Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars (Easy and Homemade!)

Need a festive dessert? Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars are perfect for holidays – or any old Tuesday.

Cheesecake is one of those delicacies that I don’t make often, but truly enjoy.

It’s just a little bit of a fussy dessert to make. You know, with that fussy springform pan and the process of getting it to set up just right.

If you know, you know.

Closeup of a stack of 3 lemon cranberry cheesecake bars on a dark plate.

That’s why I usually reserve cheesecake for fancy restaurant outings on my birthday.

Or sometimes, we’ll buy a sub-par cheesecake from the grocery store and just pretend it’s fresh from the Cheesecake Factory.

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Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars: An easy cheesecake option

After making some cheesecake bars with very little effort, I knew these would quickly become a new favorite at our house.

Why had I not made these in every flavor, much sooner?

“Bars” of all sorts (such as cookie bars) are just a simpler way to enjoy more complicated desserts.

Closeup of cranberry lemon cheesecake bars on woven serving mat.

And when there’s cream cheese involved, you really can’t go wrong…right?

You don’t need to be a pastry chef to enjoy these Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars.

But they are beautiful, decadent and crowd-pleasing, even so!

Steps For Making Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

There are three separate parts to making these bars, but each one is simple.

First is baking the graham cracker crust.

This is made by mixing melted butter and graham cracker crumbs (you can buy pre-crumbled or crush whole crackers yourself).

Graham cracker crust mixture ready to bake.

Note: you can use parchment paper to line your pan instead of aluminum foil, if you prefer.

While that’s baking, you’ll cook the fresh cranberries down with a little sugar and water. The sugar balances out the tartness to the cranberries.

Cranberries, sugar and water simmering in a pan on stovetop.

Next, you’ll mix together the cream cheese, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Bottled lemon juice can be substituted in a pinch, but fresh juice and zest really makes the flavor pop!

The cream cheese layer then gets smoothed over the baked graham cracker crust with the cranberries spooned on top.

Then, swirl both together with a butter knife.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until set. Let bars rest on counter until cooled, and chill in the fridge for another hour before lifting, cutting and serving.

Cranberry cheesecake bars on a black plate with lemons and cranberries on the table nearby.

Holiday Cheesecake Bars?

With the bright red cranberries, these could easily be a festive dessert for the holidays.

Garnish with additional cooked cranberries drizzled over the top for a delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas treat.

Cheesecake bars cut and placed on a woven mat on a marble counter top.

Or throw some red, pink and white confetti sprinkles on top for a fun Valentine’s Day dessert.

Yield: 12 bars

Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Lemon cranberry cheesecake bars on a woven mat with lemons and cranberries on the table nearby

A decadent dessert in a bar form makes for an easy holiday - or any time - treat!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


Cranberry ingredients:

  • 8 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Cheesecake ingredients:

  • (2) 8-oz bricks of cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested

Crust ingredients:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter


        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10x7 baking pan with foil and set aside.
        2. Melt butter in the microwave and pour over graham cracker crumbs, mixing until graham crackers are coated.
        3. Pour graham cracker mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
        4. While the crust is baking prepare the cranberry mixture, in a small pot add cranberries, water and sugar.
        5. Bring cranberries to a boil, and cook for 10-15 minutes until cranberries have popped.
        6. Remove from heat andset aside to cool.
        7. In an electric mixer bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth.
        8. Add egg, yogurt, vanilla, and lemon, mixing until well incorporated.
        9. Pour cream cheese mixture over the crust and smooth out.
        10. Add spoonfuls of cranberry mixture on top of the cream cheese layer.
        11. Using a butter knife, swirl the cranberry mixture on top of your cheesecake layer.
        12. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the middle no longer jiggles.
        13. Cool for at least 2 hours before putting in the fridge to cool for another hour.
        14. Carefully lift out of baking dish with the tinfoil or parchment paper edges. Cut, serve and enjoy!


    1. You can buy pre-crumbled graham cracker crumbs, or crush up about 14 squares (7 rectangles) into crumbs.
    2. Bottled lemon juice can be substituted for the fresh squeezed lemon. However, the fresh juice and the zest really make the flavors pop!

You might also like:

Caramel Apple Biscuit Dessert

Easy Peach Pie Turnovers

Fresh Berry Cookie Pizza

Glazed Strawberry Scones Recipe

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