No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Whisking Wolf
by Whisking Wolf
8 servings
1 hr

Add a little bit of spring to your springform pan with this No Bake Lemon Cheesecake. The perfect balance of sweet and tart on a buttery graham cracker crust will surely brighten your day with each creamy bite.

Do what you love and the money will follow. If I had a nickel for every time I heard some filthy-rich CEO say that BS, I’d have a pile of nickels to throw back at them. We all know they love wheeling and dealing and inventing new products. That’s far from impressive. Anybody passionate about working can rake in wads of cash. I love being lazy, binge eating pizza and taking selfies with my cat, where’s the money in that?

Spoiler alert: there isn’t any.

The truth is if I do what I love then I won’t be able to afford food or a phone for the aforementioned cat pics. That’s why quotes about success are cliche. Life hasn’t given me money, it has given me lemons. Free lemons are better than nothing, at least they can be stuffed in your bra to make your boobs look bigger. And when you’re done showing off your fruity falsies, give them a squeeze and make dessert.

Sweet and tart and creamy smooth, this No Bake Lemon Cheesecake is perfect for spring. Piled high on a buttery graham cracker crust, the filling is splashed with fresh lemon juice for a burst of citrus flavor. And the best part is that you don’t even need an oven to pull it off. If you like a little zing in your desserts then this lemony recipe is a must try.

Before sharing the recipe for No Bake Lemon Cheesecake, here are a few tips and tricks to help you out:

Ingredient Tips and Tricks

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must for this recipe. Given that, go buy some lemons, cut the lemons, juice the lemons and you’re done. It’s minimal effort and so much better than the pre-squeezed crap at the store.

Cream cheese needs to be softened to room temperature before beginning. If you’ve forgotten to take your cream cheese out of the refrigerator ahead of time, don’t worry. You can speed up the softening process by placing your sealed foil blocks of cream cheese into a bowl of warm water for 10 to 20 minutes.

Preparation Tips and Tricks

The lemon juice/gelatin mixture needs to cool to room temperature before swirling into the cheesecake. Do not swirl into your cheesecake filling while still warm or you will make a melty mess of your dessert.

No-bake cheesecakes require chilling time in the refrigerator to properly set up. I suggest prepping at the end of the day, chilling overnight and waking up to ice cold cheesecake for breakfast.

Storage and Freezing Tips for No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Leftovers can be stored covered in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Cheesecake freezes well when double wrapped. First, cover in plastic wrap. Next, cover in aluminum foil and place in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for No Bake Lemon Cheesecake. Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of this blog when you try it for yourself. And, while you’re at it, sign up for my weekly Recipe Newsletter so you never miss out on a new recipe.

Finally, if you like lemon desserts you’ll love this recipe for Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberry Buttercream. It’s soft, fluffy and loaded with bright citrus flavor.

Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 1 Hours Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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Graham Cracker Crust
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
Lemon Cheesecake
  • 1 Tbsp powdered gelatin unflavored
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar packed
  • 24 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring optional
Graham Cracker Crust
Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Pulse graham crackers in a food processor for 15 seconds until fine crumbs form.
Add melted butter and sugar then pulse a few more times until combined.
Add graham cracker mixture to the prepared springform pan then press firmly into base and up the sides until evenly distributed.
Place pan in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare cheesecake filling.
Lemon Cheesecake
Combine gelatin and lemon juice in a small saucepan and let stand for 1 minute.
Turn heat to medium low and stir until dissolved. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form (approximately 5 minutes). Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Add sour cream and lemon zest then beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and lump free.
Reduce beater speed then add cooled lemon juice/gelatin mixture. Beat until combined.
If desired, add a few drops of yellow food coloring then beat until evenly incorporated.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold heavy cream into lemon cream cheese mixture.
Remove crust from refrigerator and top with lemon cheesecake filling. Smooth top with an offset spatula then chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours. (Mine chilled overnight.)
To remove springform pan ring, wet a butter knife with hot water then carefully glide it around the outer side of the crust to separate it from the pan. Next, unlatch springform pan and remove the rim.
Slice and serve cheesecake. For pristine slices, wipe the knife clean after each cut.
Cover and store cheesecake in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Whisking Wolf
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