Light, fresh, and full of sweet/tangy real lemon flavor. A bright and easy no-bake gluten-free lemon cheesecake that will have you serving up a second slice in no time. Paired with a simple buttery graham cracker crust, this vegan lemon cheesecake is the perfect summer treat.
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The Best No-Bake Gluten-Free Lemon Cheesecake
A smooth and airy lemon cheesecake made with 100% real lemon flavor. No extracts or emulsions here! Just real genuine sweet zesty lemon yum. Gluten-free and dairy-free, this no-bake cheesecake recipe is an allergy-friendly summer party must for any and all lemon lovers.
What Makes Up A Lemon Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crumb Crust – a buttery golden graham cracker crumb crust made in under 5 minutes.
Lemon Cheesecake Filling – silky smooth lemon cheesecake filling with a subtle creamy tang and only requires 5 ingredients.
Lemon Cheesecake Ingredients & Substitutions
As always this recipe is gluten-free and vegan. That said, I do test each recipe with “regular” ingredients and make notes of alternatives or swaps so that everyone can enjoy it.
Here are a few key ingredients for this cheesecake but make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom recipe card for the complete ingredient list.
Graham Cracker Crumbs: Graham crackers, nilla wafers, or digestive biscuits would all work as long as they are finely ground into a coarse sand texture.
Butter: Use whatever butter fits your dietary preferences/needs such as vegan, lactose-free, or regular.
Whipping Cream: Seeing as how this is a vegan recipe, I used plant-based whipping cream. If you are not vegan, dairy-free, or lactose-free use regular heavy whipping cream.
Cream Cheese: Again, as this is written vegan, I used plant-based cream cheese. Feel free to swap in regular full-fat cream cheese, the brick kind, in place.
Lemon: Freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest is best. You could use bottled lemon juice if need be but I do not recommend dried lemon zest. It’s far too bitter.
Easy Step-By-Step Instructions
Here’s how to make this no-bake celiac-friendly lemon cheesecake. You’ll need a large mixing bowl, a stand mixer or handheld electric one, a 9-inch pie plate or 9-inch spring form pan, and a spatula.
Step 1: Prepare the crust. In a large mixing bowl combine all the crust ingredients together and mix. Pour the crust mixture in and press the crust up against the sides and bottom of the pan and then use a flat heavy-bottomed glass or measuring cup to press down and compact the crust base. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Step 2: Make the filling. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the room-temperature cream cheese on high speed for 1 minute or until smooth. Add in the icing sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt, and mix again until combined and smooth. Set aside.
Step 3: Prepare the whipped cream. In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with electric beaters, whip the whipping cream on high speed until thick stiff peaks are achieved.
Step 4: Fold the cheesecake filling. Add the whipped cream into the lemon cream cheese mixture and with a spatula gently fold it in together. Take your time with this and be careful to not knock the air out of the whipped cream.
Step 5: Chill. Pour the lemon cheesecake filling into the crust. Place the cheesecake into the refrigerator and allow it to chill for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight so it fully sets.
Step 8: Decorate. Remove the set cheesecake from the fridge and top with additional dollops of whipped cream, lemon zest, and graham cracker crumbs if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Success Tips
Let’s set you up for cheesecake success with a few helpful tips and tricks.
- Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. This ensures a smooth, creamy filling without any lumps.
- Be very careful when folding together the cream cheese mixture and whipped cream. If you are too rough it will beat the air out of the whipped cream and the cheesecake will not set.
- Don’t skimp on the chill time. Cheesecake needs a long time to chill in order for the fat to solidify and properly set.
How To Store/Freeze Lemon Cheesecake
This no-bake lemon cheesecake can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
You can even freeze the entire cheesecake if desired. Whipping cream doesn’t thaw well though, so I recommend topping it with whipped cream after it has been thawed and is ready to serve.
To thaw, simply remove it from the freezer and sit it at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Alternatively, you can allow it to slowly thaw overnight in the fridge.
The Best Gluten-Free Lemon Cheesecake
I cannot wait for you to try this fresh creamy lemon cheesecake recipe. A buttery graham cracker base with a silky smooth lemon cheesecake filling. This is easy gluten-free vegan lemon cheesecake is a summer delight in every single no-bake bite.
Make sure you leave this recipe a star rating and review. I can’t wait to hear all about it! You can also tag me on Instagram @cakedbykatie or follow along for more delicious recipes on Pinterest.
Lemon-Inspired Baking Recipes
Need more lemon in your life? Ya, me too! Here are a few other recipes I think you’ll love.
- Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake (GF & V)
- Pink Lemonade Cake (DF)
- Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake (GF & DF)
- Dairy Free Lemon Cake (Doctored Cake Mix)
Gluten-Free Lemon Cheesecake (Vegan)
- Total Time: 6 Hours 20 Minutes
- Yield: 12 slices 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This easy no-bake gluten-free lemon cheesecake is the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Paired with a buttery graham cracker crust, it’s the perfect summer sweet treat.
Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
- ½ cup (113g) vegan salted butter, melted
- 2 ¼ cups (270g) gluten-free vegan graham cracker crumbs
- pinch of salt
- 2 packages (400g) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (120g) icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup (120ml) vegan whipping cream, cold
- optional: additional whipping cream, lemon zest, and cracker crumbs for decor
Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the crust ingredients together and mix until a sand-like texture is achieved.
- Pour into the spring-form or pie pan and firmly press the mixture down with a heavy-bottomed glass or measuring cup. Place in the freezer to chill while the filling is prepared.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl with electric mixers, beat the cream cheese on high for approximately 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
- Add in the icing sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and combine until smooth. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl with electric mixers, beat the heavy whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form.
- Add the whipped cream to the lemon cream cheese mixture and gently fold it together with a spatula. Be very gentle while folding to not beat the air out of the whipped cream.
- Pour the cheesecake into the crust and spread evenly. Place in the fridge and allow chilling for a minimum of 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Before serving, top with dollops of whipped cream, lemon zest, and graham cracker crumbs if desired. Enjoy!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
If you desire a bright yellow cheesecake, add a few drops of yellow gel food color when preparing the lemon cheesecake.
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: Chill: 6 Hours+
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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Made this for Easter dinner dessert and it was heavenly. Lovely, light and full of lemon flavour ( full disclosure – I made this with regular dairy/gluten products) Super yummy !!
Love that you made it with “regular” ingredients! Thanks for sharing Dee.
I made this for our Easter dessert and it was *SO* good! It was a hit with the family and I don’t even like cheesecake and I went back for more.
Haha you know it’s good when. 😉 Thanks for sharing Kat!
How much does the 1/2 cup of whipping cream end up being? Thinking I’ll replace with premade coco whip!
I don’t recommend doing so. The cheesecake will not properly combine.