No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
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

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.
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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

4.95 from 135 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 minutes
Chilling time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
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. Jackie Leighton says

    I used digestive biscuits for the base and added extra lemon juice at the end after taste testing as I felt was not quite lemony enough. This was a lovely refreshing dessert and those little cream swirls on top with wedges of lemon made it look very professional! I would however add a little gelatin next time, as even with a day and a half in the fridge it was so soft when I served it – maybe did not whip my cream enough?

  2. Kyanna says

    Recipe was great! I adjusted things slightly to my diet. Used a pecan crust instead then used 1/4 cup pyre sugar (blended to make a powder). We were supposed to put in 3/4 cup but man, are we glad we only did 1/4 because it would have been WAY too sweet. It was great coming from my hubby, friends, and family. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I will definitely be using this as a base for other cereals recipes! (:

  3. maddison mcmillan says

    The best no-bake lemon cheesecake recipe I’ve made! The whole family loved it and was quick and easy!
    So creamy and delicious!!
    Thank you so much for sharing its out go to for celebrations and just a sneaky treat!

  4. Sherry says

    Very easy to make just not enough lemon flavor and I even added a little more than recipe called for. Other than that would make again.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Glad it was easy for you Sherry, we all have different taste so definitely bump the flavor up to your liking.

  5. Jillian says

    This recipe is one of my favorites for the summertime! It blows everyone away when they taste it! WOW!!! Thank you Ashley for creating and sharing this masterpiece of a recipe! Very easy to make, and exceptionally tasty!

  6. Angela Wainaina says

    I made this for our Easter dessert and followed your recipe and it was a huge success! Thank you for sharing your recipe and will definitely make this again.

  7. glenn moore says

    I made this following the directions as exact as I am capable and the result was near perfection. Multiple people at our church potluck told me how much they enjoyed it. But the highest compliment was the number of other bakers wanting me to give them recipe.

  8. Han says

    Hello! I’ve made this recipe and it’s good. However, it just doesn’t hold it’s shape at room temperature and just melts. It is fine served frozen though. Would you mind sharing your original recipe which uses yogurt and gelatin? I am from Philippines and temperature here is hot so normally, no bake cheesecakes don’t do well. Appreciate it! Thank you for this.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Han! It could be a difference in the types of ingredients you have versus what we have here in North America. You can add some plain gelatin that’s dissolved in water to this recipe and it will help.

  9. Claire says

    I made this for Christmas and my boyfriend loved it so much he asked me to make another for him to take to work. This is officially my go-to cheesecake now. Thank you for sharing this with us 🥰

  10. EMILY TSIRIDES says

    Delicious! I made it for my huspand’s birthday party and it was the highlight of the deserts. Everybody was talking about my amazing lemon cheesecake. I substituted sugar with xylitol powder and put 1 + 1/5 since we don’t like it too sweet.

  11. Charles Franks says

    Awesome recipe. I’ve made this recipe a number of times now it’s gone over big time. I made mine in muffins pans. Lined with cupcake liners. I fold in the zest via beating, that way all the zest is in the cheesecake and not on the beaters.
    Awesome job. Thanks, it’s a keeper.

  12. Bridget Bergin says

    Love all your recipes especially cheese cakes your way is just perfect and easy to work with thanks so much happy baking 😊 🥮🍰🥧🍩🍪.
    Thanks again Bridget.

  13. Tracey says

    We just made your lemon cheesecake, but only had biscoff vanilla cookies for base, so I blended with a tiny bit of butter and some coconut. Very easy and quick recipe to make. I licked the bowl clean. Now we have to wait for it to set.

  14. Lorna Campbell says

    This recipe is so simple and is the best unbaked cheesecake I have ever made. Seconded by my hubby. I added a thin layer of lemon curd on top after it had set overnight. It looked nice and just added even more lemon.

  15. Irini says

    Delicious!! With fresh lemon form my lemon tree and fresh goat ricotta it was the best lemon cheesecake I ever made. Thank you.

  16. Amanda says

    I’m going to transport the cheesecake to a friend’s house. Can I transfer it from the springform pan to a plastic round, deep dish container (bought at a cake supply store) or will the cheesecake fall apart if I try and lift the whole thing up?

  17. Amanda says

    I’m going to transport the cheesecake to a friend’s houseS Can I transfer it from the springform pan to a plastic round container (bought at a cake supply store) or will the cheesecake fall apart if I try and lift the whole thing up?

4.95 from 135 votes (111 ratings without comment)

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