These Lemon Lavender Cheesecake Bars are a delightful combination of zesty lemon and fragrant lavender, making them a perfect dessert for a refreshing taste experience. These bars are a great addition to your afternoon tea or as a sweet treat for any occasion.
This lemon lavender dessert is a delicious cheesecake bar that's perfect as a summer time treat.
These bars are a delightful fusion of zesty lemon and aromatic lavender, creating a dessert that's both refreshing and indulgent. Whether you're hosting a gathering or simply craving something special, these bars will surely be something you love.
If you're in the mood for more lemon desserts, be sure to try our lemon basil cupcakes too! Made with fresh lemon zest and herby basil.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Balanced Flavor: These bars strike a perfect balance between the zesty kick of lemon and the calming essence of lavender.
- Versatility: Ideal for casual gatherings and special occasions alike, these bars are sure to impress your guests.
- Homemade Goodness: Create a delicious dessert from scratch that's bound to steal the show.
- Make-Ahead Friendly: You can prepare these bars in advance, making them a convenient dessert option for busy hosts.
Flour: Choose a high-quality flour for the best texture.
Brown sugar: The brown sugar adds a rich, caramel-like sweetness to the crust.
Softened butter: Use unsalted butter for better control of the saltiness of your dessert bar and let it sit to reach room temperature.
Lemon zest: Freshly grated lemon zest provides a burst of citrus flavor.
Cream cheese: Opt for full-fat cream cheese for a creamy texture.
Granulated sugar: Provides sweetness to the cheesecake layer.
Egg yolk: Adds richness and a creamy texture.
Vanilla extract: Enhances the overall flavor of our bars, if you can, use pure vanilla extract.
Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a vibrant tang.
Dried lavender: Ensure it's culinary-grade lavender, free of pesticides.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Food Processor: A food processor will make quick work of blending the crust ingredients. If you don't have one, you can use a pastry cutter or your hands.
- 9" x 9" Pan: This pan is perfect for achieving the desired thickness for your bars.
- Electric Mixer: For beating the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This step ensures your bars will bake evenly.
Now, let's tackle the crust. In a food processor or with a pastry cutter, blend together the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and lemon zest. We use a food processor for ease, but if you don't have one, no worries—just use a pastry cutter or your hands to combine these ingredients.
Next, it's time to add the butter. Take the softened butter, slice it into pieces, and add it to your flour mixture. Pulse the food processor until the mixture starts to form a ball. If you're doing this by hand, simply work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. This crust will provide a lovely base for your bars.
Take a 9" x 9" baking pan and either give it a quick spray of cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. This step ensures your bars won't stick to the pan, making them easy to remove later.
Press the dough you've just prepared firmly into the bottom of your pan. You want an even layer.
Once it's ready, place it in your preheated oven. Bake it for around 25-30 minutes or until it turns a beautiful golden brown. Your kitchen will start to smell amazing!
While your crust is cooling down, let's prepare the cheesecake layer. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and the sugar. Use an electric mixer if you have one to make sure it gets really smooth. If not, a bit of elbow grease and a sturdy spoon will do the job too.
Now, we're going to make this cheesecake extra special. Add in the egg yolk, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, and flour. This combination adds layers of flavor and helps the cheesecake set. Give it a good mix until everything is nicely combined.
Now its time to add the star of the show – lavender! Add most of your dried lavender into the mixture, saving a small amount to sprinkle on top later. Lavender adds a lovely floral note that complements the zesty lemon.
Spread your cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled crust. This is the part where you get creative – make it as smooth or swirly as you like.
Then, sprinkle the reserved lavender on top for a pretty and aromatic touch.
It's time to pop your creation back into the oven at 350°F for another 25-30 minutes, or until the cheesecake layer becomes firm. You'll see it starting to set around the edges, and it should have a slight jiggle in the center when gently shaken.
Once baked to perfection, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely. For the absolute best results, refrigerate your bars for up to 3 hours before slicing. This chilling time helps them set and enhances the flavors.
Finally, slice your Lemon Lavender Cheesecake Bars into bars or squares, and serve them up! They make a delightful dessert that's sure to impress.
For the best flavor, use freshly grated lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The freshness of the lemon will shine through in the bars.
- If you're not a fan of lavender, you can omit it or replace it with a different dried herb, like rosemary or thyme, for a unique twist.
- Experiment with different citrus fruits, such as lime or orange, to create your personalized cheesecake bars.
- Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars: Add a handful of fresh blueberries to the cream cheese mixture before baking for a burst of fruity goodness.
- Chocolate Swirl Lemon Cheesecake Bars: Swirl melted chocolate into the cream cheese layer for a chocolatey twist.
- Almond Crust Lemon Lavender Cheesecake Bars: Replace a portion of the flour in the crust with ground almonds for a nutty flavor.
Have left over lavender lemon bars? Here's how to store them.
Fridge: Store any leftover Lemon Lavender Cheesecake Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer: To freeze, wrap individual bars in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Reheating: If you prefer your bars warm, you can reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes or microwave them briefly. However, they're equally delicious served cold.
Lavender Lemon Cheesecake Bars
For the Crust
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 1 ¼ cups of softened butter
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
For the Cheesecake Mixture
- 8 ounces of cream cheese
- 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon of dried lavender
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor, combine 2 cups of flour, ½ cup of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Add sliced butter and pulse until it forms a ball.
- Press the dough into a 9" x 9" pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let it cool.
- In a bowl, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar until creamy. Add egg yolk, vanilla, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon flour; mix.
- Add most of the dried lavender to the mixture, reserving some for topping.
- Spread cream cheese mixture on the cooled crust, sprinkle remaining lavender on top.
- Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes until firm. Cool completely in the fridge for best results.
- Slice into bars and serve.
Yes, you can use fresh lavender, but be cautious as it can have a more potent flavor. Reduce the amount by half if using fresh lavender.
While brown sugar adds a caramel-like richness to the crust, you can use white sugar as a substitute if preferred.
A food processor is convenient but not essential. You can mix the crust ingredients by hand or with a pastry cutter if you don't have one.
Absolutely! These bars can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Absolutely! Experiment with lime, orange, or even grapefruit for unique citrus-flavored variations. Then let us know how it comes out!
To get the best lemon zest, use a fine grater or zester, being careful not to scrape the bitter white pith.