Best Lemon Cheesecake (Easy to Bake Recipe) + Video

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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!!

slice of lemon cheesecake on white plate


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. Any lemon lover will agree that lemon desserts like this are some of the best!

There’s no denying that creamy cheesecake filling with crunchy graham cracker crumbs as the crust. 

ingredients to make lemon cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake

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. 

Or, take a look through more of my no bake dessert recipes, like this peanut butter cheesecake

There are plenty of other cheesecake recipes to choose from, along with a citrus icebox cake and plenty of finger food treats.


Watch the video in this post to watch us prepare the lemon cheesecake recipe from start to finish!

pressing graham cracker crust into springform pan with measuring spoon

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.

If you really want to up the flavor of this delicious recipe, you can add a few fresh lemon slices on top as well.

I think that this would be the best way to add a fun look to individual slices – but do whatever works best for you! 

spreading lemon cheesecake filling into springform pan wrapped in foil

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. 

You can easily make my favorite dessert by following the tips on the recipe card below.

Once the cheesecake bakes, you’re going to be obsessed with the taste of this creamy lemon cheesecake with the crunchy graham cracker crust! 


1. Be cautious of adding extra juice to your batter, as the extra liquid can affect the consistency of the baked lemon cheesecake.

2. The pan you use for the water bath should be deep enough to hold at least 4 cups of water, without rising more than halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

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. 
spreading lemon curd on top of baked lemon cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe FAQ

How do you prevent cracks in baked cheesecake?

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.

Can I freeze a lemon curd cheesecake?

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!

What toppings can I add to the top of the cheesecake?

You can add anything that you want to get that perfect texture and taste. I like to add a little bit of graham cracker crumbs to the top, but it’s totally optional and up to you. Remember that the whole cake doesn’t have to be covered, either.

You can put a little bit of fine crumbs on a section of the cake and see what you think that first time. After that, you can try different toppings to create the perfect cheesecake.

Just be sure to let the cheesecake cool before adding any toppings to this perfect dessert. And if you don’t want to add a topping to the original recipe, don’t! 

piping whipped cream on top of lemon curd cheesecake

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serving slice of lemon curd cheesecake

Other Delicious Lemon Desserts

slice of baked lemon cheesecake on white plate

Best Lemon Cheesecake (Easy to Bake Recipe) + Video

Donna Elick
Lemon Cheesecake has a creamy filling and buttery graham cracker crust. Make this baked lemon cheesecake recipe for a holiday dessert!
5 stars from 4 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cooling Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 10



  • 1.5 cups honey graham cracker crumbs, ( 1 sleeve of full sheets, crushed)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons honey

Cheesecake Filling

  • 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

Optional Garnish

  • 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.



Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 626cal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 471mg | Sugar: 56g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): lemon cheesecake

Originally published May 2022, updated and republished May 2024

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  1. This looks amazing and reminds me of something that I would order at Cheesecake Factory. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. 5 stars
    made this lemon cheesecake last night, and it was a breeze! Donna and Chad’s recipes never disappoint, and this one was no exception. The flavor was exquisite, and the texture was perfectly creamy. Definitely a new favorite in our household!

    1. 5 stars
      I’m wondering if anyone has made this in individual size like a muffin/cupcake pan. If so, how long did you cook them for? Would it work by placing a large pan of water on the shelf underneath rather than a water bath? TIA

  3. 5 stars
    I tried Donna’s lemon cheesecake recipe and it was fantastic! I added a bit more lemon zest for an extra zing, and it turned out great.

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