The Best No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe (Video)

a lemon cheesecake on a cake stand, on a table with lemons

Calling all lemon lovers! This is the ultimate, the best no-bake lemon cheesecake recipe! You’ll love this lemony, zesty, creamy cheesecake. It’s made with a classic graham cracker crust; a rich and thick lemon filling; topped with homemade lemon curd and whipped cream. Every rich and creamy spoonful has tons of incredible lemon flavor. It’s perfect for summer when you don’t want to turn on the oven, or any time of the year you’re craving for some incredible cheesecake!

Watch My Lemon Cheesecake Video Tutorial

Watch my YouTube no-bake lemon cheesecake video tutorial for step-by-step instructions and see how I put together this delicious lemon cake! Want to stay up to date on the latest recipes? Make sure to subscribe to my website email list and my YouTube channel.

Ingredients for No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Here are my tips for the main ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious lemon cheesecake. Find the full list of ingredients in the printable recipe card below.

  • Cream Cheese – soften the cheese at room temperature for about 1 hour. It should be very soft but not melted.
  • Lemons – for fresh lemon juice and for lemon zest.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – this rich and creamy confectionary is perfect for sweetening no-bake cakes.
  • Gelatin – I use regular gelatin for my cheesecakes, but you can also use agar gelatin. This recipe does require a setting agent, so don’t skip it!
  • Sour Cream
  • Eggs – for making my homemade lemon curd recipe.
  • Graham Crackers – you can also use lemon sandwich cookies for more lemon flavor.
  • Heavy Cream – make sure it’s well-chilled for best results.

Supplies & Tools for the Recipe

Need some supplies or tools to prepare this delicious lemon cheesecake at home? Shop my Amazon Affiliate links for the items I recommend. Using these links won’t cost you extra and I’ll earn a small commission.

a slice of lemon cheesecake on a plate, on a table with a cake stand

Preparing Homemade Lemon Curd

To add tons of incredible lemon flavor, I add my Homemade Lemon Curd to the cheesecake batter and on top of the cake once it’s set. You’ll want to prepare the lemon curd first and allow it to cool to room temperature.

  1. Place the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar into a stainless saucepan. Whisk the eggs and sugar together for a few minutes, until the mixture is thick, pale, and ribbons off the whisk.
  2. Pour in the lemon juice and whisk to combine. Bring the saucepan to the stove top and cook over medium heat for about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula and cook until the mixture thickens and holds its shape on the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove the lemon curd from heat and add in the butter. Stir until the butter is completely melted, then add in the vanilla extract.
  4. Transfer the lemon curd into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming. Refrigerate the lemon curd until it’s completely cooled. It can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
a closeup image of lemon curd in a small jar, on a table with purple flowers

Making the Graham Cracker Crust

My no-bake lemon cheesecake recipe works great with a classic graham cracker crust! You can also try using lemon sandwich cookies or lemon biscuits for even more lemon flavor!

  1. Place the cookies into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Don’t have a food processor? Place the cookies into a plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin.
  2. Pour in the melted butter, then pulse again until the crumbs are well coated.
  3. Transfer the cookie crumb mixture into an 8 or 9-inch spring form pan. For easier cake transfer, line the bottom of the pan first with parchment paper.
  4. Using the bottom of a glass, press the crumbs into the sides and bottom of the pan, creating an even and firm crust.
a lemon cake on a cake stand, on a table

How to Make No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Once you have the cheesecake crust ready to go, it’s time to make the rich and creamy lemon cheesecake filling!

  1. Place the softened cream cheese into a mixer bowl with a flat beater attached. You can also use a hand mixer. Beat the cheese for 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure all the cheese is well beaten and smooth.
  2. To the beaten cream cheese, add the zest of 2 large lemons. Next, add in the sour cream, 1 cup of cooled lemon curd, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract.
  3. Beat again on medium speed for a few minutes, scrape down the mixing bowl, then beat again until creamy and smooth.
  4. Next, prepare the gelatin. Combine the gelatin with a few tablespoons of water in a small ramekin. Heat in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, until the gelatin is completely dissolved and hot.
  5. With the mixer running on low to medium speed, pour in the gelatin and mix for 1 minute.

Setting Instructions for No-Bake Cheesecake

Pour the prepared lemon cheesecake batter over the graham cracker crust and level the top with an off-set spatula.

Set the cake into the refrigerator to set for at least 12 hours, or overnight for best results. Cover the springform pan loosely with plastic wrap to prevent the top from drying out.

a lemon cake on a cake stand, on a table with lemons

Easy Whipped Cream for Topping

I love to serve this lemon cheesecake with dollops of whipped cream on top and on the side!

  1. Pour the chilled heavy cream into a large mixing bowl. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
  2. Whisk the cream for 4 to 6 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Start out at a slow speed and work your way up to high speed gradually to prevent splatters.
  3. Transfer the whipped cream into a pastry bag tipped with a star tip; I used Ateco tip 847. Keep the whipped cream chilled until ready to use.
a close up image of lemon cheesecake on a plate

Garnishing & Serving Lemon Cheesecake

Once the cheesecake has set, run a butter knife along the top edges to release the cake from the pan. Release the springform and gently lift.

To transfer the cake to a cake stand, first run a flat spatula underneath the cake to loosen it from the pan. Slide a second spatula on the opposite side, then quickly lift and transfer to a cake stand.

Add the remaining lemon curd on top of the cake. Pipe dollops of whipped cream along the edges, then garnish with lemon slices if desired. Add more whipped cream on the side with each slice! Keep the cheesecake chilled until ready to serve.

a woman holding a cake, standing in a kitchen

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this delicious, rich and creamy cheesecake? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to love!

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The Best No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

45 minutes prep + 0 minutes cook + 12 hours Setting Time:
12 servings
The best no-bake lemon cheesecake recipe! Super rich, creamy, lemony cheesecake with lemon curd and whipped cream!

Ingredients 

  • 12 graham crackers, about 1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 24 oz cream cheese, softened at room temp; 3, 8-oz packages
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest from 2 large lemons
  • 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tbsp water

For Cheesecake Topping:

For Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

Preparing Lemon Curd:

  • Prepare a batch of my Homemade Lemon Curd first. This curd can be refrigerated for up to 1 week and can be made ahead of time. You can also use store-bought curd for the recipe.

Making the Crust:

  • Next, make the crust. Place the cookies into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Don’t have a food processor? Place the cookies into a plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin.
  • Pour in the melted butter, then pulse again until the crumbs are well coated.
  • Transfer the cookie crumb mixture into an 8 or 9-inch spring form pan. For easier cake transfer, line the bottom of the pan first with parchment paper.
  • Using the bottom of a glass, press the crumbs into the sides and bottom of the pan, creating an even and firm crust.

Making the Cheesecake Filling:

  • For the filling: Place the softened cream cheese into a mixer bowl with a flat beater attached. You can also use a hand mixer. Beat the cheese for 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure all the cheese is well beaten and smooth.
  • To the beaten cream cheese, add the zest of 2 large lemons. Next, add in the sour cream, 1 cup of cooled lemon curd, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract.
  • Beat again on medium speed for a few minutes, scrape down the mixing bowl, then beat again until creamy and smooth.
  • Next, prepare the gelatin. Combine the gelatin with a few tablespoons of water in a small ramekin. Heat in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, until the gelatin is completely dissolved and hot.
  • With the mixer running on low to medium speed, pour in the gelatin and mix for 1 minute.

Setting the Cheesecake:

  • Pour the prepared lemon cheesecake batter over the graham cracker crust and level the top with an off-set spatula.
  • Set the cake into the refrigerator to set for at least 12 hours, or overnight for best results. Cover the springform pan loosely with plastic wrap to prevent the top from drying out.

Topping the Cake & Serving:

  • Once the cheesecake has set, run a butter knife along the top edges to release the cake from the pan. Release the springform and gently lift.
  • To transfer the cake to a cake stand, first run a flat spatula underneath the cake to loosen it from the pan. Slide a second spatula on the opposite side, then quickly lift and transfer to a cake stand.
  • Add the remaining lemon curd on top of the cake. Pipe dollops of whipped cream along the edges, then garnish with lemon slices if desired. Add more whipped cream on the side with each slice! Keep the cheesecake chilled until ready to serve.

For Whipped Cream:

  • For whipped cream: Pour the chilled heavy cream into a large mixing bowl. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
  • Whisk the cream for 4 to 6 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Start out at a slow speed and work your way up to high speed gradually to prevent splatters.
  • Transfer the whipped cream into a pastry bag tipped with a star tip; I used Ateco tip 847. Keep the whipped cream chilled until ready to use.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice (1/12th) with whipped cream | Calories: 731kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 443mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 1710IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 1mg
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close up of 5-ingredient lemon curd in jar
5 from 2 votes

How to Make Easy Lemon Curd (video)

6 minutes prep + 5 minutes cook
36 tablespoons
Learn how to make the best and easiest lemon curd with just 5 ingredients!

Ingredients 

  • 2/3 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • This recipe makes 2 1/4 cups of lemon curd.
  • Juice approximately 4 to 5 large lemons over a fine mesh strainer set up over a glass bowl or large measuring cup. Double strain the juice for smoothest lemon curd. Set juice aside.
  • In a separate glass mixing bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Whisk vigorously for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is thick and more pale in color. It should ribbon off the whisk. Pour the mixture into a stainless steel pot and add the lemon juice; whisk to combine.
  • Cook the lemon curd over medium-low heat, stirring constantly along the bottom of the pan. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the curd thickens and starts to bubble lightly. Remove from heat immediately. Add the unsalted butter and vanilla and whisk until the butter is completely melted.
  • Transfer the curd into a glass bowl or glass jar and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming over the top. Allow the lemon filling to cool slightly, then place into the refrigerator. Lemon curd can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 55kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 121IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg