Lemon Cheesecake Bars

5 from 1 vote

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If you like creme brulee, you’ll love these Lemon Cheesecake Bars! They are so easy to make- you will want to make them again and again!

Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brulee Bars

I’m sorry in advance.

These are evil. And amazing. And addicting. And life changing.

I know I asked for your input on what I should post today and a lot of you said breakfast, but I couldn’t not post this recipe. It was burning a hole in my culinary pocket. It was the force of the lemon that made me do it. Lemon desserts and I go way back. I seriously think my addiction started in the womb. {#forreals} My momma likes lemon as much if not more than I do.  Got me some good genetics! {Except for the humungo caboose I inherited…another story for a different time}

So, yes. These lemon cheesecake creme brulee bars are ridiculous. And so devilishly easy that you will be tempted to make these time and time again. I first came up with this recipe after having an awful dessert that was this exact concept but tasted so royally disgusting that I had a hard time shelling out the seven bucks it cost. That night I’d vow to make it better. So I did. I first tested them on a baby shower crowd and they went like hot cakes. Then I made them for my sister-in-law’s birthday because she’s as much of a lemon freak as I am. Of course she liked them too. Then I ‘tested’ them again and ate half the pan. Then I swore the recipe off because I knew if I’d make them AGAIN, I’d eat the.entire.thing. So, I did actually forgot about them until a few days ago when I had a few lemons loitering around my crisper drawers and found a package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese hiding behind ‘x’ pounds of butter. The perfect storm. So I made them again. This time with you all in mind! {You’re welcome.} Take a peek at the step by step photos and experience the beauty that is this dessert.

Here’s what you need:


For the bottom layer, mix together some butter, sugar, vanilla and flour. Basically, you’re making a quick shortbread. And, try not to melt your butter in the microwave while trying to soften it. Don’t be like me.

Mixing ingredients in Kitchenaid mixer

So, once it all comes together, that’s it! 1st layer done.

Mixing ingredients in Kitchenaid mixer

Press this dough into an 8×8 glass dish. I like to line mine with parchment, but that’s totally optional! Lightly spray your pan with non-stick and you should be good to go. Also, my dough was particularly sticky because I melted my darn butter. If you don’t melt your butter, you won’t have this problem. Again, don’t be like me.

Cookie dough in the bottom of a baking dish

For the cheesecake part, start by whipping your softened cream cheese.

Mixing ingredients in Kitchenaid mixer

With the mixer on low, stream in a can of sweetened condensed milk. Scrape the sides and mix again.

Adding sweetened condensed milk

Stir in an egg,

adding egg

lots of lemon zest,

Lemon Zest

and lemon juice.

Adding liquid through strainer

Scrape the sides and mix again. Once you have a smooth batter, pour it over that first layer.

Lemon filling

Bake this at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until it’s completely set…meaning it shouldn’t jiggle!

Lemon filling on cookie dough

Once it comes out of the oven, let it cool to room temp and then refrigerate. These will taste a million times better if they’re cold.

Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brulee Bars

After a few hours, remove from the fridge and pop out of the pan. {All thanks to Mr. Parchment} I like to cut off a tiny strip along each edge to get sharp cuts, but that’s totally up to you.

Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brulee Bars

Now comes the fun part! Separate your squares and sprinkle with sugar. Spread the sugar around the top evenly with your finger so you have a nice thin layer and then……….

Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brulee Bars

….grab one of these bad boys and get crackin’!


Turn that sucker on and brulee the tops of the lemon bars. You can hardly see the flame, but it’s there! {*If you don’t have a torch, use your broiler!}

Torching Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brulee Bars

Hello, my pretties! Once they are all done, refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brulee Bars

Throw these onto a serving platter and voila! A perfect dessert everyone will love! Sweet and tart, similar to key lime pie, but a million times better!

Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brulee Bars

Enjoy! 🙂

5 from 1 vote

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

If you like creme brulee, you'll love these Lemon Cheesecake Bars! They are so easy to make- you will want to make them again and again!
servings 16 squares
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 glass dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In large bowl, combine butter, sugar, flour and vanilla until dough forms. Press evenly into the bottom of prepared dish. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whip cream cheese. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. Scrape sides and mix again. Pour in egg, lemon zest and juice. Mix until mixture starts to thicken, 20-30 seconds. Scrape sides and mix again briefly. Pour overtop cookie bottom and smooth the top.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until cheesecake is set completely. Cool, then refrigerate. Cut into 16 squares and separate.
  • Sprinkle the tops of each square with 1 teaspoon of sugar and spread around with finger to evenly distribute sugar. Torch the tops until the sugar melts and turns an amber color. {If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler}. Return squares to fridge until ready to serve.


Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 449IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cheesecake bars
Polaroid photo of granola bars

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Recipe Rating

104 Responses
  1. Audrey

    I made these, and they looked just like the photo. The only problem was that the base was completely raw when I was finished – does it not have to be baked a little prior to adding the cream cheese mixture? Tips anyone? The topping was delish by the way…

  2. Pam

    These are cooling on my counter right now. I couldn’t wait and ate a square and they’re delicious even without the crunchy top! Thank you for your simply delicious recipes.

  3. Meg M.

    WOW! You were right! These are indeed: Evil. And amazing. And addicting. And life changing.

    My family & boyfriend were completely obsessed with these, and even went as far as to say they could be served in a restaurant! Amazingly decadent & delicious. Thanks for this recipe. Will be making again and again!

  4. Julie

    Hi! These look awesome. I actually made these last night, but with Meyer lemons. The filling I LOVE, but my crust was very dense and hard. Is it supposed to be like that?

  5. David Head

    I can’t believe how yummy these look, want one now ,this is the way things should look. Yummy looks will always sell your products.We cater for variouse tastes,and a lot of what we do is ,sorry to say ,bought in.Its great to make these things,you’ve done a marvellous job .Well done.
    Kind Regards
    David Head

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  7. Paula

    I made this a few days ago and they´re everything you claim them to be and more!! and I didn´t even brulee them!! Imagine that
    They will become a classic in no time. Thanks for a great recipe

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  10. Rachel

    Hi Lauren,

    I stumbled upon this recipe and your site and these look like the perfect little treat I was looking for! I have one questions for you first though-why didn’t you pre-bake the shortbread crust? Every lemon bar recipe I’ve used or read always pre-bakes the crust, and I am a little nervous to leave it “raw” under the cream cheese mixture. What was the reasoning and result of not pre-baking the crust? Thanks!

    1. Lauren

      I just never thought to. If you’d rather prebake it, then go right ahead! But baking it all together cooks it all just the same!

  11. Evie

    I was actually looking for Creme Brulee cupcakes and found this recipe instead. This is so cute & looks good! Looks easy to make too. I will try it out. I have never made cheese cake. Now this will be a cool dessert for family parties during the holidays!

  12. UtterlyPurple

    Hey, the recipe looks great, is there something I could substitute for the sweetened condensed milk? Something nondairy, if possible. Thx!

  13. Connie

    Looks yummy. Been looking for torch, but can’t find one. Found pen like one but looks complicated so I didn’t bother getting it. Where did you get yours?

  14. Kathy, The Chicken Chick

    Hello, new follower here! I would love to have you link up with my Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    I hope to see you there!
    The Chicken Chick

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  17. Julie W

    This recipe is gorgeous. I made them once and the base was raw, 20-25 minutes with a wet layer on top was not enough time. The second time I prebaked at 350 for 15 minutes and the base is fine, but still too soft for my liking. I like a good crust, not tough and hard, but solid and with substance. I will try pre-baking for 20 minutes the next time, or upping the temp to 375 for the 15 minute crust baking. Also, the second time I did lime instead of lemon and it is just as delish!! Yummmm….. I used a broiler to get the sugar topping crust and it worked great. This recipe will definitely be a part of my regular dessert rotation. Thanks.

  18. Nathell Slater

    I have made these and love them. I need to make them for a party of 250 people.
    If i make them in an 11 x 17 sheet pan do you think that would work and how many times to I need to x’s the recipe

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  22. Crystal

    Love this–everything about it from the shortbread crust to the crispy brulee top. But, I have to say: “No! No! No!” The point of “brulee” is to have a crispy ‘shell.’ Sorry, but if you refrigerate these after you torch them, you will have a runny, gooey mess! Save the sugar and torch until just before you serve them!

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