Lemon Cheesecake

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Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, so preparing different variations is always exciting. If you love that creamy texture of cheesecake and enjoy the zesty flavor of lemon, I suggest you try this Lemon Cheesecake recipe because it will blow you away with its incredible flavor.

slice of lemon cheesecake on white plate

Want to make this lemon dessert for a special occasion? If so, be prepared to make it a day in advance. This isn’t a no-bake cheesecake, so you will need to bake it and then give it some time to chill in the fridge before you slice into it and serve it. I assure you, it’s well worth the wait! If you love anything and everything lemon, give this Lemon Gooey Butter Cake a try! 

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe Ingredients

With this Lemon Cheesecake, you will have a few different parts to whip up, including the homemade crust, cheesecake filling, and the lemon sour cream topping or whipped cream topping, depending on your preference.

For the Crust

When preparing your crust, you will need crushed graham cracker crumbs in a food processor with sugar, lemon zest, and unsalted sweet cream butter, which you will need to melt before combining with the dry ingredients.

For the Cheesecake Filling

When working on the cheesecake filling, you will need two eight-ounce packages of full fat softened cream cheese, which you will combine with sour cream, flour, sugar, salt, three large eggs, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and lemon zest.

For the Lemon Sour Cream Topping

When preparing the lemon sour cream topping, combine sour cream with lemon zest, sugar, and a teaspoon of pure lemon extract.

For the Whipped Cream Topping

To make the whipped cream topping, you need heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

Additional Toppings for the Lemon Curd Cheesecake

If you’re considering adding additional toppings to this Lemon Cheesecake, you can go for it. This dessert tastes great as is, but you can always get creative and spread lemon curd on top or add a drizzle of blueberry/strawberry sauce on top, both of which will pair well with the lemon flavor.

How to Make Lemon Cheesecake

If you want to make the BEST Lemon Cheesecake ever, follow these simple instructions to get started.

Start with the Prep

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F, grab a 9-inch springform pan and spray it with cooking spray, and then line it with parchment paper. Wrap the bottom of your pan with foil to prevent moisture from ruining your cheesecake. Lastly, grab a 9×13 baking dish, fill it halfway with water, and set it on the bottom rack in your oven.

Prepare Your Crust

Combine your crust ingredients in a mixing bowl until you achieve a sand-like consistency. Press half of the crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan and then use the rest of the mixture on the sides.

Make Your Cheesecake Filling

After you’ve prepared the crust, use a mixing bowl and handheld mixer to combine the cheesecake filling ingredients, such as cream cheese, fresh lemon juice, sugar, flour, vanilla, etc. When adding the eggs, put them in one at a time. Once combined, pour your cheesecake batter on top of the crust in the pan, place the pan in the baking dish with the water bath, and bake for 60 minutes. Remove your cheesecake from the oven and let it cool down.

Prepare the Sour Cream Topping

Whisk your sour cream topping ingredients together until achieving a smooth consistency, and then spread a layer of the topping over your cheesecake. Place your cheesecake in the fridge and allow it to sit there for a minimum of four hours, but overnight is best. The next day, you can make the homemade whipped cream and add it on top. If you don’t want to do whipped cream, you don’t have to.

slice of lemon cheesecake with lemon zest on top

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe Notes

I know that preparing a cheesecake from scratch may seem complicated and even a bit intimidating, but I assure you it’s easier than it sounds. Check out these simple tips to help you successfully prepare this dessert without any issues.

  • Before you combine the ingredients for your cheesecake filling, let all ingredients reach room temperature. When you have room-temperature ingredients, they mix better and easier, so you can achieve that smooth, lump-free consistency in minutes.
  • Don’t over-bake your cheesecake. It’s normal for the center to be a little bit wobbly when you’re removing it from the oven. It will set!
  • Let your cheesecake reach room temperature after removing it from the oven. Once it’s no longer hot, you can put it in the refrigerator (covered in plastic wrap) and allow it to get cold for several hours before serving it. I like to leave it in the fridge overnight to ensure it’s definitely cold enough before biting into it! I love to serve with extra lemon zest on top with a few lemon slices.

So, if you’re up for making a delicious dessert, this Lemon Cheesecake is well worth making. What’s your favorite part of making a cheesecake? 

lemon cheesecake on white plate

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Lemon Cheesecake

When craving a zesty, creamy dessert, this Lemon Cheesecake is precisely what you need! From the crisp and flavorful graham cracker crust to the creamy, tart center, this cheesecake is everything you could possibly want in a dessert.
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Chill Time: 10 hours
Total: 11 hours 35 minutes


Crust ingredients

  • 2 ½ Cup graham cracker crumbs crushed
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • Cup unsalted butter melted

Lemon Cheesecake Filling

  • 2 – 8 ounce cream cheese softened
  • 2 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large lemon zested

Lemon Sour Cream Topping

  • 1 ½ Cup sour cream
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • Whipped cream topping
  • 1 ½ Cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ Cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoon lemon zest


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a 9in springform pan with pam baking spray. I like to line the bottom of my pan with parchment paper to also help avoid baked items sticking to dishes
  • I also recommend wrapping the bottom of the pan in multiple layers of foil so that moisture won’t damage the bottom of the cheesecake .
  • Fill a 9×13 baking dish halfway with warm water and place onto the bottom rack in the oven.
  • Using a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, lemon zest and melted butter until combined. You want a sand-like mixture.
  • Evenly press about half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan.
  • Using the rest of the crust mixture, evenly press it along the sides of the pan. Once done, set aside while you make the filling.
  • Using a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, flour, vanilla and salt until combined and smooth.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined and smooth.
  • Beat in the lemon juice and zest until combined and smooth.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan and place on the second baking rack in the oven, directly over the middle of the water filled baking dish.
  • Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 60 minutes or until the center jiggles slightly and the edge is set.
  • Once timer goes off, remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes while you make the sour cream topping.
  • Using a medium bowl, combine all the sour cream topping ingredients and whisk until smooth Evenly spread the sour cream layer on top of the cheesecake
  • Place the cheesecake into the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Once timer has gone off, turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to sit for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and place onto the counter for 20 minutes before placing it into the fridge overnight.
  • Before serving the cheesecake, make the homemade whipped cream Using a large bowl, place the bowl into the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl after 10 minutes and add in the 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla and lemon zest.
  • Using a hand mixer, beat the ingredients together until stiff peaks form. About 10 minutes Scoop the whipped cream into the piping bag.
  • Using a sharp knife, run it around the edge of the springform pan to release the cheesecake Place the cheesecake onto a serving tray.
  • Using the piping bag, pipe dollops around the top edge of the cheesecake Add some zest on top of the cheesecake.
  • Place into fridge until ready to serve.

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Calories: 577kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 1268IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg