Lemon Curd Cheesecake with Shortbread Crust

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Rich and creamy lemon cheesecake topped with homemade lemon curd and vanilla whipped cream is the best cheesecake for lemon lovers! Recipe makes one 9-inch cheesecake.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

This lemon curd cheesecake is an irresistible combination of tart lemon curd, creamy vanilla cheesecake, and buttery shortbread crust. Sweet, tangy, and irresistibly creamy, you’ll love this simple lemon cheesecake for any occasion.

Craving more cheesecake? Find more inspiration in my collection of easy cheesecake recipes!

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Cheesecake Essentials

Room Temperature Ingredients – Room temperature filling ingredients are absolutely essential for a smooth and creamy cheesecake. Cream cheese should be softened, and sour cream and eggs should be at room temperature.

How to Soften Cream Cheese – To soften cream cheese quickly, cut the blocks of cream cheese into cubes and place on a microwave-safe plate. Heat cream cheese in the microwave in 8-second bursts until softened.

How to Bring Eggs to Room Temperature – Fill a small bowl or ramekin with warm (not hot) water. Place eggs (still in their shells) in the bowl and let stand for 10 minutes until eggs have reached room temperature.

Careful Mixing – Mix the filling on the lowest speed (stir) of a stand mixer, just until combined. To avoid overmixing, scrape down the bowl frequently with a rubber spatula.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake topped with homemade lemon curd, vanilla whipped cream, and lemon slices

Lemon Curd Topping for Cheesecake

Bright and tangy homemade lemon curd makes the most delicious cheesecake topping. To make the curd:

  1. Combine lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan with sugar, a pinch of salt, and two large eggs. Cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened.
  2. Gradually whisk in unsalted butter, a few pieces at a time, until melted. Continue cooking until curd is smooth and thickened, and coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Strain curd through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic directly on the surface, and chill for at least 1 hour before using. Lemon curd can be made 1-2 days ahead and chilled until ready to use.
Slice of lemon curd cheesecake on white plate

How to Make Lemon Cheesecake

Springform Pan – Use a 9-inch springform pan. To prepare the pan, brush the bottom and sides of the pan evenly with softened butter. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.

Shortbread Cookie Crust – To make the crust, whisk together shortbread cookie crumbs, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and mix in until completely incorporated.

Press shortbread crust firmly across bottom and 1/2-inch up sides of prepared springform pan. Pack the crust tightly with the bottom of a measuring cup.

Par-Bake Crust – Bake crust at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes, until light golden and set. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Filling – Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, arrowroot starch, and salt on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing in each egg on low speed just until combined, about 10 seconds. Scrape down the bowl after each egg. Pour filling over cooled crust and smooth top with an offset spatula.

Bake – Bake cheesecake at 300°F for 60 to 65 minutes, until edges are set, the center is still slightly wobbly, and the cheesecake is slightly puffed.

Cool Cheesecake – When the cheesecake is finished baking, immediately turn off the oven, prop the oven door with a wooden spoon, and cool the cheesecake inside the oven for 75 minutes.

After 75 minutes, remove springform pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. Carefully run a thin metal spatula around the edge of the cheesecake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides of the springform pan. Cool cheesecake for 1 hour on the rack.

Chill Cheesecake – Move cheesecake to the refrigerator (uncovered to prevent condensation from forming) and chill overnight.

Assemble Cheesecake – Top the cheesecake with lemon curd, smoothing with an offset spatula. Pipe vanilla whipped cream around the edge and decorate with sliced lemons.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Make Ahead Tips

The homemade lemon curd can be made 2-3 days ahead and refrigerated until ready to use. The cheesecake can be baked ahead, fully cooled, and chilled for up to 2 days before serving.

How to Freeze Cheesecake

This cheesecake freezes perfectly. Once baked, cooled and completely chilled, wrap the cheesecake in a layer of plastic wrap. Once wrapped in plastic, wrap cheesecake again in foil, securing the edges tightly. Freeze for up to 1 month for the best texture.

The day before you plan to serve, move the cheesecake from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight, still wrapped to prevent condensation. Once thawed, top with lemon curd and vanilla whipped cream before serving.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

More delicious homemade cheesecake recipes:

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Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Lemon Curd Cheesecake with Shortbread Crust

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Rich and creamy lemon curd cheesecake topped with homemade lemon curd and vanilla whipped cream is the best cheesecake for lemon lovers! Recipe makes one 9-inch cheesecake.


Ingredients

Lemon Curd

  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (315 grams, pulsed)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 24 oz full fat cream cheese, cubed, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Make lemon curd: Whisk together lemon zest, juice, sugar, salt, and eggs in a heavy saucepan. Cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened. Add butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly until melted, before adding more butter. Continue until curd is smooth and thickened, and coats the back of a spoon (about 5 minutes total).
  2. Strain curd through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic directly on the surface, and chill until cold – at least one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan evenly with softened butter. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
  4. Make crust: Whisk together shortbread cookie crumbs, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and mix in until completely incorporated (texture will resemble wet sand) and mixture comes together in large pieces.
  5. Press the crust firmly and evenly across the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of prepared springform pan. Pack the crust tightly with the bottom of a measuring cup.
  6. Bake crust for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden and set. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
  7. Make filling: Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, arrowroot starch, and salt on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in each egg on low speed just until combined, about 10 seconds. Scrape down the bowl after each egg. Pour filling over the crust and gently smooth top with an offset spatula.
  8. Bake cheesecake at 300°F for 60 to 65 minutes, until edges are set, the center is still slightly wobbly, and the cheesecake is slightly puffed.
  9. Cool cheesecake: When the cheesecake is finished baking, immediately turn off the oven, prop the oven door with a wooden spoon, and cool the cheesecake inside the oven for 75 minutes.
  10. After 75 minutes, remove springform pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. Carefully run a thin metal spatula around the edge of the cheesecake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides of the springform pan. Cool cheesecake for 1 hour on the rack.
  11. Chill cheesecake: Move cheesecake to the refrigerator (uncovered to prevent condensation from forming) and chill overnight.
  12. Remove cheesecake from pan: Release the outer edge of springform pan. Use a thin metal spatula to lift cheesecake from the base of pan and transfer to a serving plate.
  13. Make whipped cream: Pour heavy cream into a chilled mixer bowl fitted with wire whip attachment. Beat cream on medium-high speed until cream begins to thicken; gradually add powdered sugar. Add vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.
  14. Assemble cheesecake: Top the cheesecake with lemon curd, smoothing with an offset spatula. Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe around the edge. Top with lemon slices, if desired. For neat slices, dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe dry before slicing cheesecake.
  15. Store cheesecake: Store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Notes

Make ahead: Lemon curd can be made 2-3 days ahead and refrigerated until ready to use. The cheesecake can be baked ahead, fully cooled, and chilled for up to 2 days before serving.

Freeze cheesecake: Once baked, cooled and completely chilled, wrap the cheesecake in a layer of plastic wrap. Once wrapped in plastic, wrap cheesecake again in foil, securing the edges tightly. Freeze for up to 1 month for the best texture. The day before serving, move the cheesecake from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight, still wrapped to prevent condensation. Once thawed, top with lemon curd and whipped cream.

Keywords: Lemon, Lemon Curd, Cheesecake

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9 Comments

  1. Fabulous cheesecake! The filling is so creamy and the lemon curd topping is perfectly tangy. Love that there’s no water bath required!

  2. I’ve been craving a creamy lemon dessert, and this cheesecake delivers! It’s super creamy and the lemon curd topping is so bright and tangy. Love this recipe!

  3. This cheesecake is phenomenal! Super rich and creamy, and baked perfectly (no cracking). Planning to make again at Easter – highly recommend!

  4. I’ve never seen a lemon cheesecake and being a lemon lover, yours sounds irresistible to me.