This lemon cheesecake with blueberry compote is ridiculously creamy & bursting with fresh spring flavors. The cheesecake has a delicious lemon flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweet berry topping.
**This recipe was originally published in May 2016 and updated May 12, 2020 with new photos, tips and a slightly updated recipe**
This delicious lemon cheesecake is everything that a cheesecake should be. It’s perfectly creamy with a velvety smooth texture, has a crunchy graham cracker crust, tangy lemon flavor, and a sweet blueberry sauce to top it all off. It’s not overly rich like some cheesecake flavors, and the lemon flavor tastes like sunshine and pairs perfectly with the creaminess of the cheesecake.
The lemon flavor comes from using lemon zest and fresh lemon juice from 2 whole lemons. No substitutes here – just fresh, tangy, bright yellow lemons. In total, you’ll end up with about 2 tablespoons of zest, 4-6 tablespoons of juice in the cheesecake for quite a pronounced lemon flavor. If you’d like a more subtle hint of lemon just use one lemon instead for 1 tablespoon of zest and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice in total.
The Perfect Lemon Cheesecake Recipe
Making cheesecake is quite straight forward. But if you haven’t experimented with baking a cheesecake before – let’s run through some of the key tips.
- All the ingredients (cream cheese, sour cream and eggs) should be room temperature before getting started. This helps everything mix together easily.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar so there are no lumps – the last thing you want is lumps in your cheesecake.
- Using sour cream in the recipe creates a smoother texture.
- Use fresh lemons and not lemon juice from the bottle. Lemon juice from the bottle is way too sour. For easier zesting, always zest the lemons first and then squeeze out the juice.
- Add in the eggs at the very end, and stop beating the batter as soon as they’re incorporated. When beating the eggs it adds air to your mixture. More air = more chance of your cheesecake cracking.
- On that note – we’re going to use the water bath method to bake the cheesecake. This keeps moisture in, reduces the chance of cracking and ensures our cheesecake is deliciously smooth. I’ve included a picture below to show what the water bath looks like and all the steps are included in the recipe card below.
- Then finally be very careful not to open the open door while baking. This can cause swings in temperature that cause your cheesecake to sink then crack.
- Always cool the cheesecake fully, then chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving. Chilling allows the cheesecake to set and the flavors to develop.
Once the cheesecake is baked, cooled and chilled – the sweet blueberry sauce goes on top. You could top the cheesecake with lemon curd instead, but the blueberry sauce complements the lemon flavor perfectly without lemon overkill. You can either top the entire cheesecake or add a spoonful on top of each slice. Note that if you top the entire cheesecake, I recommend boiling the sauce for a little longer to make it thicker. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
I love this baked lemon cheesecake in the spring and summer. It’s delicious any time of year though, since lemons are easily accessible and blueberry sauce can be made with frozen berries. If you’d rather not turn on your oven – you could try my no-bake lemon cheesecake recipe. Or for more lemon blueberry recipes, be sure to try these lemon blueberry muffins or my favorite lemon blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting.
Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote
- 9-inch springform pan
- large roasting pan (big enough to fit the springform pan)
- Aluminum Foil
For the Crust
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups graham crumbs*
For the Cheesecake
- 22 oz cream cheese* full-fat, brick style
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest* about 2 lemons
- 4-6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice about 2 lemons
- 3/4 cup sour cream*
- 3 large eggs*
- boiling water for the water bath
For the Blueberry Compote
- 2 cups blueberries*
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil so that the bottom and sides are covered. Wrap at least 3 times so that all the seems are covered.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter until combined.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, creating a slight lip around the edges (the sides of the pan will not be covered).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven keeping the oven turned on.
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Continuously turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Beat in the sour cream, followed by the lemon juice.
- With the mixer on low speed, mix in the eggs 1 at a time until just combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter.
Baking and Cooling
- Place the springform pan (still wrapped in aluminum foil) into the center of the roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan so that there's about 1/2 to 1 inch of water.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan (on top of the crust) and smooth the top.
- Place the roasting pan with the cheesecake inside in the preheated oven. Bake for 50-65 minutes, or until the top looks set except for in the very middle and if you give the pan a gentle nudge, the cheesecake has a slight wobble in the middle.
- Remove the roasting pan (with the cheesecake inside) from the oven. Cool the cheesecake in the roasting pan until it's room temperature. Remove the springform pan from the roasting pan, cover the top of the springform with aluminum foil and place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Place the berries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir the mixture so that the berries are coated. Gently stir the mixture for about 5-10 minutes as the blueberries begin to soften and the juices come out.
- In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Add the mixture to the blueberries, gently stirring as the mixture starts to thicken. Boil for about 5-10 additional minutes, or more as needed. (The mixture will continue to thicken as it cools).
- Once ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the fridge. Trace around the edges of the cheesecake again using a very thin knife (not a table knife). Then undo the clamp of the springform pan and remove the sides of the springform.
- Top the entire cheesecake with blueberry topping, or slice into pieces and add a scoop of blueberry topping on each piece.
- Graham crumbs can be replaced with 1 2/3 cups crushed digestive biscuits.
- Cream cheese, sour cream and eggs should be room temperature before getting started. Take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior to making the cheesecake filling.
- You'll need about 3 lemons total for the cheesecake and blueberry topping. This cheesecake has quite a pronounced lemon flavor. For a less strong lemon flavor, use 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 3 tablespoons lemon juice in the cheesecake filling. Do not use lemon juice from the bottle. It is too sour for baking with.
- Blueberries can be fresh or frozen. I typically use frozen because the flavor of the sauce is the same and it's a more affordable choice.
- Cheesecake can be made the day before you plan to serve it. Blueberry topping can be made the day before, cooled fully, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Or it can be made right before you plan to serve the cheesecake. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Nutrition information is based on 1 piece with blueberry sauce, assuming the cheesecake is sliced into 12 equal pieces. Nutrition information is meant as an estimate only.