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Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

These easy Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with a hint of lemon and a graham cracker crust are the perfect summer dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword blueberry cheesecake bars, cheesecake bars, lemon cheesecake bars
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Cooling Time 5 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Calories 204kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

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: 1bar | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg