This super creamy Lemon Cheesecake recipe is easy to make. All you need are 10 ingredients and few minutes of hands-on preparation time. Decorate with candied lemons, meringue, or blueberry sauce to your liking. By the way, have you tried my air fryer cheesecake yet?
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl and stir until evenly moistened.
Transfer crumbs to the prepared springform pan and press with a flat bottomed cup into the bottom and halfway up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, and flour to combine. Then add sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and whisk to combine. In the beginning, when mixing in the lemon juice, it will look like it curdles, but after a few seconds, it gets creamy and combines.
In the beginning, it looks like this:
And like this after a few seconds:
Add one egg at the time and stir to incorporate. Before you add the last egg, scrape down the bowl.
Pour filling into the crust and spread evenly. The consistency of the filling is creamy but towards liquid. Do not overmix at any step. Otherwise, your cheesecake could crack. Bake for 45-55 minutes.
Expert tips for success
- If you cover the bottom and the sides of the springform pan entirely, you don’t need to worry about how to remove the baked cheesecake from the springform pan. After baking and chilling, just open the pan and remove the paper from the cheesecake.
- The fastest way to get graham cracker crumbs is to place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse a few seconds until finely ground into crumbs. Alternatively, you can place them in a zip-lock bag and smash them with the rolling pin into fine crumbs.
- The recipe works with either brick-style cream cheese (US) as well as spreadable cream cheese (UK). Brick-style cream cheese should be at room temperature and spreadable cream cheese can be cold.
- You don't need to wrap aluminum foil around the pan to catch the liquid that is leaking during the baking process. I always place a piece of parchment paper under the pan to prevent liquid from dripping onto the bottom of the oven.
How to tell when it is done?
To tell when cheesecakes are done, gently shake the pan. The edges should be very lightly browned and set with a slight wobble in the center. The wobbly center should be about 3-4 inches in diameter with a bright and shiny top. Do not check with a toothpick as this is not significant. Don’t worry that your cheesecake is still wobbly. It is not underbaked and the cheesecake will set as it cools.
Why does mine have cracks?
First of all, if your cheesecake cracks, please don't panic. Don't throw it away, it's not bad, it's still delicious and you can serve it. Simply cover with ganache, whipped cream or lots of berries and nobody will notice anything. However, here are a few tips to prevent your cheesecake from cracking.
- Overmixing. Mix at every step just until combined.
- Overbaking. Please don't bake the cheesecake until it is completely set in the center. It should wobble like a pudding when shaking the pan.
- Opening the oven door too early. Let the oven closed during the baking time. Just at the very end, you can open the door to check if the cheesecake is done. Check the first time after 50 minutes.
- Fast temperature changes. After baking, crack open the door and let the cheesecake in the oven for one hour. Then remove from the oven and cool completely before chilling in the refrigerator.
Recommended decoration ideas
Here's what you need:
- 3 large egg whites
- ¾ cup caster sugar (150g)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Fill a saucepan 2 inches high with water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl (preferably glass) and set over the saucepan. The bowl should not touch the water.
Whisk continuously for 3-5 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved. (Make sure the meringue doesn't get too hot, or the egg whites will cook through, and the meringue won't be stiff but lumpy. Remove from saucepan in-between to cool down a bit, if necessary.)
The meringue should be warm to touch. Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed until shiny, glossy, and stiff peaks form, for about 5-7 minutes.
Fill in a piping bag or spoon on top of chilled cheesecake. The meringue may start to weep a little bit after 2 days. Because the egg whites are warmed, you don’t need to be worried about salmonella.
Here's what you need:
- 1 cup granulated white sugar (200g)
- freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
- 2 organic lemons, thinly sliced
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and brush lightly with oil. Set aside.
Wash the lemons carefully and dry them with a paper towel. Set aside. In a large skillet, combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until lemons are translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Stir regularly. Transfer lemons to the prepared sheet and let dry. Do not overlap the lemons. The oil on the paper makes sure that the lemons don't stick to the paper when they dry.
If you want to brown a few of your lemon slices, remove all the sugar liquid from the pan and place a few lemon slices back to the pan. Let them caramelize for about 1 minute or until brown.
Cover and store them at room temperature. Place on top of your chilled cheesecake just before serving.
Here's what you need:
- ½ cup granulated white sugar (100g)
- freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
- 2 heaping cups blueberries (about 300g)
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the blueberries are soft and the sauce has thickened up and is reduced by ⅓, about 5-10 minutes.
Let cool down to room temperature. Spoon on top of chilled cheesecake before serving.
- Freeze the whole cheesecake: After chilling, remove the ring from the springform pan and wrap the cheesecake with the bottom of the pan in plastic wrap twice. Then wrap in aluminum foil twice. Take care that it is completely sealed and no air is enclosed or can come in. Freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, unwrap and place the cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.
- Freeze single slices: After chilling cut into slices and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Place in freezer bags or containers and freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, unwrap and let sit on the counter for 1 hour.
More cheesecake recipes to try
Lemon Cheesecake Recipe
Graham cracker crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Lemon cheesecake filling
- 32 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of a 9" (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper. Watch the photo-tutorial in the blog post above on how to line a springform pan properly. Set aside.
- Graham cracker crust: In a large bowl combine all ingredients and stir until evenly moistened. Transfer to the prepared pan and press crust with the back of a flat-bottomed cup into the bottom and halfway up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool until you are done with the filling.
- Lemon cheesecake filling: In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the cream cheese, sugar, and flour just until combined no lumps remain. Add sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add one egg at the time and mix just until combined before you add the next egg. Scrape down the bowl before you add the last egg. Mix to combine. Don't overmix at any step. Too much air in the filling can cause cracks while baking.
- Pour filling into the prebaked crust and spread evenly. Place a piece of parchment paper under the springform pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until the edges are set. The center should be very bright and almost set with a 3-4 inches wobbly spot in the center. Don't overbake until the cheesecake is browned because this is a common reason for cracked cheesecake. The cheesecake will firm up as it cools. I baked mine for exactly 45 minutes. Watch photo above (how to tell when a cheesecake is done) to see how the baked cheesecake should look like.
- Turn off the oven, crack open the door (pinch a wooden spoon), and let the cheesecake in the oven for another hour. Then remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Decorate before serving, if desired. You find additional recipes for toppings in the blog post. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.
You can find the video in the post above. If you don't see a video, please check your browser settings.
Hi Sabine, I do not have sour cream on hand. Can I use full fat greek yoghurt or heavy cream instead? If so, is it in the same measurement? Also, I do not have cream of tartar for the meringue, can I omit it or substitute with other ingredients?
Hi Samantha, yes you can use greek yogurt or heavy cream instead. Substitute 1:1. The cream of tartar stabilizes the meringue but you can use 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar instead. Hope that helps.
Perfect recipe all around!
Thank you so much!
The video is in the recipe card directly under the instructions. If you don't see it, please check your browser settings. Hope that helps.
Okay, I thought that classic NY cheesecake is my favorite cheesecake but that has changed. This is by far the best cheesecake I've ever made or even had. Thank you so much for this great recipe.
To be honest, this is my favorite cheesecake of all with chocolate a close number two. Thank you so much for your nice feedback, Barbara!