These Lemon Dream Bars are the perfect dessert when you’re dreaming of warm, sunny days! Lemon desserts are plentiful, but this homemade cheesecake bar is sure to be a popular choice! With a lemon cookie crust, luscious lemon curd, cheesecake filling, and Cool Whip, you’ll enjoy the delicious citrus flavor in every bite of this no bake dessert.
You know by now how much I love Dream Bars– they are family favorites! You can find pretty much any flavor you want here on the blog (and always be on the lookout for more of them, too!).
Well, that list of desserts wouldn’t be complete without these Lemon Dream Bars. Make them with Cool Whip or my Stabilized Whipped Cream instead!
SAVE THIS TANGY LEMON DREAM BAR RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
What ingredients do I need for Lemon Cheesecake Bars?
You will need the following ingredients to make these sweet dream bars:
- Lemon Oreos
- Salted or unsalted butter
- Cream cheese
- Pure vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Whipped topping (or Stabilized Whipped Cream Recipe)
For the Lemon Curd:
- Salted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Lemon zest
- Large eggs (plus one egg yolk)
- Fresh lemon juice
How to make this easy no-bake dessert
This recipe has three important parts—the crust, the lemon curd, and the cheesecake filling. We will go over how to make each part before we assemble it.
Make the Lemon Cookie Crust
- Prepare an 8×8 square pan by lining it with parchment paper. This will allow you to lift the bars out of the pan and cut them evenly into squares. You can also spray the dish with cooking spray.
- Melt the butter in a microwave-safe dish for about 30 seconds. Stir and cook for an additional 15 seconds or until it melts completely.
- Place 24 whole Lemon Oreos into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Add the cookie crumbs to the melted butter and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Press the prepared crust mixture into the pan, making sure to spread evenly to the edges, and place the pan in the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
How to make Lemon Curd
Next, we’ll make homemade lemon curd. If you’ve never made your own curd before, don’t panic! It’s not as hard as you think.
- Melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl, then whisk the sugar and lemon zest together in a separate medium glass bowl until well coated. Combine eggs and the extra yolk with the sugar, add lemon juice and mix again. Slowly add the cooled melted butter to the lemon mixture and stir until smooth.
- Microwave this mixture at 50% power for one minute, then remove it from the microwave and stir. Repeat microwaving and stirring a minute at a time for 3-4 minutes. You are done microwaving when the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
- Remember, the bowl may be HOT, so use caution when removing it. Let the curd cool, and it will thicken as it cools to a spoonable consistency. You will use about 1 ½ cups of the curd in this recipe, and any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
How to make the Vanilla Cheesecake Filling
Place cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract into a large bowl and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping with a rubber spatula until mixed.
Let’s assemble the Lemon Dream Bars!
- Remove the crust from the freezer and place dollops of cheesecake filling onto the crust. Use an offset spatula to spread the cheesecake evenly to the edges of the pan.
- Spoon the cooled lemon curd over the cheesecake filling and gently spread it to the corners of the pan.
- Place dollops of whipped topping on top and spread evenly over the dessert. Refrigerate the dream bars for at least 2 hours.
- Place 8 whole Lemon Oreos into a zippered sandwich bag and crush them into coarse crumbs with a rolling pin. Sprinkle these over the top of the dessert before serving along with some fresh lemon zest.
Tips for the Best Lemon Bars:
- Remove the bars for easy cutting by lifting the parchment paper out of the pan.
- The bars will slice best when cut with a warm knife. Run it under hot water in between cuts and wipe it with a paper towel for clean slices.
- Also, if you’re short on time, you can place the finished dessert into the freezer for an hour and a half and then serve it.
- This recipe can easily be doubled! Just use a 9 X 13-inch baking dish and double all of the ingredients.
How to store these layer bars
To store leftovers (if there are any!), cover them tightly with plastic wrap or transfer them to an airtight container. They will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
My Favorite Dream Bar Recipes
If you like this lemon cheesecake lasagna, try this Peppermint Dream Dessert next time for a winter or holiday treat. Looking for a dream bar with a sugar alternative? Then you need to put these Cranberry Orange Dream Bars on your menu!
Colorful and fun Circus Animal Cookie Dream Bars would be great for Easter, family reunions, or birthday parties! Summer is the perfect season for this 365 fan-favorite, Strawberry Cheesecake Dream Bars.
And these Orange Creamsicle Dream Bars remind me of carefree summer days and chasing after the ice cream truck!
More Lemon Desserts
If you love zesty lemons, you’ll love these sweet treats:
- Lemon Marshmallow Poke Cake
- Lemon Meringue Cheesecakes
- Lemon Cake Mix Cookies
- Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
- Easy Lemon Bars
These Lemon Cheesecake Bars are made even better with homemade lemon curd. They’re a no bake dessert that will wow friends and family again and again.
Lemon Dream Bars
- 20 ounces lemon Oreos divided
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 8 ounces whipped topping or my Stabilized Whipped Cream Recipe divided
- 1 ½ cups homemade lemon curd recipe below
- fresh lemon zest for garnish
Homemade Lemon Curd
- ½ cup salted butter
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup fresh finely minced lemon zest from 3 large lemons
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
Homemade Lemon Curd
- Melt the butter in a small microwavable dish in the microwave. In a medium glass bowl, whisk the sugar and lemon zest together and mix until well coated. Whisk in the eggs and the egg yolk. Add the lemon juice and mix again. While continuing to mix, slowly add the butter and stir until completely smooth.
- Microwave at 50% power for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir. Microwave for an additional minute at full power and stir again. Repeat microwaving and stirring afterwards for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from the microwave when mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remember, BOWL MAY BE HOT. The curd will thicken from a pourable to spoonable consistency as it cools. Use 1 ½ cups for this recipe and store the remainder in an airtight glass jar. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Lemon Cookie Crust
- Prepare an 8 X 8-inch baking dish by lining it with parchment, if desired. This will allow you to lift the bars out of the pan and cut them evenly into squares. Or spray it with some cooking spray.
- Put the butter in a medium microwavable-safe bowl and cook for 30 seconds. Stir and cook for an additional 15 seconds or more until completely melted.
- Place 24 of the Lemon Oreos into a food processor, and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Add the cookie crumbs to the melted butter, and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly to the edges. Place the pan into the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes.
- Put the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract into a medium mixing bowl, and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping with a rubber spatula until mixed.
- Remove the crust from the freezer and place dollops of the cheesecake filling onto the crust. Using an offset spatula, spread the cheesecake evenly to all sides of the pan.
- Using 1 1/2 cups of the cooled lemon curd, place spoonfuls over the cheesecake and gently spread to corners.
- Place dollops of the remaining whipped topping or Stabilized Whipped Cream on top and completely cover. Place into the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours.
- Place 8 complete Lemon Oreos into a zippered sandwich bag and crush with your hands or a rolling pin. Sprinkle cookies and fresh lemon zest over the top before serving. Remove the bars by lifting the parchment out of the pan. The bars will slice best when cut with a warm knife. Run it under hot water in between cuts and wipe with a paper towel.