These Lighter No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Bars are made with a few simple swaps to make them a bit lighter than a traditional cheesecake. However, these lemon cheesecake bars are just as rich and creamy as the real thing!
This No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Bar Recipe is such an easy lemon dessert recipe! Between the creaminess and the lemon flavor, this is my *current* dessert obsession.
Give me lemon or give me cheesecake.
If you give me both, we’ll be friends forever.
(You think I’m joking…)
I’m a sucker for that subtle tang, creamy texture, and sweet, sweet flavor…
Cheesecake is my life’s blood.
This no bake lemon cheesecake is pretty much the epitome of summer.
It’s light (in both flavor and ingredients–ahem, shorts season), no bake (because turning on your oven in the middle of a sauna can make a sane person feel a little crazy–don’t ask me how I know that), and it’s lemon, which is the flavor of summer.
I’m pretty sure it’s a written rule.
Oh. Ohhh. Ohhhh.
The whole lemon explosion is sitting on top of a vanilla wafer crust!
It’s a dream come true.
Lighter Lemon Cheesecake Ingredients:
- reduced fat vanilla wafers, lemon zest and melted butter (the vanilla wafer cheesecake crust)
- heavy whipping cream
- reduced fat whipped cream cheese
- vanilla greek yogurt
- vanilla extract
- lemon juice & zest
- powdered sugar
- lemon curd
There are a couple of ingredients here that are very important. This recipe calls for whipped cream cheese, and it’s important to use the whipped version in this recipe. A block of cream cheese will be too heavy.
Make sure you use a flavored greek yogurt. I used vanilla, but a lemon flavor would be a nice addition to these lemon cheesecake bars as well. If possible, try to avoid using original or plain greek yogurt, as the cheesecake bars will not be nearly as sweet.
Do I Freeze These No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Bars? Or Are They Refrigerated?
Let’s talk about this and discuss what your options are here (and your options depend on your preference):
- As I suggest in the recipe, you can put these lemon cheesecake bars in the freezer to set up. They need at least 5-6 hours. Then, allow the no bake lemon cheesecake bars to thaw for 45-60 minutes in the fridge before serving (alternately, you can let them thaw on the counter). Keep leftovers in the freezer.
- However, you can let these set up overnight in the fridge and serve as is. They *will be* a little softer and creamier this way.
- Or, you can eat these straight out of the freezer. I’ve had readers who have done each of these options and all of them have loved these bars. Truthfully, it just depends on what kind of texture you are looking for in these cheesecake bars.
Lighter Lemon Cheesecake Bars Tips & Tricks:
- I used reduced fat vanilla wafer cookies; however, feel free to use regular vanilla wafers. Additionally, you can use graham cracker crumbs or golden oreos or some sort of lemon sandwich cookie. Have fun with it!
- After making the crust, the first thing you will do is whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks–the consistency of whipped cream. Then you add the whipped cream cheese, 4 oz at a time (it’s important to do a little at a time so that the heavy cream does not deflate).
- Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract to the creamy no bake cheesecake filling.
- Lastly, you add in the powdered sugar, whipping the batter until it is smooth, creamy and thick.
- I like to dollop the lemon curd on top of the cheesecake batter and swirl it into the batter. However, you can spread a layer on the bottom of the crust, then pour the no bake lemon cheesecake batter on top.
And it feels like summer!
- 2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies (I used reduced fat)
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 5 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 12 oz Reduced Fat Whipped Cream Cheese
- 6 oz Vanilla Greek Yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon curd
- In a bowl, mix crushed vanilla wafers, lemon zest, and melted butter. Once combined, press the crust evenly into an 8x8 baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a mixer, whip heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Add in Weight Watchers Whipped Cream Cheese, 4 oz at a time, beating well after each addition. Once combined, add in Greek Yogurt, and beat well.
- Add in lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and mix.
- Lastly, add in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition, until the filling is thick and smooth.
- Pour filling evenly over crust, smoothing the filling to the sides of the dish.
- If using lemon curd, dollop small teaspoonfuls on top of the cheesecake. With a knife or toothpick, carefully swirl the curd with the cheesecake.
Chill in the freezer for at least 5-6 hours. Before serving, allow cheesecake to to sit in the fridge for about 45-60 minutes*.
*Because this is a no bake cheesecake, it will be slightly creamier than a baked cheesecake. I found that allowing it to freeze first, then letting it thaw slightly in the fridge yielded the best texture.
However, you can eat it frozen, or you can skip freezing all together and refrigerate over night. The consistency will be slightly softer.
My favorite products used in this recipe: