Lemon Meringue Cheesecake is a creamy lemon-flavored cheesecake with a layer of lemon curd, topped with a light and fluffy meringue, all on a buttery graham cracker crust. Whether it is a special occasion or you are craving a refreshingly tangy dessert, this is a delicious option! I also have a Lemon Meringue Pie with a lemon custard filling you will love!

Whole Lemon Meringue Cheesecake on a wooden table from overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Crust: Ensure the graham cracker crumbs are completely coated in butter. You will need about 10-12 graham cracker sheets to get 1 1/2 cups of crumbs.

Graham Cracker Crumbs

Pre-Crushed vs Crushing Yourself

The quality of store-bought graham cracker crumbs has changed in the last few years and they seem to be less flavorful and have a different texture. When possible, I recommend the full sheets of honey-flavored graham crackers and crushing them yourself or utilizing a food processor.

Room Temperature Ingredients: For the cheesecake filling, be sure the ingredients, specifically the cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs, are at room temperature. This helps prevent lumps in the cheesecake.

Lemons: To get a tablespoon of lemon zest and 1/4 cup of lemon juice, you will need about 2-3 lemons. You could also use bottled juice if that is what you have on hand.

Lemon Curd: Lemon Curd is a tart, lemony spread, filling, or topping made from simple ingredients. For the most flavor, make homemade curd. Or, look for it in the aisle with the jams and other spreads at your local grocery store.

Meringue: For the meringue, you will need 4 egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar. (Save the egg yolks to make some eggnog!)

Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is a powdery acid, not a cream. It can be found in the baking aisle, near the spices, in your local grocery store. It is added to the meringue to help stabilize it, increase the volume, and improve the texture. If you don’t have any, you could still make the meringue with just the egg whites and sugar. But, it has a better chance of ‘weeping’.

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake on a serving platter on a wooden table with a piece removed.

How To Prevent Weeping In Meringue

Follow these tips to help prevent weeping, or the meringue from looking wet or syrupy:

  • Ensure a clean bowl and utensils.
  • Use fresh, room-temperature eggs, so let the eggs come to room temperature before separating.
  • Gradually add the sugar.
  • Whip the egg whites just until they form stiff peaks. Stiff peaks are sharp peaks that can stand on their own even after the beater has been removed. Do not under or overwhip.
  • When spreading the meringue over the filling, make sure it completely seals the edges of the cheesecake. Any gaps can allow moisture to escape and cause weeping.

How To Store Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

After the meringue has been added to the cheesecake and baked to golden brown, let the cake cool completely before storing it. Then, cover the cheesecake loosely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can add toothpicks to the cheesecake to keep the plastic or foil from touching and messing up the meringue. It will last up to 2-3 days.

Slice of Lemon Meringue Cheesecake on a white plate on a wooden table.

Can I Freeze Lemon Meringue Cheesecake?

Yes, you can freeze this cheesecake, but I recommend freezing it BEFORE adding the layer of lemon curd and meringue. To freeze the cheesecake, first, make sure it has completely cooled and set. Then, either cut into individual pieces or freeze the entire cheesecake. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer-safe plastic bag or wrap it in aluminum foil. Be sure to label and date. It should last about a month. When ready to add the toppings, let it slowly thaw in the refrigerator. Finally, top with lemon curd and meringue.

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake on a wooden table arial view.

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Lemon Meringue Cheesecake is a creamy lemon-flavored cheesecake with a layer of lemon curd, topped with a light and fluffy meringue, all on a buttery graham cracker crust. Whether it is a special occasion or you are craving a refreshingly tangy dessert, this is a delicious option!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups (126 g) graham cracker crumbs, 10-12 graham cracker sheets, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • cup (76 g) unsalted butter, melted

Lemon Cheesecake

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (230 g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (61 g) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (160 g) lemon curd, homemade or store-bought

Meringue

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Crust

  • To a medium mixing bowl, add graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix until combined and all of the graham cracker crumbs are coated in butter. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan.

Lemon Cheesecake

  • Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar until smooth.
  • With the mixer on low, add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Pour the filling over the crust.
  • Bake 60-70 minutes, or until the top of the cheesecake turns golden and the edges are set. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
  • After the cheesecake has chilled and set, carefully spread lemon curd over it in an even layer. Set aside while you prepare the meringue.

Meringue

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar and cream of tartar and continue beating until the mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks are sharp peaks that can stand on their own even after the beater has been removed.
  • Gently spoon the meringue on top of the lemon curd. Then, use the back of the spoon to swoop and swirl the meringue, covering the cake to the edges.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown.
  • Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Autumn

Lemon fans, this is the cheesecake to make! I loved the tart lemon in every bite. Combined with the smooth and creamy cheesecake, this was indulgent and perfect for me!

Elizabeth

This is a thick, fluffy cheesecake with a lot going on! It is loaded with lemon flavor from the cheesecake layer to the lemon curd. If you love lemon meringue pie, this will not disappoint!

Rachael

Amazing! I am a lemon lover and this combines all the amazing desserts of lemon together. If you love lemon, this is a must-try!

Annabelle

This is a lovely cheesecake! It's creamy with a solid curst, and a deliciously tangy lemon topping that is absolutely over-the-top with the perfect meringue!

Selena

Delightful! Not too tart, not too sweet. Reminds me so much of the pie!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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