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Lemon Cheesecake

5 from 1 vote

posted: 07/01/24

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Lemon Cheesecake is the perfect lemon dessert. Made with simple ingredients, you will love this great easy cheesecake.

Slice of Lemon Cheesecake served on a plate with a fork and two lemon slices.

Cheesecake is my husband’s favorite dessert. And if it is your loved one’s favorite dessert, I’m going to show you just how easy they are to make. These come across as an intimidating dessert, but they are quite simple! While they do involve some steps, and there are things you need to keep in mind, the whole process is really easy!

How to Make Lemon Cheesecake

This is a brief overview of this delicious recipe for lemon cheesecake. For the full recipe, be sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Make the graham cracker crust. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until it resembles wet sand. Press it into the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan and bake.
  2. Make the cheesecake filling. While the crust is baking, mix together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  3. Bake the cheesecake. Pour the cheesecake batter over the hot crust and bake for 35 minutes.
  4. Leave the cheesecake in the oven. Once the cooking time is over, turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake in for an hour. This is an essential step to prevent cracking.
  5. Add lemon curd. After the cheesecake has cooled in the oven, then on the countertop, and finally in the refrigerator, top it with some lemon curd. Serve and enjoy!

Lemon Curd

There are a lot of ways this lemon cheesecake gets its lemon flavor, but my favorite is probably the lemon curd on top. Lemon curd is made from lemons, sugar, butter, and eggs. It is a great spread for muffins or pancakes and would make a fantastic filling for crepes. It also happens to be the perfect topping for this cheesecake recipe. I have a great homemade lemon curd recipe, but you can also find it near the jellies and jams at the grocery store.

Lemon Curd Recipe

This Lemon Curd Recipe is sweet and tart and so easy to make. Spread this vibrant lemon curd on just about anything!
Overhead photo of a jar of Lemon Curd Recipe with a spoon for serving. Lemons in the background.
Overhead photo of Lemon Cheesecake on a platter.

No Water Bath Cheesecake

Since the very first time I made a cheesecake, I decided that I am not committed enough to do a water bath. I decided that if cracks happened, I would just live with it. Or bury them in toppings.

Since then, I’ve done tons of reading and testing and I can attest that it is not only possible to make a cheesecake without cracks without using a water bath, it’s really simple! Here are the steps we are taking to prevent cracks:

  • We are adding flour to the recipe. Just a little bit of flour tossed in will help a cheesecake from cracking. The flour works its magic by preventing eggs from over coagulating (or over solidifying), which means less shrinking and less cracking.
  • We are using a shorter baking time. The actual baking time in this recipe is a short 35 minutes. This also keeps the cheesecake from shrinking and drying out.
  • We leave the cheesecake in the oven. Finally, we leave the cheesecake in the hot oven so that it continues to cook (slowly), while also letting it cool really slowly. This slow cooling is the final step in keeping the cheesecake from cracking.

And it works! It works so well, when I use these steps in my baking, I never get cracks in my cheesecake. So, that extra lemon curd can go in my mouth instead of in a crack.


Best Springform Pan

This 9 inch leakproof springform pan works so well. And it's from Nordic Ware, so you can trust that it will hold up for years.
Product Image

Lemon Flavor in Cheesecake

Whenever we are making a dessert with lemon, you want to keep in mind that lemon juice is great, but for a good burst of lemon flavor, you really need to use lemon zest.

Zesting a fruit is grating off just a small amount of the skin. The skin is edible and it contains a ton of the fruit’s flavor. I like to use this zester, and I zest off until just before I see the white of the skin.

Photo of spatula serving a slice of Lemon Cheesecake from a platter of Lemon Cheesecake

Storing Cheesecake

You should plan on making this lemon cheesecake recipe the night before you want to serve it. That way you ensure that you are giving it enough time to cool before you slice it. Leftover cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for four to five days. I typically store my cheesecake in the spring form pan it was baked in with aluminum foil on top. As with all recipes, I recommend that you use your best discretion.

If you plan on freezing your cheesecake, keep in mind that the fresher it is when you freeze it, the better it will freeze. For best results, store in an airtight container and eat the cheesecake within a month of freezing.


Can you freeze cheesecake?

Yes! Cheesecake does best when it is frozen within 24 hours of making it and when eaten within one month of freezing.

How long does cheesecake last in the fridge?

Cheesecake is best when eaten within four to five days.

Can I make cheesecake without a water bath?

Yes! The key is the small addition of flour, a shorter baking time, and a gradual cooling process. See more details in the section above.

Close up photo of a slice of Lemon Cheesecake served on a plate with a fork and garnished with two lemon slices.

Other Cheesecake Recipes

If you love this lemon curd cheesecake, please leave me a comment and tell me about it! I love hearing about your family enjoying these delicious desserts.

Slice of Lemon Cheesecake served on a plate with a fork and two lemon slices.
5 from 1 vote

Lemon Cheesecake

Serves: 8 pieces
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 2 hours 50 minutes
This Lemon Cheesecake is the perfect lemon dessert. Made with simple ingredients, you will love this great easy cheesecake.


For Crust

  • 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter

For Cheesecake

  • 24 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest (about two lemons)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (about one lemon)
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper and spray the sides of the pan lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar together in a bowl until it resembles wet sand. Press the mixture into the bottom of the spring form pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
    1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, blend until the cream cheese and sugar is smooth.
    24 ounces cream cheese, 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Mix in the eggs, flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Scrape down the sides as needed until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
    3 large eggs, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • When the crust is done baking, turn the oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the mixture over the hot crust.
  • Bake the cheesecake for 35 minutes. Turn the oven off, without opening it, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Allow it to cool before moving it to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.
  • When ready to serve, top with the lemon curd. Carefully remove the sides of the springform pan, slice, and enjoy.
    1/2 cup lemon curd
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Slice of Lemon Cheesecake served on a plate with a fork and two lemon slices.

did you make this

Lemon Cheesecake

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Jodee Weiland says

    This is a definite winner…it looks absolutely delicious! Looks too good to eat, but I would love to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Joanne Longley says

    Can you make mini lemon cheesecakes with this recipe? If so would baking time be different?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes, and yes. But I would want to test it before telling you how long you will need to cook it for.

  3. Catherine says

    Would this work out well with a regular Pie crust if graham crumbs can’t be found in my area?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m sorry, Catherine, I’ve only made this with a graham cracker crust. I probably would just skip the crust all together if I couldn’t find graham crackers.

  4. Mary says

    It’s beautiful and sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you love it!

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners