Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
These Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars feature a creamy lemon cheesecake filling with a raspberry swirl on a homemade graham cracker crust.
One of my goals for this year has been to go back and update some older posts of mine. I originally posted the recipe for these Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars back in May of 2014, just a couple weeks after I started my blog.
I wanted to update the photos and rework the recipe just a little bit to make it even better. I couldn’t help but share these easy cheesecake bars with you because they’re so delicious and beautiful! You can easily swap out the raspberries for another berry like strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries.
Between the homemade buttery graham cracker crust, the creamy lemon cheesecake filling, and the raspberry swirl it’s almost impossible to eat just one of these bars. I’m just speaking from experience over here.
Ingredients for This Recipe
The raspberry swirl cheesecake bars have three components: the graham cracker crust, the cheesecake filling, and the raspberry swirl. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Graham crackers: You’ll need either nine full-sheet graham crackers, or 1 and 1/4 cups of pre-made graham cracker crumbs.
- Butter: I always use unsalted butter in my baked goods because the amount of salt in salted butters varies between brands.
- Granulated sugar: Balances out the tart raspberry swirl and lemon juice.
- Cream cheese: Use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Light cream cheese is too runny and the bars won’t set properly if you use it.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla delivers the best flavor.
- Lemon juice and zest: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must. If you prefer a stronger lemon flavor, add extra zest and not more juice.
- Eggs: Need to be at room temperature before making the filling. If you forgot to set them out ahead of time, place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes to bring them to room temperature.
- Raspberries: I recommend using fresh raspberries for this recipe.
How to Make Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
The base of this recipe starts out with a simple homemade graham cracker crust, a mixture of graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. You’ll press it into the pan and bake it for about 10 minutes while you make the filling and raspberry swirl.
For the filling, you’ll mix together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and a couple of eggs.
When it comes to making a good cheesecake, always make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. Not only will it make everything easier to mix together, but you’ll end up with a much smoother filling. Just be sure to set the cream cheese and eggs out ahead of time and let them come to room temperature.
Once you make the filling, you’ll make the raspberry swirl. The swirl is just a simple mixture of raspberries and a little bit of sugar. I suggest straining the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds before you add it to the cheesecake.
Then, you’ll pour the filling on top of the graham cracker crust and swirl the raspberry mixture on top.
Can I Prepare This Recipe in Advance?
Yes! Since the bars need to cool completely and chill for a few hours, this is a wonderful recipe to make ahead of time. I prefer to make these the night before, refrigerate them overnight, and dessert is ready to go the next day!
- Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before getting started, including your eggs. This will ensure a much smoother cheesecake filling with no lumps.
- One medium lemon will usually give you about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of zest. I suggest using at least 2 medium sized lemons so you have enough lemon juice for the recipe.
- You can easily replace the raspberries in this recipe with another berry like strawberries, blackberries, or even blueberries.
More Easy Cheesecake Desserts to Make!
- Blackberry Cheesecake Bars
- Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
- No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
- Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes
Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
For the crust:
- 9 full-sheet (135 grams) graham crackers (or 1 and ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs)
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) butter , melted
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
For the cheesecake filling:
- 16 ounces brick-style cream cheese , softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon (1 tablespoon)
- 2 large eggs , room temperature
For the raspberry swirl:
- 1/2 cup (65 grams) raspberries
- 1 tablespoon (13 grams) granulated sugar
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal. Set aside.
- Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Scoop the crumbs into a mixing bowl, add in the melted butter and sugar, and stir well until well combined.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and firmly press it down into one even layer.
- Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Keep oven temperature at 325°F.
To make the cheesecake filling:
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.
- Add in the sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest and continue mixing until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Mix in one egg at a time on low speed until just combined.
- Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the graham cracker crust.
To make the raspberry swirl
- Place the raspberries and sugar in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain the raspberry puree through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to remove any seeds.
- Spoon the raspberry mixture in different spots on top of the filling, then use a knife to gently swirl.
- Bake at 325°F for about 35 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake is set.
- Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Cut into squares and enjoy!
Is it possible to avoid using raw eggs? I can’t eat them Thank you
I haven’t tried using an egg substitute in cheesecake, so I’m not quite sure.
I tried this and it turned out so perfectly smooth and creamy with the perfect amount of tang, and also beautiful to look at. Definitely saving this for future use, thank you SO MUCH for this recipe!!
I have made this twice, once with raspberries and once with strawberries. We like them both, but the strawberry was the winner. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Kathy
I have made this cheesecake with and without the raspberry sauce and it’s great either way. I also have tried other cheesecake recipes that require a springform pan and a bain marie but I always come back to this one. So much easier and tastes way better. Plus I like the cheesecake to crumb crust ratio this recipe provides.
This is now my family’s favorite cheesecake recipe! I made it with raspberries which is a perfect compliment with the lemon. Easy to make and absolutely delicious!
I am interested in trying this. Would the baking time change if I were to make these in smaller individual dishes?
Yes, you would likely need to decrease the baking time.
hi, can I double and use a 9×12 baking pan ?
Yes, that would be fine!
thanks Danielle, Happy Easter!
Can I make 2 days in advance? If so, should I cover with plastic wrap flat against cheesecake filling? Also, am I supposed to place pan in a water bath for cooking?
That would be fine! The plastic wrap doesn’t have to be touching the cheesecake, just make sure it’s wrapped tightly or stored in an airtight container. I don’t use a water bath for this recipe, since I haven’t had any issues with it cracking.
I wonder if i could make this and freeze it overnight to take to my son the next day?
That would be fine! The bars will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, so if you plan to serve it right away you can just refrigerate it.
This was easy and delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I was wondering if you’ve ever tried freezing the cheesecake after it’s cooked and chilled? I made a double batch to take to my work, totally forgetting that it’s a day off tomorrow!
Yes, it freezes well for up to 3 months! You can just thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Is it possible to make these into little “cupcake” cheesecakes? Would would you suggest cooking time? And would I change the temp at all?
I have no idea what I’m doing in the kitchen ?
Yes, absolutely! It will probably make about 12 to 14 in a regular muffin pan. I would keep the oven temp the same, line the pan with cupcake liners, bake the crust for 5 minutes, and the filling will probably take about 15 to 20 minutes.
I love cheesecake but have found it spirit crushing to make as it always seems to crack, sink or result in a soggy crust. I followed this recipe and it turned out perfectly, with the exception of an oh so slight crack in the top that is pretty much invisible with the pretty pink raspberry swirl. The amount of lemon is just right, balanced nicely against the tang of raspberry and the graham crust. I found it easier to slice the second day after it had sat in the fridge for a full 24 hours. Delicious! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe.
Hello, how would you reccomend storing these if I make them 4 days in advance? Just covered in fridge? Or would you freeze them? Thanks!
Either way would be fine, but I would probably freeze them and thaw them out the night before I plan to serve them.
Wow these were super easy to make and absolutely delicious!!! The cheesecake turned out nice and creamy not overbaked and dry/crumbly like cheesecakes sometimes are. So so good!
Can these be made ahead of time and frozen?
Yes, they will freeze well for up to 3 months. You can thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.
I want to make a 9 x 13 pan of these for the holidays. Can you give me the correct qtys. of the ingredients.
I would probably double the recipe for a 9×13 pan.
Just a thought but when this goes to print, your website is nowhere on here. I printed this off awhile back and luckily I was able to find you again today! I was looking for your mini key lime cheesecake recipe!
Thank you for the feedback, Jennifer! I just updated it to show the link when you print a recipe 🙂
I LOVE this recipe. I use it as a base with pineapple curd, also lemon curd. I add 1/2 cup of sour cream (I notice that you add a cup to your ‘classic cheesecake’ recipe), and it tastes even creamier and richer.
Thanks so much for your inspirational recipes!
Very tasty and easy to put together! A big hit at the party I brought them to!