These keto cheesecake bars are a lemon lover’s dream! A creamy lemon cheesecake filling baked on a tender almond flour crust. Sugar-free and grain-free but oh so delectable. Keto desserts don’t get more delicious than this.
I’ve just fallen in love with these keto lemon cheesecake bars all over again! I haven’t made them in years and years, but I got it in my head that it would be fun to re-make them and shoot a video. And then when I took a bite, I was forcefully reminded about how seriously delicious they are.
That tender shortbread crust! That creamy bright lemon filling! Oh my. They both just melt in your mouth. And the fact that they are keto-friendly and less than 4g total carbs?
Bring. It. On.
Trust me, keto bakeaholics, you’re going to be really happy I decided to re-visit this old recipe. Originally published in June 2013!
A Keto Cheesecake Obsession
I have Cheesecake on the brain. Fortunately, it’s not a serious affliction as there are far worse things to have on the brain than cheesecake. But there is only one known cure for this disease and that is to make, and then to eat, copious amounts of keto cheesecake.
Cheesecake-like things, such as keto cheesecake popsicles, cheesecake ice cream, and cheesecake bars are also acceptable forms of medication. This is still an experimental treatment, however, and the results are not guaranteed. There is a real danger that the cure will not assuage the symptoms, but instead exacerbate them, until one’s brain is so consumed with cheesecake, it’s all one can think or talk about.
This is when the real problem starts. Because who wants to spend time with someone who can talk about nothing but cheesecake? Well, I might. But I am strange like that.
And given the popularity of all of my keto cheesecake recipes, I think I can safely say that many of you also suffer from this obsessive cheesecake disorder.
How to make Keto Cheesecake Bars
There are so many great ways to make keto cheesecake that we have plenty of fuel for our collective obsession. Lemon cheesecake bars like these are easier to make than a full size cheesecake, and they’re so low carb, you can have two and still meet your macros for the day.
A few quick tips on how to make the best lemon cheesecake bars:
The shortbread crust:
This is my favourite keto crust recipe and I use it often. It’s so tender, with great flavor, and it holds together well. Be sure to bake it for 10 minutes, and then let it cool before adding the filling. It won’t be completely baked through but this firms it up enough to stand up to the cream cheese filling.
Soften that cream cheese properly!
You want to leave it at room temperature for at least a half an hour, and it should have plenty of give when you press a finger into it. If it’s not properly softened, your bars will end up with cream cheese lumps. Beat it well to smooth it out before you add any other ingredients.
Beat the eggs in last and don’t over-beat.
A little trick I learned when writing The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking is to beat the eggs in at the last minute, and only until just combined. Many cheesecake fillings suffer from being over-beaten, which causes them to rise too much during baking and then fall and crack.
Don’t rush the chilling time
When you smell these coming out of the oven, the temptation will be to dig in right away. But you will end up with some lovely lemon cheesecake goo if you do so. Be sure to let them chill for at least 2 hours.
Truth be told, I had to rush the chilling time when shooting this video! My cheesecake was only barely set and some of the bars look a little worse for wear. So do as I say and not as I do!
Can you make Lemon Cheesecake Bars ahead?
If you’re making these keto cheesecake bars just for your family and you want to put some away, they should freeze well. Again, wrap them up in some plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn. You can do them as individual servings or simply wrap the whole piece at once.
Flash freezing is recommended if you want to store them in the freezer. Simply place the unwrapped bars on a cookie sheet for a few hours to firm them up. Then you can wrap them more easily without crushing or damaging them.
More delicious keto cheesecake bars
- Keto Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars
- Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars
- No Bake Peppermint Cheesecake Bars
- Keto Pecan Cheesecake Bars
- Keto Blackberry Cheesecake Bars
- Espresso Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Keto Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- 1 ¼ cups almond flour
- ¼ cup Swerve Sweetener
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 16 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup powdered Swerve Sweetener (more if you like it sweeter)
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 large lemon)
- 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, sweetener, and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well combined.
- Press evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch square pan and bake 10 minutes - it won't be cooked through. Set aside and let cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 275F.
Lemon Cheesecake Filling:
- Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the sweetener, and then beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and cream until no lumps remain.
- Beat in the eggs until just combined - do not overbeat as this can cause cracking.
- Spread the filling over cooled crust and bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until filling is just set and the center barely jiggles when shaken.
- Let cool 30 minutes, then chill for at least 2 hours.
- Garnish with powdered sweetener and additional lemon zest, if desired.
Elizabeth Pece says
I’m very excited to bake these bars and curious if the lemon can be swapped with other citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lime, or blood orange. Thank you for your wonderful work, Carolyn!
Absolutely! Keep in mind that orange and grapefruit are a little higher in carbs…
How far in advance can I make these? Would the night before serving be okay or is the day of better?
Night before should be fine! Cover them tightly when you refrigerate. And make sure to let them cool completely before sticking them in the fridge. It helps the consistency.
What can I use to substitute the whipping cream? I don’t have it available today! Ty!
Sorry, it’s an important part of the recipe.
Cecilia Edwards Collier says
l used powder cream from Amazon with extra lemon juice.
For the crust can I use Monkfruit Classic Sweetner?
That’s really just erythritol, so yes.
I give the lemon cheesecake a 👍👍(double thumbs up)
I made these last night and they were seriously amazing. anyone would think they were full of sugar and grains.I could have eaten the entire pan. But I’m curious-how many servings do you get for the 3 carbs per bar?
16. The number of servings is at the top of the recipe.
Fantastic! Light and creamy. And suoer seasy to make! A big hit at the office!
Denise Sweet-McGregor says
Hands down, best cheesecake (bars) recipe EVER! For the lemony flavor we like, I used a bit more lemon juice and rind, so I used one more egg, and beat them vigorously before folding into the batter gently. Also, I bake them in a water bath, no cracking at all. My son said he got chills when he ate the first one. That’s all the compliment I needed!!
Brilliant recipe! I’ve even made this into margarita cupcakes by using lime and tequila. Huge hit!
Thank you fellow Canadian for all your good exploration!
Nonnie B says
Sherry, I love your idea of margarita bars!!!.
I think you exchanged the lemon juice for the Lime Juice
did you exchange the cream for tequila?
Cynthia S says
The lemon bars look amazing. Can you use granulated Splenda?
I don’t use Splenda so I really can’t say.
Can you use brown sugar Swerve for the crust?
Mary M says
This is my favorite keto dessert, ever.
First time I made this, I made it as written with Swerve but I paid for every piece of perfection with an excruciating headache.
Second time I made it, I subbed Lakanto’s eryrithitol Monk fruit. No head ache, but I had crystalization issues. Still tasted great, but I missed the smoothness that had been achieved with the Swerve.
Is this just a coincidence (because both Swerve and the Lakanto are erythritol based)…or, did I do something wrong, or is Lakanto’s product inferior as a Swerve replacement?
If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears. And thank you for your incredible recipes. This summer, I’m going to try to make a couple of your desserts each month to keep us keto-ing on. Today, I’m making the Key Lime Bars but I want to make these lemon ones as soon as I hear from you.
erythritol will recrystalize. Try allulose—it won’t recrystalize and no aftertaste or “cooling effect” that you get with erythritol.
I use Lakanto’s powered
Excellent recipe and would pass with non keto people!!
We are committing this new season in life to health and gf + Keto is our avenue! Thank you for being such a big part of our journey.
Fyi – Gary grew up in Tigard and I grew up in Coos Bay. ???? Idahoans now.
Glad you enjoyed them. And waving from Oregon!
Absolutely to die for. Tastes like the “real thing”. This will become a staple in our house.
Tammie Russell says
I only have powdered Swerve, or Allulose. Which one should I use for the crust? Can’t wait to try this recipe today!
Powdered Swerve. Allulose will make it too soft!