Double the Lemon flavor with this Lemon Curd Lemon Cheesecake!
If you loooove LEMON, spring is the time to make this Double Lemon Curd Lemon Cheesecake with candied lemon slices. All the layers of lemon really pump up the lemon flavor - fresh homemade lemon curd, fresh lemon juice, fresh grated lemon zest and, of course, the candied lemon slices. Actually, I have lemon curd swirled in the cheesecake and lemon curd in my cream cheese frosting. The candied lemon slices make a beautiful shiny garnish on top of the cheesecake.
This recipe is for a regular cheesecake recipe with a 9” springform pan. But I’ve cut it in half so I can make a smaller cheesecake for my hubby and me. So, a few months ago I invested in a 6” diameter springform pan and I thought this would be a perfect time to try it out. Two six” diameter springform pans are equal to one 9” springform pan, so cutting the recipe in half makes sense for a just as tangy lemon cheesecake in a smaller pan.
I make the cheesecake the day before I want to serve since it needs to chill overnight. I have the candied lemons and lemon curd ready the day before so I can assemble it all on the same day. It saves me time, especially if I have people over for dinner that next day. This is well worth the steps, it is so delicious!
Make the cheesecake recipe, swirling in some homemade lemon curd. (I’ve also use store-bought lemon curd. It works just fine if you heat it a little to loosen it up so it swirls nicely.) Bake the crust first, then add the filling to bake at a lower temp. The swirls are pretty! In the meantime, beat up some lemon curd cream cheese frosting for the topping. I’ve also added something that’s VERY easy – candied lemon slices. And, are they ever easy to make! Just boil up some sugar water with lemon juice. Let the lemon slices simmer in it for about 15 minutes. Turn the lemons 3-4 times so they get well coated with the thickening lemon juice. Cool for a couple hours in the refrigerator and, you have some beautifully candied lemon slices. They make for some beautiful garnish on top of the cheesecake with the lemon curd frosting.
I make this cheesecake the day before so each step has plenty of time to cool and chill. It is definitely worth the overnight chilling. Then I assemble it the next day before serving. It is delicious!
This 6” cheesecake serves 4-6 people, depending on how you slice it.
If you want to make a 9” cheesecake, just double the recipe.
Heat your oven:
A few minutes before you bake the crust preheat your oven to 375F degrees.
Prep your 6” springform pan:
- Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of your pan. Before you place it in the pan, be sure to coat the inside of the pan, both bottom and side, with butter. Then put the circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. Butter the top of the parchment paper, too.
- Set you pan on two layers or more of aluminum foil, and wrap them up the sides. If the pieces of foil go above the top of the pan, just roll the top edges down a little. Make sure there are no opportunities for anything to leak out of the bottom of the pan during the baking process. (One time I neglected to wrap the bottom of the pan, slid it into the oven, and later found that some of the butter from the crust had leaked out the bottom of the springform pan and burned to the bottom of the oven. What a mess to clean up. Now I make sure I wrap the bottom of the pan with at least two layers of foil.)
Prep your drip pan for the bottom rack:
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil to place on the bottom rack to catch any drippings in case the springform pan leaks. It’s no fun to have anything leak and burn onto the bottom of the oven.
Prep your mixing bowls:
- There’s nothing to prep, but I just wanted to say that I use stainless steel or glass bowls to mix this recipe in, so there is no chance of anything reacting with the lemon juice, lemon curd or lemon zest. I’m told that sometimes a metallic taste can develop from using aluminum or copper bowls.
Gather up your Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
4-5 oz Graham Crackers, crushed finely
2 T Sugar
3 T Butter, melted
Gather up your Lemon Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
2 – 8 oz packages Cream Cheese, soft
½ C Sugar
2 Eggs, room temperature
1 T Vanilla extract
1 T Lemon zest, freshly grated, fine
Gather up your Candied Lemon Slice Ingredients:
2 Lemons, fresh, washed
½ C Sugar
3 T Lemon juice, fresh from one of the lemons
½ C Water
Gather up your Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
2 T Butter, soft
2 T Cream cheese, soft
2 T Lemon juice, fresh
2 T Lemon curd, homemade or store-bought
2 C Powdered sugar
2 Drops Yellow gel food coloring
Gather up your Lemon Curd Ingredients:
3 Lemons, washed
¼ C + 1 T Butter, soft
1 C Sugar
Make your Crust:
- Stir the sugar and graham cracker crumbs together.
- Add the melted butter and stir together so all the crumbs are moistened.
- Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the springform pan so it runs up the side of the pan about a half inch all the way around. I use a silicone spatula or my hand wrapped in plastic wrap, so the crumbs don’t stick and lift off the bottom of the pay. Some people use the heavy bottom of a glass tumbler.
- Wrap at least two layers of aluminum foil around the bottom of the springform pan, bringing the foil up the side.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil to place on the bottom rack to catch any drippings in case the springform pan leaks.
- Bake the crust at 375F degrees for 9-12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool while you make your filling. It does not need to be chilled before baking with the filling.
- Turn the oven heat down to 325F degrees for the cheesecake to bake in.
Make and bake your Filling:
- With an electric mixer, work the cream cheese until smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
- Gradually add the sugar and beat to combine.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time until combined.
- Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- Pour a little over half of the batter over the crust.
- Place dollops of about half of the softened lemon curd into the batter and swirl throughout with a butter knife.
- Pour the rest of the batter on top and swirl the rest of the lemon curd into the batter.
- Bake at 325F degrees for 50-60 minutes. Check it at the 50-minute mark. If the center is set, take it out. Otherwise, let it bake a little more.
- Turn the oven off and let cheesecake sit in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and run knife around the edge to loosen, but keep the springform pan latched.
- Let it cool on a rack for 1 hour.
- Cover and cool in the refrigerator overnight or at least for 8 hours.
Simmer the Candied Lemon Slices:
- I make the lemon slices the day before I want to use as garnish on the cheesecake or on the individual slices, letting them chill in the refrigerator overnight. I usually make it while the cheesecake is baking so I can chill it right away.
- Cut one lemon into thin slices, about 1/8” thin. You should have 6-10 slices.
- Cut the other lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.
- Stir and bring to boil the water and sugar together in sauté pan. Make sure the sugar has dissolved before adding the fresh lemon juice and lemon slices.
- Lay the lemon slices in the sugar water so they are not overlapping.
- Turn the heat down so the liquid simmers for 15 minutes.
- Turn the lemon slices 2-3 times during the simmering process.
- When they are done, they should be a bright yellow around the edges and glossy with the liquid slightly thick adhering to the lemon slices.
- Place the lemon slices on double layered parchment paper on a small baking sheet. The pan should be sized to accommodate a single layer of lemon slices. Do not overlap or stack them as they might stick together.
- Refrigerate for at least two hours before using them as garnish on the cheesecake or on the serving plates with slices of the cheesecake. They will last in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. (Use leftover lemon slices in hot tea or in soda pop or fresh water.)
Stir up the frosting:
- This recipe makes enough to give the cheesecake a nice layer on top of the cake, plus some piped frosting around the edge of the top.
- With an electric beater, in a small mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the lemon juice and beat in until well combined.
- Add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time until you get the right consistency for spreading the frosting or for piping the frosting. You will want a firm frosting that holds up to piping.
- Add 2 drops of yellow gel food coloring for a nice bright frosting. Stir in completely. Or, if you like a marble effect, just stir the food coloring in a little, leaving swirls.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until you’re ready to pipe or frost your cheesecake.
- If you make the frosting the day before, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before you want to use it, in order to let it loosen up a little. Stir and frost.
Make the Lemon Curd:
(A good quality store bought lemon curd works just fine with this recipe, but feel free to make your own.)
- Grate the zest from the lemons so you have about 1 ½ T zests Set aside.
- Cut lemons and squeeze out ½ C juice. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until blended.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating low just until blended. (It’s okay if they look curdled.)
- Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously for 14-16 minutes.
- Put in bowl to cool in refrigerator, placing plastic wrap directly on the curd. This will keep it from creating a “skin” on top.
- Chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Assemble your delicious Lemon Curd Cheesecake:
- Unlatch the springform pan and lift the cheesecake off onto a serving platter.
- Spread or pipe the lemon frosting on top of the cake, using the candied lemon slices for garnish. I like to use blueberries or strawberries, depending on which I have in the refrigerator, as garnish. I’ve included some photos of different versions of my decorations but please use your ingenuity for making your own personal cheesecake. The sky is the limit!
Lemon lovers will definitely appreciate this Double Lemon Curd Lemon Cheesecake. It’s a fun and delicious dessert by which to “Bake your own Memories!”