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Lemon Cheesecake Pie Recipe

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This Lemon Cheesecake Pie recipe is perfect for lemon lovers- so sweet, lemony and creamy, with just a tiny bit of tartness- yum!  Cheesecake pie is a simplified version of the classic cheesecake.

The easy-to-make pie is bursting with a creamy, lemony filling made from only eight basic ingredients. This recipe says goodbye to the challenges of using a springform pan or needing a water bath. 

lemon cheesecake pie

Lemon Cheesecake Pie Recipe

Rather than a cake this year, I made my hubby a couple of pies for his birthday.  The first was a chocolate cream pie (which is one of his favorites) and this fabulous Lemon Cheesecake Pie. Ok, so the Lemon Cheesecake was really for me, cheesecake is my ultimate favorite dessert, and this one was sweet, lemony, and creamy, with just a tiny bit of tartness- yum!

For today’s pie, I’d planned on using a pre-made graham cracker crust that I had in the pantry, but it turns out the pie crust was way out of date, so I ended up just using the other refrigerated pie crust leftover from the chocolate pie. 

The lemon cheesecake pie turned out so pretty and smooth with no cracks! Since I have absolutely no skill at piping whipped cream, I just chose to spread a thin layer of whipped cream on top. But if you have piping skills, little mounds of whipped cream around the edge, topped with lemon slices would be gorgeous!

The best thing about this pie recipe? NO WATER BATH NEEDED!

Why you’ll love this Lemon Cheesecake pie

  • Easy to Make: This recipe is perfect for anyone who wants a delicious dessert without too much fuss. With only eight basic ingredients, including a premade crust, you can whip up this pie in no time.
  • No Water Bath Needed: Say goodbye to the challenges of using a springform pan or needing a water bath. This recipe doesn’t require a water bath, which means less time and effort for you.
  • Creamy and Lemony Filling: If you love lemon, this pie is perfect for you. It’s bursting with a creamy, lemony filling that’s sweet with just a hint of tartness. Plus, you can add a bit more lemon juice and zest if you really want to amp up the lemon flavor.
  • Same Texture as Classic Cheesecake: While this pie is a simplified version of the classic cheesecake, it has the same velvety, creamy texture and tangy-sweet taste. The only difference is that the filling layer isn’t as thick and tall, and it’s baked in a pie dish instead of a springform pan.
  • Cooling and Chilling is a Breeze: Unlike traditional cheesecake, this pie cools and chills much faster. It only needs to cool for about an hour at room temperature and then chill for a few more hours before serving. Plus, you can make it up to 2 days in advance and freeze it for up to 3 months. Low-maintenance and convenient!

Lemon cheesecake Pie ingredients

(Ingredients at a glance, you will find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

  • Cream cheese: 2 blocks, softened to room temperature, this is the main ingredient for the cheesecake filling. It provides richness and creaminess to the dessert. I recommend full-fat cream cheese, but you can use low-fat for a slightly less rich lemon cheesecake pie.
  • Sugar: white granulated sugar adds sweetness to the pie. It also helps the filling to set properly.
  • Sour cream: it gives the filling a tangy taste and a silky texture.
  • Eggs: they act as a binding agent and help the filling to set. They also add richness to the dessert.
  • Fresh lemon juice: This is what gives the pie its signature lemon flavor. Fresh squeezed lemon juice gives the best taste. If you don’t have fresh lemons, you can use bottled lemon juice, though the flavor won’t be quite as bright and fresh. (Plus you want fresh lemons for the zest.) You can adjust the amount depending on your taste preferences.
  • Vanilla: it enhances the flavor of the other ingredients and adds a subtle sweetness to the filling.
  • Salt: a pinch of salt balances the sweetness and enhances the flavors.
  • Pie crust: you can choose the type of crust you want – pastry, pie crust, graham cracker, or even Nilla Wafers. A 9-inch deep dish premade crust is recommended for this recipe.
  • Lemon zest: it adds extra lemon flavor and a pleasant aroma to the dessert. You can skip it if you don’t have lemons or if you prefer a milder lemon taste.

Remember to bring all cold ingredients to room temperature before beginning. Room temperature ingredients combine quickly and evenly, so you won’t risk over-mixing. Overmixing incorporates too much air and can lead to cracks and/or a grainy texture.

How to make lemon cheesecake pie:

  1. Prep: Bring ingredients to room temperature and preheat oven to 325.
  2. Mix the ingredients: Using a hand mixer or beater, combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt (everything except the zest and pie crust ) until smooth.
  3. Bake: Pour the lemon cheesecake mixture into the prepared pie crust and bake at 325 until the center is set but still slightly wobbly. (40 to 50 minutes.) To keep the pie crust from burning, cover the pie crust edges with foil.  See how I covered my pie here.
  4. Cool: Let cool, then chill til firm (around 3 hours.)
  5. Serve: Before serving, top with a thin layer of whipped cream and lemon zest.
Lemon Cheesecake Pie recipe

Recipe Tips

  • Use a deep dish pie crust. This recipe makes a lot of filling, so you’ll want to make sure you have enough room for it all.
  • Bring your cold ingredients to room temperature before starting. This is super important if you want a creamy and smooth filling. Cold ingredients can lead to overmixing, and overmixing incorporates too much air and can lead to cracks and/or a grainy texture.
  • Don’t skip the lemon zest! This will give your cheesecake that extra lemony flavor and really make it pop.
  • Take the pie out while it’s still jiggly. This is important for creaminess. It will continue to set up as it cools in the fridge.

Storage suggestions

Leftovers: To store Lemon Cheesecake Pie, cover it well with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Make ahead: If you want to make it ahead of time, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days before serving.

To Freeze: You can also freeze it for up to 6 months by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and foil. To serve frozen pie, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.

Lemon Dessert

Faqs

Can I Use a Graham Cracker crust?

Of course! I prefer how the pastry pie crust holds up after baking, but if you want a graham cracker crust, this is a good recipe:

  • 1 ½ cups finely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Stir together all ingredients. Press the mixture firmly and evenly against the bottom and side of the pie plate.
2. Bake for about 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on a cooling rack before filling.

How do I ensure the cheesecake filling turns out smooth and creamy?

Make sure to use room-temperature ingredients. Cold cream cheese and other ingredients will be difficult to mix. Room-temperature ingredients will blend together quickly and evenly.

How do I know when the cheesecake pie is fully baked?

The center of the pie should be set, while still slightly jiggly, as it will continue to solidify as it cools and chills in the refrigerator.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes! This cheesecake pie can be made up to 2 days in advance. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months and thawed overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Does this recipe require a water bath?

No! This recipe does not require a water bath. Traditional cheesecakes often require a water bath to ensure even baking, but this recipe does not need one due to its thinner filling layer.

How to make a lemon cheesecake

More Lemon Recipes

Did You Try This Lemon Cheesecake Pie?

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

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This Lemon Cheesecake Pie recipe is perfect for lemon lovers- so sweet, lemony and creamy, with just a tiny bit of tartness- yum! Plus it is so much easier to make than a traditional cheesecake.

Lemon Cheesecake Pie Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 19 reviews

Description

This Lemon Cheesecake Pie recipe is perfect for lemon lovers- so sweet, lemony and creamy, with just a tiny bit of tartness- yum!


Ingredients

Units Scale

(recipe adapted from Real Simple magazine)

  • 2 8 oz bars of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • your favorite 9-inch deep dish premade pie crust
  • extra lemon for zest

Instructions

  1. Using a hand mixer or beater, combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt (everything except the zest and pie crust ) until smooth.
  2. Pour into crust and bake at 325 until the center is set but still slightly wobbly. (40 to 50 minutes.) To keep the pie crust from burning, cover the pie crust edges with foil.  See how I covered my pie here.
  3. Let cool, then chill til firm (around 3 hours.)
  4. Before serving, top with a thin layer of whipped cream and lemon zest

Enjoy


Notes

Use either a graham cracker or traditional pie crust – whichever you prefer!

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56 Comments

  1. This was Lemon Cheese Cake Pie was amazing I made two of the. I was experimenting and did one with a premade graham cracker pie crust and the other one with graham crackers . They both turned out and were a great hit ! Next time I will try it with just a regular pie crust .. I did PIN it and added to my recipes. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.!!






  2. Love this pie! I have made it several times. I do prefer to make a graham cracker crust, instead of the store bought. It’s so quick and easy to make.
    Thanks for posting!!






  3. I forgot to put in sour cream and it still turned out great! I used a graham cracker crust. Will def make again.

  4. Carol, I’ve always used the Marie Callendar’s pie crust …. they taste exactly like homemade without the hassle, but it’s very hard to find them where I live… so worth the search! I’m gonna make this pie my husband loves lemon pie!!






  5. Have you tried making this with a baked sour cream topping instead of the whipped cream? The baked sour cream topping is my favorite part of the regular cheesecake I make.

    1. Haven’t tried that yet, I bet it would be very good though.

  6. Wondering if this can be made in the instant pot…i make cheesecakes in it…thinking it would work using graham cracker or a lemon cookie crust.

  7. Jesse AuBuchon says:

    I don’t actually have a food processor, can I just mix them all in my kitchen aid mixer? Or does that change the consistency. Making this for a groups tomorrow.

    1. Use whatever type of mixer you have, as long as the ingredients are well combined and smooth.

  8. Carol Miller says:

    Just made this lemon pie with Marie Callender’s pie crust. Awesome!! Best & easiest lemon pie I have ever made. Gave a slice to my 92 year old neighbor who still loves to bake, she loved it & asked for recipe after the first bite. Thank you sooo much for posting!!

    1. Thank you Carol, I’m so glad it worked for you!

  9. Can I get a GramCracker crust that doesn’t need baking? Just put it in fridge an let form that way like a cheesecake?

    1. The crust might not need to bake, but the pie will still need to cook/

      1. I was hoping to use a graham crust too and wanted to use a bit of left over sour cream. You had mentioned to melanie that the pie would still need to bake. can you explain why? thank you,
        lorraine

      2. Jamie Sanders says:

        I dont understand exactlyu what you are asking. This is a baked cheesecake recipe, so no matter what crust you use, you still have to bake it the cheesecake. If you want a no bake lemon cheesecake, you could try this recipe: no bake lemon cheesecake

  10. Thanks for this new idea for dessert. I’ll try to make it for Christmas. If you’re using the store bought graham cracker crust, How long do you bake the filling and crust together in the oven. I’m sorry if I missed that. Thanks Ray

    1. I don’t think you need to pre-bake a store bought crust. Just follow the recipe instructions after that.

      1. nicolthepickle says:

        A lot of brands you do need to prebake for 12 minutes at 350* . They have instructions on the back of the label.
        You can do without, but it makes it crisper and it makes it taste fresher.

  11. Instead of a pie crust , do you think I can substitute with a Graham cracker crust ? If so should I bake the crust first , then add filling . Sorry , I’m not a big baker, but I’m trying ! Thanks for any help .

    1. Yes, I bet graham cracker would be great, in fact, that’s the type of crust I prefer. If you used a store-bought graham cracker crust you will not need to bake it, if you make one from scratch:

      1 ½ cups finely crushed graham crackers
      1/3 cup butter, melted
      3 tablespoons sugar

      1. Heat oven to 350°F. Stir together all ingredients. Press mixture firmly and evenly against bottom and side of pie plate.
      2. Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on cooling rack

      Good luck!

  12. If you use a homemade graham cracker crust would you prebake it? If not, how long would you bake the pie with the unbaked graham cracker crust? This sounds delicious and right up my husband’s alley!

    1. I would prebake the graham cracker crust.
      Good luck!

  13. Hi, can you make this the day before?

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not. My only thought is you might want to keep the filling separate from the crust and make sure the crust is at least room temp before adding the filling and baking.

  14. JoAnn Dibeler says:

    I was looking for a recipe for a quick, easy pie for tonight (we eat dinner VERY late). How much easier and quicker could a pie recipe get?! And I actually have everything – although the lemon juice will have to come out of a bottle. This is going to be amazing!

    1. It is easy- hope you guys enjoy it!

  15. I've made this several times now and it is wonderful. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!

    1. Thanks Donna, I'm so glad you liked it!

  16. khansana1000 says:

    looks delicious, Gonna give it a try this weekend !

  17. Oh gosh – yes THIS. I've been craving Lemon Cheesecake!

  18. Kyle and Dany says:

    It says prebaked pie crust, won't it overcook the crust if it cooks for another 40-50 minutes?

    1. You are correct, I should have included a note to cover the pie crust
      edges with foil so they don't burn. I even got a good picture of this with my phone. I will update the post to reflect this information.
      Thanks, Jamie

  19. Denise Trujillo says:

    I assume that Greek yogurt can be substituted for the sour cream. Or should I stick to the sour cream?