Sharing something different today, Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon.

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon | halfbakedharvest.com #spring #easter #cheesecake #dessert

Happy Friday! I am so excited for today’s recipe because I’ve never shared a cheesecake here on HBH, and today is finally the day. In all honesty, I never grew up eating cheesecake. In fact, I’ve really only had it a few times and I think the first time was only a couple of years ago.

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that my mom raised her kids to follow in her chocoholic footsteps. Meaning we did not eat fruit based desserts growing up, and instead enjoyed chocolate cakes, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate pies, and chocolate peanut butter bars. See the theme? All things chocolate and all the time.

Totally not complaining in any way, but this does mean that we never knew how delicious non-chocolate desserts, like cheesecake, could be. Thankfully, I grew up, learned some things about cooking and baking, and was forced to step outside of my little chocolate comfort zone and try some new desserts…cheesecake being one of them.

And that’s where today’s blueberry lemon cheesecake bars come in. Made using my go-to Land O Lakes® Butter and all the fresh blueberries I could get my hands on…these bars could not be any more delicious.

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon | halfbakedharvest.com #spring #easter #cheesecake #dessert Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon | halfbakedharvest.com #spring #easter #cheesecake #dessert

SO, here’s the story. You guys have probably noticed that I am really, really into spring this year, and really into making lighter desserts. I’ve tried out some cakes and have now moved on to cheesecake. With everything I do, I like what I make to be different from anything I’ve shared with you guys before. I know blueberry cheesecake isn’t a new concept, but I personally have never made it.

Plus, these cheesecake bars are not like any cheesecake you have had before.

Nope.

These bars are filled with sweet blueberries, both fresh and in jam form. They are light and airy and packed with fresh lemon flavor. And my crust? It’s of course extra buttery, because if you’re going to take the time to make a crust for your dessert, it needs to be extra buttery. It just does.

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon | halfbakedharvest.com #spring #easter #cheesecake #dessert Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon | halfbakedharvest.com #spring #easter #cheesecake #dessert

Speaking of my crust, mine is simple…graham crackers and butter. There’s not a lot of ingredients or anything fancy, but my Land O Lakes® Butter shines through flavor wise and the graham crackers add a nice crunchy sweetness. It’s the perfect base to hold these cheesecake bars together.

For the filling, I really wanted a cheesecake flavored heavily with blueberries and hinted with lemon. To give the cheesecake ample blueberry flavor, I used a combo of blueberry jam and fresh blueberries. I love how the jam has a more concentrated blueberry flavor. It’s so intense and so delicious when paired with the cream cheese. I then sprinkled fresh berries on top…they burst in your mouth with every single bite.

SO. SO. GOOD!

To add one last pop of both flavor and color, I finished my bars off with candied Meyer lemon slices. While these are not a must for this recipe, they do add a special touch and make the bars feel extra springy!

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon | halfbakedharvest.com #spring #easter #cheesecake #dessert

Speaking of spring, I am in LA today working on a fun and very springy project and wishing I had these bars to share with everyone on the shoot. They’re perfect for brunch, Easter, or upcoming Mother’s Day!

If you don’t love blueberries, you can easily swap in a berry you do love. Strawberries, blackberries, and even oranges would all be so good.

What I also love about these bars is that they can be made a couple of days ahead of time, and even travel well too. Meaning, if you’re not hosting brunch, but need to bring something, these bars should be your recipe. Trust me, everyone will love them…and in turn they’ll love you for bringing them.

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon | halfbakedharvest.com #spring #easter #cheesecake #dessert
Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon | halfbakedharvest.com #spring #easter #cheesecake #dessert
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4.82 from 32 votes
The Recipe

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon

By halfbakedharvest

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesecake bars, lemon and blueberry

These bars are filled with sweet blueberries, both fresh and in jam form. They are light and airy and packed with fresh lemon flavor. And my crust? It's of course extra buttery!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Calories 305 kcal

Ingredients

  • 9 graham cracker sheets, crushed into crumbs
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup blueberry jam
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Candied Lemon

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Line an 8x8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper and grease lightly with butter.

    2. In a small bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. 

    3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and honey. Add in one egg at time until the eggs are fully incorporated. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat until the mixture is smooth. Divide the batter in half. Stir the blueberry jam into 1 half of the batter. 

    4. Pour the blueberry batter over the graham cracker layer. Now gently pour the plain batter over the blueberry batter, the batters will mix. Using a knife, gently make swirls throughout. Sprinkle the blueberries over top. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until just set, but still a little jiggly in the center. Allow the bars to chill in the pan for about an hour, then transfer to the fridge to chill completely, at least 3 ours. Cut into bars and serve topped with candied lemon slices (recipe follows).

Candied Lemon

  1. 1. Combine the sugar, 3/4 cup water, and the lemon juice in a 10-12 inch skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lemon slices and simmer until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from the sugar and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Allow to dry before adding to the tart, about 2 hours. 

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon | halfbakedharvest.com #spring #easter #cheesecake #dessert

{This post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!}