Lemon Cheesecake Bars are the perfect summer dessert! These keto-friendly lemon crumb bars feature a buttery crust, lemon cheesecake layer and a delicious pecan crumb topping! Each refreshing bar has about 3 net carbs!
I’ve never met a cheesecake I didn’t like. Our families love of cheesecake runs deep, and these Lemon Cheesecake Bars are no different! This refreshing dessert features a buttery crust, lemon vanilla cheesecake layer along with a lemon pecan crumble topping. These cheesecake bars are everything you want from a low carb dessert, sweet, light and so satisfying!
Reasons You’ll Love this Recipe
- Refreshing Flavor: The combination of creamy cheesecake with the zesty, tart taste of lemons creates a delightful contrast. The lemon flavor adds a bright and refreshing note that cuts through the richness of the cheesecake, making it a perfect dessert for those who enjoy a balance of flavors.
- Versatile: Cheesecake is a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed for any occasion. You can make as written with the crumb topping or skip that and opt for fresh whipped cream.
- Dietary Restriction Friendly: this recipe is sugar-free, low-carb, keto-friendly, gluten and grain free! It works quite well for a variety of different diets or dietary needs.
Ingredients for Lemon Cheesecake Bars
As always, this is a quick overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. For the complete, printable recipe scroll to the recipe card below. To make perfect lemon crumb bars you will need:
- Almond flour: do not substitute coconut flour in this recipe. The absorbancy rate is very different and they are not 1:1 subs.
- Butter: salted or unsalted butter will work in this recipe.
- Sweetener: I suggest confectioners monkfruit, but Swerve will also work. If you aren’t worried about carbs regular confectioners sweetener will also work.
- Egg: size large egg
- Sour Cream: full fat or reduced fat will work.
- Lemon Juice and Zest: you will need two large or three small lemons for this recipe.
- Vanilla extract: pure vanilla is preferred and adds depth and flavor that balances the lemon.
- Pecans: used only in the crumble topping. You can swap these for another nut such as walnuts or almonds. You can also use whole, halves, or chopped.
How to Make Lemon Cheesecake Crumb Bars
In addition to the ingredients listed above you will need an 8×8 pan, foil or parchment paper as well as an electric mixer and bowls. It is very important to use the correct size pan, if you use a 9×9 pan the bars will be too thin and there will not be enough dough to cover the bottom of the pan. I have documented the entire process below so you can make the best cheesecake bars at home!
Make the Crust
The first thing you will need to do is prepare your pan. Line an 8×8 square baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Lightly spray with cooking oil to prevent the crust from sticking to the pan. To make the crust combine the almond flour, sweetener, and melted butter in a mixing bowl until a thick dough forms. Press the dough into the prepared pan, making sure to spread the dough all the way to the edges and evenly across the pan.
Make the Lemon Cheesecake Layer
The cheesecake layer is equally simple. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, egg, sweetener, zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer. When the mixture is smooth and creamy spoon it over the crust. Use an offset spatula to spread the cream cheese layer into an even layer.
Make the Pecan Crumble
The final step in the assembly process is to make a quick crumble topping. If you have a food processor this is a cinch. Just toss in the ingredients and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Just remember the butter needs to be nice and cold! If you do not have a food processor simply add the ingredients to a bowl and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles a crumb mixture. Next, just sprinkle this over the lemon cheesecake layer.
Bake the cheesecake bars in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 25-30 minutes. Place the bars in the middle or bottom rack of your oven. Keep an eye on the bars as they hit the 15-20 minute mark. If the crumble topping is browning too quickly for your liking simply place a piece of foil loosely over the top of the bars to prevent further browning. Just be sure you do not tightly place the foil on the cheesecake as it will hold in moisture.
Allow the bars to come to room temperature before placing them in the refrigerator. Chill the bars for at least 2 hours before slicing.
Tips for the Best Cheesecake Bars
- High-quality ingredients: The quality of your ingredients can significantly impact the final result. Opt for high-quality cream cheese, fresh eggs, fresh lemon juice and zest, and pure vanilla extract to ensure a rich and delicious flavor.
- Use room temperature ingredients. For the best results, use butter, cream cheese, and egg yolks that are at room temperature. When these ingredients are at room temperature, they’ll better mix with the other ingredients. That makes the cheesecake much more smooth.
- Bake at the right temperature and time: Follow the recipe instructions for baking time and temperature. Overbaking can lead to a dry and cracked cheesecake, while underbaking may result in a runny center.
- Let it cool. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely at room temperature after baking. If you place the hot cheesecake in the fridge to chill it will build up condensation and ruin the texture of the crumble and the crust.
- Freeze it briefly. For the best-looking cheesecake bars, put the cheesecake in the freezer before cutting it. After 15 minutes, take the cheesecake out, and cut it into bars. This will make the slices much cleaner.
Storage and Freezing
You can keep these cheesecake bars in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just make sure to store them in an airtight container. You can also freeze by wrapping in plastic wrap, and then placing it in an airtight container or bag. They’ll last in the freezer for 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, or in the fridge overnight.
Sure, you can skip the topping if you wish. The cheesecake bars will have a cook time closer to 25 minutes than 25-30 minutes if skipping the topping.
These bars have a nice robust lemon flavor. If you don’t love lemon and want to go for a more subtle lemon taste you can half the lemon zest.
Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten and grain free.
Sugar Free Cheesecake Recipes
- Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
- Cranberry Cheesecake Bars
- Mocha Cheesecake
- Keto No Bake Cheesecake
- Butter Pecan Cheesecake
Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- 2 8 ounce blocks cream cheese room temperature
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ cup confectioners monkfruit sweetener
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest tightly packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Combine the melted butter, almond flour, and sweetener in a small bowl.Press the crust into a lightly greased foil-lined pan, and set aside.
- For the cheesecake filling combine the softened cream cheese, egg, sour cream, confectioners monkfruit, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Spoon the mixture over the crust.
- To make the crumble topping add cold butter, almond flour, pecans, sweetener, and lemon zest to a bowl or food processor. If using a food processor pulse until the mixture resembles a course crumb topping. If using a bowl use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture until a crumble topping forms.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping on the cheesecake bars.
- Bake the cheesecake 25-30 minutes until the cheesecake has set in the center. If the crumble topping begins to brown too quickly place foil loosely over the top of the cheesecake.
- Allow the bars to come to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator. Chill the bars at least 2 hours before slicing.