Swirled raspberry lemon cheesecake bars are my new favorite dessert! The creamiest lemon cheesecake swirled with fresh raspberries and a sweet graham cracker crust! Yes, please!

Nine cut squares of swirled raspberry lemon cheesecake bars. They have a golden crust and lemon cheesecake filling with raspberry sauce swirled on top.

Why Don’t Little Kids Love Cheesecake?

I don’t know about you but the older I get the more I love a good and creamy cheesecake. I mean, if we are being totally honest it’s actually the graham cracker crust I’m obsessed with.

Have I told you how my Mom used to make a no-bake cheesecake occasionally when I was a little girl and although I wouldn’t eat it (I didn’t know what I was missing out on) I would later sneak into the fridge and eat pieces of the crust.

It was the luckiest day if someone had taken a piece out and some of the crust had been left behind.


A serving of swirled raspberry lemon cheesecake on a dessert plate. It is topped with a thin slice of lemon and a raspberry. There are other pieces of cheesecake in the background.

Do you even see that? My goodness, someone please make these for me every year.

I mean, I love making them and you’ll be shocked how easy this cheesecake recipe is, but food made by other people ALWAYS tastes even better.

Yes, even a PB&J tastes better when you didn’t make it. Unless my mom did when I was a kid. She used BUTTER first. Gag!! I love ya, Mom!

How to Make Cheesecake Bars from Scratch

Alright, I know, this isn’t the Cheesecake Factory, so I didn’t make the cheesecake recipe into a large cheesecake. But cheesecake bars are just as fun and make it a lemon cheesecake bars recipe and mmmmm, it’s perfect for a spring or summer dessert!

Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Start by making your graham cracker crust. It’s simply crushed graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. BUT! I do recommend freshly crushed NOT the pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs.

  • 1 Cup Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • I like a pinch of salt too

Mix it all together, press into a pan and then bake only for about 8 minutes and allow to cool.

Nine cut squares of swirled raspberry lemon cheesecake bars. The light yellow lemon cheesecake has swirls of raspberry sauce on top.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

Now, to make the lemon cheesecake recipe portion it’s going to take a few more ingredients, but it’s still a short list.

Here’s the few ingredients you need to buy to make cheesecake bars.

I’ve answered frequently asked questions below about the process and ingredients.

  • Cream Cheese
  • Sugar
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lemon Juice
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  1. Start by always beating your softened cream cheese until smooth. If your cream cheese is cold or you forget to mix until smooth there will be lumps.
  2. Add the sugar, lemon ingredients and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  3. Finally, mix ONE EGG in at a time. You never want to add all the eggs or the cheesecake will not properly combine.
  4. Spread into your prepared pan.

A dessert plate with a serving of swirled raspberry lemon cheesecake. It has a golden crust, and raspberry sauce swirled into the top. A whole raspberry and a thin slice of lemon are on top of the cheesecake.

Raspberry Sauce

Want to make a fresh, homemade raspberry sauce for your cheesecake? The store bought just doesn’t taste as good and this is just two ingredients!

  1. Place the raspberries and sugar in a blender until smooth.
  2. Press through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

That’s it! Oh, it’s so sweet and wonderful! If your berries were not very sweet you may add a little more sugar to taste.

Oh Sweet Basil Pro Tip!

  • Why Does My Cheesecake Have Cracks?

Over-mixing is generally the culprit with a not great cheesecake.

Over mixing and mixing on a high speed add more air to a cheesecake batter. Too much air in a cheesecake can cause cracks. Be sure to always use a lower speed to mix.

A square of swirled raspberry lemon cheese cake on a white dessert plate. A fork is resting on the plate next to the cheesecake. There is a beautiful red swirl of raspberry sauce on top.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Cheesecake bars are far easier to start out learning how to make a cheesecake with but here are a few things you might encounter.

How to Know When Cheesecake is Done?

Never check if a cheesecake is done with a toothpick or knife.

  • To check if your cheesecake is done, gently shake the cheesecake while still in the oven. If the cheesecake looks almost set and only a small circle in the center jiggles a little, it is ready as the center will set up as it cools.

Can You Use Neufchâtel Cheese In Cheesecake?

Yes, you can use Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese. It will have less fat and calories, and won’t be quite as rich, but that’s literally the only difference.

What Is The Difference Between Cream Cheese and Neufchatel Cheese?

The biggest difference between the two is, Neufchâtel is made using milk exclusively (23% milkfat), and cream cheese is made with milk and cream so it’s a more rich and fatty product (33% milk fat).

A close-up of a swirled raspberry lemon cheesecake bar. the top has raspberry sauce swirled in.

Can Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars be Made Ahead?

You can make a cheesecake up to 3 days ahead of time, but make sure that it goes in the fridge and not get left out on the counter.

How to Store Cheesecake Bars?

Cheesecake bars should be left in the pan until serving and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or buy a cake pan with a lid.

How Long Will Cheesecake Keep?

Homemade cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days, but is best eaten within 3 days if you’re serving to guests.

Can You Freeze Cheesecake Bars?

You can FREEZE Cheesecake Bars!! YAY!!!!

  1. To Freeze Cheesecake:
  2. Freeze the entire cheesecake or the bars on a sheet pan until solid.
  3. Wrap in plastic wrap and then foil.
  4. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

How to Defrost Cheesecake

  • Remove the foil from the cheesecake and defrost in the fridge overnight


  • Place the unwrapped cheesecake on the counter for 2-4 hours.

Vote on a New Recipe Now!!!

Is it just me or is all this talk about cheesecake bars making you want to try new versions? Let’s do a pumpkin cheesecake bars recipe for the fall! Tell me your vote in the comments:

  1. Plain cheesecake swirled with Pumpkin
  2. Pumpkin Cheesecake

You’ll love these cheesecake recipes:

Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

4.88 from 33 votes
Servings: 15
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


The creamiest lemon cheesecake swirled with fresh raspberries and a sweet graham cracker crust!


Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 Cup Graham Crackers, Crushed, about 9 sheets
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, salted, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 16 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 Large Eggs

Raspberry Swirl

  • 6 oz. Raspberries
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar


For The Crust

  • Preheat oven to 325  & line an 8 X 8 square baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the graham cracker crumbs into a small bowl & mix in the melted butter, sugar and salt.
    1 Cup Graham Crackers, 4 Tablespoons Butter, 1/8 teaspoon Salt, 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • Spread the graham cracker butter crumb into the base of your baking dish & firmly press down to create an even layer.
  • Bake for 8 minutes then remove from the oven & let cool. Keep your oven heated at 325 degrees.

For The Cream Cheese Filling

  • Next, use a handheld mixer at medium to high speed to blend the cream cheese until light & creamy. Add the 2/3 cup of sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat until combined.
    16 oz. Cream Cheese, 2/3 Cup Sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla, 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest, 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • Add one egg at a time until combined mixing at low speed.
    2 Large Eggs
  • Pour the lemon cheesecake mixture on top of the graham cracker crust.

For The Raspberry Swirl

  • In a food processor blend the 6 ounces of raspberries & strain the pureed raspberries through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.
    6 oz. Raspberries
  • Mix in 1 tablespoon of sugar to the raspberry puree.
    1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • Add dollops of the raspberry mixture all over the cheesecake and swirl with a knife on top of the cheesecake.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cheesecake is set.
  • Let cool completely on an iron rack in the pan & then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Enjoy!


These cheesecake bars can be frozen for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1gCalories: 207kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 2gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 183mgPotassium: 74mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 503IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 Best Brownies and Bars Recipes, Dessert
Cuisine: American