Lemon Cheesecake Bars and Spring in Arizona

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Since spring has arrived, and I needed  to use up the last of the lemons off of our tree, I decided to make some lemon bars.  For awhile now I have been eyeing this recipe on Pinterest, but it was such a simple recipe that I didn’t think it could possibly turn out as good as the pictures led you to believe.  Finally, I just had to try it for myself so I could stop thinking about it.  What a pleasant surprise that it turned out exactly as I had hoped it would.  It was tart, lemony, creamy, and had a yummy shortbread crust. I think lemon and cream cheese are just meant to be together. These bars are definitely proof of that.

The best thing about them, besides the taste, is that each layer  only contains a few ingredients.  So even though you are dealing with 3 different layers, it doesn’t take very long to put together.  Make sure you don’t overcook the cookie crust.  I followed the recipe exactly, and they came out great. Also don’t be alarmed if the center of the bars looks jiggly after the 2nd baking.  It will firm up as it cools.  With their light yellow color, these bars would be perfect for an Easter celebration or spring get-together.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

How is your spring going?  Has it started to warm up yet where you live?  In Arizona in the Phoenix area we don’t get to experience seasons like some parts of the country.  But we do  experience them in a different way.  Right now the Palo Verde trees (our state tree) are in full bloom.  Little yellow blossoms are falling from the trees and piling up in the gutters and on the ground almost like a spring snow.  As I drove around this week, blossoms were falling from trees and floating in the air as the breeze dislodged them, then dancing across the streets like tiny ballerinas.  Underneath the trees, Palo Verde blossoms coat the ground as if someone laid down a yellow blanket for a spring picnic. It is so beautiful!  And, the advantage of snow blossoms is they are not cold, plus you don’t have to scrape them off of your windshield!  Although, I’m not sure  they would make very good snow angels. But seasons are a little hard to come by here, so I’ll take what I can get!

Palo Verde Tree

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

  • Servings: 12-15
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 1/2 c plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 3/4 c butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 c white sugar, divided
  • 6 eggs, divided
  • 1 mounded Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 c lemon juice (I used fresh squeezed)
  • 2 (8 ounce) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk together 1 1/2  cups flour and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.
  4. Pour melted butter into flour mixture and stir until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Press crumbs into the bottom of the prepared baking dish to form a crust.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.
  7. Whisk together 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a bowl.  Pour lemon mixture over prepared crust.
  8. Mix the cream cheese and 1 cup granulated sugar in mixing bowl of stand mixer until well blended.  Add 2 eggs, and mix until combined.  Spoon evenly over lemon mixture.  The mixtures will stay separated during baking.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Don’t worry if center isn’t completely set.  Let cool.
  10. Chill over night in refrigerator for best results. When ready to serve,  cut into squares.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, originally found on Allrecipes 









About Shari

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them! (cookazido.com)
This entry was posted in Bars, Company, Desserts, Easter, Mother's Day, Party Recipes, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Lemon Cheesecake Bars and Spring in Arizona

  1. Nancy says:

    You teased me with the first line of this post with “spring has arrived” and “lemons off our tree”, but then delicious lemon bars too?!?! Not fair 😉 I’m overcome with envy. [That Palo Verde tree is gorgeous.] I’ll just have to wait for Mother Nature to decide we too are ready for blossoms and such. And those lemon bars…wow they look delicious! At least I can taste those, as I will be making them soon…thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you so much, Nancy! I hope you do get to try these lemon bars. They were a big hit with my family and friends. Very easy to make, too. I hope you will get to experience spring soon where you live, too. But when you are enjoying your summer weather, we will be mourning our heat so I guess there is no perfect place to live! I really appreciate your kind comments. Have a great week!

  2. Teresa says:

    These look wonderful, Shari. I can’t wait to try out this recipe!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you so much, Teresa! If you like lemon bars, I think you will love this recipe. Definitely one of the favorite things I’ve made this year. I appreciate you stopping by!

  3. Great photo of the Palo Verde tree! The blossoms are gorgeous!

    I laughed when you said you just had to make this recipe so you could stop thinking about it. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I’ll be trying it as well, because my favourite husband would absolutely love these. Thanks for posting!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Ruth! I am so glad you understand what I meant about not being able to stop thinking about a recipe. It makes me feel more normal. Or maybe we are both crazy?:) No, I’m sure that isn’t it. Couldn’t be. I hope you do get a chance to try the lemon bars for your husband. All the lemon lovers in our family really liked them. Hope you had a good Easter. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. What a gorgeous “yellow” post. I am on a real lemon kick these days and I must make your lemon bars too, especially when cream cheese is involved. I can almost smell them! Thank you for the idea.

    • Shari says:

      Thank you so much! I used to not like lemon things very much but am liking it more and more these days. Pairing it with cream cheese really pushed me over the edge!:) I hope you get a chance to make them. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

  5. HavensBakes says:

    These look amazing!! I’ve always loved lemon bars, and this recipe sounds so great that I’ll definitely be trying them!

    • Shari says:

      Thanks so much! If you love lemon bars, I think you would really like them. It just takes lemon bars up a notch with the cream cheese. I really appreciate you dropping by!

  6. Lori says:

    Wow, I totally want one!

  7. rozpaige says:

    I love spring in Arizona! The cactus flowers are so beautiful too! It’s interesting how so many people don’t realize how ‘green’ Arizona is and not a sandy desert! I love how you selected this beautiful tree for your post on lemon bars! Yellow is simply one of my all time favorite colors and lemon is a flavor I can’t live without. I’ve always wanted a good lemon bar recipe, have been looking for some time now, and with your endorsement, Shari, I think this sounds like the winner! Pinning and plussing!

    • Shari says:

      I appreciate your pinning and plussing, Roz! That means a lot to me. I hope you enjoy the lemon bars as much as we did. The desert really is pretty in the spring. The saguaros are just starting to blossom right now, also. That is so interesting that yellow is one of your favorite colors as it is my favorite color, too. It is just so cheerful. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a great Easter weekend!

  8. Hi Shari, just found your blog and your pics are so beautiful, love the picture of your palo verde tree. Always looking for citrus recipes this time of year myself. I live in Arizona most of the time except 2 or 3 summer months in Oregon.

    • Shari says:

      Hi, Cheri! It is so nice to meet a fellow blogger from Arizona! Do you live in the Phoenix area? I look forward to checking out your blog. Oregon is such a beautiful place. We have vacationed there in the past. How nice you can get away from the heat in the summer for a little while. I really appreciate you stopping by and your nice comments.

  9. Ginny says:

    What a fresh and tasty sounding recipe. Just like spring in Phoenix, bright and cool! Thanks so much.

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Ginny! The lemon bars did seem like the perfect spring recipe although I wouldn’t mind eating them anytime of the year!:) I hope you had a great Easter weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. These look amazing, Shari – I’ve got a lemon on my lemon tree in our conservatory that’s just ripe now, so I’m going to make some of these for our family Easter get together this weekend – perfect for spring!
    Thanks for the recipe…
    Emma 🙂

    • Shari says:

      You are so welcome, Emma! I hope you and your family enjoyed the lemon bars if you got a chance to make them. They do seem like they would be a good dessert for Easter. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  11. Pingback: Lemon Cheesecake Bars and Spring in Arizona | homethoughtsfromabroad626

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