Lemon Cheesecake

This Lemon Cheesecake is smooth, thick and creamy! It’s got a light lemon flavor in the cheesecake and big lemon punch from the lemon curd on top! A great combination of sweet and tart!

Lemon Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake recipe

So it totally blows my mind that kids are going back to school around here this week. I mean, July literally just ended! What happened to summers lasting until Labor Day? It’s nutty. Poor kiddos! And though it doesn’t effect me from the stand point of having kids, I have to say I’m always bummed when the traffic comes back. We are surrounded by schools and it’s just unavoidable and not super fun.

Not to mention that with school starting back, it makes me feel like I should be thinking about fall and apples and such and I’m just so not ready for that. I mean the month of August is sort of getting towards the end of summer, but not really. It’s still plenty hot. So hot that Jessie has to wait until it’s almost dark now for her “afternoon” walk. I just can’t handle melting every afternoon. I draw the line at melting. 🙂

So I hope you’re still hanging onto summer like me, because this Lemon Cheesecake feels more like summer than fall. Though truthfully, I will totally eat lemon any time of year. Yum, yum and yum. I may have broken my diet several times eating this cheesecake. May have.

If you haven’t done much cheesecake baking, don’t be intimidated. They can take a little time to put together purely because of the steps involved with making the crust and filling – and then of course the long bake time – but honestly, they aren’t hard. And boy are they worth it! I have loved cheesecake since I was a kid and have always been picky about the texture and this one is perfect. So thick, smooth and creamy. No gelatin here, friends. No sir.

Lemon Cheesecake with lemon curd
Best Lemon Cheesecake recipe

To start, I used vanilla wafer cookies for the crust. You could absolutely swap them out for graham cracker crumbs, but if you’ve never tried those cookies as a crust before you must. I toss a bit of sugar in there and it really is one of my very favorite crusts. It’s pre-baked before adding the cheesecake filling, so you can work on the filling while it’s in the oven.

The filling is a blend of all the best things in a cheesecake – cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and eggs. And then of course for this cheesecake we’ve got lemon zest and lemon juice. I use a very finely grated lemon zest so that it blends in well throughout the cheesecake.

The cheesecake bakes in a water bath. If you aren’t familiar with setting up your pan for a water bath, check out my tutorial – how to prevent your cheesecake water bath from leaking. It really isn’t hard and a water bath is SO much better than not using one. It helps keep the cheesecake moist, it keeps it from sinking in the center and it helps keep it from cracking.

The other things that are important in keeping a cheesecake from cracking are being sure to not mix the filling on a high speed (which incorporates air bubbles that cause cracks) and cooling the cheesecake slowly. I walk you through it in the instructions below so it’s nice and easy.

The cheesecake is then topped with whipped cream and lemon curd. The lemon curd is to die for! So sweet and tart! I have a fair amount on top of this baby because I love it so. It firms up in the fridge, but will soften fairly quickly when out of the fridge.

I hope you love this cheesecake as much as I do! If you are a lemon fan, I have no doubt about it. Enjoy! 🙂

Homemade Lemon Cheesecake recipe
Easy Lemon Cheesecake

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Lemon Cheesecake with slice removed

Lemon Cheesecake

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Lemon Cheesecake is smooth, thick and creamy! It’s got a light lemon flavor in the cheesecake and big lemon punch from the lemon curd on top! A great combination of sweet and tart!



  • 2 ¼ cups (302g) vanilla wafer crumbs
  • ½ cup (112g) salted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp (39g) sugar


  • 24 ounces (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (240ml) sour cream
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature


  • 6 tbsp (90ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup (138g) sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 5 tbsp (65g) salted butter


  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 6 tbsp (43g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract



1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients until well combined and press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
4. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil to prepare it for a water bath. Check out my tutorial on how to prevent your cheesecake water bath from leaking. Set prepared pan aside.


1. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour on low speed until well combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix on low speed until well combined.
4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
5. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust and spread evenly.
6. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
7. Bake the cheesecake for 65 minutes.
8. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in oven with the door closed for 15 minutes. Do not open the door or you’ll release the heat.
9. Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 20 minutes. This cooling process helps the cheesecake cool slowly to prevent cracks.
10. Remove from oven and let sit on the counter for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the water bath and remove aluminum foil. Refrigerate cheesecake until completely cooled and firm, 6-7 hours.


1. While cheesecake cools, make the lemon curd. Combine all ingredients in a double boiler, or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not boil the water or the heat will be too hot. Occasionally lift the bowl off the pot to release the steam.
2. Heat while whisking constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 160°F (71°C). Refrigerate until cool and thickened.


1. When the cheesecake is cool and firm, remove from the springform pan and set on a serving plate.
2. To make the whipped cream, add heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks form.
3. Pipe swirls of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake.
4. Spread the lemon curd in an even layer on top of the cheesecake.
5. Refrigerate cheesecake until ready to serve. Cheesecake is best for 2-3 days.


I used 3 full lemons for the lemon zest and juice used in the cheesecake and lemon curd.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 492
  • Sugar: 38.6 g
  • Sodium: 338.6 mg
  • Fat: 30.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.7 g
  • Protein: 9.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 209.2 mg

Keywords: lemon dessert recipe, cheesecake recipe, how to make cheesecake

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Lemon Cheesecake - a smooth and creamy lemon cheesecake topped with lemon curd!

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Recipe rating

  1. Rachel

    My daughter has made this a few times and each time it’s been amazing. Probably the best cheesecake I’ve eaten!

  2. Olivia

    I bake cheesecakes all the time- Made this sunshiny delight 1 month ago and it was BELOVED- it has even replaced my sister’s previous fave brownie-stuffed cheesecake! Perfect texture, tartness, crust; followed recipe exactly; make sure ingredients are room temp. Lemon curd was alarming when it started to thicken bc it happened real fast and I had to whisk the crap out of it, but it smoothed out. Have my 2nd one cooling now; hopefully it is just as good!

    1. Lindsay

      Do you mean the lemon curd? Most of the flavor is in the lemon curd. If you want a lemon cheesecake without lemon curd, I’d recommend my Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake, but leave out the blueberries. It had wonderful lemon flavor on it’s own.

  3. Christine

    Hello, I would love to make this but I am interested in finding out if this can be made with Monk Fruit or Stevia instead of sugar and if you would know the correct amount to use.

  4. Sarah J Leake

    This was an awesome recipe. Not difficult, perfectly lemony and delicious. I’ve made it twice. Both times, perfection! Thank you

  5. Joseph

    Just to confirm…no vanilla? I’m making this cheesecake in the morning. I’ve never made a cheesecake without vanilla before.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29