Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

Nothing is quite like a homemade lemon cheesecake. It’s a sweet treat that the whole family is sure to enjoy! 

Whether you’re looking for a lemon cheesecake recipe for your next birthday cake, festive celebration, or even a way to wow your family, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Detailed below, we have the creamiest, lemoniest cheesecake recipe you can find.

On top of this, it is also topped with luscious lemon curd and speckles of lemon zest for extra lemon impact – perfect to satisfy those sweet tooth’s. 

How To Prevent Your Cheesecake From Cracking

Below, you will find some tips on how to prevent your cheesecake from cracking, to achieve a flawless surface!

  • Don’t overbeat the mixture – While this can be difficult, you should resist the urge to mix the batter too much. This would result in too much air being pulled into the batter, creating a cracked surface once baked.
  • Be patient when cooling –  The most important factor to prevent cracking is to allow your cheesecake to fully cool down properly. 

How To Store Your Cheesecake

If you want the best results, you can bake this cheesecake a day before you intend to serve it to ensure you will have enough time for it to chill in the refrigerator. 

The minimum storage time is six hours; however, waiting 12 hours is even better. This allows you to cook your cheesecake three or four days prior to serving it.

To do this, tightly wrap it in saran wrap, or alternatively aluminum foil. 

Similarly, you can follow this method for any leftovers, placed in reusable containers or plastic wrap.

You Can Freeze Cheesecake

This is a great, stress-free option for those days when you don’t have any desserts planned or are going to a last-minute family gathering. 

Although, one thing to note is that when freezing your cheesecake, don’t add the lemon curd topping. This will be added to the cheesecake once it is ready to be eaten and thawed completely. 


For The Base

  • 7 ounces (198g) of gingersnap cookies (optional) or graham crackers.
  • 4 tbsp (57g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tbsp of sugar
  • Pinch of salt 

Cheesecake Mixture

  • 2 pounds of cream cheese, softened
  • 1-cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 packed tbsp of lemon zest (using 1 or 2 fresh lemons)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-cup (228g) sour cream 
  • Pinch of salt 

To Serve

  • Lemon Curd, either homemade or store-bought


1. Prepare The Baking Sheet And Oven

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on parchment paper with enough space to allow it to cover the outsides of the springform pan. Then set aside for later. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Make The Base

Using a food processor, mix the cookies until they resemble fine crumbs. 

Pour the melted butter, salt, and sugar into the cookie crumbs and mix together until you get a wet sand consistency and clumps begin to form. 

With a wooden spoon, evenly press the mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan to create the base. 

Bake the base for 15 minutes in the oven. Then, remove from the oven onto a wire rack and start preparing the filling. 

3. Reduce The Heat And Create A Steam Bath

Lower the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Using the lower racks in the oven, place a 9×13-inch baking dish filled with hot water here. This creates a steamy environment to bake the cheesecake. 

4. Make The Filling

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Then, mix in the lemon zest, salt, and sugar. 

One at a time beat in the eggs. Mix until everything is combined. Although, resist the urge to mix too much. 

5. Add The Sour Cream And Layer The Filling On The Crust

On a low speed, mix in the sour cream until just combined. Then, spread the lemon filling onto the cheesecake base. 

6. Bake 

Using the prepared foil-lined baking sheet, place the cheesecake on top. Then press up and around the edges of the pan. 

Place the cheesecake onto the middle rack, just above the boiling water, and bake for 1 hour. The top should appear dry and set while the center remains jiggly. 

7. Leave The Cheesecake To Cool Slowly

Turn off the oven and leave your cheesecake to cool inside for at least 60 minutes.

Then, slightly crack the door agar, with a wooden spoon or pan, to allow the cheesecake to cool for an additional 45 minutes. 

Once complete, place it onto a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely at room temperature.

If you notice the middle of the cheesecake is slightly doomed; don’t worry, as this should deflate while cooling into a flat top. 

Once completely cooled at room temperature, remove the foil from the cheesecake. You will know when it is cool enough when the cheesecake has pulled away from the pan edges and is comfortable to handle.

8. Move To The Refrigerator

After all the previous steps have been completed, you can then transfer the cheesecake directly to the refrigerator where it needs to be chilled for 6 hours before serving.

9. Top With Lemon Curd And Serve

With your homemade or store-bought lemon curd, create some dollops on the top of your cheesecake. You can place these however intricately or simply as you like. 

One option is to add small dollops all around the perimeter of your cheesecake. Then, using a spoon, swipe the lemon curd dollops towards the center to create a petal pattern, leaving a ½-inch border.

Then, enjoy your homemade cheesecake!  

Final Thoughts

Whatever the occasion, lemon cheesecake makes the perfect tasty treat for all the family. What’s better than a store-bought cake is a homemade cheesecake!

With this in mind, above, we have detailed the creamiest lemon cheesecake recipe, with some nifty tips and tricks to achieve the perfect cheesecake. 

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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