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Creamy and rich, this Lemon Cheesecake has a cookie crust and is topped with a tart lemon curd.

Creamy and rich, this Lemon Cheesecake has a cookie crust and is topped with a tart lemon curd.

Originally posted January 18, 2008 – I have been dying to remake this cheesecake and rephotograph it for years now, and with springtime in full force, I thought this would be the perfect time. It’s just as perfect as I remember, and is in my top 3 favorite cheesecakes. It’s smooth and creamy and full of lemon flavor. It would make a great addition to your Easter table as well! The original post follows:

Don’t let this not so great photo turn you away – this was one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had!! Even looking at it right now is making my mouth water – remembering how good this cheesecake was.

The good thing about choosing cookbooks like The New Best Recipe as the cookbook of the month is that there are both sweet and savory recipes to choose from. And with 1000 recipes to choose from in this cookbook, I had to choose at least one sweet one. When I was browsing through after receiving this book, I came across this recipe for a lemon cheesecake. I couldn’t help but stop and read it – I absolutely adore cheesecake, and have eaten it many times, but I had never tried a lemon cheesecake. And I’ve been on a bit of a lemon kick lately – everything that has looked good to me this past month has been lemon flavored!!

Creamy and rich, this Lemon Cheesecake has a cookie crust and is topped with a tart lemon curd.
This cheesecake does take a few hours, but the hands on time is quite minimal, and it was extremely easy. It consists of a crust made from animal crackers instead of traditional graham crackers. The crust is topped with a lemon flavored cream cheese mixture, and once it is baked and cooled, a lemon curd layer goes on top. And this was a very good lemon curd recipe – I’m surprised most of it made it on top of the cheesecake because I just wanted to eat it by the spoonful!

I wish I would have taken a picture before topping the cheesecake with the curd – I have never made such a perfect cheesecake without even a hint of a crack. I don’t know if it is the recipe, the method, or if I just had a lucky day in the kitchen, but I was so proud of it that I even made my husband come in the kitchen to admire it with me. He looked at me like I was crazy, but I had to share my moment with someone!!
Creamy and rich, this Lemon Cheesecake has a cookie crust and is topped with a tart lemon curd.
Do make sure to chill this cheesecake completely. I made it the day before we ate it for dessert at my in-laws and the texture was great, but it was even better the next day. The crust did get a little soggier, but nothing that would turn me away from eating every crumb on my plate!
Creamy and rich, this Lemon Cheesecake has a cookie crust and is topped with a tart lemon curd.

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Lemon Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Creamy and rich, this Lemon Cheesecake has a cookie crust and is topped with a tart lemon curd.
Serves: 12-16 minutes
  • 5 ounces animal crackers
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
  • 1¼ cups (8¾ oz.) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated zest and ¼ cup juice from 1-2 lemons
  • 1½ pounds (3 8-oz. packages) cream cheese, cut into 1 inch chunks, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
Lemon Curd
  • ⅓ cup juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ cup (3½ oz.) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Place the oven rack in the lower half of the oven and preheat to 325°F.
  2. Place the animal crackers in a food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Add in the sugar and pulse again. Add the butter in a steady stream and continue to pulse until the mixture starts to come together, about 10 1-second pulses.
  3. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake until it is golden brown, about 13-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool, wrap the pan with 2 18-inch pieces of foil. Set in a roasting pan and set aside.
  4. To make the filling, place ¼ cup of the sugar and the lemon zest in a food processor and process until the sugar turns yellow and fragrant. Add in the remaining sugar and pulse a few times to combine.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese for about 5 seconds. With the mixer on low, add in the lemon sugar in a steady stream, then switch to medium and beat until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs, 2 at a time, scraping down the bowl in between additions. Add in the lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Add in the cream and beat to combine, another 5 seconds. Scrape the bowl again to make sure everything has been incorporated and pour into the springform pan.
  6. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add enough water to the roasting pan to make it halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the center is slightly giggly and the sides start to puff and the surface is no longer shiny, about 55 to 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a towel or wooden spoon. Allow the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from the roasting pan, remove the foil from the pan and transfer to a wire rack. Run a small paring knife around the edges of the cake and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
  8. While the cheesecake is baking, make the lemon curd. Heat the lemon juice in a small pan over medium heat until it is hot, but not boiling. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Gradually whisk in the sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot lemon juice into the egg mixture, then pour the mixture back into the pan. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170°F, or until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is melted. Stir in the cream, vanilla and salt. (If you have lumps in the curd, pour through a fine mesh strainer to strain any lumps.) Pour the curd into a small nonreactive bowl. Cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  9. When the cheesecake is cool, top it with the lemon curd while still in the springform pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, but 24 hours is better.
*In the cheesecake in the photos, I tried putting the crumbs halfway up the edges of the cheesecake. I wouldn't recommend this as the texture of the crust on the sides was a little strange. Keep the crust to just the bottom of the cheesecake.

source: The New Best Recipe



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Creamy and rich, this Lemon Cheesecake has a cookie crust and is topped with a tart lemon curd.

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95 Responses to Lemon Cheesecake {Cookbook of the Month Recipe}

  1. Cynthia says:

    Look at the lemon topping – as smooth as glass.

  2. javagirlkt's cookin' says:

    wow, you’ve convinced me!!

    i bought a springform pan in November and still haven’t even used it yet!! this will be the first recipe i try, thanks!

  3. Amanda at Little Foodies says:

    Oh yes please, could I have a HUGE piece?! I love anything lemon cakey. I’ve said that once before I think.

    Glad your husband looks at you like you’re barking mad too sometimes. Happens to us all!

  4. Melanie says:

    Lemon cheesecake is just my thing – can’t wait to try this. And I think your picture looks great!

  5. Chuck says:

    The cheesecake looks great! I love the The New Best Recipes. It’s probably the cookbook I use the most. My favorite recipe out of the cookbook is probably the thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies.

  6. Kevin says:

    That cheeesecake look great! Cheesecake is one of my favorite deserts and lemon sounds like it would go really well with cheesecake.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am THE lemon lover. I know I will be trying this very soon.

  8. glamah16 says:

    Yumo! And your photo is great IMO!I’m seeing a lot of citrus lately . I guess we all want to get out of the winter doldrums.

  9. Gigi says:

    Oh man does that cheesecake look good!

  10. Katia says:

    The cheesecake looks so good, I’ve been looking for a good cheesecake. I still have Meyer lemons on my tree so this will be perfect! Thank you for sharing- your blog is great.

  11. KJ says:

    If only I could reach through my screen with a spoon!!! That cheesecake would be gone!!!!!

    I have this cookbook. I’ve only made a few things, but they’ve been great. There is a particulary good leek and potato soup recipe.

    I can’t wait to see what else you’ve made.

  12. Evelin says:

    Don’t judge yourself, a cheesecake can only look perfect!:)

  13. Bellini Valli says:

    I love the idea of using the animal cracker cookies for the crust. As it so happens I seem to be on a lemon kick these days as well. It must be my longing for summer days.

  14. Anj says:

    That is one beautiful cheesecake! Don’t you just love it when a recipe turns out so well? Lemon sounds wonderful.

  15. Mandy says:

    ah Deborah! This would be such a great idea for the lemon filling I have left from other baking endeavor!*wink* Too bad I have already thrown it away. If only I see your recipe a little sooner….

  16. eatme_delicious says:

    Oh wow Deborah this looks and sounds so good! I love everything about it – the lemon curd on top seems perfect and I love crusts so I’m very intrigued by one made with animal crackers. You’ve definitely convinced me I must make this soon! And I had to laugh at the part where you brought your husband into the kitchen to look at your perfect cheesecake and he thought you were crazy haha. I do that all the time to my boyfriend and he responds in a similar way. That’s why having a food blog is great because we understand things like the beauty of perfect cheesecake tops. I’ll make sure to take a picture of the top of mine.

  17. Brilynn says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about, that photo looks great!

    And congrats on winning Artisan Bread in 5 from Jaden… I’m so jealous! I’ve already made the Nutella Challah that she posted and if that recipe is any indication of what the rest of the book is like, you’re going to love it!

  18. April says:

    oh my goodness! This looks delicious! I love lemon! I also like the fact that the crust is made of animal crackers.

  19. Emiline says:

    You shouldn’t be so critical of your picture. That “bad” picture of yours, is better than my “good” ones.

    So, I think I will use this method that you used, next time I make a cheesecake. I’m not convinced that a water bath works, but I think cooling the cheesecake down, really slowly, is the way to go.

  20. katie says:

    mmmmmmm. i made this today and it was a huge hit in my house. all of my room mates had a huge piece and went back for seconds. i used a jarred lemon curd to save a bit of work, however. the animal cracker crust was amazing. ive never been a big fan of the graham cracker crust but the animal crackers were fabulous!

  21. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    Yummo, there is nothing off putting about that picture! Cheesecake is my favourite, and so is lemon.

  22. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    Yummo, there is nothing off putting about that picture! Cheesecake is my favourite, and so is lemon.

  23. Valentina says:

    It is wonderful when we get such great result. I am looking at your picture and it makes my mouth water. I love it! I wish I could taste it.

  24. Arfi Binsted says:

    i always love lemon cheesecake!! it’s always good!! good job, Deborah!

  25. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Yummy! I haven’t made cheese cake for at least 10 years…time to make one soon!

  26. Kelly Mahoney says:

    Looks beautiful! I just wish I could get more of my family to like lemon.

  27. Cakespy says:

    Lordy, lordy, lordy. Looks awesome.

  28. Sylvia says:

    Your lemon cheesecake looks smooth and delicious

  29. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    Not so great? Are you kidding me? It luscious!

  30. TheKitchenSink says:

    This looks delicious. I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a springform pan and I think you just gave me one. I wonder what this would taste like with the ginger lime curd I just made …

  31. Jenn says:

    You had me with your picture actually!

  32. Katie B. says:

    Beautiful!! This recipe is going in my to-try-soon stack!

  33. The Caked Crusader says:

    I am on a quest for the perfect cheesecake and this looks to be well worth trying – I have never seen a cheescake topped with fruit curd before. Nice idea!

  34. kellypea says:

    I’m a cheesecake fiend, but you know, I don’t think I’ve made a real lemony one. My tastebuds are going nuts!

  35. Kristen says:

    Oh this looks delicious!

  36. Penelope says:

    This recipe looks fabulous–thank you! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve linked to this post from my party planning blog to help my readers plan a Springtime party. Feel free to check us out for free online invitations, party planning tips and more. Thanks again!

  37. Alexis says:

    I made this cheesecake for Easter and it was a grand slam! Thanks for the recipe it was sooo good!

  38. anoniem says:

    I’m tempted to make this cake, but what I don’t understand is adding cream to the lemon curd. I always understood that lemon curd is without milk or cream. Also, lemon curd is the perfect stuff to make a week (or two) beforehand because it keeps good for a while. But will that also with cream in it?


  39. Deborah says:


    I guess this isn’t a traditional lemon curd – I don’t make curds often, so I didn’t even realize that it is a bit different by using cream! I’m not sure how long it will keep, but I would guess only 3-4 days. The cheesecake didn’t last that long!!

  40. Amber says:

    Hi,I’m glad to see ur blog today.Seem like I found someone like cooking & do scrapbook.
    I’m going to try bake this Lemon Cheesecake, felt really yummy!
    Have anice weekend.

  41. pat says:

    made the lemon cheesecake for my daughter’s birthday. It was a HIT. Love the lemon curd and so easy to make. This is now a family favorite

  42. Anonymous says:

    I tried this cheesecake when I first moved into my ome to impress my in-laws. They loved it SO MUCH they were begging foor me to make it again! (Which I did and got rave reviews again!). Great recipe! Thank you so much!
    ROckville Centre, NY

  43. A Feast for the Eyes says:

    I’m glad that I followed your links to find this recipe. First, I have that cookbook! I love cheesecake, but I try to limit how often I bake AND eat it. My lemons are looking like they’re starting to ripen, so I’m gearing up for recipes to make with these. This recipe definitely goes into my “to make” stack.
    By the way, that photo is excellent! No need to apologize… it lured me into reading all about it.

    Makes my own mouth water, just thinking about it.


  44. Organic Baby says:

    I guess I don’t need to go to a store to buy one, I’ll make one myself 🙂 thanks!

  45. Greeting Card Printing says:

    Yummy yummy cheesecake! One of may favorites 🙂 The one in your photo looks soooo good, I want one haha! I can’t wait to try and make one for myself, thanks so much for sharing this!

  46. Vivian - Let's Try These... says:

    I've adapted your recipe some what and added it to my site. I put a link to your recipe and website as well. This is the best cheesecake filling I have ever had. Thanks for sharing it with everyone!

  47. Linda says:

    I made this tonight for my MIL and family. OMG … This is so good, easy to make, takes time though, and so worth it! Thanks for publising.

  48. plantcrone says:

    I picked up Lemon Curd at Trader Joes this week..no good reason for it-just sounded good and I was in the mood for tangy…but one can make just so many peanut butter and lemon curd sammys ya know.

    As the family cheesecake specialist, I am always looking for something different for the holiday pot luck dinners..and your cheesecake idea will be perfect. The last few years it was pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap cookies for the crust but I am so tired of the same thing.

    This will be THE BIG HIT this year..thanks for the ideas. Wonder what it is about the animal crackers that seems to make everyone so nuts about the crust???childhood memories from the flavor?

    Old lady plantcrone in Oregon

  49. LilacMom says:

    For the past 10+ years I have made my daughter cheesecake on her special day; this year for her 22nd birthday she has asked for a lemon cheesecake…it’s baking now! The curd is done! The celebration is tomorrow 🙂

  50. Cecil says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving dinner this year. I changed the crust by using lemon sandwich cookies and one tablespoon of butter, just to add to the overall lemon flavor. It was everyone’s favorite and was the only dessert completely consumed that day. Fabulous lemon flavor…possibly the finest cheesecake I have ever eaten.

  51. candice says:

    Beautiful!!! Could you give a good recommendation for a springform pan? I would truly appreciate it. Thanks.

    • Deborah says:

      I actually just have a cheaper one. I’ve owned a few, and I haven’t noticed a big difference between brands. I do always use foil to cover the outside, though. Most of the time, it stays pretty tight, but I don’t like to even take the chance that the water will leak in on the cheesecake.

  52. This looks phenomenal! Anything with lemon has me swooning right now! 🙂

  53. Gorgeous spring cheesecake, love the lemon curd topping!

  54. Chels R. says:

    I love how the crust is made out of animal crackers! That is the best thing ever! And this looks to die for!

  55. Cate says:

    Absolutely lovely photos! I went ahead and made this cheesecake last night- and am enjoying an amazing Creamy- Lemony breakfast now! Thanks for sharing. Is Perfect!

  56. Not only is this gorgeous, every time I look at it, I can just taste those fabulous flavor combinations!

  57. Barbara says:

    I must have been the only one to misread the recipe for the filling. It says to mix 1/4 cup of sugar with the lemon zest, but doesn’t say to mix in the additional cup of sugar…just the additional zest. I realized before it was too late that this must have been a typo. Regardless, the cheesecake is phenomenal! Just read the recipe thoroughly beforehand 🙂

    • Deborah says:

      Oh my goodness!! I didn’t even notice that – it should be sugar instead of zest. I’m so glad the recipe turned out for you. I am having some technical blog issues, but will fix the recipe as soon as I am able to!!

  58. Jennifer says:

    I just made this for Easter lunch. Absolutely delicious! The lemon curd adds just the right amount of tartness to the creamy cheesecake. The cream cheese we get here (Austria) is not as firm as the cream cheese in the States. The batter was extremely runny and, not being certain it would firm up during baking, I added about 1/4 c corn starch. It changed the texture but not flavor of the cheesecake. Do you have any other suggestions for thickening up the batter? I didn’t want to risk baking it without thickening but might do so another time as an experiment. I could probably drain the cream cheese in a fine sieve overnight to remove excess moisture. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Deborah says:

      I wish I had an answer for you! I’ve never made a cheesecake with anything but the cream cheese here in the states. But the idea of draining the cream cheese sounds like a good place to start!

  59. Ann says:

    I’m so excited about this recipe! I love cheesecake and my favorite pie is lemon meringue- the creamy one with condensed milk. I can’t wait to try this.

  60. Sam says:

    At which point does this recipe advise to put the rest of the sugar in? I baked it with only 1/4 cup of sugar, wasn’t sweet and a shame to waste all that effort!

    • Deborah says:

      I am SO sorry!! When the last commenter pointed out my mistake, I was having backend issues and couldn’t access the recipe to change it, and then totally forgot to change it once things were fixed. It has been fixed now but I’m so sorry I didn’t change it sooner.

  61. Sam says:

    Oh, I just read someone else’s comment about the sugar. I’m just. Looking at my poor effort 🙁

  62. Dana says:

    I made it as instructed but my lemon curd tastes like metal….never made lemon curd before but afraid if I put it on the cheesecake it will ruin it. This may sound crazy but I don’t know another way to explain it.

    • Deborah says:

      What kind of bowl did you use to make the curd? I have heard that if you use an aluminum bowl (or sometimes even spoons) that it will react with the acid in the lemon and make it so that there is a metal taste. That is the only thing that I can think of! But I don’t think you’re crazy – after looking online, it sounds like it does happen. I hope that the cheesecake turned out for you!

  63. Orion says:

    5 STARS! I made this at my father’s house so I was very limited. It came out great using just a regular cake pan. The only thing I would change the next time I make this (and I will soon!) is the crust. I did like the animal crackers, but I think Graham crackers might taste better. Thank you so mich for sharing this recipe! Since cherries are in season, I want to make a cherry pie or cherry cheesecake. Know a good recipe?

  64. Leslie says:

    Absolutely wonderful! Loved the addition of the lemon curd on top. So, so divine. I do have one question. My crust got pretty soggy along the outside. I wrapped the springform pan in foil as instructed and even added a couple of extra layers but I still think water got in. Any other tips? Is the water bath 100% necessary? This is the first time I’ve had a cheesecake NOT crack so I wonder if it was the water bath… Thanks in advance!

    • Deborah says:

      I’ve had a few people give me a tip that I’m planning on trying next time I make a cheesecake – to just fill a pan with water and place it on the rack below the cheesecake. I know the water bath helps with the cracking (it helps it to cook more evenly), so I’m curious to see if this method works.

  65. Mary Hodges says:

    Looks great. Can’t wait to try this! A question, though. When I squeeze the lemon to get the juice, should I strain it so there’s no pulp in it?

  66. Lori Kilmer says:

    I just made a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving and the recipe I used just told me to put a pan of water about a half inch full of water at the bottom of the oven. I used a 9X11 pan for this purpose. My cheesecake didn’t crack. I think I will use that technique with your recipe. I don’t want leaks of water into the pan. I will let you know how it turn out. That technique worked great with my othe cheesecake. No cracks.

    • Deborah says:

      I have actually been hearing about that technique a lot lately. I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to because many people swear by it!

  67. Sarah says:

    This was fabulous. I made it for Christmas day dessert and have to make it again for New Year’s Eve! I made a gluten free crust using crushed almond flour lemon shortbread cookies (a failed homemade recipe put to good use) plus 1 cup ground oats and the melted butter and sugar called for in this recipe. I had to bake this crust a bit longer, but it turned out great and didn’t get soggy which I was worried about. I did not do a water bath, but I did put a pan of water in the oven. My cheesecake did crack, but that could be due to several reasons besides not using a water bath (my 1 year old turned the oven off during baking so I had to guess at the baking time, I couldn’t leave the oven door open during cooling with my son around and I ended up forgetting about the cheesecake and letting it cool completely in the oven). Regardless, the crack really didn’t matter because the lemon curd covered it up and no one knew. I love that this recipe doesn’t call for sour cream and it comes out as the more dense, cream-cheesy style cheesecake that is my favorite. Also, even my non-lemon loving sister-in-law enjoyed this because although the lemon flavor is great, it’s not overwhelming.

  68. Angella says:

    I have made this cheesecake twice, once in Canada and now in Jamaica. I did not use a water bath for either cake…too lazy

  69. Cat says:

    Looks so beautiful! I love the idea for an Easter dessert.

  70. Ingrid Wilson says:

    Your cheesecake recipe looks divine, but I just wanted to ask a question-would it make a huge difference if one omitted the lemon curd on top? ( just being lazy!)

    • Deborah says:

      I definitely think the final cheesecake would taste different without the curd. There is some lemon in the cheesecake, but most of the lemon flavor comes from the curd. I still think it would be good, but just missing the big lemon element. You can always use premade curd as well, if you don’t feel like making it from scratch.

  71. Helen says:

    I have May many cheesecakes in my time and this has to be the best . My guests said that it was as good as any they had eaten so thank you

  72. Jessica says:

    i was up all night making this! I am so excited to eat it after dinner tonight! I had to threaten my boyfriend not to touch it!! Haha I’m worried the whole thing will be gone by the time I get home. I used a regular pie pan with wax paper so I hope it comes out ok

  73. janel bell says:

    Made this today. the flavor is light and not overly sweet. I would say perfect except for one thing….It took longer to bake …I will add one or two tablespoons of flour.

  74. Sue says:

    He you tried to make these an individual cheesecakes in muffin tins?

  75. Farrel says:

    I made this cheesecake the other day. It is incredibly good and well worth the time and effort. It was also a great way to use a few of the tons of lemons on my lemon tree! My only comment is that the recipe doesn’t address when to take off the foil that you wrap around the springform pan, or if it did, I didn’t notice it. I left the foil on until we ate it, which wasn’t a great idea as there was a small amount of water still contained in the foil. When I make it again, I will take the foil off before I place the cheesecake on a rack to cool.

    This is a wonderful recipe that I will most definitely make again. Not overly sweet, very creamy and rich. Perfection.

    • Deborah says:

      Thanks for your feedback! Sometimes there are steps that I don’t think about including, like when to remove the foil. I have added it to the instructions. I’m glad you enjoyed the cheesecake!

  76. Celeste says:

    Made this today but used a 9×11 glass pan for bars. I also picked up the Meyer Lemon Thin cookies at Trader Joes for the cookie crust and also their lemon curd for the topping. I used Meyer lemons in the cheesecake batter as well, and it is simply delicious. Thank you

  77. Jennifer says:

    I made this cheesecake last Easter and have to say it was the best, smoothest textured, creamy cheesecake I have ever made. I love using animal crackers for the crust. The flavor doesn’t overpower like graham crackers can. It was a big hit and I’m glad I found the recipe so I can make it again this year for Easter. I think it will be one of our Easter dinner traditions.

  78. Maria says:

    Hi, If this lemon cheesecake tastes as amazing as it looks, my waistline will be in big trouble!! I plan to freeze this cheesecake once I make it for a gathering at the end of the month. Should I freeze it without the lemon curd and then add it the day of the event, or is it okay to freeze the curd with the cheesecake? Thanks.

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