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Lemon Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake

  • 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


Rich and creamy lemon cheesecake topped with homemade lemon curd and vanilla whipped cream is the best cheesecake for lemon lovers!


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


  • 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


  • 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


  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.


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