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No Bake Lemon Cheesecake – Quick and Easy Recipe

This no bake lemon cheesecake is light, creamy, refreshing and so easy to make. Lemon curd cream cheese filling on an Oreo cookie crust. So good! Includes a video, step-by-step photos, expert tips, and FAQs for perfect cheesecakes every time.

(Can’t get enough of lemon desserts? Then you’ve got to try this best lemon cheesecake ever, one of the most popular recipes on the blog — it’s been shared more than half a million times and counting!)

Overhead shot of no bake lemon cheesecake.

I love lemon desserts. 

I know I always say that but I really, really do. 

I prefer lemon over chocolate, which I also love, so that’s saying something.

This no bake lemon cheesecake is another no bake lemon dessert that I have been happily recipe testing. And now it’s finally ready for you!

Let’s get to it.

Why you’ll love making this recipe

A slice of lemon cheesecake recipe no bake.
  • It’s so easy to make. You don’t need to turn the oven on. Just combine the ingredients, chill and enjoy! Quick, simple, no-fail. The hardest part is waiting for the cheesecake to set.
  • It’s so delicious. It’s a family-favourite, tried-and-true recipe. Especially popular in the summer months because it’s so refreshing and makes for a perfect dessert at a BBQ.
  • Perfectly sweet and tart. Thanks to the lemon curd filling, it’s bursting with lemon flavour. And the Oreo crust also complements the filling beautifully.
  • Sets perfectly without gelatine and without condensed milk. I don’t use gelatine or condensed milk to help set this no bake cheesecake. And it results to a luxuriously smooth, creamy texture that’s very close to baked cheesecakes.

How to make no bake lemon cheesecake

Ingredients for no bake lemon cheesecake - filling and crust.

Ingredient notes

You’ll need less than 10 ingredients for this recipe.

To make the Oreo cookie crust you’ll need:

  • Oreo cookie crumbs — I use pre-crushed cookies but you can certainly make the crumbs yourself. You can use a food processor or place the cookies in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Salt

For the lemon curd cheesecake filling:

  • Cream cheese — full-fat is best
  • Granulated sugar
  • Heavy cream — this is cream that has at least 36% milk fat content

Tools you’ll need

I use my stand mixer to whip the cream and my electric handheld mixer to combine the cream cheese filling. In addition:

  • 9-inch spring form pan (see below for alternative pans)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula

Recipe with step-by-step photos

Line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir all crust ingredients until evenly moist (resembling wet sand). 

Photo collage - oreo cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl.

Transfer to your prepared pan. Make sure to pack the crust firmly and evenly on the bottom of the pan. Chill while you prepare the filling.

Oreo cookie crumbs pressed onto a pan.

Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, lemon curd and sugar until smooth and incorporated. 

Photo collage - cream cheese, sugar and lemon curd in a bowl.

Fold in your whipped cream until combined.

Photo collage - whipped cream added to cream cheese mixture.

Transfer to your pan and smoothen the top. Chill 6-8 hours, preferably overnight. Serve with whipped cream (optional).

Lemon curd cheesecake in a pan ready to be chilled.

Expert tips

Making no bake cheesecakes is definitely easier than making baked cheesecakes.  You don’t have to worry about water baths, about the tops cracking, or about the whole baking thing, period.

Baked cheesecakes are awesome, but sometimes you just don’t want to deal with all that jazz, you know?

There are still a few things you need to remember though, for perfect no bake cheesecakes every time.

Always use room temperature cream cheese

Whether you’re baking your cheesecake or not, using room temperature cream cheese is a must. It just makes it easier for you to beat the mixture and results in a smoother filling.

The ingredients won’t combine as easily if you’re working with a cold block of cream cheese. And you will most likely end up over beating it.

Use cold heavy cream

If you’re worried that your cheesecake won’t set properly without gelatine, just make sure you use heavy cream (fat content between 36 and 40%). 

And that you whip it properly to stiff peaks.

You can’t substitute low fat cream because you just won’t achieve the volume you need. 

And to get that nice volume, make sure that:

  • Your heavy cream is chilled
  • Your whisk and your bowl are chilled before you use them
  • When you’re folding the whipped cream into your mixture, do so gently so you don’t deflate it

Taste, then taste some more

Since we don’t use eggs in this recipe, it’s safe to taste the cheesecake filling as you’re making it. So go ahead and taste at every step if you like.

This way, you can make it as sweet or as lemony as you want.

Allow enough time to chill

Seriously, the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the cheesecake to set. But wait, you must, so that you get those nice, firm cheesecake slices.

I usually chill my no bake cheesecakes overnight, which makes this a perfect make-ahead dessert.

What to use if I have no springform pan

Overhead shot of no bake lemon cheesecake with whipped cream.

If you don’t have a springform pan, you can still make this delicious recipe.

  • Line a regular cake pan with parchment paper with an overhang, which you can then use to lift the cake once it sets.
  • You can also use a square cake pan and slice the cheesecake into squares or bars.
  • Assemble the cheesecake in mason jars (good for 8-10 small jars).
  • Or assemble them in a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners (good for 10-12 regular-sized cupcakes).

Cheesecake toppings

I usually just top my cheesecake with more whipped cream before serving but you can also top it with:

  • Fresh berries
  • Toasted coconut
  • Almond slices
  • Or more lemon curd

FAQs

A slice of cheesecake recipe lemon no bake.
Can I use lemon marmalade?


I always use my homemade lemon curd when making this recipe — it’s sweet and tart and very thick (check it out, it takes less than 10 minutes to make). 

But you can also use store-bought lemon curd or lemon marmalade. Just remember to:

– Use a brand you enjoy eating on its own
– Use one that has a thick and rich consistency

Why won’t my cheesecake set properly?


Some of the common reasons no bake cheesecakes don’t set include: using the wrong kind of cream, not whipping the cream enough, not chilling the cake long enough, or ratios are just off.

Happily, there are easy fixes. 

– Try to freeze the cheesecake instead of chilling it in the fridge. Take it out after a few hours and see if you can get a clean slice.
– Instead of serving the cheesecake sliced on a plate, serve it in bowls. It will still be delicious

Can I make this ahead?


You must make this recipe at least 1 day ahead of when you’re planning to serve to give the cheesecake time to set.

Can I freeze it?


I personally only chill my cheesecakes but I’ve read that they freeze beautifully. Here’s a great read on how to properly freeze cheesecakes that you might want to check out.

Storage and shelf life


It’s best to serve this the day after it’s made.

Leftovers can keep up to 3 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container. 

You can still eat them after that, however, you’ll notice that the crust will start to become soggy and liquid will begin to pool at the bottom of your container as the cream begins to melt and break down.

Easy no bake dessert recipes

If you’re ever not in the mood to bake but still want (or need) a stunning and delicious dessert, try any of these delicious no bake dessert recipes and satisfy your craving without baking!

  • If you’re looking for something fruity and refreshing, make some fresh strawberry cheesecake mousse. It’s bursting with the sweet, wonderful flavours of strawberries. And do you see that gorgeous pink colour? That’s all-natural!
  • And if you’re in the mood for something boozy, this Bailey’s chocolate mousse pie is chocolatey and will make you feel a little woozy! It also has those chocolate specks in it, which I love.
Slice of lemon no bake cheesecake.

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Author: Jolina
This no bake lemon cheesecake is light, creamy, refreshing and so easy to make. Lemon curd cream cheese filling on an Oreo cookie crust. So good!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Chill Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine North American
Servings 8 people
Calories 473 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the Oreo Cookie Crust:

  • 2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted, slightly cooled
  • pinch salt

For the Lemon Curd Cheesecake Filling:

  • 1 8-oz block cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup lemon curd
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks

Instructions
 

  • Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir all crust ingredients until evenly moist (resembling wet sand). Transfer to your prepared pan. Make sure to pack the crust firmly and evenly on the bottom of the pan. Chill while you prepare the filling.
    Photo collage - oreo cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl.
  • Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat all cheesecake ingredients (except whipped heavy cream) until smooth and incorporated. 
    Photo collage - cream cheese, sugar and lemon curd in a bowl.
  • Fold in your whipped cream until combined. Transfer to your pan and smoothen the top.
    Photo collage - whipped cream added to cream cheese mixture.
  • Chill 6-8 hours, preferably overnight. Serve with whipped cream (optional).
    Lemon curd cheesecake in a pan ready to be chilled.

Video

Notes

See post for lots of tips, FAQs and step-by-step photos.

Nutrition

Calories: 473kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 2gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 229mgPotassium: 47mgSugar: 33gVitamin A: 815IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 0.7mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Easter, Easy, Mother’s Day, Spring, Summer
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I’d love to see your creations!

Happy no-baking!

Did you make this no bake lemon cheesecake recipe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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Rate the Recipe




Ann

Sunday 3rd of July 2022

My husband loves everything lemon, so this recipe would be perfect for this sweet tooth! I love the idea of using an Oreo cookie base as the crust!

amy liu dong

Friday 1st of July 2022

Love this lemon cheesecake, looks absolutely delicious. Plus we can make this without baking.

Lia

Thursday 19th of September 2019

This is so delicious...I chilled it extra to be sure it set. Its so easy to make. Next time I will use your homemade lemon curd recipe. Thank you!!

Jolina

Thursday 19th of September 2019

That's awesome Lia! Glad you liked it :) And yes, homemade lemon curd makes a lot of difference. Enjoy!

Chris Keffer

Monday 12th of August 2019

Hi:

Just wondering if you have ever used muffin tins and made the mini cheesecakes with this recipe?

Thanks

Jolina

Friday 16th of August 2019

Hi Chris, no I haven't, not for this particular cheesecake. However, I do have a recipe for no-bake mini cheesecakes that you might want to check out: https://theunlikelybaker.com/no-bake-mini-cheesecakes/

Rose

Friday 10th of May 2019

I made this last week and it was sooooooooo delicious!!! I used jarred lemon curd. My husband is requesting I make it again soon. Thanks for the recipee!!

Jolina

Friday 10th of May 2019

You are most welcome Rose! This no bake lemon cheesecake has become one of my favourite things to make so far. Glad you and the hubby liked it!