Our Lemon Cheesecake features a creamy smooth filling with a bright citrus flavor nestled into a buttery graham cracker crust. Make this baked lemon curd cheesecake recipe for a fantastic holiday dessert. Don’t forget to top it with whipped cream and lemon zest!!
Tangy citrus perfectly complements this rich dessert for an incredible taste you won’t soon forget!
Each bite melts in your mouth and tickles your taste buds without being too heavy.
Since baked cheesecakes can be finicky to make, there are lots of notes in the instructions to address the most common issues that occur.
One of the most important steps is baking at a low temperature — it guarantees that perfect creamy texture and makes the dessert less likely to crack.
Don’t have time for a baked lemon cheesecake? Try my delicious no bake cheesecake recipe! This version features fresh blueberries and a crispy cookie crust.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Crust – Make a simple homemade crust with crushed graham crackers, melted butter, and honey.
- Cream cheese – Opt for blocks of cream cheese and leave them on the counter to warm for at least 30 minutes before starting this lemon cheesecake recipe.
- Lemons – You’ll need to use fresh citrus for both the zest and the freshest-tasting juice.
When testing, avoid the bitter white layer (pith) between the yellow rind and fruit.
- Lemon curd – Grab a jar of your favorite brand or make my simple homemade version for this lemon curd cheesecake!
- Whipped topping – Spray cans are a time saver, but it’s easy to make your own at home as well.
Tips for Making a Baked Lemon Cheesecake
- Use room temperature ingredients.
Transfer all of the refrigerated items to the counter at least 30 minutes before starting this lemon cheesecake recipe.
Allowing them to warm up helps everything blend together easier, and it also prevents lumps in the lemon cheesecake batter.
- Don’t overbeat the eggs.
Beating eggs into the batter adds extra air, causing it to puff when baked and collapse when cooled. It’s a surefire way to get cracks in your cheesecake.
Whip the cream cheese, sugar, and citrus ingredients well, then whisk your eggs separately.
- Wrap the springform pan in foil.
Springform pans are not watertight, so it’s important to wrap the outside in a double layer of aluminum foil before placing the lemon cheesecake into the water bath.
- Want more lemon flavor?
The combination of juice, zest, and extract creates a prominent but natural citrus flavor in this lemon curd cheesecake recipe.
For a brighter lemon flavor, you could try increasing the amount of extract or zest if desired, or add a lemon flavoring oil.
Kitchen Tools You’ll Need
- Electric Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- Springform Pan – This is basically required for a perfect lemon curd cheesecake. The ring sides pop off, making removal easy and clean.
- Mixing Bowls – I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
- A sturdy silicone spatula can be used for scraping, stirring, and smoothing and is easy to clean too!
- Roasting pan or another oven-safe vessel to use for the water bath.
Lemon Cheesecake Recipe FAQ
Gradually reducing the temperature after baking is one of the best ways to prevent cracks. Another way is by baking the dessert in a water bath.
Once the baking time is up, turn off the oven, but leave the door closed for 20 minutes. Then, crack the oven door and leave the dessert in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. This allows the center to finish setting as it slowly cools, while also keeping it from overbaking.
Absolutely! Any remaining slices can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.
Either way, wrap the lemon cheesecake slices tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before storing. This helps to prevent condensation and freezer burn.
If you’re concerned about the texture of the curd, wait to make it until just before serving. And don’t forget the whipped cream!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Delicious Lemon Desserts
Lemon Cheesecake + Video
- 1.5 cups honey graham cracker crumbs, ( 1 sleeve of full sheets, crushed)
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, (about 2 lemons)
- 24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup plain full fat yogurt
- ¼ cup lemon juice, (about 2 lemons)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 10 ounces lemon curd
- 8 ounces whipped topping
- ½ zested lemon
- ½ thinly sliced lemon
- Preheat the oven to 325°F., and assemble a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
- Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and honey together in a small mixing bowl. Using a flat bottomed measuring cup or your fingers, press the crust into the bottom of the prepared springform pan.
- Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes, or until it just begins to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, wrap the springform pan in several layers of aluminum foil and place inside a baking bag, if possible.
- While the crust cools, make the cheesecake filling.
- Prepare a water bath in a large roasting pan or baking dish by placing a folded, lint free towel in the bottom of the pan. Bring at least 4 cups of water to a boil in a kettle or saucepan. Set both aside while preparing the lemon cheesecake filling.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to beat together the white sugar and lemon zest until fragrant and colored, about 2 minutes. Shake or scrape the zest off of the beaters and back into the bowl.
- Beat in the softened cream cheese, 8 ounces at a time, until light and fluffy. This will take 5-10 minutes, depending on the temperature of your cream cheese.
- Beat in the yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla extract until completely combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, just until combined. Do not overbeat.
- Add the eggs to the cheesecake mixture while beating on low speed, mixing just until incorporated. Do not overbeat.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture into the cooled crust in the prepared springform pan. Spread filling evenly using an offset spatula.
- Place the wrapped springform pan into the prepared roasting or baking pan water bath, on top of the folded towel. This will help keep the springform pan from sliding around once the water has been added.
- Place the pan on the top rack in the oven and carefully pour the hot water into the roasting or baking pan to create a water bath around the springform pan. It should come up about 2 inches or to the middle of the springform pan. Add more hot water if necessary.
- Bake for 60-80 minutes, until the outer 2-3 inches are set but the middle still jiggles very slightly when the pan is gently moved. Turn off the oven and leave the door open. Allow everything to cool for 1 hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and allow it to cool another 2-3 hours, or until it reaches room temperature. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cheesecake in the pan overnight.
- When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and gently run a knife or spatula around the outer edge of it. Release the springform pan and gently remove it from the cheesecake.
- Using an offset spatula, spread lemon curd evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
- Pipe on the whipped topping using a piping bag and a 1M or large star tip, and garnish with optional lemon zest and lemon slices.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published May 2022, updated and republished June 2023
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