My Recipe Box

Lemon Cheesecake Squares


Yields sixteen 2-inch squares.

  • Make the menu:
    A Fourth of July Picnic
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 86

These sweet-and-tangy squares are what you get when you cross lemon bars with cheesecake. The bars need to set up in the refrigerator, so allow at least 5 hours of chilling time before you serve (or pack) them. You can substitute lower-fat cream cheese for regular, if you like. The cheesecake itself will be slightly less creamy but still fabulous.

  • 9 graham crackers (about 5 oz.)
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lb. cream cheese or Neufchatel (1/3-less-fat cream cheese), at room temperature and cut into approximately 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (from 1 or 2 lemons)
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest (from 1 or 2 lemons, preferably using a rasp-style grater)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 recipe Lemon Curd, warm or at room temperature
For the crust:

Cut two 8x16-inch pieces of parchment. Put the strips in an 8x8 baking pan (preferably straight-sided) so that they cross each other and the excess hangs over the pan’s sides. Push the parchment into the bottom and corners of the pan.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.

Break the graham crackers into a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture resembles damp sand. Transfer the crumbs to the lined pan and press them firmly and evenly into the pan. Set aside.

For the cheesecake:

Rinse, dry, and reassemble the food processor. In the cleaned bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds, stopping halfway to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and process until the mixture is perfectly smooth and blended, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary, about another 20 seconds.

Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the sides are slightly puffed and the center is dry to the touch, about 40 minutes. While the cheesecake is baking, make the Lemon Curd for topping the squares.

To finish:
These cheesecake squares are a perfect addition to a picnic menu. To make packing and serving them easier, flatten a paper muffin liner, set a cheesecake square in the center, and fold the sides up. Repeat for the remaining squares, and then pack them in a box or plastic container. The squares need to be kept cool, so remember to include freezer packs in your picnic basket.

When the cheesecake comes out of the oven, pour all of the curd onto the cheesecake and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight. You can refrigerate it uncovered, as no detectable skin forms on the curd.

When the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled, carefully lift it out of the pan using the parchment “handles” and onto a cutting board. Slide the parchment out and discard it. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the cheesecake into quarters, and then cut each quarter into four equal squares. To make clean cuts, wipe the knife blade with a damp paper towel between each slice.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on 16 servings, Calories (kcal): 260, Fat (kcal): 16, Fat Calories (g): 150, Saturated Fat (g): 9, Protein (g): 4, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5, Carbohydrates (mg): 24, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 160, Cholesterol (g): 95, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I made these for dessert for Easter and they were delicious! I will definitely make them again.

This is my families favourite! Requested for pretty much every birthday. Amazing easy recipe. I usually put a little less sugar as we like it tart. I've probably made it 50 times over the years. After the first couple of times I stopped lining the pan. This worked much better. It always comes out as easy as pie and is less fussy. I usually use a glass 8" square pan but today am making a double recipe in a 9" x13" metal pan. I'll post if it doesn't work out.

Nothing but great reviews from guests when I make these. The one change I make that makes it a 5 star is a gingersnap crust instead of a graham cracker crust.

yummy, yummy, yummy!

I served these at my mother's eightith Mad Hatter Tea Party. I put a star of whipped cream on each one. They were a big hit.

Made these for Mother's Day and absolutely loved them! Flavors and texture were outstanding. Light, creamy and lemony with an excellent balance of sweet/tart. Will definitely be making this recipe again and again!

This was a huge hit when I served them for dessert to a bunch of girlfriends. I did find the squares a bit too sweet, especially as the curd and cheesecake are both quite sugary. Next time I will reduce the amount of sugar in the cheesecake to possibly 1/2 cup. This is a minor adjustment, so overall this recipe is a definite keeper!

Absolutely delicious! We used free-range eggs with very orange yolks to get the best golden color. I love the creamy lemon flavor, with the tangy curd on top. I cut the cheesecake into approximately 1.5-inch squares, as the 2-inch pieces seemed too big.

This is definitely a keeper! Made it for a potluck today and came home with no leftovers and requests for the recipe. I didn't have a problem with an "explosion" when I poured the lemon curd over the hot cheesecake. This is absolutely delicious!

This is a wonderful recipe! I made it for a retreat and am constantly asked for the recipe or asked to make it for someone or some occasion!

Tastes good. Easy enough to make. However, when pouring the lemon curd onto the cheesecake, it is necessary to pour carefully, aiming for the outside edges of the cake. Otherwise, the cake will give way where the curd hits the cake, resulting in something that looks like a gunshot wound. A fatal gunshot wound.

This recipe worked perfectly. It was really easy to make and almost foolproof. The lemon curd was a little bit eggy, but not as much as it is sometimes at bakeries.

Fabulous recipe! Quick and easy to make and packs real strong lemon flavour. I've made this one over and over again to rave reviews.

Great flavor and perfect presentation from this quick and easy recipe. VAgardengirl

Just outstanding! I never made curd or cheesecake b4, but this turned out fine. People at a picnic went crazy.

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