Lemon Dream Cheesecake

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 55 min. + chilling

Makes

16 servings

Updated: Aug. 05, 2023
Light and creamy, this lemon cheesecake recipe is just the thing for a spring or summer day. —Bonnie Jost, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • FILLING:
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 10 drops yellow food coloring, optional
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Press onto bottom and 1 to 2 in. up the inside of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in cream, lemon juice, flour, lemon zest, extracts and, if desired, food coloring. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust. Return pan to baking sheet.
  3. Bake 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight. Remove side of pan.

Lemon Cheesecake Tips

How do you pick the best lemons for lemon cheesecake?

Fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest are best for this lemon cheesecake recipe. Bottled juice can add a muted, metallic or even bitter flavor. At the store, look for lemons with a bright color and a supple peel. Avoid any that are wrinkled or heavily blemished. You can also give the lemons a gentle squeeze; they should feel firm and heavy.

What's the best way to grease a springform pan?

While many springform pans have a nonstick coating, we recommend lightly greasing the pan before adding your crust and filling. A light spritz of cooking spray or a thin coating of melted butter will do the trick. Check out these other genius cheesecake tips, too.

How can you prevent cracks in your lemon cheesecake?

When making homemade cheesecake recipes, lightly beat the eggs before adding them to the cream cheese mixture, then beat on low speed just until they're blended in. If you overbeat after the eggs are added, air bubbles can get trapped in the cheesecake batter and cause the top to crack. Another reason for cracks in a cheesecake is overbaking. Bake until the center is almost set, then take the cheesecake out to cool. A few minutes later, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the sides. This will help keep it from sticking, which can lead to cracks.

If your cheesecake does crack, don't worry! Just pile on some sweetened whipped cream, lemon slices or lemon curd and no one will know. Plus, it will still taste delicious.

Katie Bandurski, Taste of Home Senior Shopping Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 396 calories, 29g fat (18g saturated fat), 150mg cholesterol, 286mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 0 fiber), 7g protein.