Lemon Ripple Cheesecake Bars

Lemon?  Cheesecake?  This is lemon squares kicked up a notch!

These bars are the ultimate!  The recipe for this irresistible dessert belongs to Elinor Klivan and was in The Chicago Tribune last November.  And we owe it all to Christopher Columbia as he is the man who carried lemon seeds with him to the Americas in 1493.  Lemons were mainly used as medicine and ornaments back then and did not appear in cooking until the 1700’s when lemon trees were increasingly grown in Florida and California

These luscious bars are a bit out of the ordinary because of the way the filling is prepared.   Lemon zest is added to the rich dough and pressed into a baking pan after which, the creamy cheesecake layer is spread over the top of the dough.  Then the ripple affect takes hold when a lemon curd mixture is swirled through the batter.  

When serving, these incredibly yummy bars are not cut into traditional cheesecake slices but into squares instead. The end result is a delicious, decadent bar that looks pretty impressive also! 

Lemon Ripple Cheesecake Bars

1 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into ½-inch pieces, chilled

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup cold water
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
¼ pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fresh berries, optional


For crust:
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 9” square nonstick baking pan.
Pulse the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt in a food processor.
Add butter; pulse until a soft, crumbly dough forms.
Press dough evenly over bottom and ½” up the sides of the pan.
Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

For filling:
Dissolve cornstarch in cold water in small bow.
Whisk yolks with ¾ cup of the sugar and the lemon juice in medium saucepan.
Whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
Cook over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot, about 4 minutes.
Raise heat to medium-high; heat to a boil, whisking constantly.
Cook until mixture is thick and glossy, 1 minute.
Strain into a heatproof bowl.
Stir in lemon zest.
Let cool.

Beat cream cheese with remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. 
Beat in the flour until blended.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.
Add sour cream and vanilla, beat until batter is smooth.
Pour cream cheese batter over the crust.
Smooth with a spatula.
Place lemon mixture in dollops on cheesecake batter.
Carefully swirl it into the batter using the tip of a knife or skewer.

Bake until golden around edges and just set, 40-45 minutes.
Run a knife around edges to loosen the cheesecake.
Cool on wire rack 1 hour.
Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Cut into bars and garnish with berries, if desired.
16 bars

Note:  When slicing bars, run a knife under hot water, slice bars, wiping blade after making each cut.

Give it a try, you’ll love them!


  1. Oh me oh my...the heck with cutting these up in squares, just hand me a fork and stand back!!!

  2. Corgidogmama, I like your style! Thanks for the visit!

  3. I found my way over from Corgidogmama's. What a great recipe. I love lemon. Yummy thanks.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Buttercup: Welcome! I'm glad you made it here safely! Love that lemon also!

  6. I just popped over from Corgidogmama's site. I love your blog...I'm afraid I'll love it too much!
    Please stop by and visit me. I'm a children's author and have a blog for people who like to write.

    I also have another blot for animal lovers at

    I'd love to hear from you!

  7. Do I like lemon and cheesecake? Love 'em both! Great recipe.

  8. Jane: Thanks for stopping by; I appreciate it! I will be checking out your blog soon! It sounds interesting!

  9. Cakelaw: Glad you like the recipe. I say, what's not to like about lemon and cheesecake! We know what's good!

  10. These look so delicious!!! Great photo and recipe!!!

    Also...Thanks so much for your recent visit to my CHARMING VINTAGE RECIPES blog! (Now come on over to my other blog VINTAGE COTTAGE HOME and visit as I'm celebrating my 500th post and having a VINTAGE BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!)

    Have a great day! Coralie

  11. Coralie: thank you for the kind comments! I'm off to yours...

    You have a great day also!

  12. Thank you so much for following "My Fabulous Recipes"!

    Oh these bars look so yummy! I want some right now.

  13. Thanks, Gabby Gourmet! Love your name! I'm so glad you like them!

  14. Lemon bars have always been a favorite.... These look fantastic! Kicked up a notch, indeed!

  15. My boyfriend loves cheesecake, these look perfect! Am about to post something similar I tried recently...I love your quotes in the sidebar by the way.

  16. Thanks for stopping by Sasa! I will be looking at yours!

  17. Okay, knock it off! I'm caving from this craving which may send me to my GRAVE! trying to stay off "the white" products is proving impossible. You're Bad, I like it. Keri

  18. Sam (Keri), I might be bad but, these are great! ;)

    Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you like it!


Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!
~ James Beard

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We went for Sunday rides in the Model-T when my grandmother didn't visit. My parents liked the orange groves, miles and miles of orange trees always either in blossom or full of oranges. My parents had a picnic basket and a metal chest. In the metal chest were frozen cans of fruit on dry ice, and in the picnic basket were weenie and liverwurst and salami sandwiches, potato chips, bananas and soda-pop. The soda-pop was shifted continually back and forth between the metal box and the picnic basket. It froze quickly, and then had to be thawed.
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