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Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

Sweet, lemony Limoncello adds lovely lemon flavor to these delightful Limoncello Cheesecake Squares!

Limoncello Cheesecake Squares stacked on a white plate

Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

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.

overhead view of Limoncello Cheesecake Squares on a wire rack

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.

Limoncello Cheesecake Squares on a wire rack

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!

Find more cheesecake bar recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Lemon Cheesecake Recipes

Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 40 minutes

These sweet, lemony Limoncello Cheesecake Squares are an absolute delight!

Limoncello Cheesecake Squares stacked on a white plate


For the crust:

  • 8 ounces (227g) store-bought biscotti, ground into crumbs*
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 12 ounces (340g) whole milk ricotta, drained, at room temperature
  • 16 ounces (454g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) limoncello liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature


To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9"x 9"x 2" baking pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the biscotti crumbs, butter, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest until thoroughly combined.
  3. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 14 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cheesecake filling:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed (or a food processor), beat the ricotta until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar, and mix well.
  2. Add the limoncello, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons lemon zest.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until blended after each addition.
  4. Pour the filling mixture over the cooled crust in the pan.
  5. Place the baking pan in a large pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water is about halfway up the sides of the pan with the cheesecake.
  6. Bake 1 hour, or until the cheesecake is golden and the center moves just slightly when the pan is gently shaken.
  7. Cool the cheesecake bars completely on a wire rack. Then refrigerate 8 hours before cutting into bars and serving.


*I like to use a food processor to make fine crumbs, but use whatever method you prefer.

The cheesecake bars should keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network.

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    5 Comments on “Limoncello Cheesecake Squares”

  1. I’m totally gonna have to try these. Since I’m in Sicily, Limoncello is available on every corner along with the best ricotta in the world! I’ll let you know when I end up making them!

  2. I love limoncello from Italy but you can easily make your own: Soak the zest from 6 organic lemons in 750 mm bottle of vodka
    (preferably 100 proof)in a jar with a tight fitting lid for 10 days. Bring 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups sugar to a boil for 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Strain the vodka/zest mixture (reserving the zest) into a bowl. Stir the zest into the hot sugar syrup and strain into another bowl. When cool stir into the lemon flavored vodka. Discard the zest. Store in jar with a lid for another 5 days before serving. Store in freezer.

  3. Thanks for the tip, Donna! I may have to try that one of these days.


  5. This looks fantastic, thank you for sharing…

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