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The Best EVER No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe!

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This right here is the lightest, creamiest and most incredible no bake lemon cheesecake recipe EVER! It’s also really easy to create using my simple step by step pictures and helpful top tips, making this easy lemon cheesecake recipe the perfect make ahead dessert! Ideal for dinner parties, Summer barbecues, family gatherings and well, just about any occasion you can think of! And yes, it’s just as silky smooth as my popular no bake vanilla cheesecake recipe!

A slice of lemon cheesecake on a black plate topped with a meringue nest and lemon slice

This honestly is the best lemon cheesecake recipe I’ve ever made. (Coming in top alongside my mango and white chocolate cheesecake recipe!) It’s the perfect balance of tangy and creamy. If you just can’t get enough lemon – my Lemon Meringue Pie recipe will be right up your street too! It’s one of my all time favourites!

A whole no bake lemon cheesecake on a cake stand set over purple mesh fabric. Topped with meringue nests and lemon slices.

Why is no bake lemon cheesecake so good?

No bake cheesecake recipes have always been a firm favourite of mine but they can quite often be heavy and stodgy. Not this bad boy! I kid you not, every single person that had a slice exclaimed that this lemon cheesecake was ultra light, zingy yet creamy, cloud like and moreish! That’s not a bad review for a seriously easy dessert recipe is it?!

A slice of lemon cheesecake on a black plate topped with a meringue nest and lemon slice

How easy is no bake lemon cheesecake to make?

CRAZY easy! It’s very difficult to get a no bake cheesecake wrong which is why I love them so much. Anyone can make it and come across like a master patissier that’s been crafting for years… especially when you make it look super fancy with my CRAZY easy decoration tip! (See ‘recipe tips’ section later in the post.)

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: lemon cheesecake on a cake stand

What you need to know

In this section I’m going to share everything you need to know to recreate this lemon cheesecake perfectly in your very own home! From helpful tips to my ‘cheat’ decorating tips, this is definitely worth a read!

A birds eye view of a whole no bake lemon cheesecake on a cake stand set over purple mesh fabric. Topped with meringue nests and lemon slices.

Ingredients Notes

Right here is everything you need to know about the ingredients you need to make the perfect no bake lemon cheesecake.

For the biscuit base

  • Biscuits – Here in the UK, digestive biscuits are best and any brand will work fine. In the US you can substitute for graham crackers.
  • Lemon zest – A nice large fresh lemon will give a good zingy flavour.
  • Butter – Using a good brand like Lurpak will improve the flavour but any brand will work. Use unsalted if you can.

For the cheesecake filling

  • Cream – You need double cream here as it has to be whippable. (Heavy cream in the US)
  • Icing Sugar – Also called confectioners sugar, this dissolves well into the cream so don’t sub it for granular sugars!
  • Cream Cheese – This is important. Brand matters here! Only use Philadelphia full fat original cream cheese as it’s very stable and makes setting your cheesecake a breeze. cheaper brands and low fat versions are almost certain to disappoint! Yes it’s expensive but you can buy them when on offer (which is quite often here in the UK) which will help.
  • Caster Sugar – (Super fine sugar in the US) I like to use golden caster sugar as it has a slight caramel flavour, but regular white caster sugar will work great too.
  • Lemon Curd – Obviously a nice fancy brand would be lovely but, in all honesty, the cheap versions work just as well in this recipe!
  • Lemon Zest – As in the biscuit base, a nice large fresh lemon will give a wonderful zingy flavour.

For the topping/decoration

  • Lemon Curd – You don’t need to buy anything special here. As I said in the filling ingredient notes, cheap versions work really well in this recipe.
  • Mini Meringue Nests – The perfect cheat! These take away the headache of having to pipe beautiful cream swirls on top (which can honestly be a nightmare!).
A slice of lemon cheesecake on a black plate topped with a meringue nest and lemon slice

How to make no bake lemon cheesecake: simplified

For the biscuit base

  1. Blitz biscuits into crumbs then mix with lemon zest and melted butter.
  2. Press into a lined tin and freeze.

For the cheesecake filling

  1. Whip cream and icing sugar to stiff peaks.
  2. Beat cream cheese and caster sugar together then add lemon curd and zest.
  3. Fold in whipped cream then smooth out in the biscuit base.

For the topping/decoration

  1. Beat lemon curd to soften then smooth over the cheesecake.
  2. Set in the fridge.
  3. Decorate just before serving.
A whole no bake lemon cheesecake on a cake stand set over purple mesh fabric. Topped with meringue nests and lemon slices.

Recipe tips

This right here is the golden egg of lemon cheesecake recipe information. It’s where I share some really helpful tips that I think will help you nail it first time!

  • Don’t go overboard on the decoration. Less is more! Keep it even easier by using shop bought mini meringue nests instead of attempting those difficult to achieve whipped cream swirls.
  • Keep the double cream cold and the cream cheese at room temperature. This is important!
  • Make sure you line the sides of the tin as well as the base. I’ve forgotten this before (in my vanilla strawberry cheesecake recipe) and it didn’t end well!
  • I like to use the whisk attachment instead of the beater attachment in my stand mixer for this. It makes it smoother and creamier much quicker!
  • Decorate just before serving to prevent the meringue nests from possibly going a little soggy.
  • Whisk double cream by hand so you don’t over whip it. (This is easily done using a machine and it only takes a few seconds to render it unusable.)
  • Use only full fat cream cheese, never reduced fat. Otherwise your cheesecake won’t set and it will all end in tears. Trust me, I’ve tried! (I find Philadelphia original full fat works best.)
  • Never grate into the white part of lemon zest. This is called the pith and is very bitter. You only want the outer yellow part.
Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: lemon cheesecake on a cake stand

How to turn a no bake lemon cheesecake into a showstopper

I always see cheesecakes on the internet topped with these perfect, silky smooth swirls of whipped cream. But whenever I try it, the cream over whips and becomes grainy. Every time you touch whipped cream it seems to whip it some more – even the act of squeezing it through a piping nozzle ‘whips’ it and can cause it to look really unappetising.

My answer? Mini meringue nests! They have the most beautiful and perfect swirl without any of the potential errors or headaches. Look great too don’t they? I’m all about making life easier.

Even if you’re not a lemon fan, you can still make good use of my meringue nest tip! Check out my no bake chocolate cheesecake recipe for example.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: lemon cheesecake on a cake stand

Easy No Bake Lemon Cheesecake – Step by Step Picture Recipe

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

Ingredients and equipment

Here is what you will need to serve 10-12

For the biscuit base

  • 375g (3 + 2/3 Cups Crushed) Digestive Biscuits *
  • Zest of 1 Large Lemon
  • 165g (2/3 Cup) Unsalted Butter

*If from the US, substitute these for graham crackers

For the cheesecake filling

  • 300ml (2 + 1/4 Cups) Double Cream, Cold
  • 60g (1/2 Cup) Icing Sugar
  • 450g (2 Cups) Full Fat Cream Cheese, Room Temp
  • 110g (1/2 Cup) Golden Caster Sugar
  • 120g (1/2 Cup) Lemon Curd
  • Zest of 1 Large Lemon

For the topping/decoration

  • 250g (1 Cup) Lemon Curd
  • Mini Meringue Nests
  • 1 Lemon, Cut Into Slices

Essential equipment

  • 21.5cm (8.5″) Springform Pan
  • Food Processor

Biscuit base instructions

Lightly grease and line the base and sides of your tin, set to one side.

In a food processor, blitz the digestive biscuits (375g | 3 + 2/3 Cups Crushed) until they become fine crumbs then add in the lemon zest (of 1 large lemon). Next gently melt the butter (165g | 2/3 Cup) in a bowl in the microwave in 10 second blasts. Pour this gradually into the biscuit crumbs while the processor is on and keep going until it comes together like wet sand.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: biscuit crumbs in a food processor

Tip the crumbs into the lined tin and press firmly into the base and up the sides. Place this in the freezer to firm up while we make the filling.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: biscuit crumbs pressed into a springform pan

Cheesecake filling instructions

In a large bowl with a whisk, whip the cold double cream (300ml | 2 + 1/4 Cups) until it starts to thicken. (I prefer to do this by hand as it’s SO easy to overdo it with a machine!)

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: part whipped double cream in a metal bowl

Then sift in the icing sugar (60g | 1/2 Cup) and whip again until it forms stiff peaks. Be careful not to go too far.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: double cream whipped to stiff peaks in a metal bowl

In an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the room temperature cream cheese (450g | 2 Cups) until softened. (You can also do this in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk)

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: softened cream cheese in a stand mixer bowl

Next, add in the golden caster sugar (110g | 1/2 Cup) and whisk again for 2-3 minutes until smooth and shiny.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: beaten cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer bowl

Then add in the lemon curd (120g | 1/2 Cup) and lemon zest (of 1 large lemon) and give it a good mix again. Watch that the lemon zest hasn’t stuck to the whisk attachment – you may need to scrape it off.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: beaten cream cheese, sugar and lemon curd in a stand mixer bowl

Finally, fold in the whipped double cream. I like to add about a third of the cream in at a time to make it easier.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: beaten cream cheese, sugar and lemon curd in a stand mixer bowl with whipped double cream folded in

Your filling is finally ready! Let’s pour that into the prepared base and smooth it out using a spatula.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: cheesecake filling in the springform pan
Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: cheesecake filling in a springform pan smoothed out

Place into the fridge to set fully for at least 4 hours. (Overnight is best if you have the time.)

At this point it’s optional for you to add the lemon curd topping – see below.

Topping/decoration instructions

If you want your lemon curd topping to cascade like a beautiful river of lemony goodness down the side of your slices – wait until about an hour before serving to add the topping. If you’d rather it was a little more ‘set’ add it on before the 4 hours setting time. (Just after you’ve made the filling and poured it into the base.)

Simply weigh out the lemon curd (250g | 1 Cup) into a small bowl and mix until smooth and loose with a spoon. Pour this on top of the cheesecake and smooth out over the whole thing. Place back into the fridge to chill.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: lemon curd spread evenly over the top of a cheesecake in a springform pan

That’s it until right before serving!

When it’s set, carefully remove the tin and peel away the lining. Place onto a serving plate or cake stand.

Now all that’s left for you to do is slice up a lemon and cut each circular slice into half circles. Then top the cheesecake with mini meringue nests and lay a slice of lemon in between each one.

Store any leftover cheesecake in the fridge and consume within 3 days.

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe: lemon cheesecake on a cake stand

That’s it. Didn’t I tell you it was easy? Have you tried a slice yet? Is it not the most creamy and tantalisingly wonderful lemon cheesecake you’ve EVER tastes? Me too!!

What’s your all time favourite cheesecake flavour? This epic Biscoff Cheesecake is definitely one of mine! Let me know in the comments section below.

A slice of lemon cheesecake on a black plate topped with a meringue nest and lemon slice

Want to make baking easier?

It’s always easier and way less frustrating when you have the right equipment! Check out my handy guide for Products that Make Baking Easier. You can thank me later…

A whole no bake lemon cheesecake on a cake stand set over purple mesh fabric. Topped with meringue nests and lemon slices.

Have you Made This Recipe?

Will this creamy delicious Lemon Cheesecake be making an appearance in your household? I’d love to know if it is! Send me your pics and comments on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

Loved This Recipe? Pin it!

A slice of lemon cheesecake on a black plate topped with a meringue nest and lemon slice
A whole no bake lemon cheesecake on a cake stand set over purple mesh fabric. Topped with meringue nests and lemon slices.
A slice of lemon cheesecake on a black plate topped with a meringue nest and lemon slice

Easy No Bake Lemon Cheesecake - Printable Recipe

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes

Hands down, the lightest, creamiest most moreish and luxurious lemon cheesecake EVER! You need this in your life!

Ingredients

For the Base

  • 375g (3 + 2/3 Cups Crushed) Digestive Biscuits *
  • Zest of 1 Large Lemon
  • 165g (2/3 Cup) Unsalted Butter

For the Filling

  • 300ml (2 + 1/4 Cups) Double Cream, Cold
  • 60g (1/2 Cup) Icing Sugar
  • 450g (2 Cups) Full Fat Cream Cheese, Room Temp
  • 110g (1/2 Cup) Golden Caster Sugar
  • 120g (1/2 Cup) Lemon Curd
  • Zest of 1 Large Lemon

For the Topping/Decoration

  • 250g (1 Cup) Lemon Curd
  • Mini Meringue Nests
  • 1 Lemon, Cut Into Slices

Essential Equipment

  • 21.5cm (8.5") Springform Pan
  • Food Processor

Instructions

For the Base

  1. Grease & line the base and sides of the tin. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor then add the lemon zest and pour in the butter. Blitz again briefly until it clumps together.
  1. Press the crumb mixture into the base and sides of the tin and freeze until needed.

For the Filling

  1. Whisk the double cream until thickening (I do this by hand) then sift in the icing sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Set to one side.
  2. In an electric stand mixer (or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk) beat the cream cheese until softened. Add in the caster sugar and whisk again until smooth and shiny.
  3. Add the lemon curd and lemon zest and mix again until smooth. Then carefully fold in the whipped cream in thirds until blended.
  4. Pour the filling into the prepared base and smooth out.

For the Topping/Decoration

  1. Weigh the lemon curd out into a bowl and mix with a spoon to loosen. Smooth it out over the top of the cheesecake then place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours. (Overnight is fine too.)
  2. Just before serving, top with mini meringue nests and half circle slices of lemon.

Notes

Store your lemon cheesecake in the fridge and consume within 3 days.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 662Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 1gSugar: 51gProtein: 7g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram.

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Gill

Monday 24th of August 2020

Hi I've made the lemon cheesecake a few times it is a firm favourite at our house thank you so much for recipe would it still work with !mascarpone cheese x

Emma

Monday 24th of August 2020

Hi Gill. That's fantastic! I'm so happy you love my recipe :) I've not personally made it with mascarpone cheese so not sure if it would work or not. Philadelphia Original cream cheese is a very thick and stable one, I'm not sure if mascarpone cheese is quite as stable? Emma x

Becky

Wednesday 11th of September 2019

Your no-bake cheesecakes are SO GOOD. Even the pickiest cheesecake lovers think they're the best! Thanks so much for sharing your FANTASTIC recipes!!!

Miss KitchenMason

Wednesday 11th of September 2019

Aww Becky, you’ve literally just made my day!! Thank you SO much for taking the time to comment. It really does mean a lot to me :) I’m super happy you love my cheesecake recipes! Emma x

Caroline

Monday 5th of August 2019

Hi, do you have to line the sides of the tin with biscuits, or can you use acetate?

Miss KitchenMason

Monday 5th of August 2019

Hi Caroline. You can absolutely use acetate for the sides and just have a biscuit base! I’d reduce the amount of biscuits / butter though or you’ll have a fair bit of waste. Emma x

Barbara Ramsden

Wednesday 13th of February 2019

Very easy to make extremely tasty.

Miss KitchenMason

Wednesday 13th of February 2019

I’m so pleased you like my recipe Barbara! Thank you for your lovely comment :) Emma x

Fred

Saturday 2nd of February 2019

Hi Emma , thank you for your website its so user friendly and your cakes yum. Got question can I use dark choc digested biscuits for the base? thank you Fred

Miss KitchenMason

Sunday 3rd of February 2019

Hi Fred. Thank you! I love that you love my site :) I’ve never actually used a chocolate covered biscuit for a cheesecake base before but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work. Emma x

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