Lemon White Chocolate Cheesecake

lemon white chocolate cheesecake
lemon white chocolate cheesecake

This lemon white chocolate cheesecake is so dreamy. Many people hear white chocolate and think cloyingly sweet. I love white chocolate even though it can be very sweet. The key is knowing how to balance it’s flavor. The white chocolate is not overwhelming in this cheesecake. It makes it almost a creamier and more mellow lemon flavor. You get a bit more of the white chocolate on top with the whipped white ganache.

Even though lemons are technically in season in winter, this to me screams summer. It’s bright and sweet and even though it’s a baked cheesecake, on a warm day? A slice of chilled cheesecake is divine. I thought I was going to melt into utter bliss as I ate this.

The texture is thick but creamy and velvety. It’s lemony without being tart, and sweet without being overly so. If you want a more tart lemon cheesecake I’d recommend my Vanilla Cheesecake with Lemon Raspberry Curd as it has lemon curd on top which is more tart plus a lemon cookie crust. This lemon white chocolate cheesecake has melted white chocolate plus lemon zest, extract and juice in the cheesecake plus a white chocolate whipped ganache. Which if you’ve never had a whipped ganache it’s like the most decadent white chocolate whipped cream. Don’t skip!

Baking Tips

This lemon white chocolate cheesecake isn’t hard to make, but it does have a few extra steps. I’d say it’s definitely worth all of them, and luckily things like the whipped ganache doesn’t have to be done the same day as baking.

Making the lemon sugar, is an important step. Lemon zest adds flavor but by rubbing the zest into the sugar you are releasing the oils from the citrus and infusing it into the sugar. This creates a much stronger lemon flavor that won’t get baked out.

Water bath or no water bath? If you’ve made a cheesecake before, you know everyone has an opinion. Personally, I use one because the cake turns out aesthetically nicer. You’re less likely to get cracks and the sides and middle are usually more evenly baked when comparing them to each other. It is a step though that is not something you HAVE to do. If you skip it, you will still have a delicious lemon white chocolate cheesecake to eat.

When using the whipped ganache, if you decorate like I did you will have quite a bit leftover. If you want a more forward white chocolate flavor, I’d recommend spreading a layer over the top of the cheesecake.

Lemon White Chocolate Cheesecake Key Ingredients

  • Lemons – Lemon is the key flavor here. The cheesecake uses the lemon zest and lemon juice, and also lemon extract or emulsion. If you have emulsion, use that. Emulsion is like a stronger extract that helps keep that flavor from being baked out. I usually use this one.
  • White Chocolate – A good white chocolate is going to make a difference. I usually just find white chocolate bars from Ghirardelli or Lindt. Avoid white chocolate chips because they are not designed to melt completely and usually they are not made from high quality white chocolate.
  • Heavy Cream – Some cheesecakes use sour cream, I usually opt for heavy cream. I especially didn’t feel this cheesecake needed extra tang as lemon can have it’s own. I wanted this to be a creamy dreamy bite.

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lemon white chocolate cheesecake

Lemon White Chocolate Cheesecake

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Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes
Bake: 1 hour
Setting time: 8 hours
Total: 9 hours 45 minutes


  • 24 oz Cream cheese room temperature
  • 3 large Eggs room temperature
  • 200 g Sugar 1 cup
  • 2 md-lg Lemons
  • ½ tsp Lemon emulsion or extract
  • ¼ cup Lemon juice
  • cup Heavy whipping cream
  • 125 g White chocolate 4 oz bar


  • 185 g Graham crackers 12 crackers, crushed
  • 30 g Sugar 2½ tbsp
  • 5 tbsp Salted butter

Whipped Ganache Topping

  • 125 g White chocolate 4oz bar
  • 1 cup Heavy whipping cream


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Take about 12 graham crackers and pulse in food processor until fine crumb. Add 5 tbsp of melted butter, and 2½ tbsp sugar and press into a 8 inch springform pan.
  • Bake at 325°F for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • In a small-medium bowl, break up one of your white chocolate bars. Fill a saucepan with about 1-2 inches of water and bring to a low boil. Place the bowl of chocolate over the top of the sauce pan, making sure the bowl does not touch the water.
  • Stir the white chocolate as it melts. Once all the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool. Move on to the next step while the chocolate cools. You want it to be warm to room temperature and still liquid but no longer hot.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, add sugar and zest lemons into the sugar, avoiding the white pith while zesting.
  • Rub the sugar and zest together in your fingers. The sugar will begin to feel a little more sandy and take on a yellow color and lemony fragrance.
  • Add cream cheese to the sugars and mix until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Stopping once halfway through to scrape the bottom of bowl and paddle to ensure cream cheese is fully incorporated.
  • Add your cooled white chocolate, lemon juice and lemon extract/emulsion and mix into the batter.
  • Add in heavy cream and vanilla and mix for about 20-30 seconds.
  • Add your eggs to the batter and mix on low for about 1 minute. You can add all 3 at once, just don't overmix the batter.
  • Pour batter into cooled crust, then gently tap on countertop to remove any bubbles.
  • Optional: Prepare Water Bath
    If baking with a water bath, prepare your pans. I like to put my 8 inch pan inside a 9 inch cake pan, and both of those inside a large casserole dish or roasting pan. This ensures no leaking! However, you can also wrap your pan with tin foil, or use a oven roasting bag around the sides (not covering the top) of your cheesecake pan. Fill the dish for the water bath with about 1 inch of water.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes. The center should still jiggle but edge should be set. Check around 50 minutes. Turn oven off, leaving door ajar and let cool in oven for at least 1 hour inside the oven.
  • Cheesecake should be refrigerated overnight (do not cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil) or at least 8 hours to completely set.

Make Whipped Ganache

  • I like to make this the next morning or a few hours before serving the cheesecake. It will take a few hours to set up.
    Break apart your white chocolate bar into small pieces and place it in a medium sized glass bowl.
  • Pour your heavy cream into a saucepan and heat it over medium high heat. When it starts to very lightly simmer, immediately take it off the heat and pour it over your white chocolate.
  • Let your cream and white chocolate to sit for about 7 minutes, letting the cream melt the white chocolate.
  • Stir your white chocolate well and place some plastic wrap lightly over the top of the ganache (the plastic wrap should be laying on top of the ganache, not the bowl). Let it come to room temperature – 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Place your bowl in the refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours.
  • After it has chilled in the fridge, place your bowl in the freezer for about 30 minutes before whipping just to help with the whipping process. Your ganache should be thick but not solid.
  • Whip your ganache on a medium to medium high speed until it thickens. Do not overwhip, but it will become thick and hold its shape and be the consistency of a thick whipped cream.
  • Pull your cheesecake out of the refrigerator, out of your pan and use the whipped ganache on top of the cheesecake. This can be done with piping small dollops or spreading a layer over the entirety of the cheesecake. Small dollops will have leftover ganache.
  • Store your cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Enjoy!

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