Lemon-Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

updated Apr 27, 2020
summer
Lemon-Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

An easy recipe for cream cheese bars made with refrigerated crescent roll dough.

Makes24 bars

Prep40 minutes to 55 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 35 minutes

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Lemon raspberry cream cheese bars sitting on marble surface.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot

If lemon bars and cheesecake melded into one, you’d get something that resembled these gooey, buttery bars. Rich and tangy cream cheese is kissed with lemon and juicy raspberries, then sandwiched between two layers of flaky crescent roll dough. Trust us when we say it’s hard to eat just one. Plus, they’re easy to make, call for just a handful of ingredients, and are endlessly adaptable to whatever you’ve got on hand.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Make These Cream Cheese Bars with Whatever You’ve Got

These bars come together easily, thanks to refrigerated crescent roll dough, and bake up to be extra flaky and buttery because of it too. If you don’t have fresh raspberries on hand, you can use any type of defrosted frozen berry in their place — blueberries, sliced strawberries, or even mixed berries would be great. No lemons? Try replacing the lemon zest and juice with another citrus like orange or lime. As long as you keep the cream cheese and crescent roll dough in place, the rest is up to you.

Lemon-Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

An easy recipe for cream cheese bars made with refrigerated crescent roll dough.

Prep time 40 minutes to 55 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 35 minutes

Makes 24 bars

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages

    cream cheese

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 3/4 cup

    granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 (8-ounce) cans

    refrigerated crescent roll dough

  • All-purpose flour, for rolling

  • 1 pint

    fresh raspberries (about 2 cups)

Instructions

  1. Let 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese sit at room temperature until softened, 20 to 30 minutes.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper so that it hangs over the two long sides.

  3. Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the melted butter into the prepared baking dish and brush to coat the bottom and sides. Reserve the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.

  4. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon into a large bowl, then juice the lemon into the bowl (about 1 tablespoon zest and 3 tablespoons juice). Add the softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and use a wooden spoon to beat vigorously until blended and smooth.

  5. Unroll 1 can of the crescent roll dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll it out to a 9x13-inch rectangle, gently pressing together the dough’s perforations if they start to pull apart. Starting at the short end of the dough, loosely roll up the dough around the rolling pin. Transfer it to the prepared baking dish and unroll the dough back out flat, patting gently so it’s snug and flat in the bottom of the dish.

  6. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the dough. Spread it into an even layer with an offset spatula or table knife. Sprinkle 1 pint raspberries (about 2 cups) evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Lightly press the raspberries into the cream cheese mixture with your hands.

  7. Repeat rolling the remaining can of crescent roll dough into a 9x13-inch rectangle. Starting at one end of the dough, loosely roll up the dough around the rolling pin. Transfer it to the baking dish and unroll the dough back out flat on top of the cream cheese mixture, folding under any excess dough and patting gently to cover.

  8. Brush the dough with the reserved 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar.

  9. Bake, rotating the baking dish halfway through, until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes total. Place the baking dish on a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Grasp the overhanging foil or parchment to remove the slab from the baking dish. Place on a cutting board and cut into 24 pieces.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.