Cheesecake is one of those desserts that can come in a variety of flavors: chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry…the list goes on. Some people are quite traditional in their cheesecake preference, and others love to mix and match. We fall into the category of “universal cheesecake lover” – it’s virtually impossible to pass up such an amazingly decadent dessert. And as much as we love a classic cheesecake, this lemon raspberry cheesecake recipe is absolute heaven. There’s something rather formal about a traditional cheesecake, so from time to time we like to make things a little less formal and serve up our cheesecake as bars, and they’re no less delicious than when served by the slice.
Our lemon raspberry combo is actually quite refreshing; we love the citrusy tang of lemon paired with raspberry tartness. Now add that sweetened cream cheese and we’ve got a trio of flavors combined into one amazing dish. Homemade cheesecake is really quite easy, and one of our favorite parts is the crust. It’s easy to purchase a store-bought crust, and when we’re in a pinch that’s a great option. But a homemade graham cracker crust is super easy and gives the cheesecake another layer of freshness (to go along with the lemon and raspberry). The crumbly crunch of graham cracker is the perfect contrast of texture to the creamy cheesecake. Let the drooling begin….
The finished product is a tray of nifty little bars that are sure to be a crowd pleaser. They’re almost impossible to pass up! Whether you’re casually entertaining or looking for something to contribute to a bake sale, this dessert is a sure-fire winner. We love everything about lemon raspberry cheesecake bars; they’re sweet, tart, creamy and crunchy, perfect for just about any occasion. We like to think that even a cheesecake traditionalist will set aside their preferences for a bite of this super dreamy dessert.
Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
Serves 16-20 bars
- 2 cups graham crackers, finely crushed
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups raspberries, divided (1/2 cup; 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, divided (1 teaspoon; the rest)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 325°F and line a 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs with butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Pour into baking dish, spread and press evenly to edges. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven to cool slightly.
- Reserve ½ cup raspberries and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until well blended.
- Gently fold in raspberries. Pour batter over graham cracker crust and spread evenly to edges.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely then refrigerate for 4 hours.
- To serve, remove from pan and top with reserved raspberries and lemon zest. Cut into bars and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Kraft