In case you didn’t know, Julie at Willow Bird Baking is hosting a cheesecake challenge. This girl has made some unbelievable looking cheesecakes and has a hilarious video with some delicious results. I don’t know how she came up with so many wonderful flavor combinations but I’m glad she did!
You all know I have mixed feelings about lemon, so I wouldn’t have normally chosen the Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Squares with Shortbread Crust However, the husband requested it so why not? Besides, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge if I used the same flavors I usually do.
I forgot to pick up blueberries yesterday, so I went with blackberries instead. The texture adds a nice component to the creamy cheesecake and they are just a little tart when you bite into them. It actually works very well with the lemon.
And as for the lemon cheesecake? I’ll give it to Julie, it is perfectly balanced. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the flavor but it was extremely refreshing. This would actually be a perfect dessert for a summer barbeque.
I used Julie’s recipe with the just a few changes: white whole wheat flour in the crust, light cream cheese rather than regular, I added a teaspoon of vanilla to the batter and obviously blackberries instead of blueberries.
Start by making the crust; place flour and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor
Add chilled butter and pulse
Allow the butter and dry ingredients to combine, but don’t over mix
Press crust into a pan lined with parchment paper
Bake until lightly browned
While crust is cooling, beat softened cream cheese on high speed until fluffy
Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice and combine
Then add your sugar
When batter is creamy, ,pour over crust
Top with berries
Bake until cheesecake is firm
Chill in refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving
Are you participating in Julie’s cheesecake challenge? If so, which one are you making? If not, which one would you like to eat?
I love that you used blackberries instead of blueberries! Blueberries just don’t have enough punch for me.
Blackberries are so underrated — they’re an amazing berry! That looks beautiful and delicious. :)
I actually don’t *love* cheesecake but man oh man your lemon-berry combo (my favorite combination probably in the entire dessert world) may just make me change my mind. I kind of think that one might be delicious with ricotta, too!
Ricotta would be so good with the lemon/berry flavors!
Your cheesecake looks amazing! I love the lemon blackberry combination! It looks so light and airy, just how cheesecake should be!
I love the lemon blackberry combination, even more than if it had been blueberries! Your cheesecake looks delicious, so light and airy, just as a cheesecake should be :)!
Blackberries and lemon are the perfect paring in a cheesecake!
Believe it or not, I’ve never made a cheesecake. These bars look like a much more approachable way to foray into the world of cheesecake without doing the whole ‘cake’ part. :)
You should participate in her challenge!
Cheesecake bars are definitely a little easier! Although, I always think it is hard to tell when the cheesecake is done baking.
I LOVE cheesecake…definitely one of my favorite desserts! I bet the lemon and blackberry combination was incredible! :)
oh my gosh, that looks amazing! I love cheesecake and berries! Yummy!
I love cheesecake and have been on a total citrus kick lately (perhaps I’m willing warm weather to get here?)…this looks beautiful and DElish!!
What a great cake! I’m relatively new to your blog and while I don’t often comment, I wanted you to know how much I like the food and recipes you feature here. You’ve created a lovely spot to visit and manage to keep me coming back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary
Thank you so much, Mary! Your comment made my day:-)
Julie totally makes the best cheesecakes!! And yours looks pretty awesome, too :) I’m not huge on lemon either, but with the blackberry? I think I’d love this!
It definitely isn’t too lemony. There is enough other stuff going on so that doesn’t take over.
These were excellent!
This almost made me forget that I normally dislike cheesecake, but with all the extra flavors I think I could like this :) And I just know my fiance would!
My sister doesn’t like cheesecake either!
ohhhh the temptation is there to join this challenge…however I just heard my wedding dress screaming so i’m going to have to refrain from challenges til after the wedding:)
Ah that was the story of my life last year! Probably part of the reason I waited until after my wedding to start a blog:-)
I didn’t know about the cheesecake challenge, but I’m seriously considering it! This one looks like it could almost be on Lauren’s “Healthy Food for Living” blog, don’t you think? :) I know you read her too, b/c I’ve seen your comments there. Anyway, your cheesecake looks amazing–great recipe!
Yes, I love Lauren’s blog! I guess this is almost healthy:-)
YUM, I love cheesecake, I used to have an apprentice chef that adored making cheesecake, every few days he’d come up with another lovely tasting cake, Im going to let him know about this here challenge. Very cool! :)
Your cake looks beautiful. Great recipe! :)
He should do it!
Lovely cheesecake. I do love the lemon flavor and that shortbread crust.
oooh these look great!
You had me at cheesecake!!!!
Wow this looks so delicious! This recipe is awesome! I love lemon and blackberries.
This is just what I am going to need after a long day at work when it’s so gloomy and rainy outside! Summer seriously can’t get here soon enough.
On a side note, it looks like there is an error on your blog where the mixed fruit and nut butter is – just FYI!
Thanks for letting me know! I’m having trouble with the Recipe SEO plug-in and am trying to figure out how to fix it! Good thing I have weekly dreamhost back-ups:-)
I loved the idea of Julie’s cheesecake challenge and I wish I had the self control to make a cheesecake and not eat the whole thing myself. Sigh.
This lemon blackberry combo is fabulous! One of my favorite flavor combos. Love that you used low fat cream cheese…I always do it in my cheesecakes. :P
The cheesecake looks wonderful.
Oh MY SWEET SWEET LORD. These look so so good, Lauren! Thanks for sharing the recipe, and making me hungry at 8:40 am :)
lol i know the feeling!
That cheesecake looks awesome. It didn’t even crack on top which is very impressive :D
I like lemon and fruit cheesecake because it makes it feel light. Cheesecake can be super heavy.
I have to admit, making a cheesecake from scratch has always scared me. It seems like there are so many things to remember and so many things that can go wrong. You make it look easy!
The bars are really easy! I think the hardest thing about baking cheesecake is knowing when it is done cooking. Sometimes it takes a little practice to get used to that. I think that for a regular cheesecake a water bath is more important to get it to evenly bake.
Lemon and blackberry is such an awesome cheesecake flavor! I l bet it tastes fantastic…and that the citrus gives it hints of spring :)
I just noticed I didn’t comment here yet! Could have sworn I did — oops! Lauren, these are GORGEOUS, as everyone else has said, and I love that you used blackberries! Thanks so much for joining in the Cheesecake Challenge and posting about it so that others can as well — I so appreciate it :) You picked one of my favorites to make, because I love the hint of lemon with the shortbread crust.
I love the combination of lemon and blueberry anything. And in a cheesecake?! FABULOUS.
Yum, I love anything cheesecake and the combination of lemon and blackberries sounds incredible refreshing and perfect for spring! Wish I had a piece right now :o)