Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

This layered Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake is bursting with tart citrus and sweet red raspberry flavors. It’s perfect for a springtime soiree or any special occasion.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

This layered cheesecake has been in development for a long time – more than a year, actually! It’s inspired by Cheesecake Factory’s Lemon Cream Cheesecake, but it’s not an exact copycat recipe (like this one, for example). The flavors are much the same as the inspiration cake, but it’s pared down in size and more manageable for the home baker. I’ve made three different versions of it, and had even teased one iteration ‘coming soon’ on Instagram stories months ago. However, after a little more scrutinizing, I decided it still wasn’t exactly right. The first version was too tart. The second one was too tall to fit in a standard 9×3-inch springform pan. It’s like they say, third time’s a charm!

Yes – at long last! I’m ready to share this Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake just in time for spring holidays and warm weather. It isn’t hard to make, but it does take some time to put together. Start a couple of days ahead, because the cheesecake layer needs to chill overnight. And then the assembled cake also needs to chill overnight. So the most time-consuming part is the hands-off, waiting around!

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

This cheesecake-cake is made of one vanilla cake layer, raspberry coulis-dipped lady fingers, zesty lemon cheesecake, and lemon whipped cream. The recipe is designed to have leftover raspberry-coulis, which should be served in a pitcher for drizzling on each cheesecake slice.

Make the Raspberry Coulis

Mix together 12 oz. raspberries (fresh or frozen and thawed) and granulated sugar. Cook for 2 minutes in the microwave and stir until the sugar is melted. You can also do this on the stove top. When the sugar is melted, let it cool slightly, then transfer it to a food processor or blender. Process until the mixture is pureed. There will be seeds visible in the mixture.

Next, pour the mixture through a sieve. Use the back of a spatula to press the pulp through the screen, leaving only the seeds behind. And just like that, you’ve just made raspberry coulis! Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for later use.

Make the Vanilla Cake Layer

This layered cheesecake starts with a vanilla cake layer. Mix all of the ingredients up in a bowl with a hand mixer. Grease and flour your most reliable 9-inch springform pan with high sides (at least 3″ tall). Why? Because we’ll be using the same springform pan to bake and assemble the layers. Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake for about 18 minutes. At the end you should have a tender cake layer that requires no leveling. It bakes up perfectly flat and that’s just what we need.

Allow it to cool completely an then cover it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until needed. This will firm the crumb and it will be easier to handle.

Make the Lemon Cheesecake Layer

Wash the springform pan you used to bake the cake in and line the bottom with a parchment paper round. Mix up the crustless cheesecake ingredients (which includes tangy lemon zest- yum!) and pour the batter into the springform pan. Place a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven and place the cheesecake on the center rack above it. This steams the cheesecake as it cooks. And helps it develop a smooth surface. I like this technique because it’s a little less messy that immersing the pan directly into a water bath.

After an hour or so, when the timer sounds, prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon and let the cheesecake stay in the oven while it cools. This will prevent the cheesecake from having high edges with a deeply sunken center. After another hour, remove it from the oven. Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight. Then remove it from the pan and onto a plate; cover and keep refrigerated.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

Assemble the Layers

In the same springform pan (once again!) begin assembly. Place the vanilla cake layer in the bottom of the pan. Remember that raspberry coulis? Grab a package of crisp lady fingers, and dip each one into the coulis. Then, line them up over the cake. You may have to trim some of the cookies to cover the entire cake. You can see how I arrange them in the video before the recipe card a little further down.

Add the lemon cheesecake layer. Turn it upside down over the lady fingers and gently press down. Then, cover and refrigerate the entire thing overnight. This gives the lady fingers a chance to soften and become cake-like. Like I said before, this cheesecake isn’t complicated, but it does take some time.

Lemon Cream Topping

This Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake has a double dose of lemon, thanks to the lemon cream topping. After the cheesecake has chilled overnight, gently press the cheesecake layer down evenly with a flat hand. This will compress the lady finger layer slightly and make room in the pan for the lemon cream layer.

Combine heavy cream and sugar in a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, and beat until soft peaks form. Add just a kiss of lemon extract, and beat in some bloomed and melted unflavored gelatin. This stabilizes the whipped cream and gives it a mousse-like texture which slices cleanly. Spread the whipped lemon cream over the cheesecake and refrigerate for one hour.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

After the cheesecake is chilled, remove the springform collar and transfer to a cake plate or stand. All that’s left? Scatter a few fresh raspberries on top and a couple of lemon slices, if you like. I added a few ribbons of lemon zest as well.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

Transfer the leftover coulis to a small pitcher and serve it alongside the cheesecake. An extra drizzle makes it so nice!

I think this is a wonderful dessert to welcome the spring season. And it will also be a much appreciated cold and creamy treat throughout summer months, too. Enjoy!

Related recipe: Chocolate-Raspberry Bavarian Torte

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

Heather Baird
This layered confection stars with a base of vanilla cake and raspberry coulis-dipped lady fingers. It’ stopped with a tangy lemon cheesecake layer, followed by a fluffy lemon whipped cream topping. The flavors and some components of this cake are inspired by The Cheesecake Factory’s famous Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake.
Begin this cake 2 days ahead of serving, as the lemon cheesecake layer by itself needs to firm overnight. The assembled cheesecake will also benefit from an overnight chill.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 9×3-inch springform pan


Raspberry coulis

  • 12 oz. frozen raspberries thawed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Vanilla cake layer

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Lemon cheesecake

  • 16 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 5 drops yellow food color optional
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature

Assembly and lemon cream topping

  • 12 crisp lady fingers
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Additional toppings

  • Fresh raspberries
  • Lemon slices
  • Lemon zest ribbons


Raspberry coulis

  • Combine the berries and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook at 100% power in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir well until the sugar is completely melted. You may also do this in a saucepan on the stove top. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. At this stage, give the cooked mixture a taste-test. If it is very tart, add up to 1/4 cup of sugar and cook again. (Berries vary in sweetness.)
  • Place the mixture in the bowl of a food processor or the pitcher of a blender. Puree until smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl; discard the seeds and solids.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Vanilla cake layer

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
  • Beat the sugar, egg, vanilla, and oil in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat in half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
  • Add all of the milk and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour and beat until incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When the cake is completely cool, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Lemon Cheesecake

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Set a 9×13-inch pan filled half full of water on the bottom rack of your oven.
  • Grease and line the same springform pan used for the cake layer; set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the cream, lemon juice, flour, lemon zest, lemon extract, and food color if using. Add the eggs; beat on low speed until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place on the middle rack of the oven above the pan of water. Bake for 65 minutes. When the timer sounds, turn the oven off and prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon. Let the cheesecake stand in the oven for an hour. Remove the cheesecake in the pan to a wire rack to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate in the pan overnight.

Assembly and lemon cream topping

  • Remove the springform collar and carefully transfer the cheesecake to a plate; do not remove the parchment paper. Keep refrigerated.
  • Wash and dry the springform pan. Place the vanilla cake layer in the springform pan. Quickly dip each lady finger in the raspberry coulis, and cover the vanilla cake with the cookies (see video for technique). You may have to trim the lady fingers to evenly cover all of the cake. Reserve the leftover coulis in a small pitcher for serving with slices of cheesecake.
  • Carefully transfer the cheesecake layer, upside-down (parchment bottom-up) onto the layer of lady fingers. Press down gently then remove the parchment paper round from the cheesecake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, with the pan still covered in plastic wrap, gently press the cheesecake down to slightly compress the lady fingers layer (it will have softened) and to make room for the lemon cream topping.
  • For the lemon cream topping, place the cold water in a small microwave-safe condiment cup and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface. Let stand until the gelatin is bloomed.
  • Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl of an electric mixer until slightly thickened, and then gradually add in the granulated sugar. When soft peaks form, beat in the lemon extract.
  • Microwave the gelatin for 10 seconds, or until liquid. While beating the cream, pour in the gelatin. Whip until stiff peaks form. Immediately top the cheesecake with the cream. Refrigerate for one hour.
  • Remove the collar from the springform pan and transfer the cake to a cake stand or serving plate. Top with fresh berries, lemon slices, and lemon zest ribbons, if desired.
  • Store the cheesecake covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Serve slices of cheesecake with an additional drizzle of raspberry coulis.


What to expect: This cheesecake has bright, fresh flavors with citrus and raspberries. It has tart-tangy elements that are well balanced with sweet, creamy elements. It is reminiscent of The Cheesecake Factory’s Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake.
Fresh or frozen: Use fresh or frozen raspberries for the coulis. 
Spread out the work: As I’ve mentioned in the post, this cheesecake is not difficult to make. But it requires a lot of hands-off time and overnight chilling. Make the cake layer, coulis, and the cheesecake layer on the first day. Then assemble the cake, lady fingers, and cheesecake the second day. On the day of serving, top with the lemon cream and decorate.
Extra coulis: If you’re serving this cheesecake buffet-style to a crowd, you may want to double the coulis recipe. Having extra will allow guests to have a little drizzle or more to taste.
Gelatin: You may omit adding the bloomed and melted gelatin to the lemon cream if you prefer. The gelatin stabilizes the whipped cream and makes it more mousse-like. Without the gelatin added, it will just be lemon whipped cream (but still tasty!).
Keyword cheesecake cake, freeze dried raspberries, fresh lemon, lemon cheesecake filling, Lemon cream cheesecake, lemon juice, lemon raspberry cheesecake, lemon zest, raspberry coulis, spring dessert, springform pan, stabilized whipped cream, The Cheesecake Factory Copycat Cheesecake, vanilla cake
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