Perfectly fresh, zingy, and sweet, this no bake lemon cheesecake is the perfect Easter and summer dessert. Simple and quick to make, every bite of these cheesecake bars is truly delicious!
What’s in No Bake Cheesecake with Lemon?
These no bake lemon cheesecake bars are made with a Graham Cracker crust and then topped with the most creamy and zesty lemon filling. Even better, you don’t have to turn the oven on!
- Graham Cracker Crust: You’ll need crumbled-up graham crackers, salted butter, and brown sugar to make the crust.
- Lemon Jello: Any brand of lemon gelatin works.
- Cream Cheese: Let it soften at room temp before using so that it’s easy to mix.
- Sour Cream: This adds moisture and softness to the texture of the cheesecake, plus it adds some extra tanginess. I prefer this over heavy cream for this recipe!
- Powdered Sugar
- Lemon: You need both lemon juice and lemon zest, so fresh lemons work best.
- Vanilla Extract: This adds a hint of sweetness and balances the overall flavor.
- Whipping Topping: Something like Cool Whip, used to mix into the cheesecake mixture.
Pro Tip: If you typically like a lot of lemon flavor, you may want to use more lemon juice and zest!
Variations on Lemon No Bake Cheesecake
These lemon cheesecake bars are easy to modify to suit your tastes. –
- For more lemon flavor, use ⅓ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup lemon zest.
- For no bake lemon blueberry cheesecake, fold in up to ½ cup of fresh blueberries. You can also add a layer of blueberry jam between the crust and filling.
- For no bake lemon raspberry cheesecake, fold in up to ½ cup of fresh raspberries. You can also add a layer of raspberry jam between the crust and filling.
- For lemon Oreo no bake cheesecake, swap out the graham crackers for regular or golden Oreos. Believe it or not, chocolate and lemon is a great flavor combo!
This no bake cheesecake is lighter and softer than a baked cheesecake. There are no eggs here, so it leads to a less dense texture overall.
The longer your cheesecake bars chill in the fridge, the more time they’ll have to set. So if they aren’t firm enough for your liking after an hour, just let them chill longer. A few hours is ideal if you have the time.
First, let the bars cool and set before cutting. Then, dip a knife in warm water and dry it off before each cut. The warming of the knife will help create a smooth cut.
Once your lemon cheesecake bars have fully set, cut them into squares and place in an airtight container, or, cover the whole dish with plastic wrap. They will keep well for up to 3 days refrigerated.
How to Store No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake
Store leftover no bake lemon cheesecake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy cold, or let come to room temperature.
How to Freeze No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Bars
This no bake lemon cheesecake freezes beautifully, so be sure to make extra. You can wrap the whole dish in foil and then place it in a freezer-safe bag, or wrap individual squares. They will keep well for up to 3 months and should be thawed in the fridge overnight to serve.
What to Serve with Easy No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
To finish off your lemon cheesecake bars when serving, consider adding toppings. Try whipped topping, a lemon slice or peel, lemon curd, macerated strawberries, fresh blueberries, crumbled graham crackers, or powdered sugar.
No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe
For the Graham Cracker Crust
- 1½ cups crushed honey graham crackers 213 grams
- ½ cup salted butter 113 grams, melted (1 stick)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar 71 grams
For the Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- 3 ounces lemon gelatin 85 grams (1 box)
- 16 ounces cream cheese 454 grams, room temperature (2 bricks)
- ½ cup sour cream 114 grams, room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar 57 grams
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest 18 grams, from 2 lemons
- ¼ cup lemon juice 57 grams, from 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 grams
- 8 ounces whipped topping 227 grams, thawed if frozen (such as Cool Whip)
- Kitchen Scale (optional)
- Place the graham crackers in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and brown sugar, tossing to combine.1½ cups crushed honey graham crackers, ½ cup salted butter, ⅓ cup brown sugar
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan (don’t pack upward alongside the edges of the pan). Chill in the refrigerator or freezer until your other ingredients are prepped.
- Meanwhile, boil 1 cup of water and pour over the lemon gelatin in a medium-size bowl. Stir to dissolve.3 ounces lemon gelatin
- Cool the gelatin in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, until it’s thick but not set.
- In the meantime, using a hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and sour cream until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.16 ounces cream cheese, ½ cup sour cream
- Add in the powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract on medium speed.½ cup powdered sugar, ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 tablespoons lemon zest, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Stir in the whipped topping.8 ounces whipped topping
- Fold the cooled lemon gelatin into the cream cheese mixture. Taste mixture and add more lemon juice or lemon zest depending on preference.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the graham cracker crust and smooth to the edges of the pan.
- Refrigerate until set, 30-60 minutes.
- Cut into bars and place a dollop of whipped topping on each piece and/or decorate with lemon slices, optional.
- If you typically like a lot of lemon flavor, you may want to use ⅓ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup lemon zest.
- When you’re adjusting your lemon flavors before you pour it on top of the Graham cracker crust, it should be noted that the mixture becomes slightly more lemony as it cools.
- I used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe additional whipped topping on top of the bars as a garnish.
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