Though chocolate desserts almost always win in my book, lemon and lime are a close second. Key lime pie has always been one of my favorites, and I love lemon bars. That fresh citrus and the sweet and tart combo wins me over.
Though this lemon bar recipe is one of my favorites, it’s also a decent amount of work. These lemon cream cheese bars take a few short cuts (like boxed cake mix) and are super easy to put together. Perfect for when you don’t have a whole afternoon to bake!
Lemon Cream Cheese Bars
(adapted from Fly Girls)
- 1 box lemon cake mix
- 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix cake mix with 1 egg and vegetable oil until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mix and press the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and remaining egg with an electric mixer until creamy. Spread over the baked crust. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top and bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into bars.
The bars came out great! They were moist and chewy, sweet and lemony, and quite delicious! Since they were so easy to make, the wheels in my head have been turning on variations. Chocolate cake mix and cocoa powder in the cream cheese? Strawberry cake mix and jam in the cream cheese? I’ve been making a lot of desserts for crowds lately, so perhaps I’ll have to experiment!