Lemon Cheesecake

Let me tell you a little story about how we stole a cheesecake from my sister.  It was totally by accident, I swear.  It was the day before Christmas Eve that we drove to my sister Tracy’s house for our side of the family’s Christmas celebration.  Tracy lives about two and half hours from us so we’re talking about a fairly significant road trip here.  When we got there, we put the food items we brought in their spare fridge in their garage.  Fun was had, gifts were opened, food was eaten and then returned to the garage fridge until time to go home. 

Fast forward to time to load the car.  My husband grabbed our food from the garage fridge before heading home.  We arrived home very late so we left the food in the car, since it was plenty cold outside.  The next morning, we realized we had an extra cake carrier, containing a creamy, dreamy pumpkin cheesecake that was meant for Tracy’s in-laws Christmas that day.  Oops!  Luckily, Tracy found it hilarious that we accidentally stole her cheesecake… after the initial shock wore off. 

My poor husband felt so bad that he offered to drive it all the way to their house.  Tracy insisted it was not necessary but my nephew was not so easily consoled.  He was looking forward to that cheesecake. (Can’t say I blame him…it was beyond delicious.  I tried really hard to feel guilty as I ate it).  As consolation, I offered to make him any cheesecake flavor he wanted for his upcoming birthday. That’s where this Lemon Cheesecake comes into play.  This was the birthday cheesecake he chose. 

His birthday was a month ago and I’ve made it again since then, plus I plan to make it for Easter as well.  It’s the kind of dessert that’s both rich and refreshing at the same time…it leaves you wanting more!  The crust is buttery, the filling is creamy, and the topping is an extra punch of sweet, tart lemon.  Worth every bit of effort to make all three components.  It’s sure to impress everyone who tastes it!  In fact, I am impressed every time I make it, if I do say so myself.  It’s hard to be humble.   ~Erin 

Lemon Curd Topping Ingredients:

  • The zest of 4-5 lemons
  • 1 ½ c. sugar
  • ¼ lb. (1 stick) real butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ c. fresh lemon juice
  • A scant 1/8 tsp. salt (a generous pinch)

Crust Ingredients:

  • 3 c. finely crushed graham crackers (I crush them in a gallon baggie with a rolling pin.)
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 1/3 sticks of real butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ c. sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature*
  • The zest of 5 lemons (avoid the white pith)
  • ¼ c. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions for Lemon Curd Topping:

In a medium sauce pan, combine the lemon zest with the sugar.

Cream the butter into the sugar/zest mixture.

Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined; then stir in the lemon juice and salt until combined.

Cook over low/medium heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly, or until it coats the back of a spoon.  It may simmer slightly but don’t let it come to a boil.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool; transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours.

Run through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth if bits of egg are present in the curd.

Instructions for Crust:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large baggie, crush graham crackers a few at a time (I use a rolling pin to crush them) until you have approximately 3 cups.

Add to a medium bowl and stir in the sugar until well combined.

Stir in the melted butter until crumbs are well-coated.

Press graham crackers into the bottom and up the sides of a nine-inch spring form pan.

Bake for around 15 minutes.

Removed from the oven and set aside to cool.

Instructions for Filling:

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer.

Add eggs, one at a time, thoroughly incorporating each one before adding the next.

Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and combine thoroughly.

Add the filling to the crust and bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes. 

Remove from the oven an allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temp.  Transfer to the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours. Removed the sides of the spring form pan and spread on the lemon curd topping before slicing and  serving.

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

I got this recipe at a Weight Watcher meeting years ago.  When I say “years ago,” I mean back when you were given a point range (mine was 18-23 points per day) and when you ran out of points, you were stuck eating green beans for supper.  Thank goodness it’s not that way anymore!

I have made this pie with both sugar free pudding and regular, and it works well either way.  I’m not a fan of sugar substitutes so I figured the WW points both ways. I will say, however, I really can’t taste the sugar free aftertaste in this pie at all (you know what I’m talking about I’m sure, if you aren’t accustomed to using sugar substitutes).  My 11-year-old daughter didn’t even notice a difference!

I make this pie for Thanksgiving often and it’s always a popular dessert choice.  You can’t go wrong with cheesecake and pumpkin! ~Erin


  • 4 oz. fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. plus 1 T. 2% milk
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 ½ c. Fat Free Cool Whip
  • 1 9-inch graham cracker crust (regular or reduced fat – doesn’t change points per serving)
  • 2 small packages vanilla instant pudding mix, dry (regular or sugar-free, fat-free)*
  • 1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves


  1. Mix cream cheese, 1 T. milk, and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.
  2. Gently stir in whipped topping.
  3. Spread all but about ½ cup of the mixture on the bottom of the crust.
  4. Pour 1 cup of milk into a medium bowl; add both packages instant pudding mix and beat with a wire whisk or mixer until smooth. The mixture will be thick.
  5. Stir in pumpkin puree and spices; mix well.
  6. Spread the pumpkin mixture over the cream cheese layer; top with dollops of the remaining cream cheese mixture.
  7. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 8 servings. If using sugar-free, fat free instant pudding mix, each serving is 7 points. If using regular instant pudding mix, each serving is 12 points.

Easy Cheesecake

I have been making this cheesecake recipe for years and I’ve never had it fail me!  It’s quick to mix together, uses basic ingredients, and when it’s baked it’s smooth and creamy.   I love lemon curd to top mine (reminiscent of my favorite Cheesecake Factory indulgence); my boys love cherries.   It’s up to you to personalize in your favorite way! ~Kathy


  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp lemon zest, optional
  • 1 prepared graham cracker crust (I like the larger one that says “2 extra servings”)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, blend cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Add sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Combine well.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until fully incorporated. Mix in lemon zest if using.
  5. Pour into crust, smooth the top.
  6. Place in oven and bake 35 – 40 minutes, until center is almost completely set.
  7. Allow to cool then chill in refrigerator.
  8. Top with your favorite topping, or eat plain.

Key Lime Cheesecake

Posted by Tracy

One of my favorite cheesecakes at The Cheesecake Factory is the Key Lime.  I couldn’t find a recipe that created that same sweet & tart flavor, so I created my own with a creamy, rich texture you don’t have to drive miles for…that just may surpass the original. You be the judge.


Crust Ingredients: 

2 packages graham crackers, crushed (about 16 whole crackers)

3 T. sugar

½ c. + 2 T. melted butter

Filling Ingredients: 

1 c. sugar

1 T. corn starch

3 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened

4 eggs (best if allowed to come to room temperature)

2/3 c. sour cream

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. freshly squeezed key lime juice

1 ½ t. pure vanilla extract

Crust Instructions:

Combine crushed graham crackers with melted butter and mix well.  This works well in a mixing bowl or large Ziploc type bag.  Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9” spring form pan.  Bake at 350 in preheated oven for approximately 12 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Filling Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 (note, a different temperature than crust).

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and corn starch.  Set aside.

Place softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the sugar mixture and blend until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each one is just combined.  Add sour cream and heavy cream, mixing again until combined.  Stir in lime juice and vanilla.

Pour over cooled graham cracker crust.

Place large pan, such as a 9 x 13 cake pan, on the lowest oven rack.  Fill the pan about two-thirds full with water and leave the pan of water in the oven.  This provides moisture as the cheesecake cooks and avoids the sometimes messy water bath suggested by some cheesecake recipes.

Place the cheesecake on the middle oven rack and bake at 325 for approximately 60 minutes.  Cheesecake should still have a slight ‘jiggle’ to the center when removed from oven.

Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar.  Allow cheesecake to cool slowly while still in the oven.  After cheesecake is cool, remove from oven and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Serve with whipped cream and your favorite fruit garnish.

Makes approximately 12 servings.