An Italian twist on the traditional lemon dessert, baked limoncello cheesecake is out of this world!
Zesty, fresh, slightly boozy, and full of flavor… it’s the dream dessert for a summer day, although I’d devour a slice all year round. Are you ready to bake your new favorite cheesecake?
Products you need for this
Before getting going with this baked limoncello cheesecake, there are a few key items you’ll need:
- Food processor – you’ll need this to blitz up your biscuits for the base of the limoncello cheesecake
- 9 inch springform pan – the perfect pan for cheesecakes, the springform type makes removing it a cinch
- Stand mixer – the best way to mix your cream cheese filling is with one of these
- Limoncello liqueur – this traditional Italian drink tastes like a dream and is the star ingredient of this cheesecake recipe
- Lemon curd – lemon curd makes a great topping for this cheesecake. You could even make your own lemon curd
- Digestive biscuits – the ideal biscuits for your cheesecake base
Baked Limoncello cheesecake recipe
Creamy and light, with a bold lemon flavor, this baked limoncello cheesecake is something special.
Every slice is like a little slice of summer. If you’re a fan of limoncello, you can imagine just how good it is in a cheesecake. If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a treat!
This limoncello cheesecake is the baked kind. If you want to try the no bake version, check out my no bake limoncello cheesecake recipe.
I’ve gone for a plain biscuit base for this cheesecake. For me, the limoncello brings so much divine flavor that nothing should get in the way.
Finally, for the topping, I whipped up a mixture of limoncello (can’t get enough of it!) with lemon curd. It’s a fittingly delicious topping for a genuinely delicious cheesecake!
What is limoncello liqueur?
This drink is like the essence of a summer day. It’s made using unique lemons that only grow in a specific region of Italy.
Limoncello is protected. This means it can’t be made anywhere else in the world.
The lemons are lovely and don’t have the sourness of a regular lemon. When limoncello is made, only the skins are used. They’re steeped in alcohol for at least two days (up to ten) and then added to sugar water.
Commercial limoncello goes back over 100 years. The original recipes go back even further than that. Like much of Italian cuisine, the origins of limoncello are shrouded in legend and mystery.
One thing is for sure. It has got that timeless quality, which is what makes this cheesecake extra special.
How much alcohol is in limoncello?
Limoncello is a liqueur. So, while it tastes fresh and fruity, it will also give your cheesecake a booziness.
Can I use a substitute for limoncello?
What’s the best biscuit base for this cheesecake?
For me, this cheesecake needs something simple. Leave the flavor to the limoncello liqueur.
I’ve gone for plain digestives – McVitties are the classic and my fave.
If you’re in the States, you can, of course, opt for Graham crackers. Graham cracker crumbs are perfect for a cheesecake base.
If you want, you could add some grated lemon zest to the biscuit base. It’s the only thing I would use to flavor the biscuits and melted butter.
Why is lemon zest used in baking?
Grating lemon zest into your baking ingredients is a great way to get some delicate, subtle flavor. The zest brings all the bold taste and aroma of lemon without the bitterness.
Use a handheld zester when grating your lemon zest, and be careful not to grate the white bitter pith underneath the skin.
Should I use sour cream or creme fraiche in this cheesecake?
I’m in the sour creme camp on this one. The tang works great with the lemon flavors in this cheesecake. However, use either one. Your cheesecake will taste amazing regardless!
Should I have cream cheese at room temperature?
Yes! It’s crucial to have it at room temperature. It won't mix well if it’s too firm, and you’ll end up with lumps in your mixture. Leave it out of the fridge for up to two hours before baking.
How long does this cheesecake last?
If you’re anything like me, about 5 minutes.
Oh, you mean storage-wise? You can store your limoncello cheesecake in the fridge in a suitable container – I recommend this one – and it will last up to 5 days.
Can you freeze this cheesecake?
Yes, you can. Limoncello cheesecake freezes better than most cheesecakes.
Before freezing your cheesecake, make sure it has cooled completely. Then, wrap it in plastic before adding a tin foil layer.
You could also use an airtight container.
It will keep its flavor for up to a month, although you can freeze it for months.
Tips for the perfect limoncello cheesecake
A few pointers to get your cheesecake to sing!
- Don’t skimp on the lemon! A lemon dessert without enough punchy flavor is a crying shame. So, follow the measurements below, from the zest and the juice to the limoncello and the lemon curd.
- Remember to take your eggs and cream cheese from the fridge a few hours before making this cheesecake. You’ll have much better results.
- Unless you’re teetotal, I recommend sticking to this recipe's limoncello. While you can use a substitute – see above – there’s nothing quite like it. Well, it’s not called a “limoncello” cheesecake for nothing, huh?
You want more cheesecake?
I tasted this luscious cheesecake, and you want some more? Check these out:
- Lemon cheesecake – fresh and zesty, this is another lemon-based dessert you’ll love!
- Baked pomegranate cheesecake – an unusual fruit for a cheesecake, yet this pomegranate cheesecake recipe is the perfect dessert for summer
- No bake cherry cheesecake – cherry fans, this is your recipe!
More luscious lemon recipes
Can’t get enough lemon in your life? Get inspired with these fantastic lemon-based recipes:
- Lemon chess pie – simple ingredients and so easy to make
- Preserved lemons – a traditional Middle Eastern ingredient, preserved lemons are a magical ingredient that takes recipes to another level.
- Drizzled lemon curd cupcakes – these little bad boys are easy to make and taste amazing! The perfect balance between sweet and sour
- No-bake lemon cheesecake - another zesty cheesecake for you to try