Lightened up, creamy and bursting with fresh lemon flavor, these Greek Yogurt Lemon Cheesecake Bars are the perfect dessert to make this spring!
Today I thought I would bring to the table a little something sweet. I’ve been holding back from sharing a dessert recipe for a while because I wanted to make sure if your New Year’s goal was to eat a little healthier that you stuck to it. However, you might want to make an exception for these Greek Yogurt Lemon Cheesecake Bars!
Do you ever make something and you seriously just want to pat yourself on the back or give yourself a high five because it’s that awesome? That’s exactly what I was doing when I took my first bite of one of the Greek Yogurt Lemon Cheesecake Bars. I don’t usually toot my own horn, but sometimes you just have to!
In case you weren’t aware lemon desserts are one of my favorite! I just love that fresh, bright, tart flavor that lemon adds to a dessert. While I can eat lemon treats any time of year I especially love them in spring and summer. Since we’re only a few days away from the first day of spring I figured we could celebrate with something sweet and lemony!
If you were worried when you read the word cheesecake and immediately your mind went to all the calories and fat that you normally find in the decadent dessert, have no fear! These bars are figure friendly, skinny, light, healthier, whatever you want to call it, but with as rich and creamy as they taste, you’d never guess it! The cheesecake bars use equal amounts of plain non-fat Greek yogurt and 1/3 less fat cream cheese, which is the secret to making them lighter as well as super creamy. The graham cracker crust is also lightened up using only two tablespoons of butter and less graham crackers overall. Of course since these are lemon flavored you will find a generous amount of lemon zest along with fresh lemon juice. These Greek Yogurt Lemon Cheesecake Bars are the perfect dessert to kick off the start of spring! Enjoy!
GREEK YOGURT LEMON CHEESECAKE BARS
6 whole graham crackers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
6 ounces plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg white
Pinch of salt
1 heaping tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse again until the crumbs are moist and stick together when pressed between your fingers.
Pour the crumbs into the prepared 8×8 pan and firmly press them into an even layer.
Bake the crust in the oven for 6-7 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees.
Let the crust cool while you make the filling.
In the bowl of an electric mixer or using a handheld mixer beat the softened cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add in the Greek yogurt, sugar and pinch of salt and beat again until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Add in the egg and egg white and beat until smooth.
Add in the lemon zest, juice and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Add in the flour and beat until smooth.
Pour the filling on top of the cooled graham cracker crust then place it on the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheesecake is set, but the center is still a little jiggly, don’t overbake.
Allow the bars to cool completely before refrigerating them for at least 3 hours.