This No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Cream Pie is smooth, velvety, and has the perfect amount of lemon! Super easy to make and one you would be proud to serve! If you love this recipe (and I know you will) be sure to try my Orange Creamsicle Mousse and Lemon Mousse for easy No-Bake Dessert options!
Lemon Cheesecake Cream Pie
This lemon pie is super easy. How easy? Only 8 ingredients it pulls together in under 5 minutes!
Let’s talk for a minute about how I achieve the lemon flavor in this cream pie. A traditional lemon pie uses cornstarch, eggs, granulated sugar and requires baking. I attempted to get that same flavor by using a combination of REAL lemon juice and lemon extract, combined with confectioners sugar and cream cheese base… and NO baking required. The results were dreamy!
How to Make Lemon Pie
As I mentioned, making this lemon pie is really simple. There are a few key tips to follow that will make this even easier!
Room Temperature Cream Cheese
If you aren’t able to set out your cream cheese for a couple of hours ahead of assembly, here is a fun tip to quickly get it to room temperature. I remove the cream cheese from the box but keep it in the foil packaging. Set the cream cheese in a bowl of hot water and let it warm slowly. This usually takes 10-15 minutes. If you use a metal bowl, you can sometimes cut the time down a bit because they will hold the heat in a little longer. Or you can set it out in the morning and let it warm to room temperature on the counter.
You will want to make sure your cream cheese is completely lump-free, which means beating it with an electric hand mixer (or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) until it is light and fluffy before adding any other ingredients. This is what gives my lemon pie the creamy texture as well as helps to blend the flavors perfectly.
The lemon extract in this recipe really adds a depth of lemon flavor that is essential in a cream pie. If you don’t have immediate access to lemon extract you can substitute additional fresh lemon juice.
Here is a simple equivalency:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice = 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
This recipe uses 1 teaspoon of lemon extract, so you will need 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. If you opt for the fresh lemon juice, I do recommend adding about 1/2 tsp. of lemon zest to the shortbread crust to maximize the lemon flavor. If you are using ALL real lemon juice in this recipe it will end up being 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons.
How to Make Shortbread Pie Crust
Grab your shortbread cookies and a large sealable plastic bag. If you don’t have any cookies, make homemade shortbread cookies to use! Start smashing the cookies and get all your aggressions out! Shortbread cookies are naturally delicate so this is an easy job and should not take you more than a minute. In a medium bowl, add the shortbread crumbs and the melted butter. Using a fork, work the butter into the crumbs until every crumb is coated in butter. Because we are not baking this crust, the butter will act as a glue in the chilled pie. If some crumbs are not coated with butter, they will fall apart when you try to cut the pie.
Now take your pie dish (I used an 8-inch pie dish) and press the shortbread crumbs into the bottom and slightly up the sides. You want an even layer of crumbs, so use a kitchen glass or something with a flat bottom to help create a smooth layer.
Whipped Topping vs. Homemade Topping
I freely admit that I love a big ole bite a cool whip and love how easy it can make recipes. This one in particular benefits from the stability of cool whip IN the creamsicle pie filling. However, I do like to whip up (ha!) a small batch of homemade whipped cream for the topping.
To make whipped topping from scratch you take 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and add 1-2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar. Whip the heavy whipping cream for a couple of minutes with your hand-held mixer until there are soft peaks. Sprinkle the confectioner’s sugar over top and keep mixing on high until there are stiff peaks. I do recommend using a large bowl to avoid splatter.
You can add vanilla extract (about 1/2 teaspoon) or even lemon extract for an extra flavor kick!
How to Make Individual Lemon Cheesecake Cream Pie Servings
Simply crush up shortbread cookies and place them in the bottom of the serving cup instead of a pie pan. After testing we found that a thinner layer was best. (Which also means you can make more servings!) The dishes I used were a bit larger (they hold about 1 1/2 cups of lemon mousse) so I was only able to make 3 servings. Plan accordingly if you are feeding a crowd! 🙂
How to Serve Lemon Cheesecake Cream Pie
Chilling is an important step in this recipe. It helps the lemon filling firm and creates the velvety texture essential in a no-bake cream pie. I recommend letting it chill for at least one hour, but you can let it go all the way up to 3 days. However, if you are letting it sit that long, I do not recommend adding the garnish until just before serving, as fresh lemon will not look as pretty after sitting out.
More No-Bake Cheesecake Pies
Lemon Cheesecake Cream Pie
Shortbread Pie Crust
- 6 ounces finely crushed shortbread cookies, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons (28g) butter, melted
Lemon Cream Filling
- 24 ounces (680g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup (293g) confectioners sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract, or more to taste (taste test as you go!)
- pinch kosher salt
- 2 cups (476 g) whipped topping, plus more for garnish
- lemon slices, for garnish
- OPTIONAL: yellow food color for presentation (I did not add any)
Shortbread Pie Crust
- In a large bowl, combine the shortbread cookie crumbs with the melted butter. Pour into a prepared 8 in pie dish and firmly press to the edges to form a pie crust.
Lemon Cream Filling
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy.
- Add in the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract, and salt and beat until everything is combined. (If you are adding food color, add it here.)
- Gently fold in the whipped topping.
- Pour filling mixture into prepared pie crust.
- Refrigerate for 2 – 6 hours. Top with remaining whipped topping, remaining, shortbread crumbs, and lemon.
Did you make this recipe?
Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.
What is whipped topping? cool whip or just whipped cream?
I love making and eating this pie. I made it today for a third time. My husband wants to know how long it will keep in the refrigerator. (I don’t know why he is asking because we ate the previous ones in a couple of days:).
I made this for Group I’ve used clear plastic cups drinking cups I put the crust on the bottom the graham crackers and then I put the lemon cheesecake mousse on top and refrigerated it then I decorated it with a little bit of whip topping and some lemon zest it went over great I’ve done this before I’ve made tiramisu that way and it goes over big. I also always bring a can of ready whip a that goes over big with the kids and adults.
I made this pie once and used crushed ginger cookies. It was SO delicious! It reminded me of gingerbread cake with lemon curd.
My family hates Cool Whip. Can I used real cream, whipped?
Hi, Susan! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Here is a homemade whipped cream you might enjoy! Have a great day!
Thank you for sharing. Tastes awesome but made one modification to the filling to fit my keto diet. Used powdered swerve. Oh, and no crust.
I just finished making the no-bake lemon cheesecake pie. I haven’t cut into it but I did sample all the components and it’s really good. I always read the comments on recipes first. So as some noted, this makes a lot of filling so I made more crust and used a bigger pan. Didn’t have lemon extract so I used a little extra fresh lemon juice. I happened to have raspberries so I made a couli to swirl on top and ringed the top edge with more of the buttery cookie crumble. It’s still a thick pie. I’m chilling it in the freezer to have it ready for supper. It’s so pretty 😊. I wish I could post a pic.