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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20 Responses to “apricot-almond shortbread bars”

  1. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — March 14, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    What a delightful treat! Beautiful too! Hope your little one is feeling better!

  2. Jenn S. — March 14, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    Shortbread is so simple, easy and delicious. I may make some pecan shortbread today (you inspired me!) And, no, I don’t think that balancing work and family can be mastered, but you can be a master juggler. 😉 Hope Maddie feels better soon.

  3. The Yummy Mummy — March 14, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

    This is tough – mom or oncologist? Although I bet you are wonderful at both.

    Glad you were able to soothe some of that with shortbread. Your pictures are beautiful.

    xo Kim

  4. JenniferA — March 14, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    These sound lovely – I was intrigued right away when you tweeted about them last week.

    Your north Florida weather sounds lovely too – I am jealous you can plant your veggies already. I have to wait another two months. Enjoy, and I hope your baby feels better soon – I bet those cookies will help a lot.

  5. Lucy@acookandherbooks — March 14, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    Two of my favorite flavors – apricot & almonds! And so very pretty. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  6. Feast on the Cheap — March 14, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    You have such a lovely blog – the design, photos, everything! This recipe looks pretty lovely too…

  7. Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 14, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    These should be in my belly right now… like, right now. And they look beautiful too!

  8. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — March 14, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

    Hope Madeleine is feeling better soon. This post made me miss MY mum so much. The past two weeks even though Neil has been amazing, there’s nothing quite like your mum, you know?

  9. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle — March 14, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    I don’t think there is any mastering of it…that parenting thing, the constant juggle of work and kids. But I do think we have to make choices and prioritize and though you feel a ping of guilt at having to cancel on patients…you simply can not cancel on your daughter so you did the right thing. There are those moments when only Mom and an apricot bar can make everything all better.

    I would like one of them too…I know it would make me feel better.

  10. marla — March 14, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

    These shortbread bars are so pretty & I can only imagine how tasty too! Hope your little girl is feeling better & that you had some special time together 🙂

  11. Ethan — March 15, 2011 @ 1:22 am

    Hope Madeline is feeling better soon. Feeling bad about your patients is normal, but like you said, have to take care of the ones at home first!
    I love the 3rd pic, the one with the corner missing.

  12. I’m sorry that your daughter isn’t feeling well, I hope she feels better soon. These shortbread bars would certainly have brought a smile to my face on a day when I wasn’t feeling well.

  13. Lael Hazan @educatedpalate — March 15, 2011 @ 7:15 am

    Oh having a little one who is ill is the worst. I don’t know why, I always feel guilty and frustrated that I can’t wave my magic wand. However, your shortbread bars certainly will bring a smile to her face.

  14. Megan — March 15, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

    I hate the guilt that comes with the choices we have to make. I hope your daughter feels better and those darn berry plants thrive! 🙂
    Your bars are beautiful and sure would make me feel better. I’ve always wanted to do something with almond paste but never have. This looks like a great way to change that!

  15. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — March 16, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    These look so beautiful! Hope Madeline’s feeling better now… I’m sure these tasty shortbread bars helped to cheer her up!

  16. Aggie — March 16, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    I hope Madeline is feeling much better by now. Love Apricot preserves and I just happen to make my first ever shortbread like 5 minutes ago. I may have a new addiction, easy baking is fun for me 🙂 These look so unbelievably tasty!!!

  17. a frog in the cottage — March 17, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    that is THE ULTIMATE shortbread bar !! absolutely gorgeous !!

  18. Tiffany — March 18, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

    Oh my! Yes! Those look delish!

  19. These look so incredibly delicious!! I am going to make these this weekend – thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend.

  20. What gorgeous bars and as always just lovely photos. I love almond desserts and these are calling my name! 🙂

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