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Creamy Lemon Squares

These Creamy Lemon Squares with a Nilla Wafer Crust are the ultimate lemon dessert. Easy to make and easy to eat!

A CREAMY LEMON BAR WITH A NILLA WAFER CRUST

These creamy lemon squares are my new obsession. A super creamy, lemony filling with a light, crunchy Nilla wafer crusts. These aren’t as tart as your usual lemon bars. These are sweet and are the perfect ending to a summer meal!

Creamy Lemon Bars with fresh lemon juice topped with powdered sugar.

TIPS FOR MAKING THESE LEMON BARS:

You could certainly make this into a cheesecake since these are really like mini lemon cheesecakes. You could make the filling and put it into a premed graham cracker crust or Nilla Wafer Crust (follow my directions on Easy, Creamy Cheesecake on baking temperature and times.) This is a tried and true recipe everyone will love!

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars with Nilla Wafer crust recipe from The Country Cook shown laid out on parchment paper.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • vanilla wafers
  • all-purpose flour
  • brown sugar
  • cold butter
  • cream cheese
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • lemon zest
  • fresh lemon juice
  • baking powder
  • powdered sugar, for topping
cream cheese, eggs, lemon, butter, Nilla wafers, flour, sugar, lemon zest.

HOW TO MAKE CREAMY LEMON SQUARES:

Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil. I like the nonstick kind.

foil lined square baking pan.

First, crush the vanilla wafers.

Nilla wafers in a food processor.

I am using my little food processor here but you can crush them by placing them in a ziploc bag and smash with a rolling pin.

crushed Nilla wafers in a food processor.

Mix in 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup brown sugar. This is where a food processor comes in handy. You can just add it in and continue mixing it up!

crushed vanilla wafers, flour and brown sugar.

Next, add in sliced butter and pulse a few more times until combined.

sliced butter added to crushed Nilla wafers, brown sugar and flour.

If you are doing this by hand, you’ll want to use a fork for this part to help ‘cut’ the butter in. It should resemble coarse crumbs when you have it mixed in well.

cutting butter into nilla wafer mixture.

Place crumbs into prepared baking pan.

nilla wafer crust pressed into baking pan.

Press the crumbs down with your hand. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

pressing crumbs into aluminum foil lined square baking pan.

While the crust is baking, make the filling. Using an electric mixer (or stand mixer) beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth and well-blended.

cream cheese mixed with sugar in a KitchenAid stand mixer.

Add eggs, one at a time and 2 Tablespoons flour; mix well.

adding eggs to cream cheese filling.

Stir in 2 Tablespoons lemon zest to the batter. Note: When zesting lemons, you want to make sure you only zest the yellow part – not the white. The white part is bitter and we don’t want bitter.

zesting lemons.

Next, stir in 1/4 cup lemon juice and baking powder. Mix well.

juicing lemons.

Once the crust is ready. Take it out of the oven and pour the batter over the crust.

cream cheese filling poured onto vanilla wafer crust.

Bake for 25-30 minutes (until center is set and not jiggly.) Let it cool completely then refrigerate for about 2 hours.

baked cream cheese lemon bars.

I like to cut off the rough edges but it’s not necessary. I just think it looks pretty that way…and I think it’s my excuse to eat all the ends that I cut off.

cutting crust off baked lemon bars.

Dust the top with powdered sugar and sprinkle with remaining lemon zest.

dusting powdered sugar on top of baked lemon bars.

Then slice into 9 squares.

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars, sliced with fresh lemons.

Keep refrigerated.

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars with vanilla wafers topped with powdered sugar.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES? GIVE THESE A TRY!

Creamy Lemon Bars with Nilla wafer crust

Creamy Lemon Squares (+Video)

These Creamy Lemon Squares with a Nilla Wafer Crust are the ultimate lemon dessert. Easy to make and easy to eat!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 9

Ingredients

  • 22 Nilla wafers, finely crushed
  • ½ cup flour + 2 Tablespoons flour, divided use
  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • ¼ cup cold butter (1/2 stick)
  • 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon zest, divided use
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • powdered sugar for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Line a 9×9-inch (or 8×8-inch) baking pan with foil. I like the nonstick kind.
  • Crush Nilla Wafers in a food processor (or crush by hand). Then add in cup 1/2 flour and 1/4 cup brown sugar and combine.
  • Next, cut in sliced, cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Place crumbs into prepared baking pan and press down with your hand. Bake for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, make the filling.
  • Using an electric mixer (or stand mixer) beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  • Add eggs, one at a time and 2 Tablespoons flour; mix well.
  • Then stir in 2 Tablespoons lemon zest, lemon juice and baking powder. Mix well.
  • Once the crust is ready. Take it out of the oven and pour the prepared filling over the crust.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes (until center is set and not jiggly.) Let it cool completely then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  • Dust the top with powdered sugar and sprinkle with remaining lemon zest.
  • Then slice into 9 squares.

Video

Notes

  • Keep refrigerated.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 297mg | Sugar: 34g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These lemon bars have been taunting me while cooling in the fridge! Definitely took me a lot longer to put together by hand but if the spatula I licked is an indication of what I can indulge in once chilled all the eztra work will be worth it!!
    Had to crush wafers in a freezer bag/rolling pin….
    Create my zest with a veggie peeler/paring knife…
    Motivation to purchase a food processor and zester!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Brandie
    I'm from Surrey, Canada. It's just outside of Vancouver, B.C.
    I like your blog very much and look forward to the e-mails. The recipes all sound so good, sad I can't make them all (and eat them), but that's life. I hope in my next life I will be thin and will be able to eat all I want (maybe that's what heaven is like).

  3. 5 stars
    Hi y'all – the Creamy Lemon Squares look perfect for Memorial Day Weekend…Thank you for reminding me of this fabulous recipe….Scarlett in FL