As a lifetime Weight Watchers member, 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 WW Points.
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 and delicious creamy cookie bars perfect for cheesecake lovers, and super quick and easy to make since they begin with a box of yellow cake mix.
How Many Calories and WW Points in these Cheesecake Bars?
According to my calculation, each cheesecake bar has about 160 calories and:
6 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
6 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
6 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
4 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
To see your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, Click here!
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Lightened Up Lemon Cream Cheesecake Bars Recipe
For the Crust:
- 1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup canola oil
For the topping:
- 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ 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 350F degrees. 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.
Source: Easy Cake Mix Bar Cookies: 25 Tried and True Recipes (affiliate link) by Martha McKinnon
*Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
If you like lightened up lemon cheesecake bars, you might also like:
- Skinny Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookie Bars - Incredibly easy and delicious with only 5 WW Freestyle SmartPoints (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)
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you're likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or other (affiliate links), I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thank you for your purchase!
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i used a sugar free cake mix and omitted the lemon rind and they still tasted fabulous!
So happy to hear it Diana!
omitted lemon zest i mean. thanks for sharing recipes!
I just started and honestly I'm overwhelmed... I love lemon bars.
Thank you for this receipe.