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!
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!
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!
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.
No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake
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.
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