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Lemon Surprise Cheesecake

Lemon flavors sparkle throughout this cheesecake, from the crust to the filling to the topping. Build up the edges of the cheesecake to keep the lemon filling right where you want it. —Karen Chesnut, Clarksburg, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups crushed lemon cream-filled sandwich cookies
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest


  • Combine the cookie crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a lightly greased 9-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Cool pan on a wire rack.
  • In a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the lemon juice, butter and zest. Cool to room temperature without stirring.
  • In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over lemon juice; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Gradually beat in gelatin mixture until combined. Fold in the whipped cream and lemon peel.
  • Spoon three-fourths of cheesecake mixture into crust; build up edges slightly. Chill for 5 minutes. Spoon lemon filling over cheesecake layer to within 1/2 in of edges. Top with remaining cheesecake mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Carefully run a knife around edge of pan; remove sides of pan. Refrigerate leftovers.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 534 calories, 37g fat (22g saturated fat), 140mg cholesterol, 308mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 0 fiber), 6g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Martha
    Jan 28, 2021

    AMAZING! I've made this cheesecake quite a few times, everybody loves it every time. It's a little extra work but well worth it.

  • Rebecca
    May 7, 2018

    No comment left

  • farm diva
    Apr 9, 2014

    I made this for a Brunch that I had, it was a HIT. but I have to say, was a lot of work to make, but was worth it, when every one loved it, my daughter, says I have to make it for Easter, when we will also celebrate her Birthday.

  • 241300
    Nov 5, 2012

    No comment left

  • djzgirl
    Jul 31, 2012

    No comment left

  • marthafore
    Jan 26, 2012

    every one who tries it loves it it always makes a good impression

  • Abby_21
    Oct 3, 2011

    Turns out I WILL make this again. The amount of work required was justified by this outstanding dessert. The "quick"category is misleading though because of the many steps involved.

  • Abby_21
    Sep 29, 2011

    Absolutely NOTHING quick about this recipe. My lemon centre is just a big yellow glob. It's in the fridge setting now. Unless the taste blows me away, this is too much work to justify making it again.

  • Turvy50
    Jul 30, 2009

    This is without a doubt the best lemon cheesecake I've ever made. I've made this several times for different venues and groups of people and friends and they have all raved about it. It has the true flavor of a really good lemon meringue pie coupled with the creamy texture that a really good cheesecake has. The flavor is out of this world. All the components are right on, the flavor--the right amount of lemon and sweet, the texture--creamy but stands up well when cut, and eye appeal--it's really quite impressive when you cut through it and see the layer of lemon curd in the middle. The only change I make to this recipe is I do not add the 2 Tbls of sugar to the crust as I feel the sweetness of the lemon sandwich cookies to be adequate without adding the extra sugar. This is a truly great recipe. Thanks Karen for sharing it with us.

  • jenngarber
    Jun 6, 2009

    I took two of these to a party that I thought was going to have more people there than where actually there. And both pies got eaten. They were a HUGE hit. I could not find lemon sandwich cookies, so I just made a clasic graham cracker crust (the honey maid website has a good recipe; be sure to bake it and cool it before putting the cheese cake in).