This recipe for lightened up lemon cream cheesecake bars is adapted from my brothers’s and my first eBook, Easy Cake Mix Bar Cookies: 25 Tried and True Recipes, which we developed for our cookie recipe site, Best Ever Cookie Collection. (I’m a longtime cookie lover and baker and my brother, Peter, is a cookie lover and website manager, so we decided to collaborate on a cookie website and have had a lot of fun and learned a lot in the process.)
As a longtime Weight Watchers member and new Weight Watchers employee, I don’t bake or eat nearly as many cookies as I used to. But I still love to indulge every now and again. And it turns out cookies and cookie bars are a great choice because they are naturally portion controlled and come in such a variety of styles and flavors you can satisfy most any craving for relatively few PointsPlus.
It’s also fun to experiment with ways to make cookies lighter and healthier, though this can be tricky, especially if you want crisp or chewy cookies.
I was able to lighten up these cream cheese bars a little by substituting reduced fat cream cheese for regular. They’re simple, quick, and easy creamy cookie bars perfect for cheesecake lovers, and super quick & easy since they begin with a box of yellow cake mix.
- 1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
- 1 large egg
- 1/ 3 cup canola oil
- 1 package (8 ounces) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/ 3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 large egg
- Position an oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry cake mix, egg, and oil until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup to use for a topping.
- Press the remaining dough into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the topping. In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg until smooth and creamy.
- Spread evenly over the baked crust. Sprinkle evenly with the reserved dough mixture.
- Bake an additional 15 minutes, until just set. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
If you liked this post and recipe for lightened up lemon cheesecake bars, check out these links:
- Skinny Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookie Bars – Incredibly easy and delicious with only 3 PointsPlus value (Simple Nourished Living)
- Healthy Banana Cookies with Oats & Chocolate Chips - If you are looking for tasty healthy banana cookies that are low fat, vegan and gluten free — this is the recipe for you (Simple Nourished Living)
- How To Make Cookies from Cake Mix – everything you need to know to turn a box of cake mix into yummy cookies (Simple Nourished Living)
- Cooking Light Fig & Cream Cheese Bars – Two layers of goodness (My Recipes)
- Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars – I plan on trying these as soon as the weather cools (Weight Watchers)
- Lemon Cheesecake Yogurt Cups – Individually portioned lemon cheesecake baked in muffin cups (SkinnyTaste)