Cheesecakes

The Easiest No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

4.82 from 64 votes
My No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake is creamy, light, and full of lemon flavor — and might just be the easiest cheesecake recipe out there.
Top-down view of my Lemon Jello Cheesecake, with slices removed.

Hi Bold Bakers!

When it comes to recipes, this one’s about as nostalgic for me as it gets. Growing up in Ireland, my mum used to make a cheesecake for us that was Jell-O, cream cheese, and cream. Just those 3 ingredients and I loved it. It didn’t even contain fresh lemon zest or juice. It tasted super yummy, the texture was firm, and although it sounds like the opposite of a classic cheesecake (Jell-O? Yes!), that doesn’t really matter to me because I have such fond memories of it growing up! And just because something is a bit different than you’re used to, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

This No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake is 100% worth it, and I cannot wait for you to try it, because you’ll know exactly what I mean at first bite.

A no-bake lemon cheesecake, topped with lemon slices, made with jell-o.

What Is A Jello Cheesecake?

A Jello Cheesecake is exactly what it sounds like: a lovely no-bake cheesecake that bucks the classic cheesecake recipes you know and love and instead opts for simplicity. Full of fresh lemon flavor, you’ll soon realize that simplicity doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality or taste.

What Does It Taste Like?

This is a cool, light, lemony, and creamy cheesecake with a sweet crumbly graham cracker crust. This is not a dense cheesecake. It’s a light and summery dessert through and through.

What You Need To Make A No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

How To Make My No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

This might be the easiest way to make a cheesecake! And it reminds me of my childhood, too, so that’s a win-win. Here’s how you make it (and don’t forget to get the recipe with all the measurements, down below):

  1. Press the Graham cracker crust into a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan.
  2. In a small bowl, pour 1 cup (8floz/225ml) of very hot water and sprinkle the lemon Jell-O on top. Stir until completely dissolved and allow it to cool down for 20-30 minutes. (You don’t want this mix hot when it’s getting added to the cream cheese or it will clump)
  3. With an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and creamy.
  4. Slowly add the cooled Jello to the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mixing thoroughly between additions to prevent the Jello from setting once it hits the cream cheese.
  5. Add the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks, and then gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until fully combined.
  7. Pour evenly in the pan on top of the crust, cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
  8. When ready to serve, run a thin knife around the edges to separate the cheesecake from the pan before releasing it.
  9. Store any leftovers well covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

A slice of my No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake, topped with whipped cream.

Gemma’s Pro-Chef Tips For Making No-Bake Cheesecakes

  • Make sure that your Jello-O is completely dissolved before adding the cream cheese.
  • The Jello needs to be added gradually to room temperature cream cheese in order to temper the Jell-O. If the Jell-O is added all at once or if the cream cheese is cold, it may cause the Jell-O to seize and get lumpy. This may result in the cheesecake not setting properly.
  • You can make individual servings by dividing the crust and filling into 10 small containers. Clear glasses would make a pretty presentation.
  • This cheesecake is lovely served with fresh or macerated berries of your choice.
  • You can make a different flavored cheesecake by changing out the Jell-O flavor.
  • Follow my recipe for a simple Graham Cracker Cookie crust.

Don’t Miss More Cheesecake Recipes

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

4.82 from 64 votes
My No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake is creamy, light, and full of lemon flavor — and might just be the easiest cheesecake recipe out there.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10 people
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
chill for 6 hrs
My No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake is creamy, light, and full of lemon flavor — and might just be the easiest cheesecake recipe out there.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10 people

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe graham cracker crust
  • 1 package (3oz/85g) lemon Jell-O
  • 2 cups (16oz/454g) cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup (4oz/115g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups (10floz/282ml) heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  • Press the graham cracker crust into a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan.
  • In a small bowl, pour 1 cup (8floz/225ml) of very hot water and sprinkle the lemon Jell-O on top. Stir until completely dissolved and allow it to cool down for 20-30 minutes. (You don’t want this mix hot when it’s getting added to the cream cheese or it will clump)
  • With an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and creamy.
  • Slowly add the cooled Jello to the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mixing thoroughly between additions to prevent the Jello from setting once it hits the cream cheese.
  • Add the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks, and then gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until fully combined.
  • Pour evenly in the pan on top of the crust, cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
  • When ready to serve, run a thin knife around the edges to separate the cheesecake from the pan before releasing it.
  • Store any leftovers well covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Nancy Self
Nancy Self
5 months ago

Perfect! Because I live alone, I did 1/4 of the recipe in a 4 1/2 inch spring form pan. I measured the Jell-o. A 3 ounce box has 22 teaspoons so I used 5. The rest is in a tiny jar so I can make more cheesecakes later!

Helge
Helge
4 months ago

So lemonicious.

5 months ago

Perfect texture and taste for a refreshing cheesecake! Family approved!

Nola-ann Lemmer
Nola-ann Lemmer
5 months ago

Stunningly light and creamy cheesecake made with store cupboard Ingredients. I had extra cheesecake and some basé crumbs leftover, so I made two layered parfait servings with a thin layer of lemon curd. I look forward to trying the recipe with different flavours… Mango next🥰

Larissa
5 months ago

This was amazing! It was such a hit with my family and most surprising easy to make. I do make most of Gemma recipes but this was one was a sure hit and making it again this Sunday.

Carolyn
Carolyn
5 months ago

You’re still using too many ingredients. Crust, same as yours. Filling 250gm Philadelphia Cream Cheese, 400gm Condensed Milk and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. Beat that up, fill your base and refrigerate. Delicious

tatertotliz
5 months ago

This recipe was a HIT with my family! I halved it to fit in a pie pan because I didn’t have a cake pan and it worked out perfectly. Such a treat for the hotter days!

2 months ago

Gemma you are my baking Angel. Thanks a mil for your hard work and dedication

Priti
3 months ago

Hey Gemma, what would be the substitute for jello if I do not want to use gelatin ?

Anita The Baker
3 months ago

So I was doing good until I smelled something really disgusting, it was the Cheesecake! I know the recipe is without baking in the oven, but I still anyways did it. Sadly it fell down when I wanted to take it out of the oven. (see my Picture ode the cake)

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!