Limoncello Cheesecake Squares
Sweet, lemony Limoncello adds lovely lemon flavor to these delightful Limoncello Cheesecake Bars!
Lemon and cheesecake were just meant for each other. The sweet, tart flavor of the lemons plus rich, creamy cheesecake is just so irresistible!
These Limoncello Cheesecake Squares certainly fit the bill. For something a little different, these cheesecake bars get most of their lemon flavor from Limoncello, which is a sweet Italian liqueur made with lemons.
Limoncello lends itself well to dessert recipes, but I know some of you will want to use something else. The closest non-alcoholic option would likely be lemon syrup, which has a consistency similar to Limoncello. Otherwise, lemon extract or even just plain lemon juice may work, although you’ll need to use a lot less (maybe a tablespoon or so?) and perhaps add a little more sugar if you want to match the sweetness level.
The crust for these bars is a cookie crumb crust made with store-bought biscotti. The crispness and crunchiness of biscotti works really well for a crust. I recommend a fairly basic biscotti for the crust. Pick one that you think will complement all the lemon flavor in the bars.
Tips for Success
- Bring the cream cheese and ricotta all the way to room temperature. They’ll mix more easily with less likelihood for lumps in your batter. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, leaving these ingredients on your counter for about 30 minutes should do the trick.
- Be wary of low-fat and no-fat alternatives. While you can certainly use those, you’ll definitely find a difference in flavor and texture.
- Don’t overmix the batter. If you incorporate too much air into the batter, then it’s more likely your cheesecake bars will crack.
- Take the extra step to make the water bath. A water bath makes your oven steamy and humid, and it protects your cheesecake bars from cracking. Technically, you can make these bars without the water bath. Or you can even try placing a pan filled about halfway with water on a rack underneath the cheesecake bars. I don’t often use a water bath, but it works very well here. Be sure to choose a pan that your cheesecake bars pan can fit into easily.
- Bake the cheesecake bars until almost set. This means the center should still jiggle slightly. Remember that baking doesn’t stop as soon as you take something out of the oven. They should finish setting in the warm pan.
- Sharp knives make clean cuts. A firm slice works better than a back-and-forth sawing motion. If you line your pan with parchment, then cuts are even easier because you can just use the paper to lift the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board once they’re chilled.
If you’re a fan of lemon desserts, I think you’ll enjoy these Limoncello Cheesecake Squares! The are just SO good. Light, fluffy, smooth… Absolutely deliicous!