Make a deliciously creamy Lemon Cheesecake at home like a pro! My family thinks it’s even better than Cheesecake Factory Lemon Cheesecake!
Making a creamy and delicious lemon cheesecake is not as hard as it seems, I will give you all the tips you need to have a perfect homemade cheesecake full of tart lemon flavor and smooth velvety textures. Topping your cheesecake with fresh whipped cream and fruit is the perfect pairing to bring these bright flavors to life.
Other Recipes to Serve with Lemon Cheesecake
- Boozy Tropical Fruit Salad – having fresh fruit with cheesecake brings the juicy flavors of the fresh fruit to complement the heavier creaminess of the cheesecake, and adding a little bit of booze to the salad adds to the depth and fun of the flavor combinations
- Coconut Tequila Grapefruit Cocktail – bring the flavors of the tropics to the table with this delicious cocktail to pair with your citrus cheesecake, a great light drink to go with a rich dessert
Crust: We’re keeping it classic with graham cracker crumbs (make your own or purchase pre-ground crumbs), granulated sugar, and melted butter.
Filling: We’re using softened cream cheese, sour cream, and heavy whipping cream for a luscious cheesecake texture. Agg in some sugar, eggs, and a little flour and you’ve got a classic cheesecake.
Flavoring: The combination of vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract keep the lemon flavor in the forefront without taking on an artificial taste.
How to Make Lemon Cheesecake
The detailed instructions and tips make this a foolproof recipe. I find it’s best to measure all ingredients and have them ready to go and follow all steps in order. Read through all instructions and notes before you start so you have less room for error. Cheesecakes can be a little tricky, but I’m taking all the confusion out of the process!
STEP THREE: Place the springform pan into the water bath pan and pour in the water. Bake for 45 minutes, and then turn off the oven. DO NOT open the oven for 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes have passed, crack the oven door and leave the cheesecake for another 20 minutes. This process will help prevent the top from cracking.
STEP FOUR: Remove the cheesecake from the oven and take it out of the water bath. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack and then chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge. Then remove from the springform pan and decorate the top!
Tips for Success
- Bake at a low temperature to maintain that creamy perfect texture.
- Do not beat in the eggs. Beating eggs into the batter adds excessive air which then puffs during baking and collapses during cooling, hence leading to cracks. I like to beat the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon ingredients well and then take it easy mixing in the sour cream, whipping cream, and eggs.
- The steps of turning off the oven before opening..and then cracking the oven for some time before removing the cheesecake allow the cheesecake to finish cooking and cool slowly while the temperature is gradually reduced – this helps prevent cracking as well as overbaking.
- Baking the cheesecake in a water bath helps the cheesecake bake evenly and stay creamy and consistent.
- The springform pan isn’t water tight, so wrap it well. You may even want to use a double layer of aluminum foil to keep the water from the water bath out.
- I used a combination of lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract to achieve a prominent, but natural lemon flavor. Lemon oil is another potent natural flavor option. If you would like more lemon flavor, consider increasing the extract or zest amounts (or add lemon oil). Be cautious of adding additional lemon juice as the liquid content may affect the consistency of the cheesecake.
Why does my cheesecake crack?
Usually, a cheesecake cracks because of the wrong moisture in the baking process or it cools too quickly, it can also be from having too much air when mixing and it bloats up while baking then falls when cooling. Following all of the instructions and tips outlined above helps to prevent cracking.
How do I get more lemon flavor in my cheesecake?
I used lemon zest and lemon juice in this recipe, you can also use lemon oil and additional zest. The zest produces strong aromas and flavors and adds a tiny bit of texture. Lemon extract is another option. If you use lemon oil or extract remember that a little bit goes a long way. I would suggest adding a tiny amount before you add the eggs, and taste your filling to make sure the flavor is where you want it.
Other Cheesecake Recipes:
- Raspberry Cheesecake
- S’mores Cheesecake
- Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Gingersnap Cheesecake Bars
Lemon Cheesecake Filling
- Whipped cream
- Lemon slices
- Fresh raspberries
- Preheat over to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil to prevent water from getting in from the water bath. (Maybe even use a double layer of foil.)
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and ⅓ cup granulated sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Press graham cracker mixture into the springform pan, creating a thick, even layer across the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan. Pack down the crumbs so that the crust holds together. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar and continue beating for 1 minute.
- Add flour, lemon extract, and vanilla extract to the mixture and combine. Beat in sour cream, heavy cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix just until combined.
- By hand, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Stir gently to prevent extra air from getting into the mixture. Pour cheesecake mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust and spread the top smooth.
- Place the pan into a larger vessel that can hold water at least 1-inch of water up the sides of the pan. Fill with water to create a water bath for the cheesecake.
- Bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn off the oven, keeping the door closed for 20 minutes. After this 20 minutes, crack the oven door and leave the cheesecake in place for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Remove from the water bath, and allow to cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours to overnight.
- Top with dollops of whipped cream, fresh berries, and lemon slices for garnish. Cut into slices and serve.