Zesty Summer

Posted on: July 19, 2020

A mix of both decadence and freshness, cheesecake with a lemon twist is a summer must have!  Cut up into smaller bars, they are a wonderful bite for a warm and laidback day.  These are fancy-looking little desserts but don’t require a lot of baking skill . . . sure to become your new favorite!  This recipe had been sent to me by a fellow cheesecake lover, urging for me to try this combination.  To be honest, I’m usually not a fan of lemon in desserts, but this definitely worked.  This yields 9 larger bars but I found that cutting them up into smaller pieces was more suitable, and the mini size looked a lot more fun.  The recipe suggests an optional lemon curd swirl (which adds a beautiful finish and extra flavor) but I decided to top off each bar with a dollop of freshly whipped cream for more lightness.  In any case or personalized flare, these cheesecake desserts are a total hit!  Make sure to check out Kitchen Stuff Plus for an assortment of baking dishes and for all your baking essentials.  From electric mixers to mixing bowls, they have everything you’ll need to dive into baking.  Now, put your baking hat on and gather your ingredients.



  • 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 24 ounces (3 cups) cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • Heaping 1/3 cup of lemon curd (optional)


For the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.
  3. Stir together graham cracker crumbs and sugar, slowly add melted butter.  Stir to combine.  Place this mixture in the baking pan, making sure to evenly distribute and press into a crust.  Refrigerate to set while preparing the cheesecake filling.

Tip:  I like using the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to form a perfectly even crust.

For the Filling:

  1. Beat together sour cream and sugar in a large bowl until you have a smooth consistency.  Beat in eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined.
  2. Pour cheesecake batter onto prepared crust, gently spreading to form a uniform layer.

Optional:  If you wish to add an extra lemony kick, dollop 1/3 of store-bought lemon curd over the cheesecake batter. Use the tip of a butter knife to swirl the curd into the batter, being careful not to disrupt the bottom crust.


  1. Place your 8×8 baking pan in a larger pan (9×13 or larger).  Create a water bath by filling the inside of the larger pan with boiling water until it reaches halfway of the cheesecake pan inside it (this ensures even cooking and creamy cheesecake bars!).
  2. Bake around 50-55 minutes or until the middle of the cheesecake is set.  Let cool for another hour (best results if left overnight in the refrigerator!).
  3. When ready to serve, cut even into even bars with a sharp knife and enjoy!

Makes around 9 large lemon bars.

This is a great make ahead dessert with the perfect balance of sweetness and tang!  Just bake and refrigerate overnight.  All ingredients can be found at Metro.  Bon Appetit!

~Marija, Guest Services Representative

📷: Garnish with Lemon