Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

March 19, 2024

This showstopper combines two iconic desserts for the best of both worlds: A creamy, lemony no-bake cheesecake topped with billows of torched meringue, all on a buttery graham crust. Absolutely stunning — and impossibly delicious!

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12 serving(s)

Total Time:
1 hr


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For crust

  • 6 tbsp.

    unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing

  • 10

    graham crackers, broken into pieces

  • Pinch of kosher salt

For filling

  • 3

    8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 c.

    confectioners’ sugar 

  • 1 tbsp.

    lemon zest plus 3 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 2 tsp.

    pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp.

    kosher salt

  • 3 c.

    heavy cream, cold

For meringue topping


    1. Step 1Make crust: Heat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom of 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper, then butter parchment.
    2. Step 2In food processor, pulse graham crackers and salt to form fine crumbs. Add butter and pulse to combine. Press into bottom of prepared pan and bake until fragrant and just set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool at room temperature 5 minutes, then refrigerate until no longer warm to the touch, about 30 minutes.
    3. Step 3During last 15 minutes of crust chilling, make filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl on medium until smooth, about 1 minute. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and salt and beat, scraping bowl halfway through, until smooth, about 3 minutes.
    4. Step 4Pour heavy cream into very clean bowl and, using electric mixer (switch to whisk attachment if using stand mixer), whip on medium-high just until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. In 4 batches, add whipped cream to cream cheese mixture and gently fold after each addition until uniformly combined.
    5. Step 5Scrape half of filling onto crust and spread to edges. Repeat with remaining filling, spreading thoroughly to edges; using small offset spatula, smooth top. Refrigerate until cheesecake is set, at least 6 hours, up to 2 days.
    6. Step 6About 15 minutes before serving, make meringue topping: In heatproof bowl for electric mixer, whisk together egg whites, granulated sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Set bowl over (but not in) medium saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are very warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer bowl to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat on medium-high until glossy, medium-stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Do not overbeat.
    7. Step 7Carefully release springform pan (if needed, gently run small offset spatula around cake to help release). Decorate top with meringue and torch as desired (see Meringue Magic, below). For best results, serve immediately and slice with slightly wet knife, wiping between cuts. 

Meringue Magic: For a showstopping cake with swoon-worthy swoops:1. Spoon mounds of meringue on top. Using a spoon, make peaks and valleys and cover the top of the cake. 2. Using a kitchen torch on low, starting 3 inches away from the cake, pass the flame quickly in a side-to-side motion over the meringue surface until the meringue is toasted as desired. 

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