the full fat and reduced fat cream cheese. They are delicious!
I made these yesterday (tweeked to be sugar free for my diabetic hubby) and they are a hit! Thanks for posting such yummy recipes!
Oh, dear. Whatever miniscule amount of cheesecake willpower I possessed just disappeared!
I was stunned and drooling at the first photograph!
I made these yesterday to bri g to a BBQ. They were delicious, I lived the lemon flavor – it really lightened and brightened up the heavy cheesecake.
My cheesecake also came out creamier than the above pictures, but I also noticed that it looks like the above bars were broken apart (rough texture on the sides) instead of cut with a knife? Because when I cut them it was hard not to slice thru a blueberry which then smooshed the corner of the bar and left a purple stain.
Michelle – any tips on slicing these? Thank you!
Hi Jessica, I actually did slice these with a knife. I tried to position the knife between blueberries so I didn’t pop them open. Hope that helps!
Elusive blueberries, def going to grow some as I keep loosing all the store ones I buy. This looks too good, does one square equal one mouthful? if so how many do I get? :-D
Made these last night and got my first nibble in this morning. So yummy! I only made a half portion. Otherwise I’d be eating a ton of cheesecake, lol! I love lemon and my husband loves blueberries so perfect pairing=)
I love the combination of lemon and blueberry. I had never had it before I started working at a donut shop in Cambridge, MA in 1981. They had Lemon Blueberry Muffins. I had one and I was hooked. Grilled with butter?? OMG. This brings me right back to working at that donut shop. Funny, I worked there for 5 months and never ate a donut! They had many flavors of muffins and those I ate, tons and tons of them. In those days I didn’t gain any weight from them. I have to try this.
Michelle, I have grown blueberry bushes, as well as strawberries. With blueberries, be sure to apply Miracid to fertilize as well as to help the soil achieve the optimum pH to ensure abundant production. The only problem I encountered regularly was to keep the birds from eating all the berries as they ripened. The only thing that worked finally was to get a big net made for this purpose from a nursery supply. Worked like a charm, and we enjoyed loads of the most flavorful blueberries every season untIl we had move across the country. I sure miss those bushes!
Hi Cat, Thank you for the tips! We just put some netting over the strawberries and blueberries. A critter had already gotten to one of the strawberries!
lemon + blueberry = delicious taste explosion!
I made these earlier today- crossed off of my Summer 2012 bucket list. They are chilling in the fridge as I type. They look/smell soooooo good! Hard to wait for them to chill in the fridge! ;)
What would using frozen blueberries do to the recipe? Have you ever tried it that way?
Hi Ileana, I have not used frozen blueberries. I think you could use them, but I would thaw them first and drain off any liquid. Otherwise, I fear the batter would be too watery as they cooked down.
Made these last evening and they were a hit! Mine turned out more creamy looking, as opposed to more cakey looking. Wonder if I over-food processored? Regardless, my husband couldn’t stop eating it.. :)
These look mouth-watering! Definately on “my list of things to bake”
Aaaah – they look and sound absolutely delicious! Amazing combination indeed.
Oh my gosh, I’m a sucker for any and all kinds of cheesecake. This looks deliicous!
I made these today with a combo of blueberries and raspberries – they are fabulous! The cheesecake was the perfect texture. Thank you so much for the recipe – it will be in the summer rotation!
Perfect for summer! Love this.
Hands down – my favorite summer flavor combination! Love these, Michelle!
We got a blueberry plant last year and had netting on it (which worked) but the gardener at the nursery said that you shouldn’t even pick the berries the first year. It’s better to wait until the second year so the plant can get established. I only snuck a few juicy berries. Talk about restraint! Over the winter the rabbits almost killed it but it’s slowly coming back.
We got a hybrid that you could plant by itself but we got another this year because even with the hybrids I guess the plants like to have “company”. This winter we’ll make some sort of cover so the rabbits stay away! Good luck!
I make something similar but it has a brown sugar shortbread crust we love. Might be time for a little comparison baking!
HELLO! I think I’m in love, these look amazing! :)
Two things you need to know about growing blueberry bushes: they love and must have very acidic soil and more than one type of bush needs to be planted for pollination. Best way to beat the birds is to share, lol >>> grow enough plants for you and the birds, lol….recipe sounds delish btw. :)
Oh man do these look great. i have the blueberries and the lemon but no cream cheese. i have to remedy this right now!
Good luck on your blueberry plant!
Love these flavors, Michelle!
This cheesecake looks so springy and fresh! And I am not even close to the cheesecake lover that you are, but I do love the graham cracker crust and would love the bursts of flavor from the blueberries in this one!
Blueberry and lemon? Sounds like the perfect summer treat and the thing that will make me the most popular person at the bbq this weekend :)
These look like a perfect Memorial day treat! Maybe add a strawberry drizzle for a touch of red…super festive! Thanks for the great recipe!
Just found your website – it is great! Will be trying these today – my husband is a huge fan of all things cheesecake and blueberry!
These look amazing! Love lemon and blueberry together.
Who could resist one of those – honestly? Have a great weekend!
I agree, I’m quite the cheesecake fanatic too! These are SO good! I made Tyler’s cheesecake bars (http://www.epicureanmom.com/2011/09/lemon-blueberry-cheesecake-bars.html) and got RAVE reviews! They are incredible.
My hubby is an avid gardener. When we plant strawberries mulch is a must and pine needles laid down all around the plants. It may not be visually appealing but it helps keep the snails away organically; rather then using chemicals :)
Have you ever had blueberry grunt, or is that more of an eastern Canadian thing?
Hi Vicki, I have never heard of blueberry grunt! I just did a quick Google search and it looks sort of like a cobbler that you make on the stove? It looks delicious! I need to try it!
It’s delicious! I think it’s an Acadian recipe here in Nova Scotia, and I’m pretty sure it gets its name from the sound of the blueberries boiling on the stove top. My grandmother was Acadian, and always insisted that it be made with wild blueberries. Some places will bake it and call it a grunt, but the stovetop method is essential for the traditional recipe.
Great dessert bar for summer!
These bars are definitely welcoming summer! Love the flavor combination in cheesecake form!
With the price of blueberries out here I would love to grow my own!
These look absolutely delicious and quite easy- perfect for summer!
A few years ago I planted a scraggily, little raspberry bush. The results have been a happy accident. I’m not much of a gardener. I gave it a tomato cage to climb and that’s about it. I don’t even water regularly. I wish I had planted it in a better spot with more room (I put it in a corner of the yard) because that thing has gone crazy. I get a ton of fruit from that one bush. It does get full sun.
I’m a cheesecake lover too and lemon + blueberry is my absolute favorite summer combination!
I actually haven’t done these as bars, but I HAVE done the Tyler Florence recipe for his Cheesecake – I recognized it immediately! It is FANTASTIC!
Now these bars are perfect for any summer party, I love the combo of citrus and berries!
This is a yummy recipe! Made it for the first time a few weeks ago. Making it again this weekend for barbeque at my aunt’s.
Last year I planted three Duke blueberry plants. Between the plants, peat moss & paying someone to dig the holes, I had almost $100 invested. Then the birds ate the berries – I got ONE blueberry. This year I spent $30 on bird netting & it seems to be working – I’m going to pick the first berries today & maybe I’ll get a pint this year. But I’m heading to TX for the weekend so the critters may decimate the rest of the crop while I’m gone. Maybe I’ll recoup my costs over 20 years. I now understand the frustration that farmers feel.
Cheesecake is also my favorite dessert, but I eat it maybe once a year. If I make it, I’ll eat the whole thing. But these bars are calling my name. Have a great holiday weekend.
Looks wonderful! I love blueberries on top! Great recipe!!
I love blueberries! We grew blueberries when I was a child, so I can’t offer any planting/taking care of advice, but good luck! These cheesecake bars look great, and I can’t wait to test it out.
I have grown blueberries and I know that you need to have at least 2 varieties for them to cross pollinate. There are different varieties that bloom in early, mid and late summer. Blueberries need acidic soil and should only be pruned when the plants are over three years old. The plants need to be pruned to provide good air circulation ( helps prevent disease) as well as to keep the fruit from getting small and inferior. Good luck!!!!
Mmm I love cheesecake in all forms!
Michelle, I saw this recipe just after reading an email from a local blueberry farmer letting me know their blueberries will be ready in a week. What timing!
I love lemon and blueberry together…and with cheesecake incorporated into the mix you can’t go wrong!
These look so amazing! We are growing some strawberries right now and they are doing beautifully so far. You just have to pick them as soon as they start to get ripe so they don’t spoil. I would love to try growing blueberries!
We just planted our 4 blueberry bushes last weekend- they were also an impulse buy with all the little tiny blueberry buds on them. I also can’t wait until they ripen! :) I will have to add this to my list of to-do this summer once they are ripe! ;)
I’ve been craving cheesecake like nobody’s business, and I actually have all these ingredients on hand!! I’m definitely making it this weekend, looks delicious! Good luck with your blueberry plant :)
between you and Naomi’s posts tonight, blueberry cheesecake is a hot ticket. This looks awesome!
You’re killing me here Miss Michelle! We just went blueberry picking last week and I picked 6 pints of the biggest, sweetest blueberries ever! Now I’ll have to get some lemons from the trees and make these little ditties. My new mixer is gonna get a workout! Yay!!