Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars with a Shortbread Crust

Recipe by: Adapted from King Arthur Flour (crust) and Shared Sugar (cheesecake)
Yields: about 18 bars

These cheesecake bars are the perfect summer treat: sweet, creamy, tangy, buttery, and easy to prepare!

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Cheesecake Layer Ingredients:
32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs
5-6 tablespoons lemon juice, depending on how tart you usually like your lemonade!
lemon zest from one lemon (reserve a little to sprinkle on top)
1 cup sugar
strawberries, quartered*
powdered sugar for topping
*Note: I probably bought 2 pints of strawberries but didn’t quite use them all. I didn’t quarter mine because I thought they’d be pretty whole, but they were a bit hard to eat and I’ll quarter them next time I make this recipe!

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 13 in. baking dish with a parchment paper sling. Cut the butter into the flour and confectioners’ sugar and press into the baking dish (I used a food processor to cut the fat into the flour, and then the bottom of a dish to press the mixture into the pan). Bake 20 minutes or until light brown. Let cool on wire rack.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, add the cream cheese, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar. Mix until the ingredients are creamy and the cream cheese is fully incorporated. Pour into the pan with the cooled crust. Then evenly distribute the strawberries.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until filling is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or lemon zest.

18 Comments on Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars with a Shortbread Crust

  1. Tiffany | baking at tiffanys
    July 15, 2013 at 3:14 am (11 years ago)

    Thank you for your beautiful post and the reminder of what prayer really is. This was very timely for me, and something I needed to be reminded of. Prayer is definitely for us–to know that God is trustworthy and faithful. And your cheesecake bars look wonderful too 🙂

  2. Mom
    July 15, 2013 at 3:56 am (11 years ago)

    I had to learn this the hard way, too! After reading books about making prayer lists, setting aside “hours” to pray, etc. I learned to “pray without ceasing” by just “talking” to God the way I would a great friend. Sharing, thanking, etc without worrying if it was “right” or long enough, etc.. After all, our salvation and trust in the Lord is supposed to “set us free” not keep us in bondage! I love that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and will often just pray “intercede for me because I do not even know how to pray” about certain issues. I know if the Holy Spirit intercedes for me I have “prayed right” without human bias, desires, etc. I believe the old Turkish quote that when “we plan, God laughs”! He knows best! His timing is great, too! Lovely post… and the cheesecake looks yummy!

  3. Tieghan
    July 15, 2013 at 5:20 am (11 years ago)

    What a beautiful post. So well written!!
    Love these bars they sound and look delicious!

  4. Betsy @JavaCupcake
    July 15, 2013 at 6:30 am (11 years ago)

    These remind me of the squares of cakes we can get at the bakeries here in Germany. They use fresh fruit in them and I always want to climb behind the counter and get a whole cake instead of just a slice. Kinda like what I want to do now with your cheesecake bar…. yum!

  5. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
    July 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm (11 years ago)

    Praying, or however you may call it, should be done without guilt. Poor 8 year old you, such a burden! I think that whatever you believe in is fine, as long as it bring out gratitude and empathy towards your own life and others´.
    These are some gorgeous bars Julie, so refreshing and yet perfectly creamy!

  6. Jeannette
    July 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh my goodness, I remember praying like that! I’m grateful that God is so much bigger. If it really were up to our prayers, we would all be in trouble. 🙂 Won’t heaven be nice. We get to worship God without ceasing and no guilt. I love Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.

  7. Becca
    July 16, 2013 at 2:31 am (11 years ago)

    “Keeping the plane up” prayers! Yes, I have done this! Sometimes, when I stop to think about ALL the things/people there are to pray about, I am so overwhelmed that I am left without words. Honestly, it’s better that way, because lately I think sometimes my prayers have too many words. So sometimes they are just tears, sometimes just song (kind of a worship/prayer combo deal). I have to remind myself sometimes that it’s not all dependent upon me! (Two peas in a pod sometimes, you and I). I am more and more trying to start my prayers with “thank yous”. And I am more and more trying to make sure there is quiet time to worship, reflect, read, listen, sing (even just in my head), etc. Not just run off a list of “please please please”, even though there is plenty of that still…I realize now (what I didn’t before) that prayer should be more about the intimacy between me and God and not so much about “fixing” the world around me, though through intimacy with God, I may find the world around me differently, or I may go into it differently, thus making it different, but it started within…Side note: The prayer my father always said at the table is what his father always said at the table and is my go-to prayer for out-loud prayer at meals “Dear Lord, we thank you for this food and for this time together. We ask that you continue to watch over us and lead and guide and bless us, Amen.” 🙂

  8. Mairi
    July 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm (11 years ago)

    That was so beautifully articulated! I have “prayed to keep the plane up” and sometimes still do, maybe as a way for me to increase my own consciousness of the needs of others and the things that I am thankful for. I find myself more often praying for God to give me a willing spirit, to bring my heart in line with where He is taking me in life, especially when the road is rough. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself in this post and so many others – it is such a gift to all of us (not to mention all of your delicious recipes!).

  9. Sarah
    July 16, 2013 at 11:06 pm (11 years ago)

    I often think that we’re similar beings just based on the fact that we seem to like the same foods. I think I pin 9 out of 10 of your posts to my Pinterest to make later. But now I also find it comforting that I’m not the only person who thought the world would crumble if I didn’t hold it up with very specific prayers. Now that I’m older (and coming out of a religious remission), I like to think of God as someone to thank for the good things, a guiding force when I go through bad things, and someone who won’t be mad if I sometimes swear when I pray.

  10. Monica
    July 16, 2013 at 11:46 pm (11 years ago)

    What an awesome post. It so helps to say things out loud, to feel that God is listening. It’s so humbling to realize that He is already providing all you’ll ever need. Thanking Him is the one prayer I can always say, even in hard times.

  11. Nicole
    July 17, 2013 at 1:11 am (11 years ago)

    Wow, these look wonderful. So soft and creamy … I bet the strawberries taste like strawberry jam x 10!

  12. Ellen
    July 18, 2013 at 12:56 am (11 years ago)

    You are wonderful. Thank you for this post. It used to bother me when I was so broken that I could not pray. When a friend said to me “it’s okay. The Holy Spirit will go to God on your behalf,” a weight was lifted and I knew it was okay. As I grow in the Lord, I also find I talk to Him more freely about things that maybe I wasn’t comfortable with talking about to him 10 years ago (like He knows anyway, duh, but saying it out loud is different!) I know that I can go to Him with ANYTHING. You are a blessing Julie.

  13. Valarie
    July 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm (11 years ago)

    After my husband passed away, and I was left to reflect on who I was alone. I began to pray, “Lord help make me the person I need to be in order to bless others. Help me to be the help mate I need to be for whomever comes my way”. Its very freeing when you finally “let” God be God.

  14. Rachel
    July 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm (11 years ago)

    When you think about it, prayer is such an amazing, completely undeserved privilege we have from God – we can speak to our Father, the Creator of the Universe, and He listens to us and delights in our prayers! There’s no need to make them really long or fancy, and I’ve learnt that one of the best things to pray for is that God will help me develop my prayer life – that I will talk to Him freely, willingly and look forward to it!
    It’s so easy to make prayer another ‘to do’ thing, to feel guilty if you miss a day, or it to end up such a chore that it slips down the list of priorities. We should pray to praise God, to thank God for what He has done for us, to say sorry for messing up, to ask Him to forgive us and change our hearts to make us more like Jesus.
    But prayer IS also about petition – we are called to pray for others, for Christians being persecuted around the world, for the sick, for our church, for non-believers, and for ourselves – nothing is too big or too small for God!
    Of course God knows what we are going to pray for! But He can use our actual prayers as well to change someone’s life – in Acts 12 the church’s prayer is answered as they are praying, even before they start, when Peter appears at their door, after escaping from prison! Prayer is our weapon against the devil, and a gift, and we must use it!
    Great verses about prayer…
    Matthew 6:9-13 “This, then, is how you should pray:“‘Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts,as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.’

    Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

    Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

    James 5:13-16 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

  15. Trina Colette Barnes
    April 18, 2014 at 9:19 am (10 years ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your cheesecake bars:) God is using you…I needed to find something special and quick to take to my son and daughter in law’s house tomorrow for Easter Dinner and here among your cheesecake bars was a little treasure. I too have struggled with my prayer life in the same way that you spoke of but never put two and two together until just now. I love my Lord with my whole heart and soul and believe in the power of prayer. I have always struggled with having a consistent prayer time, following the order of prayer (acknowledgement, confession, intercession, thanks), and feeling guilty if I left anyone out. I am a spirit filled christian and in my head I have recognized that these feelings are Satan attempting to keep me stirred up but It seems to be a weak spot for me. Your sharing hit home and now gives me a picture I can grasp to use against any attacks. And like you (I am a pastor”s daughter) I know the truth just needed to be reminded in a different way. Praise you Lord for ALWAYS meeting our needs and thank you for responding to the Spirit and sharing what God lays on your heart. And I will make these for our Easter Dinner and it will be a reminder of through his sacrifice we are sent free….free to just have simple conversation with our RISEN Lord and Savior…Happy Easter and may the peace of Christ be with you!


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