Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries

Recipe By Tessa Arias
June 27th, 2009

Scrumptiously refreshing and summery, these Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries are out of this world.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

I’ve been on a lemon kick recently and in the summer spirit so when I saw the recipe for these Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries I just couldn’t resist. They were easy to make and were absolutely delicious! All the bars were gone within 2 days (I promise I didn’t eat them all by myself!). The tartness and lemonyness was just perfect and the fruit on top kept it fresh and bright. Depending on your tastes, you might want to alter the ratio of crust to cheesecake. My boyfriend said he would have preferred double the cheesecake (he loves the stuff!) and I could see where he was coming from. Also, depending on your tastes, grounding the crackers by hand produces a more rough textured crust. My boyfriend liked this aspect of the crust, but I wasn’t as big of a fan. Next time I think I’ll use the food processor. Regardless, these were great! I couldn’t get enough.

How to make
Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Scrumptiously refreshing and summery, these Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries are out of this world.



  • 9 whole graham crackers
  • 5 tablespoons butter


  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh berries



  1. Preheat oven to 350. Fold 16-inch long piece of foil into 8x16 inch strip; place in 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan, leaving overhang on 2 sides. Repeat with another sheet of foil in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Butter foil.

  2. Place graham crackers in heavy-duty plastic bag. Using rolling pin or mallet, crush crackers finely. Melt butter in medium skillet over low heat. Remove form heat; add crumbs and toss to coat. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until deep golden, about 12 minutes. Cook crust while preparing filling.


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and sour cream, then lemon juice, lemon peel, and vanilla. Spread batter over crust.

  2. Bake cheesecake until slightly puffed and set in center, about 30 minutes; cool completely in pan on rack. Chill cheesecake until cold, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
  3. Using foil overhand as aid, lift cheesecake from pan. Cut into 16 squares; arrange on platter. Top each square with berries. Chill until ready to serve, up to 3 hours. Serve chilled.

Recipe Notes

From Bon Appetit July 2009
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    thenotsoskinnykitchen — June 28, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    A couple years ago I saw “lemon cheesecake” and just wasn't sure that combination of things would be good. I finally decided to try it and am so glad I did. YUM! This looks great, and your pictures are always great!

  2. #
    Natalie — June 29, 2009 at 2:13 am

    YUM! The cheesecake looks delicious. We must of been on the same brain wave because I made some blueberry cheesecake mallow bars today!

    Wish we could trade a piece πŸ™‚

  3. #
    Tessa — June 29, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Liz- I probably would have been a little skeptical of the lemon taste in a cheesecake as well, but I was originally planning on making a blueberry tart with lemon curd so I figured I'd give lemon cheesecake a try, I'm glad I did too!

    Casey- You're welcome! You can thank my boyfriend actually hahah. I actually have many photos that haven't been accepted by tastespotting hahah, I guess that's what happens when you only have a point and shoot camera! I'll check your site out πŸ™‚

    Natalie- Oh how I wish we could trade! Thank you πŸ™‚

  4. #
    tastestopping — June 29, 2009 at 1:10 am

    I would probably prefer double the cheesecake as well; thanks for the suggestion. Interesting note about the crust as well. Rustic versus refined, don't you think? Either way is valid, just depends on your tastes.

    Anyway, I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  5. #
    Bedroom Talk — June 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    okay this looks delicious and didn't seem like it took too long to make. I tried making homemade cheesecake once and it took all day! ugh by the time it was done my bf fell asleep. haha. I need to try this recipe soon maybe I can pass it off as me slaving over the oven hehe

  6. #
    Tessa — June 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Yeah this cheesecake doesn't take as long to make because its in square form instead of cake form which is a lot bigger and thicker. This is a good recipe for cheesecake beginners!

  7. #
    nick — June 30, 2009 at 3:18 pm


    “I promise I didn't eat them all by myself!”

    OK, so your boyfriend had 1 and you ate all the rest! πŸ™‚

    I wonder if some tangy creme fraiche would be good w/the tart lemon/blueberries in this…

  8. #
    Tessa — June 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Nick- hahaha shhh don't tell anyone πŸ™‚ Hmm I hadn't thought of that! I always have the hardest time finding creme fraiche where I live :/

  9. #
    Alyssa — July 3, 2009 at 3:05 am

    Your pics look fantastic! I love the idea of a lemon cheesecake! Lemon brightens all different types of foods.. sweet and savoury.. truly delicious.

  10. #
    Kevin — July 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Those lemon cheesecake squares look really good with the berries on top.

  11. #
    Tessa — July 6, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Alyssa- Thanks!! So true, lemon is the magic ingredient to many dishes.

    Kevin- Thank you!! The berries add the burst of juicy sweetness that is so perfect during the summer.

  12. #
    Melissa — March 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    This came out great! A nice, subtle lemon flavor and not too sweet either πŸ™‚

  13. #
    Brian — March 31, 2015 at 3:36 am

    Hi Tessa

    Do you have an equivalent for graham crackers in Australia?

  14. #
    Anne — April 18, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I substitute granita biscuits for the crackers

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