No Bake Cheesecake with Lemon Curd and Ganache

Four wonderful layers: oreo crust, chocolate ganache, creamy no-bake cheesecake and a bright, tart lemon curd on top!

 

slice of lemon curd no bake cheesecake

Ah lemon and chocolate, we meet again! Over cheesecake! I had been meaning to make a lemon curd topped (baked) cheesecake but after making a couple of no-bake cheesecakes for a client, I dreamed up this baby. Born of pure sam cravings. It was going to be a tall round beauty with a lovely contrasting crust and I only really thought to add the ganache after I’d made the crust. And I’m so glad I did! 

Because it’s such a tall slice, you’ll have bites that are pure chocolate (ganache and crust) or bites that are lemon curd and cheesecake. And I couldn’t tell you which was better because one is creamy, bright, tangy and tart, the other is deep and dark and crumbly and it’s all my favorite things in one slice. 

How to make Lemon Curd No-Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache 

Between each layer there will be chill time. But not long, just enough for the crust to chill and the ganache and cheesecake to firm up. You can use the freezer to speed things up. 

  1. Alright I know I’m calling it a no-bake but we will bake the crust. I do this because I like clean cuts and smooth slices and baking the crust makes it sturdy and firm. You will need to remove the cream from the oreos (or any chocolate sandwich cookies, I have a preference for the 365 brand) otherwise the crust will be a mess. Other than that it’s pretty standard. 
  2. The ganache is also simple; use chocolate chips (a good quality! If you are in the US Trader Joe’s has a new chip that works wonderfully in a ganache) or chop up a dark chocolate bar. Heavy cream and chocolate should be weighed so that you get the perfect consistency. Once warmed, the cream melts the chocolate and it’ll turn into this wonderfully shiny stuff. 
  3. For a no-bake cheesecake you’ll need heavy cream whipped to medium peaks. In a separate bowl you’ll beat the cheesecake with the sugar and remaining ingredients; make sure there’s no lumps! Fold the two together, don’t overdo it, just until they are mixed and that’s it. 
  4. The curd is the only layer that’s a little more involved and even that will only set you back about 10 minutes. It’s all in a pot but you’ll need to zest, juice, strain and then whisk in some butter. Worth every step, this curd is amazing. As it sits in the fridge it gets more and more tart so don’t be afraid to make these pie ahead of time! 

Pro Tips for Success 

  • Careful not to overcook the curd: it’s done when it’s thick enough to cover the back of a spoon; this won’t take more than 5 minutes. 
  • Whip the cream to medium peaks, remember as you fold in the cream cheese it’s going to be stirred more. 
  • For the ganache the best way to make a ganache is by a. Measuring the ingredients (they should weigh the same); b. Warming the cream enough to melt the chocolate but not overheating it (to not burn the chocolate) and c. melting the chocolate evenly (the smaller your chocolate is chopped, the better). 
  • You don’t absolutely have to bake the crust; you could just freeze it. It will be more crumbly though. 

 

FAQ for Lemon Curd No-Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache 

Can I make this ahead of time? 

I encourage you to do so! The cheesecake keeps really well in the fridge for days and the lemon curd actually gets better with time. 

What if I want to omit or change one of the layers? 

You can omit the ganache or the curd (or both really). As for changing, I wouldn’t put a soft layer under the cheesecake but you could put it on top; any curd or mousse would do. 

Can I have this recipe in grams? 

I did not use grams to make this but you can use the King Arthur Baking conversion chart to convert, I find it most similar to the way I bake. 

 

What substitutions can I make? 

You can use a different cookie crumb for the crust, just make sure you have 2 full cups of crumbs. This ratio of crumbs to butter is important. If you want to go with a milk chocolate ganache, reduce the amount of heavy cream you use. For the cheesecake, you can add lemon juice or zest (it doesn’t need it because of the tart curd but you can always add more).

Recipe for Lemon Curd No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache 

Cookie Crust 

  • 2 cups chocolate sandwich crumbs (cream removed) 
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted 

Dark Chocolate Ganache 

  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped very finely 
  • 4 oz heavy cream 

No Bake Cheesecake 

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened (16 oz) 
  • ¼ cup sour cream or labneh
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 

Lemon Curd

 

Method 

Crust 

Preheat the oven to 350 F and set a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom part of a 9” springform pan and clasp the top part over the parchment (it will just be on the bottom). 

Mix the crumbs and melted butter together (you can do this straight in the pan if you like) and once they are well-blended press them on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use a measuring cup to press them down into a flat layer. 

Bake the crust for 10 minutes. When it comes out it might look a bit soft or poofy in spots, use the measuring cup to press it down again. Once it’s cool, set it in the freezer. 

Dark Chocolate Ganache 

Set the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Warm the heavy cream in a small pot over medium heat. When it just begins to bubble on the sides and is hot to touch in the center, remove it from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Let it set for a minute then stir it until you have a smooth ganache. Pour ganache onto the bottom of the crust and smooth it over into an even layer. Set in the fridge or freezer. 

No-Bake Vanilla Cheesecake

Beat together the cream cheese, salt, vanilla and sugar until no lumps remain. Add the sour cream and beat to combine. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until you have medium peaks (it will take at least 5 minutes, unless you are using a stand mixer, but be careful not to whip it too long). Fold the cream cheese mix with the whipped cream with a rubber spatula. Pour it on top of the ganache. Set in the fridge. 

Serve and Store

To serve the cheesecake, first take an offset spatula and run it around the edges of the crust to loosen the pie from the pan. Open the clasp and carefully lift the cheesecake. It should be sturdy enough to lift the pie off the parchment and set it on a plate. Store it as is, uncovered, in the fridge, for up to 4 days. Serve cold. 



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