Lemon Surprise Cheesecake Recipe
Lemon Surprise Cheesecake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Lemon Surprise Cheesecake Recipe

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Lemon flavors sparkle throughout this cheesecake, from the crust to the filling to the topping. Build up the edges of the cheesecake to keep the lemon filling right where you want it. —Karen Chesnut, Clarksburg, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling
MAKES:12 servings
Quick Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups crushed lemon cream-filled sandwich cookies
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 534 calories, 37 g fat (22 g saturated fat), 140 mg cholesterol, 308 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 6 g protein.


  1. Combine the cookie crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a lightly greased 9-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Cool pan on a wire rack.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the lemon juice, butter and peel. Cool to room temperature without stirring.
  3. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over lemon juice; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Gradually beat in gelatin mixture until combined. Fold in the whipped cream and lemon peel.
  5. Spoon three-fourths of cheesecake mixture into crust; build up edges slightly. Chill for 5 minutes. Spoon lemon filling over cheesecake layer to within 1/2 in of edges. Top with remaining cheesecake mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan; remove sides of pan. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Lemon Surprise Cheesecake in Country Woman September/October 2002, p29

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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Reviewed Apr. 9, 2014

"I made this for a Brunch that I had, it was a HIT. but I have to say, was a lot of work to make, but was worth it, when every one loved it, my daughter, says I have to make it for Easter, when we will also celebrate her Birthday."

Reviewed Jan. 26, 2012

"every one who tries it loves it it always makes a good impression"

Reviewed Oct. 3, 2011

"Turns out I WILL make this again. The amount of work required was justified by this outstanding dessert. The "quick"category is misleading though because of the many steps involved."

Reviewed Sep. 29, 2011

"Absolutely NOTHING quick about this recipe. My lemon centre is just a big yellow glob. It's in the fridge setting now. Unless the taste blows me away, this is too much work to justify making it again."

Reviewed Jul. 30, 2009

"This is without a doubt the best lemon cheesecake I've ever made. I've made this several times for different venues and groups of people and friends and they have all raved about it. It has the true flavor of a really good lemon meringue pie coupled with the creamy texture that a really good cheesecake has. The flavor is out of this world. All the components are right on, the flavor--the right amount of lemon and sweet, the texture--creamy but stands up well when cut, and eye appeal--it's really quite impressive when you cut through it and see the layer of lemon curd in the middle. The only change I make to this recipe is I do not add the 2 Tbls of sugar to the crust as I feel the sweetness of the lemon sandwich cookies to be adequate without adding the extra sugar. This is a truly great recipe. Thanks Karen for sharing it with us."

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