The Country Cook: Cream Cheese Lemon Bars

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars

I don't think anyone in my family has a love for all things lemon like I do. Certainly not my hubby.  He'll tolerate it for my sake because he knows I adore lemon treats. And I'm slowly bringing Alex to my side. He now loves to make some Homemade Lemonade. But no one exactly jumps up & down in glee like I do when I see a plate of lemon-y goodness. Until my Mom comes into town. We are two of a kind. So when I found out she was coming to stay with us for a few days, I knew it was a good time to break out this recipe. See, she loves lemon treats as much as I do so I knew she'd have a deep appreciation for these too. And I wasn't wrong! These aren't your normal soft, tart lemon bars (although I love those too.) These are more of a cookie-type bar. So you get that lemon-y crunch on the bottom and a smooth creamy topping that makes these really something special. If you are a lemon lover like me and my Momma - you need to try these!
1 box lemon cake mix
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs, divided use
1 block (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tbsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg. I use my stand mixer for this or you can do it by hand or use a handheld electric mixer. Whatever strikes your fancy. It will look crumbly.
Press this mixture into baking pan. It'll take a little time to do this but hang in there and keep on pressing.
In the same mixing bowl (no sense in making more dishes, right?) Beat the cream cheese until smooth.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar.
Add in lemon juice and grated lemon peel and stir until smooth.
When using a stand mixer, it's really important you remember to occasionally scrape down 
the sides of the bowl so the mixture gets thoroughly combined. Combine the remaining two eggs and vanilla then add it to the cream cheese mixture. Beat this mixture until well blended.
Reserve 1/2 cup of this mixture (it will be your topping after bars are done cooking.) Put it in the fridge until you need it.
Please note: these bars have to be kept refrigerated so you shouldn't have any weird egg issues.  However, if you're still nervous about the eggs in this final topping mixture that is being set aside for later use,  you can set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture before you add the eggs in. Pour remaining cream cheese mixture over cake mix base.
 Spread out until evenly coated.
 Lookin' good already!
Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake. You want the top to still be slightly soft-set.
Allow it to cool completelyThen take the 1/2 cup of reserved cream cheese mixture and pour over top of bars.
 Spread out evenly.
Refrigerate until firm. Then cut into bars. Keep bars refrigerated.


  1. I love this recipe! I have never tried making lemon bars before. Your version looks super easy. My family would really enjoy these.

  2. Oh my goodness! Yes please!! I love lemon and cream cheese. I would pretty much just take a fork to that pan and munch munch munch!

  3. How easy! I love anything lemon. I will be making these.

  4. Oh two of my favorite ingredients...Lemon & Cream Cheese! YUM!

  5. I could taste this in my mouth just looking at the pics. YUM!

  6. Lemon ANYTHING is popular in our family...we will be giving these a try for sure! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I made these when I saw them pop up on Pinterest a few months ago....they're really good.

  8. Oh yeh Baby! I love lemon...I love cream cheese, and I love easy. You scored with me again Girlie - BIG Time! These look absolutely mouth-watering and I hope to make them soon.

  9. Another great-sounding recipe! Can't wait to try these! Thanks, Brandie!

  10. This makes me regret buying the lemon bar box mix the other day. Mmm, I'm a huge lemon head! Will def try this

  11. This recipe looks mouth watering!!! My family can skip the lemon, but me I could swim in lemonade!! My favorite thing is lemon curd! Oh it's wonderful! I'm always amazed that my family doesn't salivate over it like I do!

  12. I LOVE lemon! I'd take it over chocolate any day. I hope you post more lemon recipes!

  13. Just made these and they were amazing! My kids practically licked their plates clean.

  14. These look delicious....but can't save there a problem with this site ?

  15. Will these lemon bars freeze well ??

  16. Gary, I've never tried to freeze them so I can't tell you with any certainty that they freeze well. But my best guess is that they would as long as they are properly packaged. :)

  17. What would I do to make these a bit more tart?? My husband loves Lemon and Lemon bars, but not the really sweet ones. Thanks much!

  18. Love Lemon! Thanks for the tip on the eggs! Pinned it!


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