A creamy, tart, no-bake lemon cheesecake that can be made in minutes without ever turning on the oven!  Served over a simple graham cracker crust, this sweet & tart summertime treat is a simple party pleaser that’s perfect for your next get-together!

Whole Lemon Cheesecake with two lemon slices on top

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably in no mood to turn on the oven right now.  Even with the air conditioning set a few degrees cooler than my wallet is comfortable with, a 350 degree oven quickly warms up the house and makes the kitchen too hot to bear.

Recently I’ve been avoiding this by keeping my desserts as oven-free as possible and making a lot of refreshing, no-bake desserts.  This no-bake lemon cheesecake is my most recent bake-less dessert, and not only does it not require turning on the oven, but it is a perfect refreshing warm-weather treat!

Slice of Lemon Cheesecake on a white plate

Classic cheesecake recipes often need to bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, and the thought of leaving my oven running that long in the summertime heat just wasn’t realistic.  Recently I’ve been experimenting and even developed my own no-bake cheesecake recipe, which inspired me to play with different flavors and methods.

What better flavor for a hot summer day than tart, refreshing, lemon? I really do love all things lemon including Lemon Meringue Pie Cheesecake!

Overhead shot of whole Lemon Cheesecake with two lemon slices on top

I played with this recipe a few times using just natural lemon flavoring, but when I broke out the Lemon Jello is when everything really started to come together.  The lemon flavoring gave this no-bake lemon cheesecake the best flavor out of all of the variations that I tried, and is very simple to use.  Just dissolve the gelatin mixture into hot water, but let it get back to room temperature before stirring it into your cheesecake mix.

You can use a store-bought graham cracker crust (though it will end up being pretty full!), or you can use my favorite graham cracker crust recipe, which I’ve included in the recipe below.

Slice of Lemon Cheesecake ona white plate with a bite taken out of it


Slice of Lemon Cheesecake on a white plate
4.92 from 47 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake is the perfect summer dessert! It is cool and creamy and so delicious!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Samantha
buy hollys book


Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 7 tablespoons butter melted


  • 1 package lemon Jell-O 3 ounces
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest freshly grated



  • Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugars in a medium-sized bowl. Add melted butter and use a fork to combine ingredients well.
  • Pour mixture into a 9″ or 10″ springform pan. Use the (clean!) bottom of a measuring cup to firmly pack crumbs into the bottom of the pan and gently press up the sides. Use your fingers to pack crumbs tightly into the sides of the pan.
  • Place in refrigerator or freezer while you prepare cheesecake filling.

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

  • Pour Lemon Jello gelatin mix into 1 cup very hot water and stir well. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, stir cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth and well-combined.
  • Add sour cream and stir well.
  • Mix in vanilla extract.
  • Only once jello mixture is no longer hot to the touch, gradually pour into cream cheese mixture. Stir slowly at first (to avoid splashing) and then increase speed until mixture is completely combined (pause to scrape down sides of the bowl periodically). Stir very well.
  • In a separate bowl, pour your heavy cream and use an electric mixer with whisk attachment to beat to stiff peaks.
  • Fold whipped cream into cheesecake mixture until well-combined.
  • Fold in lemon zest, if using.
  • Pour over graham cracker crust and transfer to refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight to chill.
  • If desired, top with whipped cream before cutting and serving.


*You may substitute 12 ounces of Cool Whip instead of the heavy cream — skip the part about beating to stiff peaks and fold into cream cheese mixture if you choose to do so.
4.92 from 47 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 586 | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 393mg | Potassium: 139mg | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 1740IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

You Might Also Like:

Lemon Lush Dessert Shooters

Lemon lush shooters with a spoon next to one

Lemon Meringue Pie Cheesecake

emon Meringue Pie Cheesecake with a slice out of it

Lemon cream pie

Slice of Lemon Cheesecake on a decorative plate with a fork

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake with wording
No Bake Lemon Cheesecake with a title


Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

Recipes you'll love

About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
See more posts by Holly

Follow Holly on social media:

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Free eBook!

Subscribe to receive weekly recipes and get a FREE Bonus e-book: Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals!

You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of emails you receive.

Latest & Greatest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. This is soooo good – I have made both the whipped cream version and the Cool Whip version – I can’t decide which one I like the best. I almost like the Cool Whip one – especially in the heat of summer as it is just a bit lighter. I use sugar-free Jello and sugar substitute and it does not taste like a sugar-free dessert. Thanks for the recipe – it is a keeper.5 stars

  2. I just made this for the first time! It turned out beautifully! Perfect for a hot 4th of July!!5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Liz. Since this is a no-bake dessert I worry that with lemon curd instead of jello that it will not set properly. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  3. I made this last night and it is amazing! The flavour is out of this world!!

    So the consistency is softer though, and I’m wondering if it’s because of this:
    (This is a stupid thing I did): I dissolved the gelatin and got it to room temp, but I kept stirring it, I wasn’t sure if I was actually supposed to let it set – usually I set it in the fridge after a while. Should I have dissolved and then let it set first till room temp?
    Also, having done that, if that’s the reason, will it become firmer the longer it sits in the fridge?5 stars

  4. I normally don’t comment on recipes, but I have to say – this is the best lemon no bake cheesecake I’ve ever made! It has an incredibly smooth velvet texture. Thank you so much for this recipe!5 stars

  5. Perfect! Smooth, creamy and a perfect lemon taste. I always stabilize my whipped cream so I did for this. This will be served all summer in our South Carolina home. Beat the heat!5 stars

  6. Are you suppsed to use a hand help mixture for this part?: “Only once jello mixture is no longer hot to the touch, gradually pour into cream cheese mixture. Stir slowly at first (to avoid splashing) and then increase speed until mixture is completely combined (pause to scrape down sides of the bowl periodically). Stir very well.”

  7. Does the cool whip make the finished product much sweeter? I’m thinking that because the cool whip has sugar but heavy cream does not, the finished product might be too sweet.

    1. We have only made this recipe as written so I couldn’t say, but you could try making it with zero sugar Cool Whip if you are concerned about sweetness!

  8. I was so pleased to find a recipe that I could tweak to make gluten free. I did make some changes after my Mom made this cheesecake. I added 1 tsp of lemon peel to the crust, but I also used 1/2 C of lemon juice with the boiling water to prepare the lemon Jello. It maximized the lemon flavor of the finished product. This cheesecake is so beautiful once it’s ready to serve: tall and rich. This recipe is no-fail AND no-bake! Hooray! Thank you so much!5 stars

      1. Have you ever made a strawberry version using fresh strawberries juiced, to sub part of the jello water? When I did that with lemon juice, it made a more potent flavor. :) To make it gluten free, I used gf animal crackers (without frosting). It was akin to a shortbread crust.