This easy lemon cheesecake infused with lemon zest is super creamy and the buttery crust is perfect. Served with an easy berry sauce, it is the ultimate indulgent dessert.
This dreamy, creamy classic lemon cheesecake recipe is honestly the stuff of dreams. The buttery crust is the perfect base for the incredibly luscious, creamy lemon cheesecake filling. The sour cream cheesecake topping finishes the cheesecake off beautifully (and hides any cracks that might’ve appeared while baking, but keep reading, I have a few tips for that). And then there’s that easy berry sauce. So ruby red and tart and sweet and oh my. I can’t get enough.
How to make lemon cheesecake
Cheesecake can be very daunting for some but honestly, there’s no reason to be intimidated. The crust can be made by either bashing the cookies and mixing with melted butter OR by simply combining everything in a food processor and letting the machine do all the work. The same goes for the cheesecake batter. I make the filling in the bowl of a stand mixer but you can use a large bowl and an electric mixer too. All you really need to remember is that all the ingredients need to be room temperature and that you need to scrape down the sides of the bowl often. If your ingredients aren’t all the same temperature they won’t blend well together and you will be left with lumpy cheesecake filling. It’s especially important for the cream cheese to be at room temperature before you start. Scraping the bowl down regularly also helps with the smoothness of the filling. I scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula after every addition. That being the eggs, the sour cream, the lemon zest and the vanilla. This allows for the cream cheese that gets stuck to the outside of the bowl to incorporate in the filling without forming lumps.
Baking cheesecake tips:
When it comes to baking your cheesecake, it’s good to know the oven you’re working with. The best rule-of-thumb when it comes to a baked cheesecake is to bake it in a water bath/Bain Marie. This prevents the cheesecake from cracking because the water allows the cheesecake to bake gently. And for many ovens, this is the best way to do it. My oven however is quite steady and seems to be true to temperature.
Many oven temperatures can vary. So I tested this recipe without a water bath and it worked beautifully. I think the key is just to keep the temperature constant, and moderate, and to bake the cheesecake slowly. No rushing here. Assemble the cheesecake in a springform pan and put the cheesecake in the oven at 230ºC/440°F and allowed it to bake for 15 minutes before turning the temperature down to 110ºC/230°F and allowing it to bake for a further 45-60 minutes. After 45 minutes I checked it by shaking the pan slightly and saw that there was still too much jiggle left in the cheesecake. Just the very center needs to have a little jiggle left, which will set as the cheesecake cools.
Lemon cheesecake topping
The sour cream mixture is poured onto the cake and allowed to bake for another 15 minutes before the cake is left to cool for an hour or two in the switched off oven with the door ajar. This also helps to avoid any cracks from forming. After that, the cheesecake goes in the refrigerator overnight and the next day you are met with THE creamiest, dreamiest, best cheesecake recipe you will have ever tried.
For the crust
For the filling
For the topping
Easy berry sauce
Recipe from Alida Ryder.