Lemon Cheesecake

Happy National Cheesecake Day! Let’s celebrate with this creamy, delicious Lemon Cheesecake!

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**I am a brand ambassador for PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese. All opinions are 100% my own!**

Lemon Cheesecake: creamy Lemon Cheesecake with a cookie crust and homemade lemon curd!

Some people celebrate Christmas, Elvis’ birthday, anniversaries. But I also enjoy celebrating food holidays. And today, being National Cheesecake Day, is one of my favorites!

As you may recall, I’ve been working with PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese this year to create some delicious recipes using their product. When they asked if I could create a dessert for National Cheesecake Day, well, it only seemed fitting I go with a lemon flavored treat.

Several years ago we had a house sitter who would leave us cheesecakes in the refrigerator when we would return home from vacations. I mean seriously, do you know how exciting it was to return home to a freshly baked cheesecake? He made some great flavors. When he moved, he gave me his basic recipes for some of these cheesecakes. Today, I tweaked one of his base recipes and added some homemade lemon curd on top. I also used a chocolate cookie crust instead of a graham cracker crust, just to add a little extra decadence. It is a holiday after all!

Lemon Cheesecake: creamy Lemon Cheesecake with a cookie crust and homemade lemon curd!

I know many people get afraid when it’s time to make a cheesecake. They think it’s going to be hard. Just like I’m afraid to make macarons. I know, silly right?

Cheesecake can be super easy if you follow a few of my favorite tricks:

  • Line the bottom and sides of your springform pan with foil. This is VERY important. Because we are going to bake our cheesecakes in a water bath, you don’t want that water seeping into your cheesecake. Cut a big piece of foil and wrap the bottom of your pan (ON THE OUTSIDE). If I’m feeling paranoid, I’ll double layer the foil.
  • Use PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese for your filling. Seriously people, you want the creamiest cheesecake? Using a product that is made from fresh local milk (from farm to fridge in just 6 days) and real wholesome cream creates the best cheesecake. It’s a no brainer.
  • Once you make your cheesecake crust and add your filling, place your pan into a water bath. I use my broiler pan. I place my cheesecake into the pan, then add enough water to go up the sides of the springform pan about 1 inch.
  • Bake cheesecake according to directions. When it’s done baking, DON’T open the oven. Just turn the oven off and leave your cheesecake in there for about 45 minutes. This helps cut down on those cracks on top of your cheesecake!
  • Remove cheesecake from oven after 45 minutes and allow to set in refrigerator. I prefer to give it at least 6-8 hours, but I’ve eaten it as quickly as 4 hours. Add your lemon curd and slice and serve. (for nice clean slices, run knife in hot water and wipe with paper towel after each slice)

Lemon Cheesecake: creamy Lemon Cheesecake with a cookie crust and homemade lemon curd!

So there you have it. A few of my favorite tricks for Cheesecake Baking. Today’s recipe uses one fresh lemon, zested into the cheesecake filling and some homemade Lemon Curd on top. It adds a touch of sweetness from the citrus curd. You can make your own using this recipe, or buy a jar at the store. And don’t forget to stock up on some PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese.

Connect with PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese:

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Lemon Cheesecake

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 7 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes


For the crust:

  • 16 Chocolate wafer cookies
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white chocolate morsels
  • 2 packages (8oz each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

For the topping:


  1. Prepare 9inch springform pan by wrapping entire bottom, and partially up the sides with foil (the OUTSIDE of the pan, no inside). Set aside.
  2. To make crust, blend cookies in food processor until fine Incorporate melted butter until even. Press crust into bottom of a 9inch springform pan. Freeze while you make the filling.
  3. In a saucepan with inch of boiling water, place a double boiler, metal bowl or glass bowl to heat heavy cream. Once warm, add white chocolate chips and remove from heat. Whisk until chocolate is smooth. Set aside to cool (about 15 minutes).
  4. For the billing, beat cream cheese, lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch, sour cream and vanilla.
  5. Slowly add cooled white chocolate mixtures. Finally, add eggs, one at a time until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared crust and place cheesecake pan into a large baking dish (I use a roasting pan). Fill dish with hot water to about 1-2 inches up sides of cheesecake pan.
  6. Bake 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Turn off oven and let sit undisturbed for about 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in refrigerator about 6-8 hours (or overnight).
  7. Top with prepared lemon curd, slice and enjoy!

  The VERY Best Lemon Cheesecake recipe, with tips and tricks to make it work every time!

“I have been selected by Kraft Foods to be an ambassador for PHILADELPHIA cream cheese. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own, and I have not been paid to post positive comments. Read my disclosure policy for more information!

It’s Cheesecake Day… check out some of my friend’s who are sharing their favorite recipes today too!

If you’re more of a visual person, check out my Cheesecake Board on Pinterest!!

Follow Shugary Sweets’s board Cheesecake Heaven on Pinterest.
Baked Cheesecakes:

No Bake Cheesecakes:

Cheesecake Beverages:

Cheesecake Cookies and Bars:

Cheesecake Desserts and Treats:

Frozen Cheesecakes and Treats:

131 Responses to “Lemon Cheesecake”

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  4. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Lemon curd on a cheesecake? Is there really much that could be better than that!
    Nope. there is not. This looks fab girl! Pinned!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Thanks for pinning Taylor. And in my opinion, lemon is just the bomb.

  5. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 6:33 am

    That first image is just a killer! Love that fine pointed tip…you have mad skills wedging that piece out so perfectly! pinned :)

    Congrats on being an ambassador!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:21 am

      Thanks Averie!! Some cheesecakes slice much easier than others :) Everything about this one turned out perfect!

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  16. Mir
    posted Jul 30, 2014 at 7:11 am

    This is my favorite holiday, second only to chocolate chip cookie day! Aimee, this cheesecake looks phenomenal. Good detailed instructions, too!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Oh chocolate chip cookie day. That’s a good one too!!

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  24. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I love the chocolate crust!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Yeah, not the norm for a lemon cheesecake, but oh my word was it good!

  25. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Lemon and cheesecake?! It’s the best of both worlds! What a fun flavor combo :) I need to find someone to come take care of my home and leave me freshly baked cheesecakes… I may be that person who is a bit intimidated by them. Especially for picture taking purposes. So thanks for your tips :)

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:28 am

      I hope the tips help!! You just need practice, LOL, what’s so bad about that?? And yeah, he now lives in San Francisco….too far to leave us cheesecakes…

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  28. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Best holiday ever!! And I love the idea of a lemon cheesecake; so fun and summery!

  29. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Omg, I bet this is amazing! I’m loving the lemon curd on top. I can eat that with a spoon! How awesome that your house sitter would leave you cheesecake!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:18 am

      I know right? Made us want to go out of town more often!!!

  30. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I think I could eat the entire jar of that lemon curd smeared on top of that cheesecake! YUM!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Fortunately my lemon curd recipes makes two cups of curd. So I had a little extra for spooning into my mouth!!

  31. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I made recently a lemon cheesecake but yours looks over the top amazing! Love the white chocolate addition and the lemon curd on top!
    Thanks for joining us Aimee!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Thank you Roxana! You always have the best cheesecakes :)

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  35. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:07 am

    YUM, I love this lemon cheesecake! Lemon anything is my favorite and on cheesecake…I can’t wait to make your recipe! And I love your tip about keeping the cheesecake in the oven for 45 minutes after it’s done baking with the oven off! :)

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:32 am

      I learned from the best! I guess I should have mentioned he was a pastry chef. LOL.

  36. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Stunning! I love lemon anything — I need this cheesecake in my life!

  37. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Sweet and simple….totally the way to go. Love lemon lately!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Melanie, it was all I could think to make for this holiday!

  38. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:33 am

    This cheesecake looks amazing Aimee! Love the lemon flavor!

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  40. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

    The lemon curd topping brings this over the top. Looks amazing!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 10:11 am

      That’s my new motto: Lemon Curd makes everything better!!!

  41. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:49 am

    That looks fabulous! I love the extra lemon on top!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Thanks Tonia :) Nothing wrong with extra lemon in my book!!

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  43. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Oh my gosh. A chocolate crust on a lemon cheesecake. I LOVE YOU!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Hahha thanks Dorothy!! It was a match made in heaven :)

  44. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

    What a gorgeous cheesecake! Love the lemon curd on top!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Jessica!! It’s a perfect topping in my book! Light and sweet!

  45. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I adore anything with lemon. This looks spectacular!!

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  48. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Thanks for the detailed steps and hints, Aimee! I’ve never made a cheesecake and these seem really helpful. I love how you chose to pair chocolate with lemon! Pinned so I can make this delicious cheesecake later.

  49. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I love lemon, and seeing the layer of lemon curd is actually making me mouth water:) Delicious!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 11:23 am

      *That should be, MY mouth water…I sound like a pirate in the first comment, haha!

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  51. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I know that lemon cheesecake can be amazing! But your addition of the lemon curd takes it to a whole new level, Aimee! LOVE it!

  52. Liz
    posted Jul 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Whoa, that lemon curd topping is a fabulous touch! Double lemon = Double delicious!!!

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  55. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    gorgeous Aimee, lemon is my favorite cheesecake flavor

  56. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I love anything lemon, but especially lemon cheesecake! Pinned.

  57. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I need this in my life. I love lemon desserts and just want to eat my screen right now!

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  60. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Lemon cheesecake is one of my all time favorites!! This one looks fabulous and I appreciate all your tips, cheesecake can be tricky if you aren’t careful!

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  62. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    This cheesecake needs to happen for me!! Like really!!!

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  65. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    LOVE this cheesecake, Aimee! And you are totally right, Philadelphia makes for the best cheesecakes. Seriously, I had a cheesecake recipe fail before my Philadelphia success, and it was TOTALLY because of the cream cheese I used. Pinning this!

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      I’ve learned the hard way too Lisa! Such a waste of ingredients when it fails. Never again :) Thanks for pinning!

  66. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    A brand ambassador for Philadelphia Cream Cheese – that’s amazing! All cheesecake, all the time!! Your lemon cheesecake looks so creamy and delicious. I have to make this for my husband – he loves lemon desserts! Pinning this! Happy Cheesecake Day!

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  68. Matthew E
    posted Jul 30, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I miss sitting at that house. It was always like a mini vacation. And this recipe looks amazing. Keeping the white chocolate in with the lemon? Sounds amazing. I’ve also messed with my base by adding a salted dark chocolate ganache on top.

    • posted Jul 30, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Aww Matt!! We miss you too! Feel free to come housesit in Chicago anytime. And be sure to leave me one of those Bailey’s cheesecakes :) My favorite!!! Hope you are doing well :)
      Oh, and salted dark chocolate ganache? Seriously? I love you.

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  70. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    That cheesecake is completely perfect! Gorgeous photos too :) I’ve never had a lemon cheesecake and it’s now on the top of my list to try! I’ve had so many chocolate-y flavors, I totally need to try a fresh and fruity one! Pinned :)

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  72. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    This lemon cheesecake screams summer… It looks so refreshing and tasty!

  73. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Wow! Lemon curd on top! So creative! I just finished my first baked cheesecake this weekend and now I totally want to try more recipe!

  74. posted Jul 30, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    First off this looks amazing. Second can I borrow your house sitter?

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  76. posted Jul 31, 2014 at 6:17 am

    It looks like cheesecake perfection. I want a house sitter like that.

  77. posted Jul 31, 2014 at 9:14 am

    That is the best housesitter ever. Cheesecakes? Always. Especially when lemon and white chocolate are involved! <3 that lemon curd!

  78. posted Jul 31, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Lemon curd is the BOMB!! I LOVE THIS CHEESECAKE!! Why am I yelling? Oh that’s right, it’s cheesecake and I’m excited.

  79. posted Jul 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Oh man that homemade lemon curd of yours is DIVINE (one of my favorites ever!) and I can only imagine how it complements this cheesecake. Happy Cheesecake Day Indeed! Though I may just make this to enjoy for Happy “Fall is terribly stressful at work and full of students and I need Cheesecake” Day.

  80. Sheila
    posted Jul 31, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I just found your blog today and it looks so interesting. I’ve already found several recipes I can’t wait to try. I love your silverware in the post of your Gooey Frosted Chocolate Cake Bars and I’ve been looking to replace mine and would love to find that pattern. Do you mind sharing the name/brand of it? Thank you so much! Sheila

  81. posted Jul 31, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    What a gorgeous looking cheesecake!!! Love that extra layer of lemon on top! Definitely refreshing and perfect for summer time!!!

  82. posted Jul 31, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Many thanks! That was great so easy to cook.

  83. posted Aug 1, 2014 at 12:38 am

    What a fabulous cheesecake!! I love your cheesecake tips – I’ve definitely followed them to a T before for a perfect cheesecake!

  84. posted Aug 1, 2014 at 9:53 am

    That is a gorgeous cheesecake, love lemon in the summer!!

  85. posted Aug 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I absolutely love your lemony cheesecake creation! And your tips are so useful. I do get a little freaked out about making a cheesecake (even though I make macarons all the time, wtheck??), but I’ll feel a lot less nervous after reading this 😉

    • posted Aug 2, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      So, I’ll bake you a cheesecake, you make me macarons. K?

  86. posted Aug 1, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Aimee, this cheesecake is perfection! and hello. . I always use Philadelphia cream cheese. . is there really any other brand?!

    • posted Aug 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Nope. No other brand in my refrigerator!! Why mess with perfection :)

  87. posted Aug 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I love that you made a chocolate crust. I do love the traditional graham cracker, but I like the color contrast!!! And duh, chocolate…

  88. posted Aug 2, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    This looks so incredibly delicious!

  89. posted Aug 3, 2014 at 12:29 am

    This looks amazing, Aimee! I am a sucker for lemon desserts and love the sound of this lemon cheesecake! Can’t wait to give it a try – pinning :)

  90. posted Aug 3, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Yum! Lemon and cheesecake were just meant to be together, weren’t they? :)

  91. Ala
    posted Aug 3, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Ooh, if only I’d seen this before I used up my lemon curd! Still, one can never have enough curd around the house. I always love a light balance to the intensity of cheesecake–this recipe has me so excited. Thanks for sharing it, Aimee! Awesome to celebrate with you!

  92. posted Aug 4, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    I love the lemon combo on the cheesecake! It looks so great!

  93. posted Aug 5, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I’m loving this Aimee! Lemon is the best. And thanks for the tips on the water bath–I make cheesecake all the time but I just accept the cracks and make peace with it, haha. Because water baths are scary. But maybe I’ll try it next time!

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  97. posted Aug 6, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Absolutely heavenly Aimee! I’m pulling up a chair with a fork in hand. Serve me up!

  98. posted Aug 6, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    This cheesecake looks completely divine! I could live on lemon desserts!

  99. posted Aug 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    If you ever come to Sacramento, I MUST take you to Rick’s Dessert Diner. It’s a 50’s style diner in downtown Sac that has the most amazing cakes, cheesecakes, pies, tortes and other treats that are so delish. One of my favorites is their lemon torte which is baked on a chocolate cookie crust — and looks striking similar to this beauty! Eating my favorite cheesecake tart at home could be really dangerous … or really AWESOME! Pinned 😀

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  103. posted Oct 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    I’ve recently been putting lemon curd on top of all things dessert! Lemon curd just cheers everything up. Love it! And these cheesecake looks amazing. :)

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  107. Tara
    posted Oct 14, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Is there a substitute for the white chocolate or can I leave it out completely?

    • posted Oct 14, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      It definitely adds a creaminess and richness to the cheesecake! I haven’t tried this recipe without it, but if you do, let me know how it works out for you!

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