The BEST Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

Creamy, delicious Lemon Cheesecake has the perfect consistency and is topped with a homemade Lemon curd!

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

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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!

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?

How to make Cheesecake:

  • 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. If you’re scared of this step, just put your broiler pan of water on the lowest rack instead.
  • 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).
  • If your cheesecake cracked…don’t worry! You’ll be topping it with lemon curd. You can also try this VANILLA Cheesecake recipe topped with whipped cream and fresh berries.

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. Or buy a jar at the store. 

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More Cheesecake Recipes:

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Lemon Cheesecake recipe:

Yield: 12 servings

Lemon Cheesecake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chill Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes

Creamy, delicious Lemon Cheesecake has the perfect consistency and is topped with a homemade Lemon curd!



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


  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white chocolate morsels
  • 2 packages (8oz each) 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


  • 1 cup lemon curd


    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 filling, 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!

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    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 563Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 340mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 1gSugar: 42gProtein: 8g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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

    Today’s recipe for Lemon Cheesecake was originally published on Shugary Sweets on July 30, 2014 and has been republished in August 2018



    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on August 25, 2019

    Comments & Reviews

    1. Lemon has always been my obsession, this cheesecake was so so so so good! I can’t wait to make it again for a party this weekend!

    2. This was so creamy and flavorful!! We loved it and it wasn’t too difficult to make. Thanks, Aimee for sharing this delicious recipe!! 

    3. this recipe looks devine. Would I be able to use Splenda or another sugar substitute and omit the white chocolate?

      1. 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!

    4. 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. 🙂

    5. 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 😀

    6. 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!

    7. 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!

    8. 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 🙂

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

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

    11. 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 😉

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

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

    14. 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

    15. 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.

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

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

    18. 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!

    19. 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 🙂

    20. 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.

      1. 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.

    21. 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!

    22. 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!

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

    23. 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!

    24. 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!

    25. 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.

    26. 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! 🙂

    27. 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!

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

    28. 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!

    29. 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 🙂

      1. 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…

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

    31. 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!

      1. Thanks Averie!! Some cheesecakes slice much easier than others 🙂 Everything about this one turned out perfect!

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

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