Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust | Cookies and Cups

Helloooo people!

Today I’m looking out for ya!  Honest.

…A giver, a people pleaser, an all around go-to girl, that’s what I am. The thing is, I hear you need fruit in your diet.  Health is important.

So today two fruits for the price of one. See?  A giver!

Plus there’s dairy and fiber: cheesecake and shortbread. A people pleaser!!!  I told ya!

OR, I suppose you could say I’m a saboteur.  A mean girl.   An enabler…

Because, honestly I’m trying to sell you cheesecake bars as a well rounded meal. But I’m pretty much sure that might make me the coolest mean girl ever.

You say tomato.

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust | Cookies and Cups

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars. Complete daily sustenance. Feel free to eat 30.

The crust is yummy shortbread…and I actually used my pastry cutter…I knew I bought that thing for a reason!

 photo IMG_0817_zpsfce968b2.jpg

It’ll be super crumbly and dry.  Don’t you worry…

Press it into the pan and bake it until the edges are beginning to golden up.

 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zps65c04d5e.jpgWhen the crust is partially cooked, pull it out and spread on some Strawberry preserves.  Use good ones, people.

 photo IMG_0831_zps7bdd8361.jpgHow pretty is that?

 photo IMG_0833_zps5fc805ff.jpgThen pour the lemon cream cheese mixture on top of that.

I didn’t show this step, but while the crust is partially baking, you can mix this up.  Super simple.

 photo IMG_0838_zps075f1dfb.jpgWhile it’s baking clean up.

No one likes a messy kitchen 😉

 photo IMG_0844_zpse77e3c07.jpg

And finito!

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust | Cookies and CupsI’m telling you, a full meal.



Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Cookies & Cups


makes 36 squares


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, divided
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup strawberry preserves


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, powdered sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest and butter. Cut together with a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly. It will be dry, don’t worry.
  4. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until edges start to golden.
  6. Meanwhile, in bowl of stand mixer beat together cream cheese, remaining zest and granulated sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, stirring until combined. Stir in lemon juice.
  7. When crust is golden, remove from oven and spread strawberry preserves evenly on top. Pour cream cheese mixture on top of preserves.
  8. Continue baking for 25 minutes until cheesecake is set in the middle.
  9. Allow to cool on wire rack for 20 minutes and then chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  10. Cut into squares when ready to serve.


Garnish with whipped cream and strawberries if desired.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living

65 Responses

  1. This looks lovely! I have always argued that as fruit pastilles include real fruit juice then they act as one of your 5 a day if you eat enough…

  2. You’re not mean for sharing, and I’m so glad you did. These look SO creamy, fruity, and delicious. It’s worth an extra trip to the gym. It’s not your fault if the people you share with have no self control, right? lol

  3. Nicole

    These look so delicious and great for dessert (or snacks) for summer. I just showed my mom and she said time to bake!!! I can’t wait to try these!!!

  4. These look scrumptious! I couldn’t find where you add the second tsp of lemon zest, is it with the lemon juice? I am still a novice in the kitchen so I usually follow recipes to the letter the first time I try anything.

  5. Kate

    I noticed that it calls for 2 tsp. lemon zest, divided. I see that 1 tsp. goes into the crust, but where does the other tsp. go? Thanks!

  6. Rosalinda

    Loved this recipe… no complicated ingredients, sometimes it`s difficult to find ingredients here in Mexico… i will try to make it, but during winter because the oven gets my house soooo hot!! and it is hot down here!! great website!!

  7. Wow, this is pretty much health food, isn’t it!! Looks absolutely gorgeous, cheesy and sweet… and YES. I definitely need some of these in my life to fulfil my fruit ratio!
    Thanks so much for the gorgeous recipe. Just found you over at Rachel Cooks. Beautiful blog!! x

  8. Carrie

    I just stumbled across your blog tonight. I love it! I see 5 pounds in my future. Your sense of humor is just what I needed tonight. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Robyn

    can these be made up in advanced and frozen? I’m planning a big “50”th birthday celebration for my husband and want to do some of the things in advance.

  10. Amanda

    I want to make these for Valentine’s Day! Did you use salted or unsalted butter? About how many lemons did it take to get that amount of zest/juice? Lastly, would these do well being cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter or would it be better to just do them as squares? Thank you!

    1. Shelly

      You will most likely just need on large lemon! And as for the cutter, I would just cut them into squares, only because you will lose so much of it cutting it into shapes. Good luck!

  11. I’m such a strawberry lover that I don’t normally like them to appear alongside anything else but I’ll make an exception for these bars because they look so delicious =)

  12. Shannon

    Would this be really weird if I mixed some of the regular creamcheese with strawberry creamcheese? I just got so much strawberry creamcheese at home and trying to use it up somehow. I’m just wondering if they would be too sweet if I did that.

  13. Kelley

    Hi Shelly!

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe this past weekend and it was scrumptious! I had some cream cheese that needed to be used up and was wondering what to make with it. I also happened to have some homemade strawberry rhubarb jelly in my pantry and oh my…the end result was divine! I shared some with family and half of the pan went to work otherwise I am afraid I would have eaten them all! Huge hit at work as well! Thank you so much for the recipe! It is a keeper!

  14. Grace

    Hi Shelley 🙂 I was dying to do something simple with some leftover cream cheese that I had. I had no preserve so I went ahead and tried it without the strawberry layer. It was almost perfect! My brother (who dislikes anything resembling yogurt-y) would’ve finished it all up if I hadn’t put it away for my parents. Thank you for the recipe! Next time, I would double the cheese layer and add a little extra lemon juice and I’d have easy peasy lemon cheesecake!

  15. This just came out of the oven and it smells divine! I can’t hardly wait to cut them into squares and try them. Thanks for a simple recipe. (By the way, the reader who commented that she used rhubarb/strawberry jam…I’m so envious! That would be amazing.)

  16. Rufus

    These were awesome! The whole pan went so fast. I am going to make them again this weekend. Thinking of using lemon curd instead of strawberry preserves this time.

  17. Janelle

    I made this for Easter at my in-laws. I take pride in making desserts for family events and I only make the best. I was hesitant since this was a new recipe for me, but the flavors and ingredients seemed to make logical, tasty sense. Unfortunately, I was semi-wrong. The crust turned out like a brick, which I’ve never had happen before with similar desserts. I couldn’t cut through it with any knife in the house. We ended up scraping the strawberry and cheesecake layers off and just eating those, which were fine. The preserves made this dessert taste a little cheap. If I were to make this again, I’d try a Graham cracker crust and a lighter strawberry preserve layer.

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