Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake is a little bit of sweet, citrusy heaven in every bite. Rich lemon cheesecake is nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with light, airy meringue perfectly toasted on top. Can you taste it yet?!

slice of lemon meringue cheesecake on a small plate with a fork.

If you read our blog at all, you know we love cheesecake. We love all kinds of cheesecakes, and we get very creative with them. However, we still have a special place in our heart’s for the classics, which is why we love this lemon meringue cheesecake so much. It’s an old-fashioned treat that everyone loves, especially during the summer months.

slice of lemon meringue cheesecake on a small plate with a fork.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The rich, creamy lemon cheesecake filling is a classic summer favorite.
  • The meringue is light and airy on the inside and perfectly toasted on top.
  • It makes the perfect dessert for summer cookouts and barbecues.

🛒Ingredients

This recipe only uses simple ingredients you can find in your grocery store or your kitchen pantry!

Everything you need to make it is listed here, but you can find the exact amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.

For the Crust

  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • Sugar
  • Butter – melted

Cheesecake

  • Cream cheese – softened
  • Sour cream
  • Sugar
  • Eggs – room temperature
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • GOODMAN’S lemon extract
  • Vanilla
  • Lemon curd

For the Meringue

  • Egg whites
  • Sugar
  • Cream of tartar

🔪 How to Make Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

This cheesecake might look fancy, but when you break it down into steps, you’ll find that it’s actually very easy to make. As long as you follow the directions, you’ll have no problems!

Step 1: Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the Graham Cracker Crust

Pulse the graham crackers in a blender until they form fine crumbs. Then, combine the sugar and crumbs. Finally, add the butter and mix until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the springform pan to form the crust.

batter being poured on top of a crust in a springform pan.

Step 3: Make the Cheesecake Batter

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and lemon juice in a stand mixer. Scrape down the bowl and blend until smooth. Then, add the eggs and mix until blended. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

cheesecake baked in the oven in a springform pan.

Step 4: Bake

Place a small dish of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Then, pour the batter over the crust in the springform pan. Bake for an hour. Then, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside it for 20 minutes.

Step 5: Cool and Top

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Then, spread the lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake.

Step 6: Chill

Wrap the pan and cheesecake in foil and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Step 7: Make the Meringue

Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Then, add the sugar gradually while whipping the egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Whip on high for another 45 seconds to a minute until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.

egg whites being added to the top of the cake.

Step 8: Top

Spoon the meringue over the top of the cheesecake, mounding and forming small peaks with the back of a spoon as you go.

Step 9: Bake

Bake at 400 degrees on the center rack until the meringue is golden on top. Watch the cheesecake closely, as this only takes a few minutes.

Step 10: Cool

Remove the cheesecake and let it cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Chill until ready to serve.

📝Variations

  • Omit the lemon juice and extract to make a plain cheesecake.
  • Make a plain cheesecake and add a layer of fruit compote/filling for a sweeter fruit version of this cheesecake.
  • Use crushed Nilla wafer for tasty twist on the crust.

If you think this lemon meringue cheesecake looks good, then you’ll love our lemon cheesecake bars.

🥄 Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Stand mixer
  • Hand mixer
  • 9-inch springform pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Spatulas
  • Juicer
slice of lemon meringue cheesecake on a small plate with a fork.

🥫 Storage

Refrigerate this cheesecake loosely covered for up to 4 days. Freezing isn’t recommended. The meringue will become tough and rubbery.

Serve With

Serve this cheesecake with fresh fruit and a little chocolate for a delicious dessert. You can also add it to a larger dessert spread of all your favorite summery treats for backyard parties, cookouts, and barbecues.

💭 Tips

  • Fully soften your cream cheese, and bring your eggs and sour cream to room temperature. This ensures the easiest mixing and a richer cheesecake.
  • If your cheesecake seems to be browning too quickly, place a loose foil tent over it.
  • Don’t cover your cheesecake when chilling it for the final time. It will collapse the meringue.

⁉️ FAQ

Do you have questions about this recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Why did my meringue collapse in the oven?

If the oven isn’t hot enough, the meringue will retain too much moisture and collapse. On the other hand, if the oven is too hot, it can cause excessive cracking, and the meringue could collapse when handled.

What is the best temperature to bake meringue?

400 degrees is the sweet spot for meringue. It’s hot enough to cook out the moisture quickly but not so hot that the meringue will crack excessively.

Do I have to use a water bath for cheesecake?

You don’t have to use a water bath for cheesecake, but you should. A water bath helps the cheesecake cook evenly in an environment sufficiently moist to prevent cracking or collapsing. While a cheesecake will still taste good if it cracks or collapses, it won’t be very pretty!

🍽 More Recipes

Do you enjoy lemon? Then try these delicious recipes:

🧾Recipe Card

Want to make this recipe? Print the recipe card below, or pin this recipe, so you can find it later.

slice of lemon meringue cheesecake on a small plate with a fork.

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Lemon meringue cheesecake features rich, dense lemon cheesecake topped with airy, fluffy, perfectly toasted meringues.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chill Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12 Slices
Calories: 678kcal

Equipment

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • mixing bowls
  • Stand mixer
  • Hand mixer
  • 9 inch springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • Spatulas
  • juicer

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup butter – melted

FOR THE CHEESECAKE:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese – softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs – room temperature
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice about 3 lemons
  • 1 Tablespoon GOODMAN’s lemon extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla

FILLING ON TOP OF CHEESECAKE:

  • 2 cups lemon curd store bought jar

FOR THE MERINGUE:

  • 4 egg whites
  • cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions

  • Place graham crackers in a blender, and blend until fine crumbs form – 2 sleeves should be enough for 2 cups of crumbs – (you can also used boxed crumbs if you prefer).
  • Add sugar to crumbs and stir well.
  • Add butter to crumbs, and mix until thoroughly blended.
  • Line the bottom of the Spring-form pan with parchment paper, and pour the crumbs into the pan, and press evenly to form the crust.
  • Set aside.
  • Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
  • In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and lemon juice.
  • Scrape down sides of mixing bowl, and blend until smooth.
  • Add eggs, and mix until blended.
  • Add lemon juice, and Vanilla, and mix until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl, and blending until all ingredients are well blended.
  • Pour cheesecake filling over crust, and place pan in the oven, on the center rack. (Place a small dish of water on the bottom rack of the oven).
  • Bake cheesecake for 1 hour.
  • Cheesecake may be a little wiggly in the center; turn off oven, and let stand in oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
  • When cool, spread Lemon Curd over top of cheesecake, and wrap Spring-form pan in foil, and place in the refrigerator overnight to set.
  • A couple of hours before serving, whip the egg whites, and the cream of tartar in the mixing bowl, with the mixer on medium low, until soft peaks form.
  • Add the sugar in a stead stream, but not all at once, and whip the egg whites on medium high until stiff peaks form, then turn the mixer on high and whip about 1 minute, until the egg whites are stiff and glossy (might only take 45 seconds, so just look at the gloss and stiff peaks) turn mixer off.
  • Remove cheesecake from refrigerator, and spoon the egg whites onto the top of the cheesecake, mounding the whipped egg whites up on the cheesecake.
  • Form small peaks/curls on top of the egg whites with the back of a spoon, gently pulling the top of the egg whites into peaks.
  • Seal the edges of the cheesecake with the egg whites.
  • Turn the oven on to 400 degrees, and place the cheesecake in the oven on the center rack.
  • When you have the desired browned Meringue, remove the cheesecake to a wire rack, and allow Meringue to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Place the Cheesecake back in the refrigerator, and keep chilled until time to serve.
  • Cut the cheesecake in 2 inch pieces, and serve chilled, with a sugared lemon slice on the side.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Any nutritional data I provide is an approximation and actual dietary information can vary based on ingredients and proportion sizes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 678kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 488mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 1.197IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 1mg

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