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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, as I grew up I began to learn some things about cooking and baking. I 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’m in LA today working on a fun and very springy project. These bars are perfect for a spring 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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 16 bars
Calories Per Serving: 159 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Candied Lemon

Instructions

  • 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. 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. 
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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!}

Lastly, if you make this Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

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Comments

  1. I currently do not have an 8×8 pan, can I substitute a springform pan instead and just make a regular cheesecake?

    1. Hi Puja,
      That would be great! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    These were delicious! I used blackberry jam instead of blueberry jam. Whole family LOVED them!

  3. This looks amazing! I want to make it this weekend. Do you think it would work as “mini cheesecakes” baked in a muffin pan instead?

    1. HI! I am sure mini cheesecakes will be great! Such a cute idea! I would only bake 15-20 minutes. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  4. 4 stars
    This was an amazing recipe; I’ve already made it twice! People love it. I just wanted to know– the bars tend to be a little soft/gooey even after chilling overnight. What are your suggestions?

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! I made it with my friend and she loved it so much that she made it again on her own a week later. Do you think you could publish a matcha or black sesame cheesecake recipe sometime soon??

    1. I am so happy to hear that! I will try to make something like that! Thanks for the suggestions Sayuri!

  6. Hey Tieghan, I want to make these for my mom’s fourth of July party but I’m dairy free. Have you tried making these with vegan cream cheese and butter? Do you think the sub will work? Thanks:)

    1. HI! I have not tried using vegan ingredients, so I am not sure how this would turn out. If you are comfortable with testing it out, I say go for it! Let me know how it goes and Happy 4th of July!

  7. HI, I’m planning to make these for a July 4th BBQ. I have a box of Graham Cracker Crumbs that I had leftover from another recipe. Do you know how many cups of crumbs I would need to approximate 9 sheets of graham crackers?

    1. Hi! It’s about 2 1/2 cups of crumbs. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi! It is 16 ounces of cream cheese total. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  8. I was looking at this recipe and decided to read the reviews. Very surprised how a recipe got 5 star reviews when most of the commentary was from people who have not made these bars.

    1. Hi Pat! Many people like to rate the photos and the post in general because they like the content. I hope you love these bars if you choose to make them!

  9. 5 stars
    I have yet to try a HBH recipe that I haven’t loved! Huge fan over here 🙂
    Just wondering if you actually eat the candied lemons?? They look delicious but do you have to pull the flesh away from the peel to eat them or how does that work? Or maybe they’re just for decoration! haha

    1. HI! Yes, you can eat the candid lemons! The sugars break down the bitterness. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I baked these and took them along to my family Easter gathering on Sunday. They were a smashing success! Thank you for noting that I should buy Meyer Lemons – I think they made all the difference! These bars will be definitely be repeated.

  11. 5 stars
    So SO wonderful! I made these to take to our family Easter celebration and they were delicious! Mine took a little longer to cook, but I think it is because I used a giant lemon, so the batter was probably a little looser to start. Thanks for the great recipe!!

  12. Hi, would love to try this recipe. Could you please tell how much 9 graham sheets crushed into crumbs make (1 cup or more)? I have a box of already crushed graham crackers so would like to use that. Thank you

    1. HI! It’s about 1 cup of crushed graham crackers. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂