Lemon Cheesecake

cheesecake-lemon-close

After another week of making what I consider the ‘best of’ something this month I have to wonder what has come over me. I did not set out to do a ‘Best of’ series but it’s happened nonetheless. Maybe it’s the bit of melancholy I feel in the fall that has me thinking of foods that I love? I really don’t know but think I will plan ahead and devote the last Monday of the month to a recipe from my archives that I’ve always thought the best and include a list of links to others I’ve seen during the month that I have found especially appealing. I so often make something new…this will force me to revisit some old favorites that might be feeling a bit taken for granted.

It’s been fun. I’ve also noticed that each of my best of have such different histories for me. The Smashed Potatoes were a conglomeration of the best way I like to make potatoes happily combined with the newness of adding goat cheese. The Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies were something totally new that I tried that turned out to be the best doggone chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. Since this effort was not intentional this month, I didn’t do a best of post when I visited 303 Distillery but I can honestly say it was the best time I’ve ever had on a distillery visit!

So on this last Monday of September, not wanting to disappoint, I’ve included what I consider the BEST cheesecake recipe ever. The original recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Colorado Cache, from the Junior League of Denver. It was given to me as a housewarming gift 25 years ago by my neighbor Pat who was a contributing member. It has never failed me and I’ve many favorites from this book. It has been loved so much so that my first copy, a spiral bound version, had to be replaced. Maybe not known to you, but when I went to the market for ingredients on Saturday, a woman noticed it in my basket and even came up to show me a couple of her favorites!

What makes this cheesecake so special? Well, for one thing, it tastes like cheesecake. Not Snickers or Turtles or Whoppers or any of the multitudes of conglomerations I’ve seen done to cheesecakes. Even seeing photos of some of those make my teeth hurt! I won’t call this a New York cheesecake for I’m not the judge of that but I will say that I love the rich cheese flavor combined with a touch of lemon. Simple, beautiful and simply the best I’ve ever had! Add some strawberries or raspberries and it’s an elegant and special dessert.

One reason I love it even beyond the luxurious taste? See that top after it’s been taken out of the oven? Not one crack in site. No hot water bath either. And then, as if there were a flaw to disguise, a sweetened layer of sour cream is baked on top of the cheesecake which is then topped with a glaze of lemon after it’s cooled a bit and before it’s refrigerated. Perfect with berries. No candy required!

My ONLY revision to this perfect recipe should not be too surprising to those that know me. Wanting to have the top be yellow to reflect the lemon color I pondered what I could add. I have food coloring, sure but then I had a brainstorm. Limoncello! I simply substituted the water in the glaze with Limoncello; it’s optional but it does add just another great lemon tang!

My friend Kim was a flight attendant for Pan Am back in their heyday; she invited some of her cohorts from then to join her and other friends for the premier. I got such a kick out of the Pan Am shrine with uniforms and photos and I’ll soon be doing a post with photos of those and a sample from the menu Kim made that was reminiscent of what they served to passengers then. Before anyone had a clue what the letters TSA stood for…ahh, those really WERE the days! I offered to bring dessert and we thought this cheesecake would fit in fine from that era. The real beauty of it…I think it’s just as current for today!

The majority of my family is in the St. Louis area and that includes my darling niece Eva. I hate that she is so far away and I’ve missed so much of her kids growing up but I’m sure out of deference to that, she had a baby just 2 years ago (sure she did Barb). With my increased use of Facebook came an increased ability to keep in touch and yes, maybe somewhat voyeuristic, a way to see what’s going on. A family of boys is what Eva knew with 3 active youngsters in her charge and then along came Z. I wish I could remember all of the names that child has. Z, Zeezer, Zoe, I know there are more. I think Eva inherited that multiple silly nicknames thing from my Dad. He would name an animal a normal pet name and then the derivations would take off. Our first dog Pansy somehow became Pansworthy and the last dog I think he had was Mandible; forget her real and much cuter name of Mandy.

Anyway…I digress. This story is told and this photo included because Eva saw me post this recipe on Facebook recently and she and Z decided to make it for a friend. I love seeing Mom’s helper. Even more? I love remembering when Z’s mom was my favorite little girl. We were very close when she was little and I would steal her as often as I could…and we had more than one special moment of her helping me in the kitchen. While I wish I had a photo of those moments, it’s amazing how much this photo brought it all back and in such a sweet way. So I hope you think she is cute and all but in truth…this photo is for ME! Pack her up now Eva; her Aunt Barb is waiting!!!

zoe

This is a luscious and large cheesecake, enough for 12-16 servings. From the Junior League of Denver’s Colorado Cache cookbook (copyright 1978 and still love it!)

Lemon Cheesecake – Another Best, Really.
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A large and luscious cheesecake with just the perfect touch of lemon.
Author:
Serves: 12-16 slices
Ingredients
For the Crust:
  • 2¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 25 single crackers, crushed)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
For the Filling:
  • 3 - 8·ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
For the Sour Cream Topping
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Glaze:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup water (I substituted ½ cup Limoncello for the water but it's optional. I also ended up adding just a touch of lemon paste color. )
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preparation
Prepare the Crust:
  1. Combine cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press into bottom and ½" up sides of an 11 to 12 inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool before adding filling.
Make the Cheesecake:
  1. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer at high speed until completely smooth.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
  3. Continue to beat, gradually adding 1⅓ cups sugar, then lemon juice and vanilla.
  4. Stir in lemon rind.
  5. Pour into cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
  6. Blend sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract for topping.
  7. Remove cake from oven. Gently spread sour cream over top of cake. Return to oven and bake about 12 minutes.
  8. Cool on rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until topping is cool but not completely chilled.
  9. Make glaze by combining sugar and cornstarch, blending in water and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cook 3 minutes. Chill until cool but not set.
  10. Spread top of cheesecake with lemon glaze. Chill several hours or over­night. Can also be frozen.
Notes
This recipe calls for a rather large springform pan; if your pan is smaller in diameter than your baking time will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Check out this recipe made by a reader that has transformed this luscious dessert so that it's gluten free!



Comments

  1. Liz says

    This is a wonderful cheesecake! Mine cracked terribly – but only after I put on the glaze. To tell the truth, I took a shortcut and used lemon curd. I’m wondering if it was just too heavy for the cake. Oh well – it tastes fantastic!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Maybe but you know what…it truly is the end result and everyone enjoying the taste that is most important right?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I’ve not done that so I can only suggest Linda. I would say 20-25 minutes but watch closely; the centers should still jiggle every so slightly and of course the edges should not get too brown. Since the time element on the toppings is so short you could probably do that the same.

      That’s a great idea for a crowd; let me know how they turn out.

  2. Maureen says

    Confused. I don’t know why some recipes use 2 8ox packages of cream cheese, some 3 and some 4 packages. I want to try this but don’t know if I can beat and add the egg whites separately, as I do in my chocolate cheesecake – which only use 2 8 oz packages . Is the extra 8 oz here because of the added liquid (lemon) Any advise please. Thank you.

    • Creative Culinary says

      All recipes are different blends of ingredients depending on the quantity each bring to the table. More eggs or liquid would most likely mean more cream cheese too. All I know is that I can’t recommend changing the quantities or method without sending you a false impression that it might work since I have not modified it like you want to. I would suggest making this recipe as is or trying to modify the recipe you use substituting some lemon components for the chocolate but in any event you are still best served to use each recipe as advised; that’s the only way to insure success.

  3. says

    I ended up using a 10 inch spring form pan since I didn’t have a 11 inch one. I baked it a little longer because of size. when I took it out, it developed a small crack on the top. In that crack. it looked like water. Can you please tell me what I did wrong?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I don’t know if you did anything actually wrong Clara; sometimes the differences in altitude, environment (dry vs moist) and oven temp calibrations can make a bit of a difference. It doesn’t sound like a big problem especially if you finished the cheesecake with the layers of sour cream and lemon; those should have served to disguise any cracks. I know some folks suggested making cheesecakes in a water bath; I’ve never had to but that can help to maintain an even temp and often help to prevent cracks.

  4. Jgould says

    I made this recipe earlier this week for a coworkers birthday. I usually make a different cheesecake each time, but here it is four days later and I’m back to this same recipe! It’s in the oven right now and can’t wait to try it again. The first time I accidentally baked it at 400 degrees instead of 350. The crust burnt but the cheesecake itself was so deliciously moist still. I’m curious how the insides will turn out this time. Thank you for such a delicious recipe!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Each package of cream cheese in the States is 8 oz or one cup, so (3) 8 oz packages would equal 3 cups of cream cheese.

  5. lesley plukaard says

    I’ve cooked cheesecakes for many years now and even sold then in my coffee shop. All sold quickly, However, this is the best I’ve ever done. Just yummu

  6. says

    This is by far the best cheesecake I have ever made. I used this as a template, made some modifications and have made some great flavors. To date we have made lemon, orange, lime and just put a peppermint one in the oven [so we shall see how that one turns out]. I upped the amount of extract to enhance the flavor and we use cinnamon graham crackers [along with Vietnamese Cinnamon] for the crust on the lemon, orange and lime cheesecakes. For the peppermint one we used ginger snaps [they were the only thing we could find with the same consistency as graham crackers] and so far so good. We will continue to try different variations but make no mistake about it, every time we make this we make sure to plug this site. Wonderful people, wonderful recipes, who could ask for more?

    Barbara, thanks for not only sharing this recipe but always hanging around to answer questions. Without your help [and all the informative posts around here] I would not be able to make such a fabulous cheesecake.
    Cale Ferguson Most Recent Post: Why I Created This Website

    • says

      Update….the peppermint cheesecake turned out better than I expected. The ginger snaps was a great crust to use, the consistency was better than graham crackers and the ginger really enhanced the flavor. We put crushed peppermints on the top and it really came out great! Since I prefer the ginger snaps for a crust, I will use lemon snaps on the next lemon cheesecake I make next week.
      Cale Ferguson Most Recent Post: Why I Created This Website

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks so much Cale; when someone has a problem or even complains about the cheesecake I wonder what the heck is going on because it’s always been stellar for me too! Love your being adventurous. What about using Oreo or those thin chocolate cookies for the peppermint variation? I did it once with ginger cookies filled with lemon and we enjoyed that variation too.

      You are so kind…this is a true labor of love. Loving to both cook and share pushed me to blog about it. Having someone appreciate the effort makes me smile from ear to ear!

      • says

        Hey Barbara,

        We tried Oreo cookies but the consistency was off. The trick was to find something that had similar consistency with the graham crackers and that’s no easy feat. We have used chocolate graham crackers before and that tastes good (make sure you add coco mix to the crust) but the ginger snaps worked great!

        The next cheesecake is going to be an orange cheesecake and we are using the new Peppridge Farms Vanilla Cupcake crackers as the crust, hopefully it will work well because vanilla goes great with orange.

        I put my variation of you recipe on my website along with a link to the original. Please feel free to check it out as I use more extract and it really enhances the flavor.
        Cale Ferguson Most Recent Post: Why I Created This Website

        • Creative Culinary says

          I’ll take your word for it; you’re done enough research study on this! :)

          I’ve not changed it much; when I crave it, I’m craving the lemon too. They only other cheesecake I like is one that is swirled with raspberry and chocolate but even it doesn’t measure up to the lemon; so glad you’ve enjoyed it!

  7. Jules says

    Hi Barbara,

    I made this cheesecake for the 4th of July. Everyone literally couldn’t stop talking about how good it tasted. In fact, a self proclaimed “cheesecake expert” came up and gave me a big kiss stating this was the best cheesecake he’s tasted!

    This was the first time I ever made a cheesecake. Well, technically it was my 2nd time. I made the cheesecake the night before and it ended up with deep cracks in it and the limoncello glaze didn’t set up. There was a real mess when I loosened the side off of the pan. No way I was going to serve this to friends!

    Like others who have posted, the cooking time, on the first try, didn’t work for me. I definitely overcooked the first cheesecake. Then I noticed the pan in your pictures is very dark (it looks black). I was using a dark pan – more of a gun metal grey. I had read to lower the cooking temperature when using dark pans. For the second try, I stayed closer to your 35 minutes, then 12 minutes. The cheesecake was still soupy. I left it in about 10 minutes longer, turned off the oven and let it sit for another 15 minutes, then opened the door for another 15 minutes. Then the cracks started. Not as bad as the first try. I’m wondering if the cracks formed because I was giggling the pan to see how soupy it was. The purpose of the sour cream layer is to prevent cracking (Read that on Google).

    To cover my cracks (sorry-couldnt resist that one!), I used a thin layer of lemon curd. I wasn’t going to try the limoncello glaze again as I was running out of chilling time before the party. The cracks got a little deeper and much longer after putting the lemon curd on. So, I made candied lemon slices and added fresh raspberries together in the center. This made it aesthetically pleasing.
    But, as I said, everyone raved about it. And, it was so nice to smell it baking – lovely!

    Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I’m going to keep making it until it is crack free and the glaze turns out perfectly (like I need an excuse to keep making this recipe). The “cheesecake expert” and my friends have all agreed to participate in any of the trial baking I do. Thank goodness we are all runners and are currently training for marathons!

    Just a thought. To those having cooking time issues, the current recipe cooking time may be just right if using dark pans. If you’re using silver pans you might need to add time – how much? – I’ll bet you can Google it! :-) J-

    FYI–I just noticed you posted this recipe in 2011 on my birthday – maybe it was fate that my first attempt at a cheesecake was your wonderful recipe!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Jules, thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful reply. I’ve seen people leave comments with amazing results and others that aren’t so happy and it’s sort of beyond my scope to figure out why that happens so I love that you tried it again.

      I do live in Denver and like everything else there is also a chance that my recipe is affected by altitude (in a good way since I’ve never had issues) but you’ve hit on some good points. One thing I do know, for many other recipes that I make I suggest a water bath to help eliminate that crack. Put a pan of hot water in the oven, wrap up the bottom of your springform pan tightly with aluminum foil and then bake the cheesecake in the water bath. Something about that seems to be the answer for cracking; although luckily with a layer of sour cream and a lemon topping any malformed tries I’ve had have been helped with the addition of those two layers; they can be a great disguise for a small crack or two.

      Yours sounds gorgeous with the lemon slices and raspberries; next time send me a photo! Barb

  8. Kim says

    Well. I love to cook and bake and I’d say I’m pretty good. I made this recipe but like many others the cooking time did not work for me. I was wondering if you used low fat cream cheese or full fat cream cheese and if this could be part of the problem. It seems as though many of us have the same issue and all of the ones above with the middle sinking/lumpiness/ increased cooking time etc. all happened for me. I have yet to eat it… or put the glaze on it as I am leaving it in the oven with the oven off to see if it will firm up in the middle… (it’s been in there for over an hour now)…. I don’t think I over beated (I make cheesecakes fairly often as it is the only kind of cake my husband likes) and I have never had a problem with that…. I still plan on serving it covered in berries so I’m not overly concerned with what the top looks like… just always get concerned with it doesn’t proceed just like the recipe says it will… My pan is a 10.5in. pan (bought new for this cake… was the biggest I could find) and my oven has never been off temperature wise… I cook all the time without a problem in the time department. Just wondering if it could be the cream cheese used? I used 1/3 less fat philadelphia cream cheese… (trying to be as health conscious as possible with such a not healthy dessert!)…

    • Creative Culinary says

      Kim, I never use low fat products in recipes I post here and if I did I would have mentioned it in the recipe. Since I don’t have that experience I can’t say for certain but the recipe as stated has worked for me so many times over the years without ever having a problem that certainly using something other than what is stated might be an issue. Your pan is large enough certainly that it should not be too deep in the center; it will also firm up some after it’s removed and cooled. I hate hearing of someone not having the same success myself and others have had since it’s a great cheesecake. I’m tempted to try it with lowfat cream cheese but it’s a once a year indulgence at best so really prefer to just do it as is and enjoy all the fat! :)

  9. Liuruyu says

    in your recipe you stated 12 mins in the oven after sourcream layer is added, but in the text you stated 5 mins in the oven, which one is the correct time?

    • Creative Culinary says

      Good call; I have no idea why they are different but trust the recipe; I’ll change the text in the body to reflect that number or remove it. Thanks for the catch.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Glad you liked it too Valerie; I guess those words are used a lot but it really is! :)

  10. Sarah says

    Hi there! Love this recipe :3 was just wondering, if I separate the batter into two different pans and bake them at the same time, what would the timing be like?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I’ve never done it Sarah so hard for me to say but I would start checking at half the time; use a toothpick just like with a cake and make sure there is no liquid left on the pick after you remove it.

  11. Christi says

    Can you give me some frame of reference for the thickness of the glaze? I made this cheesecake today and although I really messed up the cooking time, I’m planning to serve it to my girlfriends tomorrow. (They are good guinea pigs.) I burned the first glaze trying to get it thick enough and the one that I have cooling on the stove now seems way too thin. I did substitute the water for the limoncello. Do you cook the glaze for 3 minutes after it starts boiling? Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Hmm, I’m thinking. Sort of like syrup if not a tiny bit thicker? And yes, you do cook it; it has to come to a boil and cook down a bit and then when it goes on the cheesecake, it flows over the top easily and it firms up with the refrigeration. Hope that helps.

    • Creative Culinary says

      At least 9″ but think mine is 10″ – it’s just not suitable for anything smaller. Had someone try it in an 8″ pan and it was overflowing.

  12. Bethanne says

    I made this yesterday and it is delicious!! Next time I will probably add a few minutes bake time but that’s it. And I droped a few drops of yellow food coloring into the glaze and it made it a very bright yellow!

  13. Debbi says

    I’m very curious about the sour cream layer. My son wants a lemon cheesecake for his birthday, but he is an extremely picky eater. Is the flavor of the sour cream strong and noticeable? I might need to try it without that layer, but I always like to make a new recipe in it’s original form before I start tweaking! This looks delicious!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I don’t think it is Debbi but then I like sour cream! It is combined with vanilla and sugar so it’s a great compliment to the cheesecake.It’s not got a ‘sour’ element at all once completed. Let me know how it flies with your son.

        • Creative Culinary says

          Oops..I just recently broke down the ingredients for the cheesecake filling and the sour cream layer to be separate…and forgot to include that change. Thanks for spotting it! The filling has one teaspoon of vanilla and the other teaspoon goes into the sour cream layer. No biggie if the filling has more but I have revised the recipe now to clarify that. Thanks!

      • Troy says

        No you don’t notice it. What it does is enhance the cream cheese and also enhances the lemon on top. I’ve made this recipe a million times, wouldn’t do it without.

  14. Dena Downing says

    I made this last week and it is perfect! It took longer to bake for me but I cooked the second on convection and it turned out a nicer color. I am one of those people that always tweek recipes but this was perfect and the lemon flavor was yummy!

  15. Pontus Odqvist says

    Fantastic cheesecake!!!

    Had it (or actually several) at my combined 50 yrs anniversary & new years eve. It was a smash hit to say the least. Started off with a salmon terrin with whitefish roe then onto a double marinated file with a kind of potatoe cake but rolled in blanched leeks topped with a cognac gravy. And to nail the dinner I served your cheesecake. Can you imagine :-)

    Thanks a lot from Sweden

    //Pontus

    Ps. Your web page link has already been passed on!

  16. Leticia says

    I’m sad my middle is raw and my cheesecake fell. My oven has never been off on recipes. I love the flavor and I will make it again I think it needed 5 to 10 extra min. Thanks this one is still a keeper.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I am so sorry too Leticia; next time be sure to test with a toothpick to insure the middle is done; much like when testing a regular cake. Hope you’ll try again!

  17. Tanya says

    We didn’t have any Lemoncello, so we made the glaze with the lemon juice and water but added 3/4 of a shot of St. Germaine. The elderflower blends so nicely with the lemon, and really made the cake.

  18. Shelby says

    Just enjoyed a tour of your blog-my first visit. Thanks for reminding me that I own the “Colorado Cache Cookbook”. Bought it in 1994 while vacationing in Vail, Aspen and Breckingridge. It’s a good one! You see, I have this little problem with cookbooks, online recipes and good magazines
    Filled with recipes- I want them all!!! The really good ones, that is! Don’t care for the ones that
    call for tons of candy thrown in! What’s with that trend anyway? Aren’t we Americans fat enough
    already? Forgive me, please for going on and on. I’ll be back for more good things.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Still one of my favorite cookbooks…and Oh my gosh Shelby…you and me both! Why ruin a perfectly good thing by gooping (is that a word but you know what I mean) it up with crap. A lot of food bloggers will add that stuff hoping it will bring them search engine requests; hits reign supreme. I stick to my guns of just wanting to share the foods I’ve made and loved…and I do not love ruining perfectly good food with store bought candy! Take a peek at my latest post that came about from someone lamenting the trend of making foods with every trend imaginable; seems I’m not alone!

      http://www.creative-culinary.com/the-miley-vyrus-cocktail-a-bit-of-sin-something-aged-and-hot-damn/#more-20858

  19. says

    I wanted to bake a cheesecake for my wife while she was at work. I live in Manila and lemons aren’t always available — I used two Tspns of lime cordial and it was wonderful! My wife loved the surprise and loved the cake! Note: my oven is notoriously inaccurate so I use an oven thermometer to help me control the temperature. My cake didn’t crack or fall.

    • Creative Culinary says

      What a sweet thing to do…I’m impressed with that alone; that you tackled a cheesecake is even better! Nice switchin…truth is I think I want to try this as a lime cheesecake next time; see you’ve inspired me! So glad you enjoyed it.

      • Cale Ferguson says

        So I just sat down and had a piece of my new Lime cheescake and I think I actually like it better than the lemon (and I am a lemon freak). I used the same recipe as above except I didn’t use vanilla extract and I used 1/4 teaspoon of lime oil instead of extract. I again used the Vietnamese Cinnamon to mix with the graham cracker crust and doubled the glaze recipe. To give the glaze color I used electric green soft gel paste and it looks amazing. The glaze almost looks like vibrant rich green glass. The taste is perfect. Thanks again William and Barb for all the inspiration. Orange will have to be next.

    • Cale Ferguson says

      I have now been inspired by William’s post to make a lime variation and I can’t wait to see how it turns out (it’s in the oven as I type this). Like most of the people here I absolutely love this cheesecake and we make it often. We use cinnamon graham crackers and add 2 tbsp of Vietnamese cinnamon for the crust and it gives it a great flavor. I share this recipe with everyone I talk to and I love all the comments/suggestions. If you all haven’t I would definitely recommend signing up for the recipes by email…..they are all awesome!!!!

      • Creative Culinary says

        I have been too in a way. Promised lemon bars to a friend today but after reading William’s post decided to try lime bars. I love lime so much; so next time I’m making this cheesecake lime it will be. Thank you SO much for your kind comments and suggestions…have a great day! Barb

  20. Sue tewart says

    I have been very careful with reciepe==cooking now but it is soupy in the middle. Is this correct to stop cooking/

    • Creative Culinary says

      It should not be soupy; try covering the pan with aluminum foil and continue cooking until the middle firms up.

  21. Kelly Atkins says

    I think this is the best cheesecake ever! I made it for my boyfriend 6 months ago, and we are now married – I’m pretty sure this cheesecake played a huge role in that! Just made it again tonight for his Birthday tomorrow. It’s amazing. A bit of work – but well worth it.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Now that is quite the accolade for a mere cheesecake and it sure helps me when I have to stand up to those that say it’s a total failure. Um, no it is not and now I have you to share that testimony with me! Thanks Kelly…and congrats too!

  22. Tiara says

    How do I know if the cheesecake is baked? last time I made it, the middle sunk.. but it still tasted absolutely delicious!! help me please!

    • Creative Culinary says

      The middle should be just a bit ‘jiggly’ but if you are unsure, you could do a toothpick test much like is done with a cake; it should come out clean and not with a liquid on it. I wonder if your oven is calibrated accurately Tiara; it could be you are setting it correctly but that the oven temp is not actually reaching the proscribed temp? Sinking can also mean you might have over-mixed it a bit…adding too much air volume in the mixing and there is a chance it will deflate.

      There are so many variables it’s hard to accurately help from a distance but these two could affect the end result…good luck; it really is a terrific cheesecake and I’m wishing success for you this time!

  23. Felicia says

    I have made this cheesecake 5 times. My first time was for Easter March 31, 2013. This cheesecake is easy to make and is delicious. I have not put the top layer on though. I did use the sour cream layer. I did need to bake the cheesecake longer than the suggested time. I have tried substituting orange instead of lemon. I have used 1/2 lemon and half lime too. The last time I tried this recipe I added a little lime zest to the crust and cut the graham cracker down to 2 cups, butter down to 4 Tbs. This is easy to make and has been so good each time. It is a very light cheesecake! Great for a summer day dessert!

    • Creative Culinary says

      No, it’s not necessary but just a nice balance of flavor and it does offer some subterfuge; if your cheesecake cracks, it’s a great coverup! :)

  24. says

    I tried making this twice. Altering baking time due to my pan the first time. The second I changed egg size. I had zero luck with this and am very disappointed. I bake all the time and am very good with cheesecake. Very poor results

    • Creative Culinary says

      I always hate to hear that someone is disappointed with a dessert that we have had years of success with but I stand by this cheesecake and the majority of the comments are testimony to an overwhelming number of folks having equal success. Sorry it didn’t work out for you Sid.

  25. robin ben-chaim says

    In order to keep my cheesecakes from falling, I usually leave them a half hour in the oven after I’ve turned it off, without opening the door. You can’t do that with your recipe, or can you?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I would think you would have to modify the time Robin and turn the oven off earlier than in my directions. I hate to guess when since I’ve never done that but I’ve also never had it fall!

      • Pastry Lover says

        I let mine sit on the rack in the oven for 30 minutes after I turned it off and it turned out perfect. This was my first time making it and I had no problems. I used a 9 inch spring-form pan, and the same baking times listed in the recipe. Maybe that extra 30 minutes on the rack is what helped cook it all the way through. Mine looked just like the picture! I was very pleased since I had never baked with a spring-form pan before. No falling. I loved this recipe because there weren’t any ingredients I didn’t already have. I make a lot of desserts and will definitely be making this one again.

        • Creative Culinary says

          Thanks so much for taking the time to share. It’s an odd thing that happens when you start to blog about the food you make. Sometimes something you love gives others trouble and it’s so hard to understand why. I have never had an issue with this cheesecake and I’m in my third home since discovering the recipe so I know it’s something beyond oven variations or…well, I just don’t know what it is! Great idea though; although I’ve never had it be close to soupy, that would be a way to firm it up if the center did not seem cooked through without having to overbake the rest. Thanks so much for your tip…and so glad you are enjoying one of my favorite desserts EVER!

  26. Jake says

    I made this for our Mother’s Day celebration yesterday. It tasted great and was a big hit! However, mine turned out with huge cracks. The cracks formed while baking, not during the cooling process. Any tips? To fix the visual presentation issue I covered the top solid with an assortment of fresh berries, so in the end it worked out. But I’d love to try to not have the cracks next time. Thanks!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I’ve not had an issue with cracks Jake but I’ve heard on good authority that the solution to avoid them is to bake cheesecake in a water bath. That apparently provides a more even cooking environment for the cake and eliminate them. If I’ve ever had an imperfect looking end result, the combination of the sour cream layer and lemon glaze helped me too! Hope that helps…Barb

  27. helene says

    This cake never cooked through. Did not realize until it was cut for desert – was a disappointing mess. Is the cooking time a misprint? Appears that I was not the only one with this problem. Unfit to serve my guests on mother’s day.

    • Creative Culinary says

      It is not a misprint; I’ve had success making this cheesecake for over 20 years and as testimony in the comments, the vast majority had the same success. So many variables are possible that it’s hard for me to discern what went wrong; including the real temp of your oven, size of your eggs, etc. A quick test with a toothpick is always a good move to verify that a cheesecake is done. Did you test it before you removed it from the oven?

  28. Tiffany says

    So, its baking in the oven, and baking, and baking, and baking still!!!! :( Wondering if my oven temp is off? Like REALLY OFF!!!! Its very runny in the middle, and I baked for the 35 minutes, then added the sour cream, then baked 12 minutes, then 15 minutes, now just watching and checking it…OR wondering if your oven is too hot? Not sure, but I am using 11 or 12″ pan so should be pretty close to correct cooking time. Anyway, ‘Ill eat it no matter what..hahah LOVE me some lemon…Although, I do not have any Limoncello left (ya, I got a little thirsty, heehee), I am going to add some champagne, mixed with a tinny bit of lemon extract..hope it works ;)

    • Tiffany says

      Only baked for another 15 minutes or so, BUT once i cut it…its so “chunky”, and not smooth? Cooked too long? UGH, I followed directions PERFECTLY!!! :(

      • Creative Culinary says

        I saw your comment last night and couldn’t get to a computer. Ugh is right; wish I knew how to help but I’ve made it successfully in different kitchens and different ovens and so many others have had similar success. Wish I could magically transport one to you…but I can not deny your spirit has made me smile if that counts at all.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Glad you did too…it’s subtle but I can tell and we love it too; hope you had a nice holiday.

  29. michelle says

    Hi just wanted you to know that i finally got a chance to try this recipe for Easter dessert and what an easy breezy recipe it is no cracking everything set up perfectly wil definitely be making this again i don’t understand what the others were saying about not setting up properly i did the glaze in the microwave and voila absolute perfection!!..Thank you for posting this recipe

    • Creative Culinary says

      Good to hear Michelle…I and so many others have never had issues so it can be difficult to understand what went awry. Glad it worked out for you too; it’s our favorite dessert for Easter.

  30. Julia says

    This cheesecake is delicious, but when I cooked it the outside edges of the top just started burning and the center remained completely liquid! I had to cook it for over an hour and a half before the center was cooked all the way through!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Did you use an 11″ pan? I’ve never had any issues with it so hate to hear you had problems Julia. If your pan was not as wide, the mixture would have required more baking time (I know this because I don’t actually have a pan that big!). I can’t address all of the possible variables but I do cover mine with foil so the top doesn’t overbrown as I have to cook it longer too. That I’m at altitude means I never dictate changes to recipes though because it could be significant only to me. Glad it tasted good; that’s the best result of all!

  31. christine says

    Has anyone else had a hard time cooking theirs? This did not assemble like you stated above. I cooked it for 35 minutes and the sour cream just sunk in the middle. And now its taking far more than 12 minutes to cook it! I do have an 11 inch springform pan. Cheesecakes usually bake for over an hour! So I’m curious if this is a typo?

    • Creative Culinary says

      This bakes perfectly for me as instructed and as you can see has for a lot of others too so it’s VERY hard to discern what could be different in your case. Oven calibration? Humidity? Altitude? To be honest I bake mine a bit longer because I included the recipe as given in the cookbook cited but my springform pan is a bit smaller so I just have to test by making sure the filling is almost done. I hate hearing of problems with a recipe that has been a tried and true favorite for so many years and hope you resolved it on your end.

  32. sherry says

    Love this recipe! I’m making it to bring to Easter brunch tomorrow and the glaze won’t thicken even though I added a bit more corn starch and simmered it with constant stirring for at least 10 minutes?!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I’m in the process of packing for a move next Saturday so buried in boxes and not online much this weekend. Did you get it to work Sherry? I’ve never had an issue with it so hard for me to discern when cooked in another kitchen; it will also firm up in fridge a bit.

  33. Jamie says

    I am not a cheesecake fan but this looks amazing! The texture looks absolutely divine and the lemon glaze would have me begging for a slice. I love lemon desserts, the sharper and tangier the better. And I love old community cookbooks – they do often have the best recipes!

  34. Dingena Biester says

    Over the last 5 weeks I have made 5 different (cheese-)cakes for the sunday, in order to let my son choose his “birthday cake”. He chose this one: a huge compliment for you! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you for letting me know; I love nothing more than someone loving something I’ve put on this blog. A big Happy Birthday to your son!

  35. Al says

    Your filling ingredients call for 2 teaspoons vanilla but your mixing directions say to add 1 teaspoon. Could you clarify? Thanks

  36. Anna Brown says

    Wowee!!! I chose to make this cheesecake for my Mom’s 60th birthday since she loves lemon and she was so amazed at the creamy texture and delectable taste! (I was too!!:) ) The culmination of lemon, sour cream, and cheesecake complimented each other just right! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe; I wouldn’t change it one bit! Thanks, also, for making a special occasion even more special!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Anna…it is for people like you and your mom that I do this blog; I want to share the recipes I love (or at least like a lot!). This truly is the best and I’m just delighted it was so perfect for such a special day! Happy Birthday to your mom.

  37. says

    Oh my gosh!! I am so excited to make this cake. I am entertaining over the weekend and have a few beautiful lemons to use up. So glad I came across your recipe!!
    I was reading through your comments and noted that overbeating must be avoided at all costs. Being an over-enthusiastic baker, I should remember that. I am sure its going to turn it fine but I do have one question. Can I omit the sour cream part of the recipe? There are some folks who don’t really like sour cream and that’s why I was wondering.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Sure, it can be omitted. It imparts some flavor but I’ve always thought it’s biggest benefit was covering up any cracks that might appear. I’ve also substituted Greek yogurt with success. Good luck; it is really a great cheesecake; especially if you ignore the couple of grumpy pants comments. :)

      • says

        Ah, I never really listen to people with such irrelavant reviews anyway!
        I am going to just go ahead and add the sour cream. I feel like its going to add something extra special to the cake and don’t want to risk it!
        If it does come out even half magnificent as your pics, I’ll put it up on my blog with a link back to yours :)

  38. Gayle says

    I love making cheesecake but I have an issue of it sinking after I remove it from the oven. Yours look so perfect. Help, what am I doing wrong?

    ps: really Heidi, don’t you have something better to do?????

    • Creative Culinary says

      You made my day with your comment…kind of what I thought about Heidi too! Another one further down, Bonnie? She was about as bad; I’m betting these are really cranky women!

      I’m wondering if you might be beating your mixture too much…adding a lot of air to the mix can sometimes cause the opposite of the desire effect when the mix inflates and ‘breaks’ and results in deflating. Other than that I know some folks swear by cooking a cheesecake in a water bath which controls heat fluctuations more; it might be worth it trying that method. Even at altitude I have not had problems with this one…and if I have had the occasional cracked top it’s been no nicely camouflaged with sour cream and lemon! Good luck…Barb

  39. Lola says

    Thank you for this recipe. This is by far, the most authentic, most satisfying, most delicious cheesecake – ever. Just an FYI, it is delicious even without the glaze, but it’s really just a matter of preference. I found the taste to be perfectly balanced;sweet and tart, but neither component was overwhelming.

    Thanks again, this is definitely a recipe I will keep coming back to, as my go to dessert :).

    • Creative Culinary says

      Love that you see why I love it SO much Lola…because of everything you said! True confession? The glaze is a matter of preference for sure but I love that 1. It can cover any cracks that might occur and 2. I do love it a bit yellow as a visual part of the dessert. But it’s the cake itself that is the star and so happy to hear you were pleased!

  40. vivien says

    This is the 1st time I’m doing a lemon cheesecas this is so…so… delicious. You should see my hubby face… he loves the cake to pieces…. and he make sure I’m not sharing with anyone. Anyway, I notice my crust is a bit soft. When I cut into it, it’s kinda crumbles. Any advice on this… thank u so much for this lovely recipe.
    Vivien

    • Creative Culinary says

      So pleased that you and hubby loved it too Vivien and wish I could give you advice on the crust but I’ve never had an issue with mine; I think so many conditions can affect a less than perfect outcome that if all it did was crumble a bit I would say you were successful. I live at high altitude I deal with less than perfect a LOT and we just have to roll with it. :)

  41. Esabella Brilmyer says

    Hi there, creative culinary! I am Esabella Brilmyer and I am eleven years old and have been cooking since I was three years old, so I do have a bit of experience. Yesterday I made it, and it was just fabulous! I absolutely adore this cheesecake! It was light and airy and had just enough lemony
    flavor. I did refrigerate it over night, and I do recommend that to everyone, cheesecake is not something quick you make so do not get impatient with it, because it takes time! This cheesecake is really worth the time, so you should really make it! The outcome is just excellent! Please feel free to reply to my comment if anyone has any questions. Thanks for submitting!

    Sincerely,
    Esabella Brilmyer =]

  42. Jody says

    This cheesecake is delicious and easy to make! Thank you so much for a great recipe! I wanted to try something a little different so I made a graham cracker/coconut crust and topped the cake with coconut toasted with a little brandy extract. I had to sample it this morning (yes for breakfast, Oh my!) My son who doesn’t care for cheesecake but LOVES lemon treats actually enjoyed this. It wasn’t too sweet or too lemony, in our opinion this is absolutely wonderful. So glad I found your recipe and look forward to trying some more.

  43. Heather says

    HELP!! The cake has been in the fridge for 5 hours & the lemon layer wont harden! What do I do? The only thing I did differently is add food coloring. How do I fix it?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I hope it worked out for you in the end Heather; I’m in the process of putting my home up for sale and was buried in cleaning and packing all weekend. I’ve never had an issue with it…but it sure sounds like too much liquid was used. Barb

  44. Heidi says

    I really like your recipes overall. A plus.

    You writing skills are a bit lacking. Example:

    ” Wanting to have the top be yellow to reflect the lemon color I pondered what I could add.”

    I pondered what I could add to have the lemon flavor reflected in the glazed topping.

    Or you could use just “top”
    A little easier to read.

    There should be a semi colon or at least a comma between color and I. When these statements are combined as written, you have a run-on statement and it doesn’t make for easy reading.

    You frequently put the subject of your sentence at the end vs. the beginning.

    Anyway, I do love your recipe collection overall and marked your site as a favorite.

    Sincerely,

    Heidi

    • Creative Culinary says

      Really Heidi? I have no plans to alter the way I write. I write in a totally informal ‘as if you were in my kitchen’ style; one that might not be perfect enough for you but conveys to thousands of readers just that. I’m not trying to be a writer and follow a formulaic approach that you must ascribe to; I’m a cook who is sharing with I love with others. To that end, I’ve actually put my English major background far aside; if this makes my posts hard for you to read then I guess that’s a risk I will have to take.

      These are very personal posts and I’m an extremely strong and confident woman, thankfully. But I can imagine that a comment like this, which is basically using MY website so that you can exhibit what you think are greater skills to my audience, might harm someone else if left on their site. What is YOUR purpose, what were you really trying to achieve? I don’t recall asking for editorial advice from you in the course of doing this work so your attempt to teach me is both unnecessary and unwelcome; but then you must have known that would be the case right?

      Whatever critical errors you may find in my writing style; none of them add up to the faux pas of leaving a comment of this nature.

      • Eleanor Lawson says

        Wow…. the chick who criticized your writing – what’s up with that? That was totally RUDE! I personally enjoy your posts, and I was a journalism major. She is obviously sufferring from a tragic kitchen accident where a large spoon was inadvertently shoved somewhere a spoon should never be!

        • Creative Culinary says

          Thank you Eleanor; you said what I did not! Lots of nerve huh? I was an English major…but I don’t contrive my writing; I really do want it to be casual and friendly as if we were chatting, not as if I were writing a book! Most nasty comments are from what must be really unhappy people and I’ve got enough self confidence to let them stay on the site. I always wonder how rude those folks are in public; after all they are sort of coming into MY house with their nastiness! You’re a doll…made my day!

    • Creative Culinary says

      My Aunt Jane is a nun Joan; she is with the Sisters of Mercy in St. Louis…how I wish I could make this for her too. I’m not sure of her exact age but she is older than my Dad who will be 91 in February and she is amazing. Still super sharp and active; she just handled the estate of their sibling who passed away last year; I still can’t get over that! I hope they love it as much as we do; I’m serious when I say it’s my favorite.

  45. Kalindi says

    Very nice recipe. The taste was just lovely. I had trouble with the sour cream, trying to spread it across the cheese cake. It looked very lumpy – but tasted delish! I also would increase the lemon just a little, or make a note which variety of lemon to use, as Meyers to Florida lemons, etc. I used Meyers and of course they do not have as much acid. I like the Meyers because they make a very floral and sweet flavor, but I didn’t think to make that adjustment.

    Funny side note: I also just moved to Seattle and I didn’t bring most of my kitchen tools (we’re in a tiny apartment until we find something larger) so I had to use a whisk and a rubber spatula (and a fork at times).

    • Creative Culinary says

      Hmm…not sure why the sour cream would be lumpy…maybe next time whisk it a bit before trying to spread it? I think you’re right about substituting the Meyer Lemons…adding a bit additional juice might make up for the difference in their flavor compared to the basic Euraka lemon; maybe even add just a bit of zest to the mix? Stil, all in all glad you enjoyed the cheesecake.

  46. Julie says

    Hello,
    In the paragraphs above the recipe you say that you substituted half of the water 1/4 cup with the limoncello. In the recipe for the glaze it says 1/2 cup substituted. Which one is the right taste combo? Can’t wait to try this recipe out, it looks delicious!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Well Julie…I’m wondering what I was thinking? The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup water so I’m pretty sure I subbed half that with Limoncello the first time. I’m thinking I might have subsequently just done all Limoncello too so actually either would work. I’m changing the recipe to 1/4…but do whichever appeals to you the most! Thanks for the heads up…Barb

    • Creative Culinary says

      When I went to revise I noticed that it was in the text of the post that I mentioned using 1/4 cup water so I’m thinking I changed that to 1/2 cup and forgot I had mentioned it elsewhere outside of the recipe area…so, I’ve actually changed the recipe to 1/2 cup. It’s optional so still up to user preference but that’s what I’ve done.

  47. Lyn says

    I made this cheesecake and it looks really good! I can’t wait to try it! The only problem is that I ended up with a crack on the sour cream topping layer, do u know why this would happen??

    • Creative Culinary says

      I wish I could offer you a specific answer Lyn; it just has never happened to me. I know that the way to get a cheesecake to not crack is to bake it sitting in a pan of water; the heat is regulated better. For me, the sour cream layer is my bandaid if that happens! What I might do though is just fill the crack a bit with more sour cream to get a level top and the add the lemon glaze. I doubt a small amount of uncooked sour cream would be noticeable. I live in Denver where I always have to punt to fix things since baking at altitude is always an issue; that’s just what I would probably try. Good luck…hope you love the end result.

  48. says

    Wow! The Colorado Cache cookbook! I have one from about 23 years ago and had forgotten all about it! I was searching for a great lemon Cheesecake recipe and stumbled upon your blog. I’m making this lemon cheesecake for my church group of 25 this wednesday. What do you suggest? Should I make it on Monday and serve on Wednesday? Is that okay? Should I make two?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I have never had it last for two days so I’m just guessing it should be fine. If there are other foods, this cheesecake could probably manage 25 servings but they would be tiny. It is so good…if it were me? I would most definitely make two. Leftovers are good!

      I have never made anything from any of the Junior League cookbooks that hasn’t been wonderful…and I’ve got every one of them!

  49. Bellie says

    OMG!! I made this for Thanksgiving and I’m still hearing praises. This was my first time making a cheesecake and it was absolutely perfect. I added a little lemon zest to the glass to add a little extra zing, other than that I followed the recipe. This is my new go-to recipe for desserts that impress!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I seriously love nothing more than having someone try a recipe and love it as much as I do. The extra zest sound nice; I think I’ll try that too. Thanks a bunch for taking the time to come back and comment; it’s very appreciated!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I actually use a 9″ pan Marian…the original recipe must have called for a larger one but I use my smaller one with any ingredient modifications; the only thing I do is watch the time…since it’s taller, you might have to cook it a bit longer. Hard for me to say exactly how long since I live in Denver and our altitude would affect that and be different from yours…but testing every 5 minutes would be my recommendation.

  50. Billie says

    I made this cheesecake about a week ago and everyone begged me to make another one for Thanksgiving today. It is very, very good. I only have one question about the recipe. The recipe calls for 2 tps of vanilla. The instructions call for 1 tsp in the batter, but doesn’t say what to do with the other tsp. I assumed it would go with the sour cream layer, am I right? It turned out wonderful the first time and I made it again last night for Thanksgiving today. I was just a little baffled by the vanilla measurement. Can’t wait to dig in!!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Yikes…but you hit the nail on the head; it goes into the sour cream layer. I’ll get that fixed asap, thank you so much. Still…love that you love our favorite cheesecake so much too! Happy Thanksgiving Billie!

  51. Tia Bailey says

    My husband and I love anything lemon. I changed a couple things in your recipe. I made a Ganache instead of doing the sour cream. Incredible! Ty for Sharing!
    Tia Bailey Largo,FL.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I just like that protection; I’ve had a few dribbles in my time when using a springform pan so I always wrap them tightly to prevent that.

  52. Ed says

    Thank you thank you thank you Barbara!!! OMG this was fantastic!!! I think it’s the best cheese cake I’ve ever tasted!! I love the taste of anything lemon, and wanted my first cheese cake to be unforgettable! This one definitely fits the bill. My guests raved!!

    I halved the recipe to make a 7 1/2″ cake, and cut the first baking time by 10 minutes, and kept the second baking time at 12 minutes. Came out perfect! Hope this helps others…

    Thank you again for this heavenly sinful recipe!

    • Creative Culinary says

      What a nice comment to start my day. I’m telling you Ed I feel exactly the same way. So glad it worked so beautifully for you…makes both of us happy!

  53. Jane says

    I was wondering if I could bake this in cupcake pans instead of a cake pan? Would the baking times become a bit shorter?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I think you could do that Jane but yes, the time would be MUCH shorter. It will be all about testing but I would start at 15 min; about what it takes for a cupcake.

  54. Connie Myburgh says

    I found your recipe for this COLORADO CHEESECAKE as I call it now, by luck on internet on Saturday. I have a great South African recipe for lemon cheesecake but I like to CHANGE sometimes. So I made yours and boy, is it good!!!!!!!! Wow wow the Italians were impressed.

    We don’t have Graham Biscuits here in Italy (I will search though), so I used normal biscuits and added some brown sugar. PERFECT!

    We don’t have cream cheese, so I used Philidelhia Cheese /Light). PERFECT!
    We don’t have sour cream so I used white yoghurt with the sugar. My white topping should be a bit more stiff but it was 95%perfect. I made the glaze double as the cake is large. So my glaze did’nt come out solid enough and ran a bit down the cake. (I will add more Mazeina next time). Nobody noticed as this cheese cake is delicious enough and lovely with a pineapple ring and youngberries in the centre!!!!!!

    Your way of using Lemoncello gives just that special sweety lemon taste.

    COMPLIMENTS – I am so proud about my AMERICAN CHEESECAKE here in Italy. Thx to YOU!

    Bacione

    • Connie Myburgh says

      I fwd the recipe to my sister in Namibia and as she LOVES cheesecake and hers is always the best. Awaiting her response…..I am sooooooo curious. I wil let you know and in the meantime, try some other of your recipies like the Sicilian Ice cream!!! I could never make ice cream – also, we have the perfect GELATO in Italy. But I am going to try!!!! Ciao

  55. Codi says

    My Sunday date was pushed back because northern California was hit hard by dry lightning. Thus causing my hubby and the majority of his coworkers to be gone doing what they do :)

    So, I made this tonight instead. It’s set for delivery tomorrow night. My only issue with this delicious beauty was that I did have a few cracks in the top. For a perfectionist like me, a few cracks are catastrophic. Luckily. I topped it with the glaze do nobody will know the difference.

    Thanks for the recipe. Over all I’m very happy with the end result.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Cracks can be avoided with cheesecake by putting the form into a large pan with warm water about half way up the pan; that water bath provides a more even constant temp. I’ve done it with other recipes but don’t feel it’s necessary with this cheesecake for the very reason you cite. The glaze finishes it off beautifully.

  56. Codi says

    I saw the previous post about the limoncello… So, if I’m just using lemon juice (don’t have access to limoncello) then I use 1/2 cup of lemon juice as a substitute or just the 2 table spoons?

    I’m making this for a BBQ at my husbands fire station and it needs to be perfect.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I had to go find the old cookbook it came from because that sounded like a lot to me even! So, if not using limoncello, for the filling use 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice and for the glaze use 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice. Good luck…although I’ve never had a problem and I’ve received so many comments from others who have made it as well, and to rave reviews…I expect the same for you too!

  57. Laree Williams says

    The lemon cheesecake was the best I have ever made. I mde it for my daughter’s birthday and many guests said it was the best cheesecake they had ever had. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    • Creative Culinary says

      You are most welcome! I’m just delighted that you enjoyed it as much as we do; it’s our all time favorite.

  58. poppteo says

    Hello

    I like very much your site and this cheesecake is amazing. I have a question – when you say to cook it at 350 degrees – this is in Farenheit (I am living in France and here the receipts are generally in Celsius)?

    thanks you very much in advance

  59. Pamela Landon says

    Hello there!

    Just wanted to let you know that I stumbled across your website while I was looking for a lemon cheesecake recipe. Let me just say that this was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had, let alone made. I used Limoncello in the glaze as well (a friend of mine makes homemade Limoncello so I always have a bottle hanging around) and it really made it! I can’t wait to try other recipes from your site. Thanks so much and keep up the great work!

    Oh BTW, the cooking time and the sugar in the graham crackers was RIGHT ON! Don’t change a thing no matter what anyone says :)

    Fondly, a new member of your blog,

    Pamela Landon

    • Creative Culinary says

      Well Pamela you just made my day! I love this cheesecake just the way it is too (and so do a lot of others) so no changes coming down the pike; sometimes something is too good to mess with it (OK, I did add Limoncello to it but can you blame me?).

      I just recently made some homemade Limoncello too! I would make more liqueurs but I’m totally out of bar space; guess I need to be drinking a bit more. :)

      Thank you again for the kind comment; it is much appreciated. You are why I do this!

  60. Becky says

    How can this just be printed without printing all the ads etc. would love to try it….I love anything lemon

    • Creative Culinary says

      There is a small printer icon on the recipe at the top right…that should print only the recipe for you.

        • Creative Culinary says

          There is a button at the top right of the section with the recipe; two actually. One allows you to save it to a global recipe box (others sites using the same system) and one that says ‘Print Recipe.’ Clicking that button should open a new browser window with just the recipe on it for you to print.

          If for some reason this is not working with your browser you can do it the old fashioned way. Highlight the text, copy it and paste it onto a word document you can print. Hope that helps!

  61. R-M-H says

    I found your recipe from PunchFork and under the filter of “gluten-free” yet graham crackers aren’t gluten-free, are they?

    • Creative Culinary says

      No, not at all. Hmm, Punchfork must have erred because I never label my posts with Gluten Free even if it might be naturally since I’m not making recipes specifically for GF cooking.

      • Cora says

        This recipe can be easily altered by substituting the graham crackers with either gluten-free graham crackers or any gluten free cookie crumbs!

        • Creative Culinary says

          That’s a great idea Cora; I’ll try to actually mention that in the recipe since it would be an easy switch.

  62. Bonnie says

    Unfortunately, the timing of this cake is all wrong. I used to bake cheesecakes professionally and the cake, prior to adding the topping, needs to bake for 55 minutes. Otherwise, the cake will not be cooked. Additionally, you do not need to add sugar to make the crust. Gramham crackers and butter are enough. Or, you can substitute lemon wafers. No ardditonal sugar needed. Lastly the glaze is sickenly sweet. I just threw it out. Instead, use bottled lemon curd, easily available at specialty stores including Trader Joes and mix it with some lemoncello. Otherwise, just eliminate it.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I guess this does serve to illustrate how we all have different tastes Bonnie, not only is this our favorite cheesecake but many people have made it and raved about the results. Sorry it didn’t work for you but I stand by the directions, the ingredients and the end result.

  63. wendy says

    Your lemon cheesecake looks really beautiful. It tickle my interest to give it a try now, but I only have a 8 inch springform pan. Do you know how should I adjust the ingredients, baking time and temperature?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I think it’s really difficult to try to adjust the ingredients if not going to cut them substantially; like in half. What I would suggest, even if not the prettiest result for the second batch would be to try making what doesn’t fit into the springform pan in a regular cake pan, small pie plate or even something like a small Corning Ware server. The temperature of the oven can stay the same and I would start testing for done-ness about 20 minutes earlier. You can usually judge if it’s done by how it looks…a slight wiggle in the center is fine but no sloshing!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Having a cheesecake sink in the center is typically due to too much air having been beaten into the mixture; either beating it at a high speed and/or for too long. The bubbles expand and push the cake up but the cake doesn’t have the strength to hold the bubbles, except at the rim where it is firmest. This recipe does call for high speed mixing so I wonder if maybe it was mixed for too long? The toppings can help to hide the depression as the cheesecake should still taste fine. It’s never happened to me in all the times I’ve prepared it so hope this helps a bit.

  64. Hattie says

    i made this recipe. i put in all the right ingredients and i had it in for the correct time and it came out soupy.what went wrong?

    • Creative Culinary says

      Hattie, I answered directly to your email but I would reiterate here…I have a feeling your oven is either not calibrated correctly or that it just needed a bit more time. It can be hard to discern when it’s been so successful for so many what the exact circumstance is that would have resulted in a less firm product. I have you continued to bake it a bit longer to see if that would firm up the filling.

    • Creative Culinary says

      It is so hard to define Leigh without having made it with you; I’ve made it for years without an issue so I am wondering what could have caused that depression…was it fully cooked in the center?

  65. Cathy O'Hare says

    I have been making this cheesecake for years and have found my recipe missing. Thank you so much for posting it. I would have been not happy not having it for Easter this year.

  66. Leigh says

    I am wanting to make this this weekend for Easter. Could you tell me what Limoncello is and where I can find it?

    • Creative Culinary says

      Limoncello is a lemon liqueur that should typically be available at most liquor stores. It is not absolutely necessary either; you can substitute lemon juice for the limoncello too!

  67. says

    What a great recipe! How in the world do you get that gorgeous yellow color on the top? How do you get the sour cream to spread evenly?

    • says

      To add the yellow color did the lemon paste do that? I have not been able to find lemon paste so is it something you have to make? Above you stated that you added water and limoncello where later on you state you replaced the water with it. Which is the right combination? I first made this recipe without the sour cream and topping and it was by far the best lemon cheesecake. I did substitute the vanilla extract with lemon extract and that gave it a little more lemon flavor. I just want to make one that looks exactly like yours.

      • Creative Culinary says

        I did use a yellow food coloring to get a more vibrant color because I was taking a photo but typically do without; it did make it a pretty and vibrant lemon yellow color. I’ll have to check the recipe now…I substituted limoncello but I don’t think that’s absolutely necessary; I even wondered if I could tell enough to have used it in that way so it’s really optional. The sour cream is easy to spread evenly since you are putting it on top of the cheesecake layer but it’s still within the confines of the springform pan…I spread it around with a small spatula or a spoon until it’s level and then return it to bake for a few minutes. I’m so glad you love it too…I’ve always thought it the best cheesecake ever!

  68. Mary says

    I would love to have your Limoncello recipe . . . to add to the Cranberry & Coffee Liqueur recipes! Can’t wait to try this cheesecake recipe – yum!

    • Creative Culinary says

      It is so good Mary; seriously the best cheesecake and readers agree. The lemon is very light and not overpowering at all. I have to give it away or I would eat it for all meals after I make it. :)

  69. Kristin in VT says

    When I asked my daughter what she was in the mood for today, lemon cheesecake with strawberries was her answer. I’ve searched the internet and happily stumbled upon this recipe which I’ll be making next! Thanks.

    • Creative Culinary says

      It is, hands down, my favorite cheesecake Kristin and if you glanced at the comments the readers that have made it have loved it too. Lucky daughter is what I say! It’s a subtle lemon and strawberries are perfect with it. Have fun!

  70. Jim Pettit says

    Wow! I made a pair of these–one for my family, and one to take to a client’s office for “Cheesecake Day” (don’t ask). It wasn’t supposed to be a contest, but this lemon beauty was by far the most popular. I don’t even really care for cheesecake, but this one is sublime (or would that be sublemon?). Anyway, awesome recipe. And thanks!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I’ve said it before but it never changes Jim. The one thing that makes this effort worthwhile for me is hearing that someone used a recipe and loved it as much as I do. I say unequivocally…this is the best cheesecake I’ve ever made. I did another recently for someone else with the flavors de jour of white chocolate and salted caramel. It was good enough but really what I remember thinking was, ‘I wish it was the lemon one.’ The subtlety of the lemon is the key I think and yes, I did chuckle..absolute sublemon! Thanks for letting me know.

  71. happinessnme says

    yay! my 3 year old and i just made this except we doubled the zest and used lemon extract instead of vanilla. it’s in the oven, baking with the sour cream topping, smelling fantastic! neither one of us can wait! hopefully we will make it through the cooling down faze:)

    • Creative Culinary says

      You must let it cool! It is definitely one of those where I’m sure you’re tempted but it’s better cold. Promise. So excited you made it; can’t wait to see how you like…no LOVE it!

  72. Maureen says

    I made this cheesecake for Christmas. I only had a 10 inch pan, so used that. I have little experience in making cheesecake, as they have always scared me, but this was easy to make and it was sooooo good!!! I highly recomment this recipe!!

      • ann says

        this cheesecake recipe (minus the lemon glaze ) has been in my family for 60+ years. We make it in a 9×13 glass baking dish. I’m going to try the lemon glaze for Easter!
        p.s. our recipe also calls for 1& 1/2t. cinnamon in the crust

        • Creative Culinary says

          It is the best cheesecake isn’t it Ann? I love the lemony flavor but mostly because it’s so subtle. The lemon glaze will be a nice change to an old favorite; I love that!

  73. says

    hello I am here again and I search for this recipe as you recommended, and I found it really really great, I ask my kids if they want something lemon for a cheesecake they told why not =) Your recipe is really easy to understand and I already bookmark it and also the cranberry cheesecake that you post recently. I am addicted in cream cheese that’s why I look for a recipe with cream cheese into it.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Either one are great Raquel but I can not deny; that lemon cheesecake is my all time favorite and the lemon is very subtle so I’m betting your kids would love it…you have to let me know, OK?

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you Winnie. I love cheesecake that is simply cheesecake and this one with a touch of sour cream and lemon has been my favorite for over 20 years. Doubt that will every change! Thanks for dropping by.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you Shelby. There is something about this cheesecake which is just perfect. The simplicity of both flavor and looks that have made it my favorite for years.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Nelly…let me know if you do. Make sure you have help eating it; it makes a big cheesecake!

    • Creative Culinary says

      My first copy fell apart and the edition I have is bound differently so hope it lasts longer but have to say of all of their books, it is the one I use the most.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you Simone. I hadn’t made it for a couple of years, now I’m already craving it again. Funny how that happens isn’t it?

    • Creative Culinary says

      It was fun…it was especially fun because there were three flight attendants who worked for them 30 years ago…some stores were told for sure.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I had exactly the same response when I saw your Apple Praline Cake…mouth watering and made sure ingredients were on my list. I think a trial is necessary before doing that one for Thanksgiving, right?

  74. says

    Now THIS is a cheesecake I could eat! I am not partial to cheesecake but this not only looks the perfect texture – just the way I like it – but WOW lemon! And Limoncello! Mmmm Barb this is absolutely gorgeous!
    Jamie Most Recent Post: A TRIP TO OMAN

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you my dear…I know I don’t like it when it’s too thick or filled with a bunch of stuff that eliminates the whole nature of it seeming to be a cheesecake but I’ve said it a lot of times and I stand by the words…best ever. Perfect texture, just a hint of lemon; crust that holds up perfectly to slicing. and filling that does not crack. How much more could we ask for right?

  75. says

    Thank you for a great recipe! I can’t wait to try it out. Just thought of adding a pinch of cinnamon in the crust .. What do you think?? Happy eating all!!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Cheri…I don’t want to sound like the Grinch but those cheesecakes are no longer cheesecakes. They are candy bar cakes right? I do like one other of mine that has raspberry and chocolate swirled in it…but still, this is my favorite.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you so much…it was one of those that I admit…I loved everything about it. Including the photo and I can seldom say that!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Kam…hope you try it. I don’t apply Best without big qualifications. This one has been my favorite for 20 years!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you Anne Marie…you had better take a copy of Colorado Cache with you on your travels, right. Know where you’re headed yet?

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Jessica…hope you try it. Really a pretty simple cheesecake too. The sour cream and lemon on the top do punch it up a notch I must admit.

  76. says

    That is perhaps the most beautiful cheesecake I’ve ever seen. Seriously. The limoncello in the topping? Genius! I think my favorite part of this post was the part about the woman coming up to you in the grocery store sharing her favorites from the cookbook! A true reminder of how the language of food truly unites us all!!
    I think some of the best cookbooks in this country are the charity cookbooks – that’s where you find the dishes that Americans truly love!!
    Nancy@acommunaltable Most Recent Post: Chocolate and Orange Icebox Cookies

    • Creative Culinary says

      I loved that part too Nancy. She was so sweet and delighted I let her mark her favorites in my cookbook. Sharing is caring right? :) And thanks for the kudos…it was one of those where everything turned out just beautifully.Not always the case here in our town you know.

  77. says

    this. is. GORGEOUS!!! makes my mouth water and it’s not even 8am here in the midwest . . . my MIL is crazy about anything lemon and her birthday is next month . . . this may just be making an appearance!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you Deb. Do it…it is just the best cheesecake. Not too heavy, not too light but just right. The lemon is a light touch but I think perfect. And it always turns out so well. Definitely my go to cheesecake.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks bunches…and you can but I would have to make another real quick. Or wait…you start now and I’ll have one done by the time you get here. Deal?

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Kristen! Funny…I went to get that photo and saw some on Amazon for the big bucks. I have every one of the Denver Junior League cookbooks and love them all.

    • Creative Culinary says

      If you can almost smell it Amy than I feel most successful. Though seems Emeril’s Smell-a-Vision never got off the ground would love to see Smell-a-Tweet!

    • Creative Culinary says

      It was hard to tell how much it changed the flavor Jo but I’m sure it was enhanced and it did add some of that color…so I was glad for the experiment.

    • Creative Culinary says

      We enjoyed it…but there is no doubt that having the real deal with us to offer her take on the show was fun. Let me know what you think. It was fluff and that’s sometimes perfect for me.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Katherine…and what I love about this is how light handed the lemon is. The cream cheese really is the star with just a touch of lemon. Perfect in my book.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I love those too…that would be good. I had originally wanted to use raspberries but had strawberries in the house and in the end love the touch of green. Either one is great.

  78. says

    Beautiful cheesecake Barb! I’m like you, my favorite cheesecakes are not chocolate or have caramel and pecans or even red velvet between the layers, they are just plain. I like my plain old cheese cake with maybe a little bit of a fruit accent. I have been making Tyler’s Ultimate Cheesecake recipe for a few years now and thought it was easy, but there is the issue of that pesky water bath.
    Karen Harris Most Recent Post: A Day in the Country

    • Creative Culinary says

      This is so good. Do you have the Colorado Cache cookbook? It has so many wonderful recipes that are standards of mine that I love. This is easy but would have been easier if I had not started so late to make it. Seemed like a long night cause I had to wait for some stages to cool. Long as in after 9pm. :)

  79. says

    The colour on that is so intense Barb. I almost wanted to dip my finger into my monitor! You can’t get Graham crackers here so we use a dense oatmeal kind of cookie – not the same. I remember smuggling back a bag of lemons from Sicily years ago (to the US) and we made our own Limoncello and lemon flavoured vodka with them. Yummy.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I do admit…I ended up using just a teeny touch of paste color. The Limoncello helped but would have been too pale still. I figure if OK with cakes and cupcakes that a drop would not be so bad, right?

        • Creative Culinary says

          I put a toothpick in the paste and basically drug it through the glaze so to say it was just a little is sort of an understatement but ‘just’ enough to brighten it a bit more. And I must say…glad I did too.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks as always Paula. I can not lie…I was pleased with how this one turned out; it really shows how vibrant and beautiful it was.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you…it’s always good but was so happy it turned out perfect. Must have know it was going to the photo studio (ie the dining room).

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