No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake is creamy and easy to make. Layered with Graham Cracker crumbs, sweet and tangy lemon curd and topped with softly whipped cream.

Cheesecake recipes are very popular on my blog. Like my  Cheesecake Factory Original CheesecakeChocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake and Samoa Cheesecake, this recipe is a perfect dessert option for a crowd!

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake individually portioned desserts are always a hit at any party. The creamy texture, the gorgeous flavor of lemon from the freshly squeezed lemon juice and grated lemon zest make this dessert irresistible.

Served layered in glasses, the Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits are very easy to serve and also will look stunning on any dessert spread table.

This dessert is so easy to make, it’s done in 30 minutes or less, after that you should have the patience for it to chill, or if you are anything like me, just dive straight into that creamy goodness. To keep the recipe No-Bake and very hassle-free I used store-bought lemon pie filling, sometimes shortcuts are the best and we should totally take them!

Try my No Bake Samoa Cheesecake:

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Guidelines:

  • Use full-fat cream cheese – if you are making and intend to eat cheesecake, don’t substitute the regular cream cheese for the fat-free version, you are loosing on creaminess. I mean, a cheesecake shouldn’t be the dessert where you try to cut some calories. To save money on the cream cheese, look for, in house labels, I know that Whole Foods and Shoprite have their own cream cheese that usually is on sale and very reasonably priced.
  • Also, use full fat/whole milk greek yogurt – yogurt by itself already has fewer calories, so always use whole milk Greek yogurt, if you want it to taste rich and creamy
  • Make your own whipped cream – to top these parfaits I used homemade whipped cream, obviously full fat, the texture is so much better than the one from a tube!
  • In addition, don’t skip the lemon zest – lemon zest will add extra flavor and freshness to this rich dessert. 
  • Plain Graham Cracker crumbs – I like the lemon flavor to shine, so using plain graham cracker crumbs is key. In addition, you can top them with some crushed crackers. It is super delicious!

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

How to make lemon zest?

Follow the easy steps below:

  • Rinse the lemon.
  • Set your tool over a cutting board. A microplane produces a very fine zest, perfect for baking and cooking. If you don’t have a microplane, use the smallest holes on an ordinary grater.
  • Grate the yellow skin of the lemon only. Grate just enough to get through the yellow skin, this way you can avoid the bitter white pith underneath.
  • Rotate the lemon and repeat. Once the white pith is exposed, rotate the lemon and zest the next strip of peel. Repeat until most of the peel is removed, or until you have enough zest for your recipe.

Can you use lemon juice instead of lemon zest?

Yes! Lemon zest adds a citrus flavor to your recipes, including desserts, main dishes, and more. If you don’t have a lemon and a zester handy, you can the zest with regular lemon juice. 1 medium-size lemon = approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon zest = 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.

What to top the No-bake Lemon Cheesecake with?

It is a perfectly satisfying and delicious dessert as is. However, if you want to add some additional toppings, you are more then welcome to do so. Some of our favorite toppings would be:

  • Shaved chocolate
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Sprinkles
  • Graham crackers
  • Caramel

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Love No Bake desserts? Check out my collection:

Tools/Ingredients I used to make this recipe:

  • Glasses – regular, wide wine glasses, serve a dual purpose, for drinks and for pretty desserts
  • Lemon Pie Filling – for when you are too lazy to make your own, or just want to skip an extra step and speed up your recipe making the process
  • Gelatin – I like using a little in this recipe to ensure the cheesecake is firm, it’s especially important if you want to make it in a pie dish, where you would have to cut it into slices.
  • Graham cracker crumbs – these are graham crackers that have been made into crumbs for you, so you can skip dirtying your food processor, I find these crumbs super convenient and a time saver
Save Recipe
5 from 1 reviews
No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
Author: Serves: 8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes Total time: 30 mins

Ingredients

Cheesecake Filling:

  • ¼ cup  lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon  lemon zest 
  • 7 grams  gelatin  (unflavored)
  • 16 ounces  cream cheese, full fat  (room temperature)
  • 1 cup  whole milk Greek yogurt  (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract 
  • 1½ cups  powdered sugar 
  • 3 cups  whipped cream or Cool Whip* 
  • 1 cup  graham cracker crumbs 
  • 2 21 oz  cans lemon pie filling  (lemon curd*)

Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 2 cups  heavy whipping cream 
  • 2 tablespoons  sugar 

Instructions

  1. Add lemon juice to a small, microwave safe bowl and sprinkle evenly with gelatin. Let it stand for 1 minute, then whisk to combine. Microwave on high for 15 seconds, whisk and microwave again for 10-20 seconds, whisk until dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Add the Greek yogurt and beat until combined. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat to fully combine.
  3. Add the gelatin mixture, lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  4. Add the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy and fully combined.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream and beat on low until combined. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy and thickened.
  6. Layer the dessert into glasses in the following order: 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs, cheesecake filling, lemon curd, cheesecake filling, 1 tablespoon graham crackers crumbs and again the filling.

  7. To make the layering easier and mess-free add the cheesecake filling to a piping bag and cut the tip; same for the lemon curd.

Whipped Cream Topping:

  1. Add heavy whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and beat starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high speed. Beat until soft peaks form and the cream is stiff.
  2. Add the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake parfaits.
  3. Garnish with graham cracker crumbs.
  4. Refrigerate until set, at least 4-6 hours.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes:

*Cool Whip is an American bread of ready to use whipped cream. Here I mean 3 cups of whipped cream not liquid whipping cream that needs to be whisked. Make sure you beat the whipping cream and measure 3 cups of whipped cream if you don't have pre-made whipped cream on hand. Whipped cream is the result of whisking heavy whipping cream, you need about 1.5-2 cups of heavy whipping cream to get 3 cups of whipped cream. Whisk 2 cups of COLD heavy whipping cream with 3-4 tablespoons of sugar on high speed until soft peaks form. Make sure you don't overheat, the cream should be fluffy and hold it's shape.

*You can use homemade lemon curd or any store bought brand of lemon pie filling/lemon curd.

Calories: 749 Carbohydrates: 69 Protein: 10 Fat: 48 Saturated Fat: 29 Cholesterol: 188 Sodium: 588 Potassium: 246 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 58 Vitamin A: 1840 Vitamin C: 4.5 Calcium: 190 Iron: 0.5
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Comments

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Kelly - A Side of Sweet

These are GORGEOUS! That yellow color is perfect!

Reply

Erin @ The Speckled Palate

These parfaits just make me SO HAPPY! Who doesn't love a brilliantly tart, sweet, delicious no bake cheesecake this time of year?!?

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Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

That looks sooo good! Anything creamy and lemony is one of my weaknesses!

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Sandi G

These look so good and the lemons are almost ripe on our tree. Can't wait to give this a try.

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Cathy | Lemon Tree Dwelling

These little cheesecake parfaits are pure perfection!!

Reply

Marla Meridith

These parfaits look AMAZING!!

Reply

Nadya

Could you please explain if I am going to whip cream myself do I neede 3 cups of whipped one or its amount before whipping? Thanks ahead

Reply

That is the amount AFTER you whip, so you need around 1.5-2 cups of heavy whipping cream.

Reply

Sandi

I made this as an actual no bake cheesecake in a large cheesecake spring form pan, with shortbread crust. Turned out beautifully, my go to for bbqs ?

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