Your family and friends will drop their jaws to the floor when you bring this Lemon Drop Cheesecake to the table!
I made this lovely lemon cheesecake to bring to a friend's bridal shower. I thought it would be a pretty addition to the bridal shower buffet table.
I wish you could have heard the oohs and aahs when I walked in with it. I'd never made such an entrance before, but then again, I'd never walked into a party holding such a showstopper cheesecake before either! LOL!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Homemade lemon cheesecake is available near the end of this post. OR Click the "jump to recipe" text (found below) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredient list:
- fresh lemons (zest and juice)
- granulated sugar
- Greek yogurt
- cream cheese
- lemon drop candy
- store-bought pecan Sandies cookies
- pure vanilla extract
- fresh (non-poisonous) flowers (optional).
Using real flowers to decorate baked goods:
The flowers I added to the top of this Lemon Drop Cheesecake are ones I purchased from the grocery store. I think they're called Shasta Daisies. They are non-poisonous.
I had wanted to use different flowers from my gardens, such as sweet peas and something I believe is called "stock", but after doing a quick internet search, I found out that those types of flowers are poisonous so I had to go in another direction.
Even though the flowers on top of the cake weren't going to be consumed, it's still better to err on the side of caution and make sure that if you're using real flowers on anything edible you always do your research first!
Lemon Curd Recipes:
For this lemon drop cheesecake, I made the lemon curd topping using Ina Garten's recipe (shout out to Ina).
However, I also have a recipe on my blog for lemon curd which is as equally delicious as Ina's (yes, I did just go there). Here's my recipe for lemon curd.
Can store-bought lemon curd be used?
If you prefer to use store-bought lemon curd, by all means, do.
The only thing I might suggest is that you add some fresh lemon zest to the store-bought variety to pump up the lemon flavor, and if needed (but totally optional) add a drop or two of yellow food color to intensify the color.
The only other things you'll need are a 9-inch springform pan, a few bowls, a hand mixer and a little over an hours worth of time, but most of that is spent waiting for the cheesecake to bake in the oven.
How to make the lemon curd:
- To make the lemon curd, remove the zest (yellow part only) from 3 lemons into a food processor.
- Process until finely minced.
- Reserve about 2 tablespoons on the zest and set aside.
- Add granulated sugar to the lemon zest and pulse again until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- In a medium bowl, juice the lemons to supply a ½ cup of fresh juice.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together softened butter and the lemon zest and sugar mixture.
- Add beat eggs into the butter-sugar mixture (one at a time) until thoroughly combined.
- Add the fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt to the lemon, sugar and egg mixture.
- Pour the entire mixture into a medium saucepan.
- Heat the lemon curd over medium/low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. *Note - this will take approximately 15 minutes.
- Allow the lemon curd to cool slightly and then strain it into a medium bowl.
- Store until the lemon curd in the refrigerator until it's time to top the cheesecake. *Note - the lemon curd will thicken as it cools.
How to make the lemon cheesecake:
- Pulse the Pecan Sandies cookies in a food processor to form crumbs.
- Add melted butter and pulse again to form a consistency of wet sand.
- Press the prepared cookie crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan that has been sprayed with baking spray.
- Bake the crust in a preheated 325-degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove, and cool while you prepare the filling.
- While the crust bakes, crush lemon drop candies to supply approximately ½ cup of crushed candy pieces.
- Set aside the crushed candy. In a large bowl, blend 4 packages of room temperature cream cheese until soft.
- Add in the Greek yogurt, and 4 eggs, beating after each addition.
- Stir in the 2 tablespoons of reserved lemon zest (from making the lemon curd).
- Add the vanilla extract, and the crushed lemon drops candy. Stir well to combine.
- Pour the cheesecake batter evenly into the prepared springform pan that has been placed on a baking sheet.
- Bake the cheesecake in a preheated 325-degree oven for approximately 60 minutes (or until the center is almost set, but still slightly jiggly.)
- Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven with the door ajar for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool 30 more minutes on a baking rack before running a spatula around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake.
- Remove the cake collar and allow the cheesecake to cool completely before adding the lemon curd topping.
- Once the cheesecake has cooled completely spoon the chilled lemon curd topping over the cheesecake
- *Note - the lemon curd topping will nicely cover any cracks that have formed on the top of the cheesecake, and garnish the top of the cake with any sort of non-poisonous flower that you like.
- Chill if desired, but cheesecake is best served at room temperature. In my opinion. 🙂
Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for today's dessert of Lemon Cheesecake.
⭐If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating on the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
Lemon Drop Cheesecake with Lemon Curd Topping
For the homemade lemon curd:
- 3-4 lemons zested and juiced (reserve 2 tablespoons of the zest for the filling)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 stick butter softened
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup lemon juice, fresh
- pinch salt
For the crust:
- 12-14 Pecan Sandies cookies
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
For the filling:
- 4 8 ounce blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest fresh
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ cups crushed lemon drop candy, approximately 1 cup of lemon drop candies
- pinch salt
To make the lemon curd:
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemons. Finely mince the zest in a food processor. Add the granulated sugar to the zest and pulse to combine. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the zest and sugar mixture, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar/lemon zest mixture. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix to combine.
- Pour the lemon mixture into a medium saucepan can cook over medium/low heat until thickened, stirring constantly (approximately 10-15 minutes).
- Remove the curd from the heat and cool slightly before straining it into a medium bowl.
- Once strained, cover the curd with plastic wrap and chill while you prepare the cheesecake. *Note - the curd will thicken further as it chills.
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Spray a 9" springform pan liberally with baking spray.
- Use the food processor to pulse the cookies to form fine crumbs.
- Pulse in the sugar, and the melted butter.
- Continue pulsing until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Press the cookie crumbs evenly and firmly in the bottom of the prepared springform pan.
- Bake the cookie crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and cool.
To make the filling:
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to blend the softened cream cheese with the Greek yogurt.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time blending well after each addition.
- Add the reserved lemon zest and sugar (set aside earlier), vanilla extract and the crush ed lemon drop candy to the cream cheese mixture, and stir well to combine.
- Place the cookie crust in the springform pan on a baking sheet.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly into the springform pan and bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until the cheesecake is only slightly jiggly in the center.
- Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to stay in the oven with the door ajar for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake to a cooling rack and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Run a knife or spatula around the outer rim of the springform pan, open the collar of the pan and gently remove.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before adding the lemon curd and flowers.
- Once the cheesecake is completely cool (you may refrigerate if desired), fill in any cracks on the top of the cheesecake with the lemon curd, and then spoon additional lemon curd evenly over the top of the cheesecake and garnish with non-poisonous flowers if desired.
- Chill the cheesecake if desired but allow it to come to room temperature before slicing and serving.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed this easy yet impressive recipe for the citrus cheesecake as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you.