No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 6 hrs 20 mins
Servings 12 servings

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This No Bake Lemon Cheesecake is made with lemon juice and zest and no artificial flavors! It sets and slices perfectly and is even great frozen! Includes step by step recipe video.

whole no bake lemon cheesecake with whipped cream
Table of Contents
  1. How to make No Bake Lemon Cheesecake:
  2. How to store No Bake Lemon Cheesecake:
  3. December 2019 updates to the original recipe from May 2017:
  4. More lemon desserts you’ll love!
  5. Real Deal No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

If there are two things I love in this world, it’s lemon and cheesecake.

Especially a light, airy, and just tangy enough No Bake Lemon Cheesecake like this one!

As a kid, I didn’t enjoy citrus or lemon desserts very much at all. It seemed wrong that they just weren’t that sweet!

Now that I’m older (more experienced and more mature, I’d like to think 😉 ), my tastes have changed and I much prefer a tangy lemon dessert with the right amount of sweetness over some sugar-laden cake with several inches of frosting.

slice of lemon cheesecake being pulled out

If you feel the same, I know you’ll love this Lemon Cheesecake, and you might also enjoy these Lemon Cheesecake Bars, this Lemon Icebox Pie, or this Easy Lemon Meringue Pie recipe!

How to make No Bake Lemon Cheesecake:

This No Bake Lemon Cheesecake is easy to make, but there are a few important steps and tips I’m going to highlight here — see the full instructions down below.

  1. Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature — this ensure your cheesecake will be smooth and creamy with no lumps!
  2. Beat your cream cheese first to make sure it’s smooth, before adding the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla.
  3. Beat the cream until stiff peaks form, before adding it to the cream cheese filling. This will ensure a thicker cheesecake.
  4. Taste before you add it to the crust — this way you can add more lemon or more sugar if you prefer!
  5. Pour it in the crust, and let it chill overnight if you can, but at least 6 hours. If you don’t let it chill thoroughly, you won’t be able to slice it.

How to store No Bake Lemon Cheesecake:

You can store in this prepared Lemon Cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (make sure your ingredients are as fresh as possible when you start!).

You can also freeze this Lemon Cheesecake as a whole (I recommend leaving any whipped cream topping off of the cheesecake until serving if you are going to freeze it), or in individual slices for a quick treat.

If you want, you can even serve this cheesecake partially frozen! I recommend letting sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving so it is nice and creamy.

whole lemon cheesecake missing one piece

December 2019 updates to the original recipe from May 2017:

My original No Bake Lemon Cheesecake recipe was made with Greek yogurt and gelatin, but I wanted to simplify the recipe and still get great results.

The new and improved recipe takes no time at all and just a few ingredients! It still has great lemon flavor and is light and fluffy.

I know there are a few people who really loved the original recipe, but I encourage you to give this one a try! It is just as delicious, but fewer ingredients and steps.

In my book, that’s a win!

slice of no bake lemon cheesecake on white plate

More lemon desserts you’ll love!

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Real Deal No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

4.93 from 38 votes
A smooth, extra creamy No Bake Lemon Cheesecake made with lemon juice and lemon zest and no artificial flavors! It’s firm enough to stand up to being cut.
Prep Time 20 mins
Chilling time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 20 mins
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 12 servings
Calories 436.98cal

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (270g)
  • ½ cup butter melted

Filling:

  • 3 packages cream cheese (24oz or 750g total) full fat
  • 1 ½ cups powdered icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • zest of 2 lemons (1 if you want a milder flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream (30-35% fat ONLY)

Instructions

  • Line a 9" Springform pan with parchment paper — optional but makes for easy removal once set!
  • Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter and press into prepared pan, and about 1/2" up the sides.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • In a separate medium-sized bowl, beat the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form. Add the whipped cream to the bowl with the cream cheese and use a spatula to gently fold it together, being careful not to deflate the cream.
  • Taste the filling, and add more sugar or more lemon zest if you want it sweeter or more lemony.
  • Pour filling into crust, cover and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight is even better! Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Notes

*NOTE that some adjustments have been made to the recipe since this video was made.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 436.98cal | Carbohydrates: 28.83g | Protein: 4.97g | Fat: 34.28g | Saturated Fat: 19.46g | Cholesterol: 102.86mg | Sodium: 370.19mg | Potassium: 123.96mg | Fiber: 0.59g | Sugar: 18.22g | Vitamin A: 1213.82IU | Vitamin C: 1.54mg | Calcium: 81.13mg | Iron: 0.94mg
Keywords lemon cheesecake

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Patty says

    I’m wondering if you could use a Blueberry compote to create a swirl in this cheesecake. I looked at your Blueberry cheesecake, but I really want a lemon Blueberry cheesecake. Trying to find the prefect balance, and I liked both of your recipes, but couldn’t figure out how to use them to get both flavors!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Patty! You likely could, I just have not tested it out before. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  2. Lucy Hu Bruttomesso says

    Made this no bake 1st time for son’s bd…a fan of classic baked cheesecake. Changed proportions to fit 9 inch pie pan. 2 cream cheese, 1 cup confection sugar, 1/2 whipped cream, zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1 and 1/2 lemons, 1 tsp vanilla. Crust was made with cinnamon grahams and pressed into pan and refigerated while preparing the filling. Refrigerated pie over night. Delicious!!!, sliceable but creamy, mousse like texture, a tiny bit too gooey for cheese cake.Served eith blueberries and sliced strawberries. Froze leftovers (with fruit on top) and texture is more like classic, smoother, utterly scrumptious,almost like ice cream. In the future, I might freeze cheese cake, then top with fresh fruit when serving. We love this version as an alternative to the labor intensive baked version!

  3. Tshego says

    MY WORD! THIS REDIPE IS SO GOOD. It is very easy and delicious, I also added lemon extract just for extra flavour. 10/10 recommend.

  4. Jacqui says

    I made this cheesecake for my niece’s wedding shower last week! It was fantastic! So easy, and delicious…many compliments and recipe requests.( I have forwarded your information to several ladies).
    I served it using my mother’s fancy teacups; I would send you a picture, but I can’t seem to make it copy. One recipe makes 15 teacups; we made two batches and garnished them with split strawberries.
    From one prairie/Manitoba girl to another…thanks for sharing this recipe!

  5. Jasmine says

    Hi there! I’m so excited to make this tomorrow! With the updated recipe, how would I go about making it into squares? I know you have a lemon cheesecake bar recipe, but I’d like *this* recipe! If you don’t think it’d work, the lemon-loving men of my family will just have to eat it pie-cut 🙂

  6. Penny says

    I made this twice and had lovely comments on its creaminess and they requested the recipe
    So quick and easy plus delicious

    I love not using gelatine
    I used 1 tab lemon juice plus zest and 2 tab passion fruit.
    Added passion fruit on cream topping
    My new “go to” recipe thank you

  7. Guadalupe Resendiz says

    This no bake lemon cheesecake is delicious!!! I’ve made it lots of times!! My fam loves it!

  8. Maria says

    Hi!! I made this it was really good. The only thing is, when i cut out each slice the crust doesnt come out as easily as I would like. Why do this happen?
    Thank you!!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Maria! I would weigh the graham crumbs or make sure they are not packed into the cup. If there are more graham crumbs then the butter will not be able to hold the crust together as well.

  9. Kelsie says

    This looks yummy! I want to make this for Father’s day. Do you use salted or unsalted butter for the graham cracker crust?

  10. Dell Causseaux says

    Would it work to use cool whip for the whi cream? And if so do you have any idea how much?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      It might, but I don’t think it would be as firm as homemade whipped cream so your cheesecake might not slice properly. You would likely add a cup or two.

      • Dell Causseaux says

        Ashley, I’m not going to say I’m lazy, I’m going to say I’m tired because I’m78 and always look for shortcuts.LOL! I made this recipe using pre-made shortbread crust instead of graham cracker(only because I accidently picked up the wrong one), and I did use one 8 ounce container of store brand cool whip type whip cream. And I did add a little extra lemon just because I love lemon flavor. The remainder, I stuck strictly to your recipe. It came out absolutely delicious and sliced beautifully!! Each slice standing on its on..no runny cheesecake here!! It was awesome!!! I will definitely be making this often. I would send a picture, but it just didn’t last that long!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  11. Margie says

    Instead of using graham crackers, can I use something else and is it the same measurements?

    Thanks!

  12. Barb says

    Can you just pour this filling into a premade pie crust, if you don’t have a springform pan?

  13. Jomama says

    Your “tips” say you don’t need to pre-whip the shipping cream, but then the directions say to whip the cream before folding it into the cream cheese mixture. Super unclear.

      • Lenore says

        Thanks, Ashley. That makes sense. And, yes, I’ve made this twice since my husband came home with a bag full of lemons! I prefer to freeze it and then let it set at room temp for maybe 10 minutes before cutting it. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. One more question……..have you ever substituted full fat evaporated milk for the whipping cream?

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