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An overhead view of a lemon cheesecake topped with lemon curd and whipped cream. The cheesecake has been partially sliced and one slice has been removed.
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5 from 1 vote

Lemon Cheesecake

This easy lemon cheesecake features a homemade graham cracker crust and a sweet-tart cheesecake filling, all topped with creamy lemon curd and swirls of whipped cream. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade cheesecake recipe, lemon cheesecake
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling Time 9 hours
Total Time 10 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Author Danielle


For the graham cracker crust:

  • 1 ½ cups (180 grams) graham cracker crumbs
  • cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter (melted)

For the lemon cheesecake filling:

  • 32 ounces (907 grams) brick-style cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup (120 grams) full-fat sour cream (room temperature)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 medium lemons
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • ½ cup lemon curd
  • Optional: Whipped cream


  • To make the graham cracker crust: Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Add the crushed graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar to a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add the melted butter and mix until all of the crumbs are moistened.
  • Scoop the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and firmly press it down into one even layer (I like to use the bottom of a measuring cup for this step). Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you make the filling.
  • To make the lemon cheesecake filling: Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil for the water bath before getting started with the filling.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add the sour cream and mix until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then mix in the granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and pure vanilla extract until fully combined.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the beaten eggs to the mixing bowl with the cheesecake filling and mix on low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to turn the filling a few times to make sure everything is fully mixed together.
  • Wrap the springform pan with the pre-baked graham cracker crust in aluminum foil, then place it into a large oven bag. Fold the oven bag down the sides of the springform pan.
  • Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan and smooth it out into one even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to bring any air bubbles to the top, then use a toothpick to remove any large air bubbles.
  • Add the boiling water you started before the filling to a large roasting pan until it is about 1-inch deep. Carefully place the wrapped springform pan into the roasting pan.
  • Transfer the roasting pan with the cheesecake to the oven and bake at 325°F (163°C) for 60 to 70 minutes or until the edges of the cheesecake are set and the center is still slightly jiggly. Turn the oven off, crack the oven door slightly, and allow the cheesecake to cool in the warm oven for 1 hour.
  • After the cheesecake has cooled for 1 hour in the oven, remove it from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover tightly and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 5 to 6 hours or overnight.
  • Run a thin knife around the outside of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan, carefully release the springform pan. Add the lemon curd to the top of the cheesecake and spread it around into one even layer.
  • Pipe the whipped cream around the edges of the cheesecake, then slice into pieces, serve, and enjoy!



Storage Instructions: Cheesecake may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezing Instructions: Wrap the cheesecake tightly with plastic wrap and freeze in a large freezer bag/freezer friendly storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then add the lemon curd and whipped cream.
Cream Cheese: Make sure to use brick-style cream cheese and avoid using cream cheese spread in a tub.
Lemon Curd: You may use either homemade lemon curd or store-bought for this recipe.