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
4.88 from 32 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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


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.
4.88 from 32 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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

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About the author

Samantha is the creator behind the dessert blog “Sugar Spun Run”, a website she began as an excuse to appease her insatiable sweet tooth. Here she shares original, from-scratch desserts, usually of the chocolate variety. If she’s not in her kitchen (more likely than not coated in a fine dusting of powdered sugar), you’ll probably find her hanging out with her husband and their two dogs, Penny and (Princess) Leia.
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Recipe Rating


  1. The recipe for No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake looks very nice. Do you have the recipe with measurements in grams instead of cups?

  2. Just made this recipe and substituted for Cool Whip. Are you sure the 12 oz of Cool Whip is accurate? I had enough filling to make three pies and it was heavily whipped.3 stars

    1. Hi Lauryn, the recipe was correct as written for us. Did you use a 9″ or 10″ springform pan for this recipe?

  3. Made this in place of a birthday cake this weekend! It was a huge hit. I used cool whip so it was so light and fluffy in texture!5 stars

    1. Hi Jan, we have never tried making this recipe with coconut cream but would love to hear how it turns out!

  4. Love this recipe so much. But I’m going to make it into mini cheesecake into the cupcake liners hope it turns out. I have to take it for a celebration and I don’t want to fool with taking a full cake with a knife and forks and paper plates. Hope it turns out5 stars

    1. This is 5 star brag and share the recipe with Everyone Awesome !!!
      The cheesecake is so silky smooth like mousse. I made the cheesecake exactly as recipe. The only changes were I used crushed lemon cookies mixed with melted butter pressed into the bottom of the pan as the crust. Also topped it with lemon curd. This lemon curd is curl your toes Amazing but I have to say, this cheesecake didn’t even need it, it’s THAT Great!!!!5 stars

      1. Ooooh, sounds so good for the crust!! AND lemon curd? So glad you loved the cheesecake, Shannon! Thank you for sharing :)

  5. I have a question. Why is there an asterisk after the ingredient “heavy cream”? I looked three times but never saw an asterisk in the instructions. I want to try this since my daughter, granddaughter, and great grandkids all love lemon desserts but I want to make it correctly the first time I try it. Thanks for your help.

    1. Apologies for the confusion, the notes were missing on the recipe. I’ve updated it.
      *You may substitute 12oz 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.

    1. Lisa, I think you could certainly add raspberries to this recipe. What a yummy idea!

  6. Excellent!! Recipe is easy to follow and delicious! Was a big hit with my family and so much easier than the in the oven NY style cheesecake I’ve made for years.. My new go-to!! Thanks5 stars

  7. Omg I made this for father’s day cause it’s my dad’s favorite and it turned out so well!! He loved it! Only issue I had was the crust not wanting to come out of the springform pan I used, but other than that, was perfect and tasted delicious!

  8. I thought I would add a splash of lemon juice but then the jello didn’t set! Remember that! ;) Of course I am in Spain so maybe American jello is different. I thought it was only kiwi and pineapple that had that effect but apparently not!

  9. I have a better version. Use lemon pudding and pie filling and add 1 small box of lemon jello. Then
    top with cool whip. Add chocolate sprinkles and a cherry on top! Easy3 stars

  10. This looks so good! I love no-bake cheesecakes, but I’ve never made one using jello mix. What a clever idea!

  11. Thank you for a delicious sounding and easy recipe. I also like that it doesn’t have to use Cool Whip which can’t compare to real whipped cream