Friends – I’m no good at sticking to a diet. There are just too many delicious treats out there. Once I start thinking about something yummy, I can’t get it out of my head. Take these Lemon Cream Cheese Cookie bars, for example.
They’re heaven in a pan. My mom says she found the recipe on a cake mix when we were kids, but since they’ve been in her recipe box for 35 years, she can’t tell me just which box they came from. They’re quick to make – the perfect blend of a chewy lemon cookie with creamy sweet filling. You mix just a few ingredients with a package of lemon cake mix and then press a portion of this into a baking pan. After baking for a few minutes, you take the cookie base out of the oven and spread a lemon cream cheese mixture over the top. Sprinkle the rest of the cake mix mixture over the top and bake again. The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for the cookies to cool down enough to cut into them. Yum!
Ready for the recipe?
Lemon Cream Cheese Cookie Bars
- 1 pkg. lemon cake mix I use Betty Crocker.
- 2 eggs 1 for crumble mixture, 1 for cream cheese mixture
- ⅓ C. vegetable oil
- ⅓ C. sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon peel
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 8 oz. package cream cheese softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix 1 package of dry cake mix, 1 egg, and vegetable oil until blended and crumbly.
- Reserve 1 cup of crumbly mixture; set aside.
- Pat remaining mixture into a 13 x 9 in. baking pan and bake for 12 minutes.
- In separate bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, 1 egg, sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice.
- Beat until smooth and fluffy.
- Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over baked crumble mixture.
- Sprinkle reserved crumble mixture over the top of cream cheese layer.
- Bake 15 minutes longer or until crumb topping is just beginning to brown.
- Allow to cool completely, cut into bars, and eat up!!
Make this recipe?
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Here’s the other hard part – try really, really hard not to eat the entire pan in one day.
Comments & Reviews
Lola Rabern says
OMG these Lemon Cream Cheese bars are delicious! My new fav! So easy!,
Also planning to make Chocolate Cream Cheese bars. Vanilla or a few mini chips in filling!
Shirley Donajkowski says
This was so easy and one of my favorites.
mary kay says
Quick question…I have a yellow cake mix at home…can that be substitued…if so…do I need to add lemon flavoring?
Hi Mary, you can use a yellow cake mix – they’ll still be yummy, but definitely won’t have the same lemon forward flavor. If you have lemon oil, that’s my favorite way to add a good dose of lemon flavor. You could also add maybe 1 teaspoon lemon extract. Or add lemon zest and/or juice to the cake mix portion. You probably can’t go wrong, it’ll be a fun experiment!
Do I need to adjust the recipe if I live at high altitude? I live at over 6000 feet and my baking recipes never come out right because of altitude
Novice here. Do you grease the pan before putting the cake mix down? Will it come out nicely cut into squares? Want to bring to a party on a pretty platter. Thank you.
Hi Bonnie! My favorite way to get bars and brownies out of a pan is to line it with parchment paper so that two sides come up and over the edges – like flaps – when they’re done baking, these bars really have to cool down. Then you can lift the whole thing from the pan by the flaps. Or you can also just cut them out. They should turn out nicely as long as they’re completely cool before cutting.
I found the same recipe a hundred years ago….jk….. from a magazine advertising various recipes by Duncan Hines.
Now that I have a Meyer lemon tree which produces lots of lemons this is my go to recipe. However, yesterday I over measured the oil and the dough turned out pasty and sticky instead of crumbly. I though it was ruined. Luckily I had a small box of instant lemon pudding and added it to the dough, hoping for a better result. It turned out that it was the perfect addition!!!!. I got my “crumble” back and was even more lemony to my liking. From now on, that’s what I’ll be sticking with.
Just so you can set your memory to rest, this original recipe was from a Duncan Hines deluxe lemon cake mix box. It was also put on a few Pillsbury summer cookie mix boxes a few years ago. I LOVE these!!!!!!
I just made these. I made the version with the yellow cake. Which do you prefer the yellow or lemon cake? They are delicious. I was just thinking I would like them to have a thicker lemon cheesecake layer. Would it work using an 8X8 pan or would you double the filling recipe?
I made these this summer and gave them to my co workers. They were a HUGE hit! I’m re visiting today to bake more for Thanksgiving, at the request of my co workers;)