My ideal picnic date would include a wedge of cheese, a bottle of wine, and a plate of these velvety, bright Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars.

A Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars with shortbread crust cut into squares and garnished with fresh strawberries and a lemon slices

Pin this recipe on Pinterest to save for later

Pin It!0

With a buttery shortbread crust, luscious lemon cheesecake filling, and a sweet center of strawberry jam, these strawberry lemon cream cheese bars are the perfect summer recipe that tastes of sunny afternoons spent lounging on a blanket in the grass.

I baked these strawberry lemon cream cheese bars after a long weekend spent working on house projects at our new home with Ben.

After a long winter and procrastinating most of the spring, we’re finally purging the basement of clutter, washing windows, and handling pesky tasks like mowing and weeding.

Well, Ben mows. I bake lemon cheesecake bars to enjoy afterward.

They’re the perfect lemony treat (these Classic Lemon Bars are not a bad choice either) after a long day of yard work because:

  • They’re simple to make.
  • Easily transportable to your outdoor table or lawn chair.
  • Can be picked up and polished off with nothing more than your fingers.
Simple and delicious Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars cut into squares on a white quartz countertop

5 Star Review

“I made these last weekend to test them out for a neighborhood party this weekend. They are fantastic!”

— Beth —

How to Make Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

These strawberry lemon cream cheese bars are a perfect dessert to enjoy at a backyard picnic of your own or to bring to a party or potluck (if you’re looking for a lemony summer birthday dessert, try my Lemon Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting).


Ingredients

  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and All-Purpose Flour. I love to use a blend of whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose to sneak a little wholesome nutrition into these bars.

Substitution Tip

If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour in your pantry, feel free to swap for equal amounts of all-purpose flour.

  • Powdered Sugar. Sweetens the crust and makes it melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
  • Butter. Essential to make the shortbread crust perfectly tender and ultra buttery.
  • Lemon Zest. My secret to giving the crust a little brightness and extra lemony oomph.
  • Lemon Juice. Go with freshly squeezed lemon juice if you can, It makes a difference, I promise!
  • Cream Cheese. Light cream cheese (not fat-free) keeps these bars rich, creamy, and indulgent without feeling heavy.
  • Non-fat Greek Yogurt. Adds moisture and helps make the cheesecake light and fluffy.
  • Egg Yolk. Contributes richness and natural yellow color to the lemon cheesecake.
  • Strawberry Preserves. Provides a surprise burst of summer berry flavor (like in these Strawberry Jam Bars) underneath the creamy lemon cheesecake.

Substitution Tip

Try this recipe with a different fruit preserve of your choice. Raspberry, blueberry, or even cherry would all be delicious options.

Directions

  1. Combine and pulse the crust ingredients together in a food processor.
  2. Press the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake until lightly browned. Remove and let cool.
  3. Beat together the filling ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  4. Over the cooled crust, spread the preserves evenly and then pour the cream cheese mixture over preserves. Bake until the cheesecake appears set.
  5. Remove, let cool, and then cover and chill.
  6. To serve, cut into bars and garnish as desired. ENJOY!
a layered Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bar on a white quartz countertop with a fork garnished with fresh strawberry

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Keep leftover lemon cream cheese bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • To Freeze. Leave bars ungarnished, wrap tightly in a double layer of plastic, and freeze for up to 1 month. Let thaw in the refrigerator, then top with fruit just before serving.

More Delicious Strawberry and Lemon Desserts

A Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bar garnished with fresh strawberry and a lemon slice

Recommended Tools

Whether you bring them to a weekend potluck or devour them in a quiet moment alone in front of your refrigerator, their luscious texture and bright, summery flavor will be a sweet addition to any day.

Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars — Buttery shortbread crust topped with a bright and creamy lemon cheesecake and layer of strawberry jam.

Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

5 from 2 votes
These strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars have layers of buttery shortbread crust, strawberry jam, and the creamiest lemon cheesecake.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 1 hr

Servings: 9 bars

Ingredients
  

For the Shortbread Crust:

  • 1/2 cup  whole wheat pastry flour  or substitute all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup  all purpose flour
  • 1/4  cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces

For the Lemon Cheesecake:

  • 16  ounces light cream cheese, (two 8-ounce blocks) softened (do not use fat free)
  • 1/2 cup  granulated sugar
  • teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4  cup strawberry preserves
  • Fresh sliced strawberries and/or lemon slices for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch pan with cooking spray.
  • In the bowl of a food processor (or in a medium mixing bowl if not using a food processor), lightly pulse the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon lemon zest, and salt. Add butter pieces and pulse just until mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse cornmeal. (If not using a food processor, cut butter pieces into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender.) The mixture will feel dry to the touch. Press the mixture onto bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl), beat together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat just until blended. Mix in the fresh lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, and remaining ¼ teaspoon lemon zest. Beat well.
  • Spread preserves over the cooled shortbread. Pour the cream cheese mixture over preserves, spreading to edges. Bake an additional 28 to 32 minutes, or until the cheesecake appears set on top and only jiggles slightly when you wiggle the pan. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and chill 4 to 8 hours. Cut into bars and garnish with whipped cream and fresh strawberry slices.

Notes

  • To Store. Keep leftover lemon cream cheese bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • To Freeze. Leave bars ungarnished, wrap tightly in a double layer of plastic, and freeze for up to 1 month. Let thaw in the refrigerator, then top with fruit just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 9gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 106mgPotassium: 230mgFiber: 2gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 595IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 1mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.

Register

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article

Pin0

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




6 Comments

Leave a comment

  1. Made these over the weekend- delish! I didn’t have whole wheat flour or strawberry preserves so I substituted all purpose flour and raspberry preserves. Definitely a keeper! I ended up freezing the leftovers and am excited to be able to pull out a sweet treat whenever I get a craving.5 stars

    1. Your raspberry version sounds amazing, Kristen! Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try and reporting back!

  2. I made these last weekend to test them out for a neighborhood party this weekend. They are fantastic!5 stars

    1. I am so excited to hear that Beth! I hope you enjoy them the second time around too :) Thanks for taking time to leave this wonderful review!

  3. hi, have you ever made this in a 9×13 size? would you simply double the recipe? they look tasty, thinking of making them for a party this weekend.

    1. Hi JD, I haven’t done that myself, but it should work! And yes, I would double the recipe. I hope you enjoy the bars!