This recipe for lemon cheesecake bars with raspberry filling may take a little bit of time to prep, but it is easy to follow and tastes so amazing that the time spent is well worth it!
The tangy zest of lemon cuts right through the richness of the cheesecake, and the sweet berry burst of raspberry preserves adds just the right amount of zing. Throw in the salty-sweet flavor of the vanilla wafer crust and you have a dessert that will practically fly off the tray!
This recipe is the perfect dessert for all occasions—especially potlucks, picnics and bake sales. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry to make this dessert.
If you love this recipe, try experimenting with your favorite preserves. The possibilities are endless with so many wonderful flavors to choose from!
Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars Recipe
what you'll need
- 50 vanilla wafers crushed into fine crumbs, about 1¼ cups
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 lemon zest of lemon reserve juice for filling
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 16 oz cream cheese room temperature, 2 pkgs
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 cup raspberry fruit preserves
let's do it
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees then spray a 9" x 13" pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- To make the crust, combine the vanilla wafer crumbs, sugar, salt and lemon zest together in a medium mixing bowl then stir until all ingredients are evenly combined. Pour the melted butter over the crumb mixture then stir until all of the crumbs are moistened. The mixture should look and feel like damp sand.
- Pour the crust mixture into the prepared pan and shake to level the mixture in the bottom of the pan. Use your fingers or anything with a flat bottom (such as a measuring cup) to gently press the crumbs into an even layer across the bottom of the pan. Don’t mash the mixture, simply press the crumbs into a solid layer, about ¼" thick.
- Bake the crust for 12 minutes then remove from the oven to cool slightly. Afterwards, leave the oven set to 325 degrees.
- While the crust bakes in the oven, begin making the filling by beating the room temperature cream cheese until no lumps remain.
- Add the sugar and beat until completely incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as often as necessary to ensure all of the lumps are removed.
- Add the sour cream, eggs, vanilla and lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture then beat until the batter is completely smooth. Set this mixture aside.
- After the crust has cooled slightly, spread the raspberry preserves in an even layer over the crust then pour the cream cheese filling on top of the preserves. Smooth the top then return the pan to the oven.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, until the edges begin to set and turn slightly brown. The center will still be wobbly, but don’t worry—it will set as it cools.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool completely on a baking rack. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Cut into even squares before serving then enjoy!