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up close creamy lemon bars

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars are the dessert you never knew you needed, but bake them once, and you'll never go without them again. Sweet, cream cheesy, lemony, buttery, and so easy! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
chilling time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 55 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 316kcal
Author Tiffany


for the crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter chilled and cut into small cubes

for the filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • cup powdered sugar plus more for topping
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x13 inch pan with foil or parchment with plenty of overhang around the edges to lift the bars out of the pan before cutting.
  • Prepare the crust by combining flour, sugar, salt, and butter cubes in a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse until fine crumbs form. (You can also do this with a pastry cutter, fork, or with your fingers in a large bowl.)
  • Press crust into prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
  • Prepare the filling by combining cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl. Cream together until smooth. Mix in flour, powdered sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla until completely incorporated.
  • Pour filling over crust and return to oven for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool for about 20 minutes, then cover and transfer chill in the fridge 4 hours or overnight. Lift the foil edges to remove the bars from the pan, slice into squares, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, and serve.


Flavor tip: add an extra 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest for even more lemon flavor!
Altitude adjustments: if you find that after the instructed baking time your bars have not set, simply continue to bake in 5-10 minute increments until center has set. If edges begin to brown too much, tent with foil and continue baking. 


Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 630IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg