Easy Cheesy Lemon Squares

Nice & Easy Desserts Cookbook by Cyndee Kannenberg

Ideals Nice & Easy Desserts Cookbook by Cyndee Kannenberg (1979, Paperback)

I found the following recipe in my Ideals “Nice & Easy Desserts Cookbook” by Cyndee Kannenberg, published in 1979.  I had to make some modifications to the recipe because my local grocery store does not carry packages of dry frosting mix.

So, I am going to include both Cyndee’s original recipe and my variation.  I can’t post any photos of the completed Easy Cheesy Lemon Squares dessert right now because I took it to a get-together (of 9 people) and came home with an empty 9×13 pan.  It was that popular!

The original recipe book titles them “Easy Cheesy Squares”, but I think it is worth noting that they actually are very “lemony”.  So, I have added that to my blog title.

Easy Cheesy Lemon Squares

Easy Cheesy Lemon Squares
(As pictured: Created using the “modified” recipe below)

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Original “Easy Cheesy Squares”

1 pkg lemon cake mix

1/2 cup melted butter

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 pkg lemon frosting mix

1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

Combine cake, butter and 1 egg.  Mix with a fork until moist.  Pat into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan, greased only on the bottom.  Blend package of frosting mix into cream cheese.  Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture, and add 2 eggs to the remaining cheese batter.  Beat 3 to 5 minutes. Spread over cake mixture in the pan.  Bake in a 350 °F oven 30 to 40 minutes.  When cool, spread with reserved frosting.  Cut into squares.  Serves 24.

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Modified “Easy Cheesy Lemon Squares” (when dry lemon frosting mix cannot be found)

Ingredients - Cheesy Lemon Squares

Ingredients – Click on any of the photos to view a larger version.

1 pkg lemon cake mix (I used Betty Crocker® SuperMoist®, Lemon cake mix)

1/2 cup melted butter (I used Tillamook® unsalted sweet cream butter)

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh squeezed is preferable)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

A drop to 1/8 teaspoon imitation butter flavor (Probably optional – I used Durkee®)

3 cups of confectioners’ (powdered) sugar

1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Grease only the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass dish.  Combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg in a medium sized bowl.  Mix with a fork until moist.

Crust Batter

Crust Batter

Press into the bottom of the bottom-greased 9 x 13-inch pan.

Pressed Crust

Crust pressed into a greased (bottom only) 9 x 13 inch baking pan

In stand mixer bowl (I used my wire whisk), on a low speed setting blend cream cheese until softened, then slowly add the 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar, the lemon juice, the vanilla extract and the imitation butter flavoring.  When mixture is combined, mix on medium-high to high speed until mixture is very smooth – 1 to 2 minutes.  Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture as “icing” for later, then add 2 eggs to the remaining cheese batter.

Cheesy Batter

To the right, in the mixing bowl, is the cheesy batter with eggs (before mixing). On the left is 1/2 cup of batter (before eggs were added) set aside for later use as icing.

Beat 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high to high. Spread cheesy batter over cake mixture in the pan.

Cheesy Batter on Crust

Cheesy batter spread on top of the pressed crust.

Bake in a 350 °F oven 30 to 40 minutes (I baked it for 30 minutes using my convection oven setting.  The top was golden brown and firm when I removed it from the oven).

Just pulled out of the oven

Just pulled out of the oven and placed on a cooling rack.

When cool, spread with reserved icing.

Icing On Top

The reserved icing has been spread on top of the cooled dessert.

Cut into squares.  Serves 24.

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