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No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake 

Lemon Cheesecake is the perfect, refreshing dessert to enjoy on a nice hot summer day and this no-bake version is easy to put together without heating up the house! 

A slice of no bake lemon cheesecake on a plate decorated with lemon slices and sliced strawberries

Lemon and cheesecake are just made for each other. The tart of the tangy lemon flavor is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the cream cheese. It’s a delicious dessert that doesn’t leave you in a sugar coma. 

This delicious lemon cheesecake recipe makes enjoying these beautiful flavors even easier because you don’t have to heat up your oven at all! Just mix a handful of ingredients until light and fluffy, fill a dish and let it rest until all that goodness comes together in one silky, sweet and creamy filling.

If you are looking for an easy no bake dessert recipe that’s sure to please, this is it.

Why Make This Recipe

A full lemon cheesecake decorated with lemon sliced and sliced strawberries
  1. No Baking: Baking can sometimes be a frustrating venture. It’s all too easy to pour your heart into a recipe, put it in the oven and pull out something that’s too dry, too dense or simply inedible. No-bake desserts are the answer! Just follow the ingredient list, blend and pour and you’ve got a fail-proof dessert that tastes like a professional made it. You get all the flavor of a family favorite without the headache of a traditional baked cheesecake.
  2. Refreshing Flavor: I love the way lemon desserts somehow always leave you feeling refreshed, rather than heavy and sluggish.
  3. Simple Ingredients: Simple ingredients, simple process, simple goodness. You’re going to love this creamy cheesecake!

What Do You Need to Make This Recipe?

Ingredients  

Labeled ingredient shot to make no bake lemon cheesecake
  1. Golden Oreos: Golden Oreos are used for the cheesecake’s crust! Some recipes call for removing the cream filling but that sounds like a lot of work to remove the yummiest part of the cookie! For this recipe, we leave the filling in. 
  2. Lemon Juice: In other recipes, pre-packaged lemon juice is a totally okay addition. But in this dessert where lemon flavor is supposed to shine, I highly recommend fresh-squeezed lemon juice! 
  3. Unflavored Gelatin Packet: I prefer to use lemon juice and unflavored gelatin rather than lemon jello because I prefer the taste of fresh lemon
  4. Cream Cheese: I used full fat cream cheese. The reduced fat tends to have a softer texture which may not set as well.
  5. Lemon Zest: From the same fresh lemons you juice 
  6. Cool Whip: Don’t forget to thaw this in the fridge overnight or on the counter for an hour before attempting to bake with it!  

Garnish Suggestions

  1. Lemon Zest 
  2. Cool Whip
  3. Fresh Lemon Slices 
  4. Fresh Strawberries, Halved 
  5. Oreo crumbs
  6. Graham cracker crumbs

Tools

  1. Electric Hand Mixer: It’s certainly possible to make this recipe without a mixer but it will take some real man power to make your filling smooth and creamy. It’s definitely a good idea to break out the electric mixer or a mixer with the paddle attachment for this one.
  2. Springform Pan: This is optional. You can use a pie tin or cake pan but a springform pan will create the best shape and allow you to easily remove the No Bake Cheesecake when it is done. 

How to Make This Recipe

Step One: Prepare the Crust

Broken golden oreos in a food processor
Golden oreo crumbs in a mixing bowl with a rubber spatula
Cheesecake crust pressed into a springform pan surrounded by lemons

Place the Golden Oreos in a food processor and pulse on high until crushed.

Place your butter in a microwave safe medium bowl and heat for 60 seconds or until melted. 

Place the Golden Oreos in a medium sized bowl. Add your melted butter to the Golden Oreos and mix to combine. 

In a 9 inch springform pan, add your Golden Oreo mixture and press the mixture to the bottom and all the way up the sides. 

Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour to harden. In the meantime, you can start working on your filling.

Step Two: Mix the Filling

Gelatin and lemon juice mixed together in a small bowl with a whisk
Cream cheese and granulated sugar uncombined in a mixing bowl
Completed cheesecake filling in a mixing bowl next to lemons

In a small bowl, add your fresh lemon juice and gelatin packet, whisk to combine. Set to the side for 5 minutes. 

Whisk the lemon gelatin, then add your condensed milk to the mixture and whisk again. Set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer add your cream cheese and sugar. Mix on high until fully combined, making sure to scrape the sides for even mixing 

Add your sour cream, lemon zest, and lemon gelatin mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Mix on high until fully combined. 

Remove the bowl from the mixer and add your cool whip. Gently fold your cool whip into your cream cheese mixture until fully combined. Add the lemon cream cheese filling in an even layer into the Golden Oreo crust. 

Step Three: Let it Rest

Cheesecake filling after being poured into the oreo crust.

Place the cheesecake into the refrigerator for 5-6 hours and allow it to rest. 

You know the cheesecake is ready when it is firm. Top it with the cheesecake with Cool Whip and garnish. 

Remove the spring form from the cheesecake and serve. Enjoy!

Expert Tips

A slice of no bake lemon cheesecake on a plate surrounded by other fruit and linens
  • For lump-free filling it’s best to use room temperature cream cheese. Let your blocks of cream cheese sit on the counter for a few hours before you begin so they have time to soften. You can also soften it a little quicker by placing the block of cream cheese, still in its foil wrapper, in a bowl of warm water for ten minutes.
  • Beat your cream cheese completely before you add in any other ingredients. Making sure your cream cheese is smooth is the best way to make sure all your filling is smooth. 
  • Keep your cheesecake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. This ensures it stays solid and gives clean slices. Ideally this cake should be refrigerated for 6 hours or more. It’s a great make-ahead dessert.
  • I love the taste of the golden oreos but you could definitely save time and use a pre-made crust of graham crackers. You can also substitute graham crackers if you prefer a simple graham cracker crust. It will be just as delicious. Keep in mind that if you are using a premade graham cracker crust, the crust will likely be too small to fit all of the filling. In that case, buy two crusts and make 2! 
  • Taste your filling before you add it to your pan. That’s the beauty of a no-bake dessert. If you need to add a little more lemon zest, you know right away rather than waiting while it sits in the oven.

FAQs

Overhead view of No bake lemon cheesecake surrounded by lemons and next to a fork.

Can You Freeze Lemon Cheesecake?

This cheesecake does freeze very well. I recommend freezing in individual slices, wrapped in plastic wrap, to make it easier to serve later. You don’t even have to thaw completely to enjoy later. It’s yummy when it’s still a little bit frozen.

Does No-Bake Cheesecake Need to be Refrigerated?

This easy cheesecake recipe definitely needs to be refrigerated. The cold helps it solidify together but also keeps any dairy in the recipe from turning bad. Don’t let this dessert sit on the counter too long.

Why Isn’t My No-Bake Cheesecake Firm?

If your cheesecake is not as firm as you would like it, there may be a few things to try next time. The first may be just allowing it to sit in the refrigerator for a little bit longer. It may simply need more chill time to set up.

You might also try using a little less lemon juice next time or measuring the juice more carefully. It is possible to add too much moisture to the mixture.

Did you enjoy this No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe? If so, make sure to check out these other recipes I picked out just for you: 

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake is the perfect, refreshing dessert to enjoy on a nice hot summer day and this no-bake version is easy to put together without heating up the house!
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Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl(s)
  • Electric Hand Mixer
  • Whisk
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Springform Pan

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients

  • 35 Golden Oreos
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Melted

Cheesecake Ingredients

  • ½ Cup Lemon Juice, Fresh
  • 1 (.25 oz) Unflavored Gelatin Packet
  • ¼ Cup Condensed Milk
  • 24 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 2 ½ Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 3 Cups Cool Whip

Garnish Ingredients

  • 2 Tsp Lemon Zest
  • 3 Cups Cool Whip
  • Fresh Lemon Slices
  • Fresh Strawberries, Halved

Instructions

Crust Instructions

  • Place the Golden Oreos in a food processor and pulse on high until crushed.
  • Place your butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 60 seconds or until melted.
  • Place the Golden Oreos in a medium sized bowl. Add your melted butter to the Golden Oreos and mix to combine.
  • In a 9 inch springform pan, add your Golden Oreo mixture and press the mixture to the bottom and all the way up the sides.
  • Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour to harden.

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients

  • In a small bowl, add your fresh lemon juice and gelatin packet, whisk to combine. Set to the side for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk the lemon gelatin, then add your condensed milk to the mixture and whisk again. Set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer add your cream cheese and sugar. Mix on high until fully combined, making sure to scrape the sides for even mixing
  • Add your sour cream, lemon zest, and lemon gelatin mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Mix on high until fully combined.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and add your cool whip. Gently fold your cool whip into your cream cheese mixture until fully combined. Add the lemon cream cheese filling into the Golden Oreo crust.
  • Place the cheesecake into the refrigerator for 5-6 hours and allow it to rest.
  • You know the cheesecake is ready when it is firm. Top it with the cheesecake with Cool Whip and garnish.
  • Remove the spring form from the cheesecake and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe copyright The Domestic Spoon. For educational or personal use only. 
  1. Golden Oreos: Golden Oreos are used for the cheesecake’s crust! Some recipes call for removing the cream filling but that sounds like a lot of work to remove the yummiest part of the cookie! For this recipe, we leave the filling in. 
  2. Lemon Juice: In other recipes, pre-packaged lemon juice is a totally okay addition. But in this dessert where lemon flavor is supposed to shine, I highly recommend fresh-squeezed lemon juice! 
  3. Unflavored Gelatin Packet: I prefer to use lemon juice and unflavored gelatin rather than lemon jello because I prefer the taste of fresh lemon
  4. Cream Cheese: I used full fat cream cheese. The reduced fat tends to have a softer texture which may not set as well.
  5. Lemon Zest: From the same fresh lemons you juice
  6. Cool Whip: Don’t forget to thaw this in the fridge overnight or on the counter for an hour before attempting to bake with it! 
  7. For lump-free filling it’s best to use room temperature cream cheese. Let your blocks of cream cheese sit on the counter for a few hours before you begin so they have time to soften. You can also soften it a little quicker by placing the block of cream cheese, still in its foil wrapper, in a bowl of warm water for ten minutes.
  8. Beat your cream cheese completely before you add in any other ingredients. Making sure your cream cheese is smooth is the best way to make sure all your filling is smooth. 
  9. Keep your cheesecake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. This ensures it stays solid and gives clean slices. Ideally this cake should be refrigerated for 6 hours or more. It’s a great make-ahead dessert.
  10. I love the taste of the golden oreos but you could definitely save time and use a pre-made crust of graham crackers. You can also substitute graham crackers if you prefer a simple graham cracker crust. It will be just as delicious. Keep in mind that if you are using a premade graham cracker crust, the crust will likely be too small to fit all of the filling. In that case, buy two crusts and make 2! 
  11. Taste your filling before you add it to your pan. That’s the beauty of a no-bake dessert. If you need to add a little more lemon zest, you know right away rather than waiting while it sits in the oven.
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