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Healthier Lemon Cheesecake Bars (gluten-free option)

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 bars
Calories 267 kcal

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Lemon Cheesecake

  • 12 oz cream cheese (1.5 blocks), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt (I prefer Fage 2%)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 3 eggs
  • cool whip (optional), for topping

Instructions

Crust

  1. To begin, preheat your oven to 325 and line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper (with two sides sticking out for easy removal).

  2. To a small mixing bowl, add your butter and maple syrup and whisk them together. Add your graham cracker crumbs and stir till they're covered entirely. Pour all of the ingredients into your pan. Using a spatula, or your hands, gently press the graham cracker mixture around till there is a thin, even layer covering your whole pan.

  3. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Lemon Cheesecake

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add your cream cheese and Greek yogurt and beat them together with a hand mixer till creamy and well combined and there are no cream cheese clumps.

  2. To the same bowl, add your maple syrup, white sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix together again till well combined.

  3. Add your eggs and briefly blend them into the mixture. Do not over mix.

  4. Pour the lemon cheesecake batter into your 9x9 pan. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or till the edges are set but when you shake the pan gently the center still jiggles a little.

  5. Let cool for 30 minutes, then cover and place in the fridge before slicing. Chill for at least two hours, or until entirely cool.

  6. To remove from pan, use a knife and gently run it along the edges where there is no parchment paper to loosen them from the pan. Lift the bars out with the two edges of parchment paper sticking out. Place onto a cutting board and cut into twelve pieces.

  7. Serve with cool whip on top, and devour!

Recipe Notes

Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, these bars last about 5 days.