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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lemon Cheesecake

As I mentioned when I shared our Easter feast plans, I wanted to make a lemon dessert for Easter. I decided to give lemon cheesecake a go because, you know, if you’re not going to have chocolate for dessert, it’s probably a good idea to get cream cheese involved somehow.

I did a quick Internet search and found a recipe on AllRecipes that sounded pretty simple and yummy. I was right. It was simple and mighty delicious! There are a few steps to the process, but nothing complicated or difficult, I promise!

One big plus for me with this recipe is you don’t have to cook the cheesecake in a water bath. Now, I know that cooking cheesecake in a water bath makes for more even baking, but I can’t ever get a tight enough seal with tinfoil wrapped around my springform pan, so it just stresses me out. I did NOT use a waterbath for this cake and, I’ll admit, my edges have a bit of a different texture than the center of the cake…but who cares?!?! The whole thing tastes AWESOME, so I personally don’t think it matters.

Another plus to this recipe? You don’t have to worry about the cake cracking because you pour a sour cream layer on the top anyway. It’s great! And mine didn’t even crack to begin with, so double bonus.

Here’s the recipe! Enjoy!

Lemon Cheesecake
Adapted from a recipe on AllRecipes – I made it ‘lemonier’ and cut the nuts.

Jane note: I used all the zest and juice from two lemons for this recipe. So, if you get two lemons, you’ll be all set!

– 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/3 cup butter, melted (Jane note: next time I’m going to try 1/2 cup butter)

– 4 eight-ounce-packages cream cheese (32 ounces total), softened
– 1 1/4 cups sugar
– 4 eggs
– 3 tablespoons lemon juice
– 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 2 cups sour cream
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine crumbs and sugar; stir in butter until evenly distributed (I used a small whisk, a fork would work too). Press onto the bottom of a greased 10-in. springform pan; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar well until smooth (I used my KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment). Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combined. Add lemon juice, peel and vanilla; beat just until blended. Pour into crust. (Quick note – I was doing a lot of reading about cheesecake before I prepared this recipe. You want to make sure the cream cheese and sugar are very well blended, no lumps. But once the eggs are in, you want to mix slowly and just until combined to avoid adding in air. Both of these techniques prevent the cake from cracking while cooking.)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 minutes or until center is almost set. (The center 2-3 inches should be just set and maybe look a little underdone when you pull it out. My whole cake was a little jiggly but you could tell visually that it was set, especially around the edges.) Remove from the oven; let stand for 5 minutes. Combine sour cream topping ingredients; spread over filling. (I had some leftover topping, just fyi…if I had used it all, I would have overflowed the pan.) Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen (this helps keep the cake from cracking as it cools); cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing.

I didn’t care about putting the cake on a serving platter, so I kept it on the springform pan and put the sides back on with foil across the top to store in the fridge.


  1. 1

    That sounds really tasty! Nice and light for a spring dessert; almost like a very thick lemon custard, only with crust. 🙂

  2. 2

    I’ve been thinking about this recipe ever since you mentioned it! I love cream cheese and…I love lemons! Will try it out this week, thanks for sharing!

  3. 3

    That looks fabulous! An easy way to prep a pan for a water bath is to use a cooking bag (like for a turkey) or a crock pot liner. You can let them dry when you are done and reuse them another time.

  4. 4

    Sounds yummy! I’m going to combine this recipe with my new-found blueberry stressel cheesecake to make a super yummy dessert! I would basically make this lemon cheesecake recipe and add fresh blueberries to the top along with 1/2 cup reserved crust mix and bake as usual. Can’t wait to try it out!!!

    • Jane Maynard

      be sure to let us know how your experimenting turns out! lemons and blueberries sound delish together!

  5. 5

    Made this for Easter tomorrow. Cannot wait to try it!

    • Jane Maynard

      good Easter dessert choice! hope you love it as much as I do…kind of jealous of you right now! 😉

  6. 6

    I made this cake last night and it came out AMAZING!!! my mother in law who is really hard to please when it comes to cheese cakes (because she makes a really good one herself) TOOK A SECOND PIECE!!!!! it was sooooo good. the perfect blend between not to sweet because of the lemon and creamy… so delish! I am definitely making this one again! also, loved the tip about not over mixing the eggs- I really think it helped. Thanks so much for posting this!!!

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