Blood Orange Bars with Cream Cheese Crust

I have been taking an online photography class by the wonderful Sarah Fennel at Broma Bakery (check out her stuff ya’ll). It’s been so fun to learn new compositional techniques and work on editing, all among a group of people who struggle with similar things that I do! The class has really forced me to take a constructive look at this blog, my content, and actually look into strengthening my photography skills. I didn’t even own a professional camera two years ago. And now I find myself sketching photos while writing down recipe ideas. This is big! My hope is that my content, both recipes and images, will become stronger and something that feeds your soul a little bit more with every post. Because feeding your soul, feeds mine. (heart eyes, right?)

So here I am, with one of my first big-girl photoshoots. And I can’t wait to show you more. The fact that this big-girl photo comes with a big-girl recipe is just perfect. Grab those blood oranges while they are in season, and make this seasonal twist on lemon bars. The cream cheese crust (shortbread) is mouthwatering on its own, but pair it with this tart, sweet, curd-like filling and DANG. This post is my total ode to Sarah, as these are an adaptation of her Ginger Lemon Bars.


Cream cheese crust:
5 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Blood orange filling:
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon blood orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Powdered sugar, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the width of an 8×8 pan. Grease the pan and then press the parchment paper into the pan so it lays flat.
  3. Using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add the flour in slowly until well combined. Press dough into the pan, spreading evenly.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes.
  6. While the crust is in the oven, prepare the filling. Whisk the eggs, sugar, blood orange juice, zest, salt and vanilla extract together in a large bowl.
  7. Add in the four and whisk until fully combined.
  8. Pour the blood orange filling on top of the cream cheese crust.
  9. Bake for 20 more minutes. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Lift parchment paper (and bars) from pan, cut and top with powdered sugar to serve!
Adapted from Broma Bakery

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