lemon sour cream cheesecake with strawberry glaze

The grocery stores seem to be inundated with lemons lately. Every time I walk through the produce section I can’t help but crave lemony desserts. I made these lemon bars when I last had that craving, but after eating way too many of them, I decided that I needed to make a dessert that wouldn’t be so addictive.

I like cheesecake, but it’s not my favorite dessert. I lean more towards chocolate desserts. Or lemon bars. My husband, on the other hand, adores cheesecake. So, I figured I’d get to satisfy my lemon dessert craving with a slice, and he’d benefit too. Plus, he’s always happy to taste-test experimental dessert recipes for me.

I wanted to make this with Meyer lemons, but I couldn’t find any at the grocery store on the day I made this. I also wanted to use marscapone cheese, but I couldn’t find that either. I used what I had on hand — regular lemons instead of Meyers and sour cream instead of marscapone.

The cheesecake turned out very light, with a perfect lemon flavor – and a bit of a tanginess – that was balanced perfectly with the sweet strawberry glaze on top. Craving (and husband) satisfied.

lemon cheesecake

Lemon Sour Cream Cheesecake



1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground shortbread cookies [I used Keebler Sandies.]


24 ounces cream cheese (3 packages)
8 ounces sour cream
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Crust preparation:

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium high speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour and ground shortbread cookies and blend for 3 to 4 seconds until fully incorporated. Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the crust to cool completely. When cool, wrap bottom and sides of the springform pan tightly with aluminum foil in preparation for cooking cheesecake in a water bath.

Cheesecake preparation:

Using an electric mixer (hand-held or stand mixer), beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time. Blend in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour mixture into cooled crust.

Set the cheesecake into a roasting pan, and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Place in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake is set and the top is golden. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let cool on a wire rack. After it has cooled slightly, chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

For the strawberry glaze:

Puree two cups of hulled strawberries until smooth. Combine strawberry puree with 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Adapted from this recipe from Epicurious, by Chef James Irby.

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10 Responses to “lemon sour cream cheesecake with strawberry glaze”

  1. 1
    Chef Dennis — April 18, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

    I love lemon in cheesecake…it just makes it seem so much more refreshing….sometimes I use Lime zest….
    Your cheesecake looks perfect!!

  2. 2
    Robert Hollander — April 18, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

    If/when we have dinner together, I’ll make my cheesecake…not the small one in the ramekin with the caramel sauce, but the full-size one.

  3. 3
    Kirstin — April 18, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

    This looks amazing! I can never get the top of my cheesecake to stay so smooth. And I’m on board for using sour cream in desserts, I used it in a peach cobbler the other day when I ran out of yogurt and that extra tang was unbelievable!

  4. 4
    merrygourmet — April 18, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

    Chef Dennis – I’ll have to give the lime zest a try. I bet that would give the cheesecake a great flavor.

    Bob – I loved your little cheesecakes. Of course, I’m a sucker with anything with caramel.

    Kirstin – I looked at your peach cobbler post. Looks delicious!

  5. 5

    That is a perfectly baked cheesecake and it looks lovely with the strawberry glaze!

  6. 6
    Liren — April 19, 2010 @ 10:20 am

    Simply gorgeous 🙂 I’ve never tried a cheesecake with sour cream before – great idea! It looks creamy yet light – I imagine it’s delicious without feeling sinful!

  7. 7
    Trissa — April 19, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

    This looks like a perfect cheesecake to me. Rich but not too sweet – loving the addition of the lemon to cut the richness and give it some tangy taste. Presentation is simple and gorgeous too!

  8. 8
    merrygourmet — April 19, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

    Denise – I was so worried it would crack, but I got lucky this time.

    Liren – It WAS really creamy and light, too. It was easy to sneak an extra piece, but I managed to resist. My husband, on the other hand…

    Trissa – Thanks so much!

  9. 9
    SMITH BITES — April 19, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

    Beautiful and luscious – LOVE Lemon Cheesecake but alas, since there’s only The Professor and me, I just can’t have a whole cheesecake in the house . . . or it just calls to me

  10. 10
    C and C Dish — April 20, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    You can tell by your photo’s that this cheesecake looks so creamy and love the strawberry glaze!

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