We know we’re a broken record, but man, lemon desserts…we just gotta have ‘em, you know?? We’ve made cakes, icebox desserts, cookies, you name it, we’ve tried it, but then we thought we’d try something new (to us). Most similar to our cinnamon sopapilla cheesecake bars, this lemon confection consists of crescent roll bottom and top layers, filled with a bright and refreshing lemon cream cheese mixture that we reallly can’t get enough of.
You could use puff pastry if you want, but we like using crescent roll dough, since it’s a little cakier than puff pastry, plus it goes perfectly with the lemon cream cheese filling. The best thing about this dessert is that it’s just three simple steps until you’ve completed the whole thing. All you need to do is unroll your crescent roll packages – being careful not to drop them if they pop open unexpectedly…not that we would know anything about that – beat your cream cheese, lemon juice and sugar together to make your filling, then mix your melted butter, sugar and lemon zest together for your “glaze” on top of the whole thing. This gives it a pretty, delicious, crackly topping that we love, so make sure you don’t skip it.
Once this is ready to go, it’s up to you whether you slice it in nice, large pieces, or into bite-size squares, making it perfect for smaller gatherings or big groups! We can say it’s hard to resist having just one, so be forewarned: you’ll be addicted before you even assemble these…that cream cheese filling is definitely one of our weaknesses, so who knows, it very well could be one of yours too!
Lemon Cream Cheese Squares
45 minutes to prepare serves 12-16
- 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 (8 oz.) packages refrigerated crescent roll dough, divided
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
- Unroll one can crescent roll dough and place in greased baking dish.
- Carefully pinch seams together to seal and press dough into edges of dish.
- In a large bowl or mixer, beat cream cheese for 1-2 minutes or until fluffy, then add in 1/2 cup sugar, all of lemon juice and 3/4 lemon zest, and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth.
- Pour mixture over bottom crust in baking dish, then unroll remaining crescent roll dough and place it gently over lemon cream cheese filling, pinching seams again and stretching to the edges of baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter with 3 tablespoons sugar and remaining lemon zest.
- Brush melted butter over dough until coated.
- Place baking dish in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Recipe adapted from The Whoot