Gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe. That’s five words that have long been overdue on the blog! This no-bake dessert is an absolute classic that I know everyone will love. Gluten free or not!
Gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe, anyone? Yep, today’s recipe is one I’ve been making for years and this is my best ever version simply because I’ve been perfecting it for so long. And now here it is for you to all enjoy!
My gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe has had many forms over the years. It started out as a fairly modest-looking, slightly off-white cheesecake on a gluten free digestive biscuit base. Delicious! But definitely tasted waaay better than it looked.
After a few successful versions of that, I then began to add lemon curd into the cheesecake filling instead of just zest and juice. Suddenly, it tasted EVEN BETTER, but still, it looked super modest.
So I thought to myself… why not just add an extra layer of wow-factor? Or more specifically… an extra layer of lemon curd?! So I did! Suddenly, it now looked like a lemon cheesecake, without a doubt!
And that’s how my gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe stayed for many years! It now looked the part and tasted better than ever. BUT… something like 5 years after I first made this, I finally made one more change…
And not because it particularly needed it or anything! But I just suddenly had one of those ‘lightbulb’ moments when I was in the free from aisle. Why not use gf ginger biscuits for base instead of digestives?
After all, lemon and ginger is an amazingly underrated combo! And that was it, really. This now was my BEST EVER gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe! Every bite was just an absolute dream.
The curd on-top added that little kick of sweet lemon, with the creamy cheesecake filling bringing that zesty, refreshing and cooling vibe. Then, to have that buttery, subtle fiery ginger base… it was just perfect. Even if I do say so myself!!
And that’s exactly the recipe I’m sharing with you today. I haven’t really been perfecting this like a scientist in a lab or anything! But every time I made it for family occasions, I just made little changes that made it one of my fave desserts here on the blog.
Ok – here’s your shopping list if you’re planning on making my gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe. It’s pretty simple!
Ingredients for my gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe
For the base
- 320g gluten free ginger biscuits (digestives are fine but I prefer ginger for this!)
- 140g butter
For the filling
- 750g mascarpone (full fat only)
- 120g lemon curd (homemade or shop bought)
- 3 lemons, zest only
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 100g icing sugar
- 300ml double cream
For the topping
- 100g lemon curd approx
Keep scrolling to the bottom of this post until you see the recipe card for the method ??
Oh and here’s a few tips and frequently asked questions to make sure you make the perfect gluten free lemon cheesecake every time:
Can I make this recipe gluten free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
And yes, if you use gluten free biscuits for the base, check all your products for ‘may contain’ warnings/gluten-containing ingredients AND safely prepare your cooking area/equipment correctly – it is suitable for Coeliacs.
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination:
- Wipe down all cooking surfaces
- Thoroughly clean your pots and pans with soap and water
- Standard washing up liquids are fine to use or using your dishwasher will remove gluten
- You do not need to use separate cloths or sponges to clean utensils and cookware
- Use separate chopping boards to keep gluten free food and gluten food separate
- Use a separate toaster or toaster bags for toasting any bread
- Use clean oil or a separate fryer if you’re frying gluten free food
- Use separate utensils and dishes for condiments, jams and spreads. Never ‘double dip’ your utensils if spreading onto food containing gluten!
Make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make that that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten free products.
Can I make your gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe dairy free?
Most of my recipes are really easy to make dairy free with a few simple swaps, but unfortunately, it’s not so simple with cheesecakes.
The cheesecake filling is purely made up of dairy – double cream AND mascarpone cheese. And though dairy free versions are available, they just don’t set like whipped dairy does.
I am working on a few dairy free cheesecake alternatives in my kitchen at all the time, but I just want them to be perfect before I share them, so stay tuned!
Can I make your gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe vegan?
Though there’s no eggs in this recipe, read above for the same reasons why this can’t be made vegan.
Like I said, if I make a dairy free cheesecake in the near future, you can bet that it’ll be vegan too so keep an eye on my Instagram for when I finally post it.
Is your gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe nut free?
Yep, this is a nut-free recipe as far as ingredients go, BUT make sure you check the ingredients label on ALL the products you use to bake this cake just to be safe.
Even if the products don’t contain nuts, they may have a ‘may contain nuts’ warning due to being produced in a factory that handles nuts.
You can never be too careful so always read the labels on everything first.
Is your gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe low FODMAP?
Sadly, because of the high dairy content, this recipe isn’t suitable for the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.
However, if you’ve successfully reintroduced dairy during the reintroduction phase then this might still be a suitable option for you later in the diet.
Can I make your gluten free lemon cheesecake in a food processor or standing mixer?
Of course you can! I actually use both in this recipe just to speed up things. I use my food processor to blitz the biscuit base (don’t over-do them, you want them to be nice and chunky!) and my standing mixer to mix the cheesecake filling.
If you only have a food processor, you can happily use it to mix both separately. However, if you only have a standing mixer, you’ll have to bash the biscuits in a plastic bag using a rolling pin.
Just remember to keep scraping down the side of the mixing bowl when making the cheesecake filling – this applies to both a food processor AND standing mixer.
Oh and remember NOT to over mix the cheesecake filling, otherwise it can split!
Can I make your gluten free lemon cheesecake without any kind of electric mixer/appliance at all?
You can, of course, bake this without any assistance from any appliance – just a good ol’ fashioned wooden spoon or spatula will do.
But you will need a lot of elbow grease to get the biscuits bashed and the filling mixed. Just make sure you give it a lot of welly, otherwise your mixture won’t be consistent!
So yeah, if you’re making my gluten free lemon cheesecake by hand, make sure you mix everything really, really well before adding the next ingredients to the bowl.
Remember, an under-mixed cheesecake filling won’t set! And you’re much more likely to under-mix than over-mix if you’re doing it by hand.
Do I need any special equipment to make your gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe?
You won’t need anything in particular apart from a deep, loose bottom tin – here’s the one I use. It’s important to use a deep one as this is a tall cheesecake!
It’s 20cm (8 inch) in diameter, so remember if your tin is wider than mine, your cheesecake will end up looking a lot flatter!
A springform tin is fine too – here’s the one I sometimes use. I don’t use it all the time because it’s next to impossible to get the entire cheesecake off the base at once.
And ideally, I don’t want to be serving the cheesecake and slicing it on my springform base because it’ll get all scratched. So I much prefer to use a loose bottom tin.
But definitely don’t make this in a normal cake tin without a loose bottom/springform mechanism. You won’t be able to get the cheesecake out or cut it!
Can I make this recipe without xanthan gum?
There’s no xanthan gum in any of my cheesecake recipes, this one included.
You’ll see xanthan gum in a lot of my recipes as it’s an essential ingredient in gluten free baking – in cakes and biscuits, it helps to replace gluten by binding the texture together.
Otherwise you can end up with a very crumbly bake. Fortunately, that doesn’t apply here!
What cream cheese should I use for the filling?
I often use Philadelphia cream cheese for my cheesecakes, but for this one, I’ve chosen to use mascarpone cheese. You can easily find it in the cheese aisle of any supermarket.
Both are fine, but I tend to use mascarpone for cheesecakes if I can because it makes my cheesecakes set to be a little firmer than when using Philadelphia. Why is that a good thing?!
Well, in this recipe specifically, because we’re adding lemon curd to the cheesecake filling (a wet ingredient), mascarpone cheese is ideal. As it sets a little firmer than Philadelphia, adding curd doesn’t make the whole thing too sloppy – instead, it’s the *perfect* creamy consistency.
You can happily try this with Philadelphia, but I know from experience that it will be a much softer cheesecake which won’t hold its shape out of the fridge for too long.
Can I make your gluten free lemon cheesecake using light cream cheese or reduced fat mascarpone?
Definitely, no! Using light cream cheese or reduced fat mascarpone is a very quick way to ensure that your cheesecake is an instant disaster.
As the fat content is much lower, your cheesecake won’t ever have a hope of setting in the fridge. It’s fall-fat or nothing, I’m afraid!
What gluten free biscuits should I use for the base?
I usually use these gluten free ginger snap biscuits from Morrisons. But any similar gf biscuit will do!
Loads of supermarkets like Asda, Sainsburys and Tesco do their own gf ginger biscuits too, so happily give them a go as well.
You can always use gf digestive biscuits too if you don’t fancy the ginger element. But trust me – lemon and ginger is an amazing combo that I know you’ll love!
Do I need weighing scales to make your gluten free lemon cheesecake?
In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any my recipes without them. One of the worst things you can do in any recipe is alter the quantities by mistake or on purpose.
(unless you know what you’re doing of course)
Why? Well, you’re sort of just gambling with the recipe and praying that it turns out ok, don’t you think? And I’ve generally already done the hard work there for you, so you don’t have to do the guesswork with measurements!
A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities so I wouldn’t mess around with them unless you really know your stuff.
I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement and replicating my recipe as accurately as poss.
Can I make your gluten free lemon cheesecake without sugar?
I can understand the need to reduce sugar in our foods, but this recipe is one where I wouldn’t recommend it!
The sugar in the cheesecake filling helps to balance out the rich cheese flavour from the mascarpone. That makes it taste more like a dessert than an actual cake made of cheese if you know what I mean ?
So yeah, remove the sugar at your own risk!
Can I use other sugar apart from icing sugar in this recipe?
I’ve chosen to use icing sugar in this recipe because it’s nice and light, powdery and almost vanishes into the cheesecake filling. Other sugars just wouldn’t work the same.
By using other granulated sugars (like caster sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar etc), you’ll end up with an almost gritty-like texture in your cheesecake filling which is far from good!
That’s because this is a no-bake recipe. That means there’s no heat to break the sugar down and dissolve it, so it’ll just be all grainy in the filling.
So yeah, icing sugar is the only way to go!
What lemon curd should I use? Can I buy shop-bought lemon curd instead of making my own?
You can easily make your own using my 4-ingredient gluten free lemon curd recipe here.
But shop-bought is fine too! I’d say the higher quality the better. Cheaper lemon curd can often be quite jelly-like and it’ll be harder to spread neatly on top.
Better quality curd like this tends to be a little more runny, like my homemade curd.
How long can I keep your gluten free lemon cheesecake for?
Obviously keep this in the fridge at all times (it’s cheese after all!) and it should last around 4-5 days – keep it in an airtight container, or covered with clingfilm.
Watch out for any signs of mold after that point onwards – it is cheese after all!
Can I freeze my gluten free lemon cheesecake?
Yep! You can freeze it for up to 2-3 months without a problem – just make sure you put it in an airtight plastic container. It’s probably a good idea to slice it first so you can defrost a slice at a time.
If you want to defrost the entire cheesecake, leave it at room temperature to thaw for around 12 hours. A single slice will probably only take about 5 hours to thaw, so get it out ahead of time!
Can I bake my gluten free lemon cheesecake in the oven?
No, please don’t! This is a no-bake cheesecake, meaning that it’s made to be chilled in the fridge and that’s it.
I can guarantee that if you try and bake this in the oven, you’ll just end up with a big mess to clear up ?
A baked cheesecake will usually have eggs in the filling which will help it to set when heated – this isn’t one of those recipes!
My cheesecake filling mixture split – what happened?
That means you probably over-mixed it, which you must be careful not to do! This will definitely cause the entire mixture to split.
You can avoid this happening by not using the highest setting on your mixer whilst making this. Also, don’t leave the filling in the mixer for any more than it needs to!
Once it starts to look nicely combined with no lumpy bits or anything, it’s done!
My cheesecake filling became really thin. What happened?
That’s what happens when you over mix your cheesecake filling too. Try to avoid mixing once the cheesecake filling is thick and combined/consistent.
If it all goes wrong, still try giving it a chance to set in the fridge anyway – it might set, you never know! And if it doesn’t, just pop it in the freezer and serve it up slightly more frozen!
My cheesecake filling spilt out everywhere when I removed it from the tin. What did I do wrong?
That could be a case of not waiting long enough for your cheesecake to set.
A cheesecake really does need a good 12 hours to set – after all, we’re not baking anything in this recipe at all! So you’ve got to give it a lot of time to chill in the fridge and set. Patience is important.
If you did allow your cheesecake an adequate time to set and this happened, then it’ll be down to two other reasons. Firstly, you might have over-mixed your mixture and it either split, or became really thin.
Secondly, you could have under-mixed it. The cheesecake filling shouldn’t be of a ‘pourable’ consistency, it should whip up to a nice thickness that you can spoon into your loose-bottom tin. That’s how to tell when to stop mixing!
My cheesecake filling was a bit lumpy instead of being smooth. What happened?
Sounds like you didn’t mix your cheesecake filling well enough. Adding in the ingredients gradually (not all at once!) can help prevent this massively.
My cheesecake isn’t as tall as yours – how come?
That means you probably used a cake tin that’s bigger than mine (mine is 20cm/8 inches).
I mean, don’t go rushing out to buy a new one if you have one that’s 10 inches wide – but your cheesecake will be a lot flatter!
Can I print your gluten free lemon cheesecake recipe?
Of course! Just hit the print button located on the recipe below ?? (otherwise you might end up printing this entire post which would probably make your printer go into early retirement)
My Gluten Free Lemon Cheesecake Recipe (No-Bake) - BEST EVER!
For the base
- 320 g gluten free ginger biscuits digestives are fine but I prefer ginger for this!
- 140 g butter
For the filling
- 750 g mascarpone full fat only
- 120 g lemon curd homemade or shop bought
- 3 lemons zest only
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 100 g icing sugar
- 300 ml double cream
For the topping
- 100 g lemon curd approx
- Crush your gluten free ginger biscuits. I place mine in a sandwich bag and hit them with a rolling pin. You can make them quite small or have some chunkier bits. Alternatively you can place them in a food processor and blitz, but don't over blitz them into a fine dust!
- Melt your butter - I do this in the microwave on a medium power (600W) for around 30 seconds to 1 minute. But if it melts before this time, stop - it's done!
- Pour your melted butter into your crushed biscuits and mix together in a bowl.
- Press your biscuit mixture into the tin you are going to be making your cheesecake in. Press it down nice and firmly. I use a 20cm loose bottom tin (linked above and below).
- Place it in the fridge to chill whilst you make your cheesecake top. (I leave mine in the fridge for at least 30 minutes)
- To make your cheesecake filling, mix together your mascarpone, icing sugar, lemon curd, lemon juice and lemon zest. I use my standing mixer to do this on a low/medium setting for only about 10-20 seconds. You could use an electric hand mixer too.
- Add in the double cream and keep mixing until it firms up a little. (I had the KitchenAid on a medium setting for just under 2 minutes for this - try not to over mix though... don't let it split!) It should end up being a nice, fairly thick mixture you can spoon - NOT a pourable consistency.
- Spread your mixture on top of the biscuit base and place in the fridge to chill overnight.
- 12 hours later and whilst the cheesecake is still in the tin, spoon your lemon curd on top and spread an even, thin layer. Place back in the fridge briefly to chill (30 minutes would be fine).
- Remove from the tin and keep refrigerated until serving, or if you have any leftovers. Enjoy!
Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!
Thanks for reading,
Oh and don’t forget to pin this for later!