Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Laura Rege

by Laura Rege

Published: Oct 26, 2022

Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Tart, tangy, and sweet, these cheesecake bars are sandwiched between a pastry crust that just happens to be super-easy to make (thank you, store-bought crescent roll dough!). Something about the combo tastes like the Entenmann's danishes of my youth, but even better thanks to the extra sweet and creamy filling. Plus, we snuck in one of our favorite spice combos to add a cozy touch: pumpkin spice. It's the perfect fall spice mix to accent the tangy cranberry jam filling. Pair these easy bars with a homemade pumpkin spice latte or a glass of cider—AKA autumn in a mug—for the best way to ring in the upcoming holidays.
For the best bars imaginable, here are some tips to acing this easy recipe:
Make the cranberry filling.
The sweet and easy cranberry filling is made from turning frozen cranberries into an irresistible cranberry jam. If you've never made jam before—no stress! It's much easier than you'd think and only requires a few minutes and a handful of ingredients. Check out our other favorite jam recipes for even more dessert and breakfast inspo!
Soften the cream cheese.
To make it easy to beat into the filling, soften your cream cheese while you make the cranberry jam. Trust us—you'll be glad you did.
Serve them hot or cold!
These cheesecake bars are equally delicious at room temperature or chilled. Serve them right away if you're looking for a warm, gooey dessert, or make them ahead and chill in the fridge if you want to enjoy them cold later!



Prep time:

15 mins

Total time:

1 hr 40 mins


2 3/4 c. (285 g.) frozen cranberries (1 [10-oz.] bag)
1/2 c. (100 g.) granulated sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
3 tbsp. fresh orange juice
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 c. (150 g.) granulated sugar, divided
Cooking spray
2 (8-oz.) packages refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted


In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cranberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and juice, spice mix, and salt to a boil, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to bottom of pan. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until cranberries burst and sauce is thickened to a jammy consistency, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until smooth and well combined.

Step 2
Grease a 13"-by-9" baking pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a 2" overhang on both long sides. Spray parchment with cooking spray.

Step 3
Unroll 1 can of dough and press into bottom of prepared baking pan, pinching seams closed and stretching dough to edges. Spread cream cheese mixture over dough. Dollop cranberry filling over cream cheese mixture.

Step 4 Unroll remaining can of dough and pinch seams together. Place over top of cranberry and cream cheese filling and stretch to edges of pan. Spray top with cooking spray and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar.

Step 5
Bake bar until top is golden brown, 28 to 32 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Step 6
Using parchment overhang, lift bars out of pan. Cut into 12 bars and serve at room temperature, or chill and serve cold.

Recipe Developer

Laura Rege is a Food Stylist and Recipe Developer who regularly contributes recipes and styles videos and photos for Tasty. If she isn't in the Tasty kitchens, you'll most likely find her out on the town looking for the next food trends in the US and on her travels abroad.

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