Lemon Cheesecake Kuchen Bars
Lemon Cheesecake Kuchen Bars

5 from 1 reviews
Lemon Cheesecake Kuchen Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you love lemon and simple desserts, here's a recipe just for you! These easy kuchen bars boast a gorgeous, bright lemon cheesecake filling. They're delicious warm out of the oven, but even better after chilling overnight. The dense lemon cheesecake straight from the fridge is out of this world.
Serves: about 25
Kuchen Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • zest of 1 lemon (reserve a little for topping)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 egg, room temperature
Glaze Ingredients:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk (depending on desired consistency)
  • extra lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with a foil sling (overlapped pieces of foil that will be useful in pulling the bars out later). Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and shortening until combined. Add the sugar and cream the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Mix in the baking powder and salt. Beat in eggs and vanilla until just combined. Add in the flour in a few additions, mixing until just combined after each. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the dough and press the rest into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Make the filling: While the base bakes, cream the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy before adding lemon zest, sugar, lemon juice, and the egg. Mix together until well combined.
  4. Spread filling over the base in the pan. Spoon the reserved dough into small mounds over the filling (mine were probably too big and too fussed over. Just kind of drop the small mounds all around and don't fret over shaping them or anything.)
  5. Bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until top is just barely starting to color (err towards 25 minutes: don't let it really brown or it'll be overdone). Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Whisk together the glaze ingredients and drizzle the glaze over the bars before cutting and serving. But honestly, these bars are even better after chillin' overnight in the fridge -- nothing like cold, dense lemon cheesecake, oh my gosh.


Lemon Cheesecake Kuchen Bars: a super simple, sweet, bright recipe for anyone who loves lemon!

20 Comments on Lemon Cheesecake Kuchen Bars

  1. Rachel Wacker
    February 8, 2015 at 10:22 pm (6 years ago)

    Julie!! The Wacker Family enjoys your blog! I often read your words out loud because they please me so.
    Ok…cognitive behavior therapy!! You’ve got enough time to get a few sessions in and you’ll be good to go! Lucky dog.

    • Julie Ruble
      February 9, 2015 at 8:48 am (6 years ago)

      Hi Rachel! I miss you guys!! This is a great idea! I’m going to give it a shot. It’ll be worth it when I’m looking out over Tuscany!

  2. Melissa
    February 9, 2015 at 7:27 am (6 years ago)

    These look delicious. I love lemon and these are perfect with a cup of tea.

  3. Aimee @ ShugarySweets
    February 9, 2015 at 7:50 am (6 years ago)

    I’m obsessed with these bars. I love lemon pastries, so these are going on my baking list. PINNED!!!

  4. Eli
    February 9, 2015 at 7:53 am (6 years ago)

    Julie, I have made lots of your recipes and love them! Your recipes are amazing and your blog is refreshing!
    I climbed Il Duomo a long time ago, during my study abroad year. It’s an exhausting climb and yes, tight at times. BUT! It’s amazing when you reach the top (I’m not claustrophobic, but am afraid of heights…didn’t enjoy the Eiffel Tower at all!). Florence is breathtaking, the Duomo is one of a kind, and you feel like you’re a tiny part of it’s history when you’re there. DO IT!!! The only advice I have for you, is try to think of something other than your fear. Listen to the happiest/upbeat music and sing along, chat with your students, have someone tell you stupid jokes. Plan your blog post about the climb. The fear you create in your head makes it tons worse! 🙂

    The only other thing is that I live in Spain and love Barcelona! Can’t think of any high/claustrophobic places, except for the towers in La Sagrada Familia. I went with my art-teacher mother and navigated down those about 7 months pregnant and did fear for my baby’s life!! LOL! Very wind-y. But incredibly beautiful. Luckily, the Sagrada Familia has SO MUCH to appreciate on ground level that you won’t feel much regret skipping the towers!

    Good luck!!

  5. JoAnne Jenkins
    February 9, 2015 at 10:26 am (6 years ago)

    I love the idea of a year long “class” to teach kids how to plan an amazing trip. As a Girl Scout leader, I’ve taken them on trips before, but I did all the planning. I’d love to be able to do this with them, especially now that they are getting older. Any advice on how to help them do the planning?

  6. heather @french press
    February 9, 2015 at 12:12 pm (6 years ago)

    I wish I had advice for you, but I’d love a cheesecake bar anyway 🙂

  7. Cate | Chez CateyLou
    February 9, 2015 at 1:35 pm (6 years ago)

    I wish I had some advice to offer you on getting over the fear…but I will say it is an incredible experience to climb the duomo! I’m jealous of your trip, it sounds amazing! These bars look so delicious – my husband loves lemon desserts so I will have to make this for him!

  8. Stephy
    February 9, 2015 at 1:42 pm (6 years ago)

    Ah Julie! You really must do the climb. I did waaaaay back when I was a teenager (16)with my mother who was terrified of heights. She was very glad she did it, and even went up again on a later trip with my Joe (I hate to call him my step-dad and I love my Joe).
    That behavioral therapy is an excellent idea. I have suffered from panic attacks in the past (and once in a great while they pop back up). I had a therapist walk me through how to handle them and it was extremely helpful. I should actually say that after ‘mastering’ the talking myself through, I don’t have panic attacks so much as nervous attacks.
    I know that it’ll work just as well for you! It is a different kind of therapy I think, but with extremely sound priciples.
    You will not regret climbing up! I remember feeling nervous that people behind me would push me if I needed to stop, but everyone was rather lovely and there was none of that at all. Perhaps it is the church atmosphere. 🙂 I have faith in you and I know you can do it!
    I need these lemon bars in my tummy now!

  9. Vickie S.
    February 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi Julie,

    A question – in the instructions you mentioned adding sugar and cream in the Kichen ingredients. In the ingredient list I don’t see any cream shown. Please adviae and thanks for this recipe which I will definitely bake!

    • Julie Ruble
      February 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm (6 years ago)

      Hi Vickie, I’m sorry that the wording was confusing. It meant, “Add the sugar and cream the mixture until it’s combined” using “cream” as a verb. I’ve fixed it now to be clearer.

      • Vickie S.
        February 9, 2015 at 2:21 pm (6 years ago)

        Ohhhh! Got it, I should have figured that out! Thanks so much! I’m making this for an office party we’re having on Thursday.

        • Julie Ruble
          February 9, 2015 at 2:25 pm (6 years ago)

          Hope you guys love it!

  10. Melissa Falk
    February 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm (6 years ago)

    Thanks for the share. I love all things lemon including a really decadent lemon bar. Yours look divine 🙂

  11. Kelly
    February 9, 2015 at 7:47 pm (6 years ago)

    We just got another 2 feet of snow so an early taste of spring sounds perfect. Thank you. Pinning now!

  12. Carrie@ Bakeaholic Mama
    February 10, 2015 at 8:09 am (6 years ago)

    I love that your students get the chance to travel, what a great experience for them, and for you!

    These bars look amazing, I need to make them asap.

  13. Karl
    February 10, 2015 at 7:55 pm (6 years ago)

    Breath deep multiple times and slow. Think of a wonderful feeling. Think of letting go of the fear of (heights, spiders etc) and enjoy the ride

  14. Julie
    February 15, 2015 at 11:29 am (6 years ago)

    Hello! Just in the process of making these now and noticed that the 1/4 melted butter you mention as being required for the filling is missed out in the instructions for step 3. I’ve included it as assume it is required (and the bars smell amazing!) but just wanted to let you know!

    • Julie Ruble
      February 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm (6 years ago)

      Oops! That was a holdover when I thought I’d pour melted butter over the base before adding the cream cheese mixture, but then I ended up opting not to. I will delete it now. I think your bars will still be just amazing — please let me know how they turn out! Apologies for my mistake.

  15. Ryenne
    January 10, 2021 at 5:03 am (7 months ago)

    The bars are really easy! I think the hardest thing about baking cheesecake is knowing when it is done cooking. Sometimes it takes a little practice to get used to that. I think that for a regular cheesecake a water bath is more important to get it to evenly bake.


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