Filed under: Cheesecakes
April 7, 2022

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

A lemon curd cheesecake recipe that’ll delight lemon and cheesecake lovers alike: creamy vanilla bean cheesecake is mixed with fresh lemon curd for a sharp, sweet & very lemony taste. A layer of lemon curd on top of this lemon curd cheesecake ensures you won’t miss it.

5 from 5 votes
Yield: 10
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This lemon curd has inspired a lot of recipes this year: Lemon Meringue Bars, Lemon Curd Stuffed Cookies, an encore of Lemon Meringue Strawberry Shortcakes and now this wonderful cheesecake. I didn’t just want some curd on top, I wanted this cheesecake to explode with both creamy vanilla cheesecake and sharp, lush curd at once, so I mixed them together. The result is unreal. 


Ever wondered how to make a cheesecake more lemony? The answer, I discovered, is to drop a full cup of fresh lemon curd right into the filling. And then add some more on top. It’s the lemoniest cheesecake, unmatched by any other. 


lemon curd cheesecake

Key Ingredients for Lemon Curd Cheesecake 


Lemon Curd: You’ll find my recipe for lemon curd on this page . It’s a bright, sharp, very, very lemony curd and comes through wonderfully here. You could only make half if you wanted only enough for this cheesecake. 


Cream Cheese: Two bricks of firm cream cheese (not the softened one in tubs). It’s super important that the cream cheese is at room temperature and softened before making the filling so that 


Digestive biscuits: These are a crumbly, semi-sweet cookies that are on the dry side and they make a wonderful base for tarts and cheesecakes. I find them in the ‘international’ section of the grocery store (or at world market). Alternatively use graham crackers or vanilla wafers. An oreo crust would work well too (but omit the cream!). 


Eggs: Large eggs, bring them to room temperature first. You can do this quickly by placing them in a bowl of warm water before cracking. 


Vanilla Bean: You’ll see speckles in my filling, they are the seeds of a freshly scraped vanilla bean. It brings such wonderful flavor and sweetness. You can use vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract instead (2 teaspoons). 


lemon curd cheesecake


Best Practices to make a cheesecake that doesn’t sink and doesn’t crack 

  • Mix the cheesecake batter carefully once the eggs are in: overbeaten, overmixed eggs will cause the cheesecake to rise, sink and crack. We want a steady rise for the custard so the eggs are mixed to just combine. 
  • Bake in water: I use a cake pan that sits directly in a bigger cake pan for a water bath. The hot water is what the custard is baking in, rather than the straight on the oven rack. This helps it bake slowly. 
  • Cool slowly: If you move the cheesecake straight from the oven to a colder place it will sink. Instead, prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon and shut it off, allow the cheesecake to cool along with the oven. 


lemon curd cheesecake


Preparing a pan for baking cheesecake 


Because I bake directly in a water bath, and can’t be fussed with wrapping a springform pan (I have a lot of distrust issues from previous experiences), I use a tall metal cake pan: 8 or 9” round and 3” tall (the height more important if you are using the 8”), grease it slightly then place a sheet of parchment paper inside. 


You’ll crease it as you get it to fit into the pan, use metal clips to hold it in place. The edges will be craggy and imperfect but the whole cake that much more charming because of it.


lemon curd cheesecake


Lemon Curd Cheesecake Recipe


Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Creamy vanilla bean cheesecake is mixed with fresh lemon curd making this the most lemony cheesecake ever.
lemon curd cheesecake
Prep Time: 28 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yields: 10
5 from 5 votes



  • 270 g digestive cookies or graham crackers
  • 113 g butter


  • 2 packages cream cheese 452g
  • ½ cup sugar 100g
  • Two large eggs
  • 1 cup lemon curd 280g
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • Pinch fine sea salt


Do ahead:

  • Make the lemon curd.
  • A few hours before making the cheesecake: take eggs and cream cheese out of the fridge to come to room temperature.

Make the crust:

  • Grease and line an 8” round cake pan with parchment paper. Use metal clips to hold the paper in place. Don’t worry about making it perfect, creases are fine.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Pulse the cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl and stir it with the cookie crumbs. Press the cookie crumbs up the sides of the pan and into an even layer on the bottom. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it tightly.
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Allow to chill while making the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

Make the filling:

  • Beat the cream cheese with the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape down as needed to ensure all the cream cheese is smooth and there’s no lumps.
  • Scrape a fresh vanilla bean and add the seeds to the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle in some sea salt and beat to combine.
  • Add the lemon curd and mix until combined. Add the eggs and while they are mixing, add the flour. Beat until you have a smooth filling - but don’t overdo it.
  • If you have some lumps, use a sieve to pour the filling into the crust. Scrape the bottom of the sieve to get every last bit of filling.
  • Fill a sheet cake pan, 13 x 9” with water. Set the cheesecake in the pan and bake it for 1 hour. It’s done when you can jiggle it and the sides are set. Turn off the oven and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes before removing. Transfer to the countertop and let cool for an additional 30 before refrigerating for at least 8 hours.
  • If you have leftover lemon curd, you have the option to bake a layer on on top: preheat the oven to 350 and spread about ½ cup lemon curd on top of the cheesecake. Bake for 10 minutes. Return the cake to the fridge to chill for about an hour.


If you are feeling like taking it up a notch (or ten!), you can make a meringue to go on top for a ‘lemon meringue cheesecake’: see my lemon meringue bars post for instructions on making the meringue and broiling it.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. For the curd on top in step 6, do we do this after the cheesecake has cooled and set in the fridge? Or when it initially comes out and we should bump the temp to 350 when spreading the curd?

    • i let the cheesecake cool first, that way it’s cold and the only thing baking is the curd on top just to set it. if you bump up the temp while it’s still hot you risk over baking the cheesecake

  2. 5 stars
    I made this using blood orange instead of lemon. I used the blood orange curd recipe from this same website and put the layer of curd on top too. SO good.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for Easter and it was amazing! A lovely creamy texture and the curd on top was fabulous. I’d love to try it with a meringue topping someday too.

  4. I made this for the family Easter lunch, and it was a hit. My first baked cheesecake, first lemon curd too. Your instructions were clear and easy to follow.
    A bunch of my family members are gluten-intolerant, so I subbed the biscuits for gluten-free scotch fingers (sort of like a short bread cookie?) and switched the flour in the filling to the same amount of corn flour. No cracks, no sinking, it was perfect!
    My only quibble was that the lemon curd was so punchy (as it should be!) that the vanilla bean was totally lost. But it does make it look fancy with the seeds in there 😉
    Thanks so much!

  5. 5 stars
    This cheesecake came out incredible. I didn’t do the optional lemon curd topping (just did the lemon curd in the filling) and felt it was lemony enough, but if I make it again I will try that! Thankfully, we didn’t seem to need to chill it for 8 hours before serving, which was a relief because I didn’t prep that far ahead! Only 3-4 hours and it was good to go.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this after seeing Sam’s instagram post and have to say, it’s the best cheesecake I ever made. Sure, it’s definitely more work making the lemon curd ahead, but so worth it! Also, the cheesecake filling is one of the easiest I’ve made but so delicious at the same time. Thank You for this incredible recipe and thank you also for including the measurements in grams! Sincerely, a German

  7. Could I use Mascarpone instead of cream cheese? Only asking because I have three tubs leftover from the last cake I made and changed my mind about the filling.

  8. 5 stars
    This is about the creamiest most delicious cheesecake I have every made. I got many comments from my friends about how light it was compared to normal cheesecake. The lemon curd cuts the richness and makes a really special dessert.

    -I made the lemon curd recipe you linked and had about 1 cup of lemon curd leftover.
    -I needed to bake this at a higher temperature due to my own poor planning. I did 350F for 45 minutes and it was pretty creamy in the middle; another few minutes would not have hurt. I added the lemon curd on top during the last 10 minutes and it was great.

  9. Hi Sam, was just wondering what we could do if we only had access to the tub cream cheese? Unfortunately it’s the only kind they sell in Ireland and I’ve never seen a block version anywhere!

    • Holly I am also in Ireland and always have this problem with cream cheese ! I’m not sure if it’s gonna work but I’m gonna try this tonight. Sam I wonder for us folk who can’t get the super firm cream cheese, could we add a tbsp of cornflour to the mix?

    • Hi Holly – could be that the tubs are the same texture as our bricks. If it’s quite soft it won’t do, but if you find it firm and not like a ‘spread’ it should be fine.

  10. When would be the best time to attempt getting the cheesecake out of the pan and onto a nice cake platter? After completely cooled or while still a bit warm? This dessert looks so delicious!! Well done and thank you for sharing!