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Ultimate Lemon Cheesecake

The Ultimate Lemon Cheesecake recipe has a lemon cookie base, lemon mousse cheesecake body, lemon curd topping and garnish of candied lemon peel. That will satisfy any lemon lover out there.

The Ultimate Lemon Mousse Cheesecake

The Ultimate Lemon Mousse Cheesecake

Scroll down in this lemon cheesecake recipe post to find links to 7 other delectable Lemon Desserts…from Classic Lemon Tart to Lemon Blueberry Cream Cake.

If you are a cheesecake lover and a lemon lover, this lemon cheesecake is your ultimate dessert. I started with a simple, buttery, lemon shortbread cookie base and topped it with a creamy lemon cheesecake. Here, whipped cream gets beaten to soft peaks before being folded into the cheesecake batter.

Lemon cut in half on a wooden board

Lemon brings such bright flavor to so many of my favourite desserts.

A tart and sweet homemade lemon curd tops it all of before being garnished with candied lemon zest. Truly the ultimate tart and sweet, lemon lovers dream dessert.

The Ultimate Lemon Mousse Cheesecake photo of cut slice.


My tips on baking a perfect cheesecake every time:

A word about baking a cheesecake in a bain marie before starting the recipe. A bain marie is simply a water bath that buffers the direct heat from the sides and bottom of the baking pan to more evenly bake the cheesecake from the sides to the centre.

I bake my cheesecakes in a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan that has the bottom and sides wrapped in multiple layers of wide heavy duty aluminum foil which forms a sort of boat that the cheesecake pan sits in. The roll of aluminum foil that I use is about 16 inches wide. 

I use at least 4 layers of foil to make sure that no water leaks in and ruins the crust of my cheesecake. The aluminum foil wrapped pan is then placed inside a larger baking pan; I use a 12 inch cake pan. Boiling water is then poured into the larger pan filling it from 1/2 to 2/3 of the way to the top.

The Ultimate Lemon Mousse Cheesecake photo with title text.

The Ultimate Lemon Mousse Cheesecake

I find it best to pour the boiling water into the pan after it is placed on the rack in the oven as you are less likely to splash water onto the cheesecake or inside the aluminum foil. I reuse the aluminum foil for several future cheesecakes, adding a couple of layers to it each time just to be safe.

Even if you choose not to use the bain marie method, wrapping the spring form pan with a few layers of foil, really helps to buffer the heat and help the cheesecake bake more evenly.

Want even more delectable lemon dessert ideas?

Lemon Desserts Collage

Click the links below to see some of the most popular Lemon desserts ever on Rock Recipes.

Lemon Mousse Trifle

Lemon Velvet Cake

Lemon Berry Angel Food Shortcake

Lemon Blueberry Cream Cake

Lemon Marshmallow Coconut Cake

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert Bars

Classic Lemon Tart

PLUS Try our latest lemon hit Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake.

Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

Like this Lemon Cheesecake recipe?

You’ll find hundreds of other sweet ideas in our Cakes & Pies Category and even more in our Desserts Category.

It’s easy to keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes. Be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram

Plus you’ll see daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals too. 

The Ultimate Lemon Mousse Cheesecake photo with title text.

The Ultimate Lemon Mousse Cheesecake

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The Ultimate Lemon Mousse Cheesecake
Yield: 16 servings

Ultimate Lemon Cheesecake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

The Ultimate Lemon Cheesecake recipe has a lemon cookie base, lemon mousse cheesecake body, lemon curd topping and garnish of candied lemon peel. That will satisfy any lemon lover out there.


For the lemon cookie base. (A graham wafer crumb base is easily substituted if you prefer.)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, powdered sugar
  • small pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in cubes
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, finely minced

For the cheesecake batter

  • 3 eight ounce packages ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • zest of one large lemon, finely minced

For the lemon curd

  • 4 lightly beaten egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup butter cut into small pieces

For the candied lemon zest

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • zest and juice of one large lemon
  • additional sugar to toss the lemon peel in, about a cup


To prepare the cookie base

  1. Sift together the flour, icing sugar and salt. Mix in the lemon zest. Set aside.
  2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it is well incorporated and the mixture becomes crumbly, like a coarse meal
  3. Whisk together the egg yolk and lemon extract Add to the crumbly dry mixture and mix in until a soft dough forms.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least a half hour.
  4. Press evenly into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 9 or 10 inch spring form pan. Dipping your fingers into flour helps if the dough is too sticky. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before adding the cheesecake batter.

To prepare the cheesecake batter

  1. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts.
  3. Whip the whipping cream to soft peaks and fold it in gently by hand along with the lemon zest, using a rubber spatula.
  4. Pour over the prepared and cooled base and bake in a bain marie at 300 degrees F for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cheesecake does not have to brown at all in order to be fully baked; the surface of the cheesecake should lose any shine when the cake is properly baked. It can still be slightly wobbly just at the center at this point.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp knife completely around the edge of the pan. This will allow for the cheesecake to shrink as it cools and hopefully not crack (but who cares if it does? I am never bothered by a crack or two in the surface) Allow the cheesecake to cool thoroughly on a wire rack at room temperature for an hour or so before cooling it completely for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

To prepare the lemon curd

  1. In a small saucepan combine the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  2. Cook slowly over medium low heat for about 10 minutes stirring constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the butter a few pieces at a time until completely smooth.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill completely in the fridge. Spread evenly on top of the chilled cheesecake and garnish with candied lemon zest.

To prepare the candies lemon zest

  1. Remove the zest of the lemon in large pieces using a sharp vegetable peeler. You want to avoid using too much of the pithy white layer.
  2. Add to the saucepan along with the 1 cup of sugar, water and lemon juice. Simmer very slowly for 15 minutes, then remove the candied zest from the syrup and let it drain on a wire rack.When drained cut it into thin strips and toss it in the additional sugar. Let sit for a half hour or longer before using as a garnish.
  3. Note: This candied zest can be stored in the sugar for several weeks in a mason jar.
  4. Don't throw out the sugar! Use it to make lemon shortbread cookies or when making lemon pound cake. The syrup can also be stored for a couple of weeks. Use it to brush on a lemon pound cake or even as a delicious substitute for maple syrup on blueberry pancakes.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 slice

Amount Per Serving Calories 393Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 148mgSodium 124mgCarbohydrates 55gFiber 1gSugar 47gProtein 4g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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CF (original poster)

Thursday 27th of December 2018

This is exactly what I did. I've come to trust your recipes to the point where I made this for the first time as dessert for Christmas dinner. (The ultimate trust exercise, right? LOL!) It was FABULOUS! It was rich but light at the same time, and a lemon-lover's dream-come-true. Thank you, Barry, for adding the sparkle to our special dinner!

Barry C. Parsons

Thursday 27th of December 2018

Always happy to be a small part of any celebration!

Clasina Field

Thursday 20th of December 2018

Can this be made a day or two ahead of serving it? Can it be frozen?

Barry C. Parsons

Friday 21st of December 2018

Couple of days ahead is fine. Freezing is fine but any garnish should be added when thawed.


Monday 12th of March 2018

Made this for my daughter's birthday and the whole family loved it! So moist, lemony and delicious. And I made the cheesecake and the custard and candied lemon peel on separate days, so it wasn't too onerous. Thank you for a great recipe, it's a definite keeper.


Thursday 10th of March 2016

Can you make the lemon curd the night before applying go cheesecake?

Barry C. Parsons

Tuesday 15th of March 2016

Yes, I often make lemon curd a day ahead.


Thursday 10th of April 2014

Made this fort family foodies-and everyone loved it. Takes a bit of time to prepare but worthy!

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