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A thick layer of rich, creamy, lemon cheesecake that’s studded with fresh blueberries sits on top of a graham cracker crust for the most decadent and delicious summer dessert. Bake these easy Blueberry Cheesecake Bars in an 8-inch square pan for bite-size, freezer-friendly treats that are perfect for all of your warm-weather cookouts, picnics, and gatherings.

Close up side shot of a stack of blueberry cheesecake bars

Easy Cheesecake Bars

If you love the taste of a NY-style cheesecake, but you don’t love all of the fuss of a hot water bath to prevent curdling and cracking, then these easy blueberry cheesecake bars are the perfect dessert for you!

What is a cheesecake bar?

Cheesecake bars are an easier, quicker alternative to a classic New York-style cheesecake. The cookie bars include all of the same flavors and ingredients of a traditional cheesecake, but they’re cut into smaller, more manageable squares rather than large, thick wedges. You get the graham cracker crust, the thick, dense cheesecake filling with a hint of lemon, and in this case, sweet, juicy blueberries in every bite. Cheesecake bars can be picked up and enjoyed with your fingers, rather than navigating a big slice of cake with a fork.

What could be more perfect for a summer birthday, picnic, potluck or cookout?! These cheesecake cookie bars come together easily with a just a few simple ingredients. The treats are fresh, light, flavorful, and they can be made in advance to avoid any last-minute stress. They’re truly the best dessert for the season!

Close up side shot of lemon blueberry cheesecake bars on a cutting board

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of lemon blueberry cheesecake bars. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Graham crackers: the base of the crust.
  • Granulated sugar: sweetens both the crust and the filling.
  • Butter: binds the crust together.
  • Cream cheese: the base of the filling. Make sure that you use full-fat blocks of cream cheese (not tubs of spreadable cream cheese).
  • Lemon zest: just the outer peel from the lemon adds a hint of bright citrus flavor to the cheesecake filling.
  • All-purpose flour: thickens the filling.
  • Eggs: stabilize the filling and help it set.
  • Sour cream: adds a thick, rich, creamy texture to the cheesecake.
  • Vanilla extract: for warm flavor.
  • Blueberries: fresh, sweet, in-season berries are best. I don’t recommend frozen blueberries for this recipe.

How to Make Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Since everyone loves my pumpkin cheesecake bars in the fall, I figured it was time for a summertime twist. Sure, you could dollop a can of blueberry pie filling on top of the lemon cheesecake bars, but I love to take advantage of sweet, juicy, local blueberries when they’re in season. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

  1. Bake the graham cracker crust, then let it cool.
  2. Mix together the filling.
  3. Pour the filling into the crust.
  4. Sprinkle blueberries on top.
  5. Bake the bars in a 300° F oven until the center is set, about 40-43 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake bars in the oven with the door closed for 1 hour.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until cold (at least 3 hours or overnight).
Graham cracker crust in an 8-inch square pan
Cheesecake filling in a large mixing bowl
Process shot showing how to make blueberry cheesecake bars
Fork taking a bite of a cheesecake bar on a blue and white plate

How do you know when a cheesecake bar is set?

Give the pan a gentle jiggle. When the pan shakes, if the cheesecake filling looks nearly set and only a small circle in the center jiggles slightly, it’s done.

How to Cut Cheesecake Bars

By lining the pan with an overhang of parchment before baking, you can easily lift the bars right out of the pan once they’re cool. Place the parchment on a cutting board and slice into squares. Cheesecake bars are very rich, so I like to cut them into small, bite-size pieces (about 16 bars per batch).

Overhead image showing how to cut cheesecake bars

Storage

This is a simple and convenient make-ahead dessert! The cheesecake bars need to be refrigerated, so store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Lemon cheesecake square with blueberries on a blue and white plate with a fork

To Freeze

Yes, you can even freeze these dessert bars! Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator — not at room temperature.

Square side shot of easy cheesecake bars on a wooden cutting board with a server

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of blueberries, use fresh raspberries, blackberries or diced strawberries.
  • If you don’t have access to fresh blueberries, spoon a dollop of canned blueberry pie filling on top of each bar before serving.
  • In lieu of a graham cracker crust, we also love a shortbread crust or a Nilla wafer crust.
  • To prepare a larger batch of cheesecake bars, double all of the ingredients and bake in a 9 x 13-inch pan. The total baking time will increase by only a few minutes (about 45 minutes total).
Square image of a lemon blueberry cheesecake cookie bars on a plate

Tips for the Best Blueberry Cheesecake Bars Recipe

  • Be patient. I know it’s the hardest part, but it’s important to allow plenty of time for the crust to cool completely before adding the filling on top. Again, let the cheesecake bars cool in the oven for an hour, and then at room temperature, and finally in the fridge. Don’t try to slice warm bars, or you’ll end up with a soft mess!
  • Start with softened blocks of cream cheese. It’s easier to mix the cream cheese into a smooth filling when the cream cheese is at room temperature. Do not substitute with tubs of spreadable cream cheese.
  • Don’t Over-Mix the Batter. You want the mixture smooth, but over-mixing can incorporate too much air in the cheesecake. This causes the cheesecake to rise too quickly in the oven, then fall and create cracks.
  • Cool at Room Temperature. Allow the bars to slowly cool — first in the oven, and then at room temperature — before finally placing them in the fridge to chill. If you change the temperature too quickly (for instance, put the warm bars straight into the fridge) it can cause cracks and condensation.
  • Add a Garnish. Finish the top of each bar with a dollop of whipped cream, a dusting of powdered sugar, or a lemon wedge.
Plate with a lemon cheesecake bar with fresh blueberries on a wooden board

More Blueberry Recipes to Try

Close up side shot of a stack of blueberry cheesecake bars

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Cooling Time 5 hours
Total: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Calories 204 kcal
These easy Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with a hint of lemon and a graham cracker crust are the perfect summer dessert!

Ingredients
  

For the Crust:

  • 8 whole graham crackers, broken into smaller pieces
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  • Arrange rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 325° F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily lift the chilled bars out as a whole. Spray with cooking spray; set aside.

Prepare the Crust:

  • Combine graham cracker pieces and sugar in a food processor. Process to fine crumbs, about 15 seconds. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine, about 5 times. Sprinkle the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Press down gently and evenly.
  • Bake crust for 15-18 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden brown and is dry to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the Filling:

  • Reduce oven temperature to 300° F.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and zest with a mixer at medium speed until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in granulated sugar and flour until combined.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread filling onto prepared crust. Sprinkle blueberries on top (they will sink down a little bit).

Bake the Bars:

  • Bake in 300° F oven until center is set, about 40-43 minutes. Turn oven off and leave the cheesecake bars in the oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. Remove the bars from the pan with the parchment overhang; slice into squares.

Notes

  • Be patient. I know it’s the hardest part, but it’s important to allow plenty of time for the crust to cool completely before adding the filling on top. Again, let the cheesecake bars cool in the oven for an hour, and then at room temperature, and finally in the fridge. Don’t try to slice warm bars, or you’ll end up with a soft mess!
  • Start with softened blocks of cream cheese. It’s easier to mix the cream cheese into a smooth filling when the cream cheese is at room temperature. Do not substitute with tubs of spreadable cream cheese.
  • Don’t Over-Mix the Batter. You want the mixture smooth, but over-mixing can incorporate too much air in the cheesecake. This causes the cheesecake to rise too quickly in the oven, then fall and create cracks.
  • Cool at Room Temperature. Allow the bars to slowly cool — first in the oven, and then at room temperature — before finally placing them in the fridge to chill. If you change the temperature too quickly (for instance, put the warm bars straight into the fridge) it can cause cracks and condensation.
  • Add a Garnish. Finish the top of each bar with a dollop of whipped cream, a dusting of powdered sugar, or a lemon wedge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 204kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 173mgPotassium: 73mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 525IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: blueberry cheesecake bars, cheesecake bars, lemon cheesecake bars
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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