Marbled Lemon Cheesecake

Marbled lemon cheesecake just became my new favourite thing. Layers of cheesecake batter and lemon curd are swirled together to create a gorgeous marbled effect, with pockets of tangy lemon curd throughout.

Lemon curd alone makes me giddy. The bright flavour, that rich creaminess, the tang, the sweetness, that beautiful pale lemon colour…

It is delicious on scones, in pies, in yogurt, on ice cream, with pound cake, on pavlova, licked off your finger…

it should really come as no surprise that it found an incredible alliance in cheesecake.

Lemon curd is very simple to make – lemon zest and juice whisked with sugar and egg yolks over low heat till thickened. That’s all. It has the consistency of custard when it’s done. It should coat the back of a spoon, and you should be able to make a trail with your finger. If the trail immediately fills back in, it’s not ready yet.

Anything thickened with eggs may curdle if cooked over too high heat, or if cooked too long. And I find people generally don’t enjoy scrambled eggs in their lemon curd. Thankfully, all you need is a fine mesh seive to rescue a curdled curd. Just force the it through the seive with a wooden spoon, and you’ll have a smooth custard.

This recipe uses whole eggs instead of just the yolks. I was skeptical. I hesitated. I almost used another recipe. But it was perfect!

Start by making the lemon curd so that it has time to chill in the fridge while you bake the crust and make the cheesecake batter. I believe cooling the curd completely had an important part in keeping the curd distinct in the finished cheesecake.

It took an outstanding amount of willpower to not eat this by the spoonful before it was baked.

Marbled Lemon Cheesecake

Adapted from

For lemon curd:

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces

For crust:

  • 1 1/3 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

For filling:

  • 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

To make Lemon Curd:

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together lemon zest, juice, sugar and eggs. Stir in butter and cook, stirring constantly, until curd thickens, about 5 minutes. Strain through fine mesh sieve and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until completely cooled.

To make crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Press into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes; cool on wire rack.

To make cheesecake:

1. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla.

2. Pour two-thirds of the cheesecake batter into the crust, and top with half of the lemon curd. Swirl gently with a knife. Top with remaining cheesecake batter and lemon curd, and repeat swirling. Bake in centre of oven for 45-55 minutes, until set (centre may still jiggle a bit, it will firm up). Cool completely before serving.

  • Tina Francis

    Good Lord!

    Cheesecakeeee!!! *said in the voice of the Cookie Monster*

    • Anonymous

      hahahaha too funny, Tina

  • caleblargo

    OMG! I lurvvvvvvvve lemon curd! I’ll definitely try this out! 

    I’m glad that it uses whole eggs. Sometimes I don’t feel like making meringue with those leftover egg whites…

    • Anonymous

      Good point!

  • Jaime_tracey

    These pictures make my mouth water…Any left? :)

    • Anonymous

      Sorry Jaimekins, all gonzo…. You’ll have to make one yourself! ;-)

  • Lisa Glenton

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I made this cheesecake tonight as a last last minute birthday cake for my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday (to be celebrated at a MASSIVE FAMILY REUNION… stress much?) and it is perfect! The reunion isn’t til tomorrow night, but I baked an extra one to make sure I was going to be happy with what I was giving, and I am definitely very happy. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Joanna

    I made this last night and it was a great success except I think I overlooked it a little as it cracked in the centre. Do you think cooking in a water bath is safer? Also could you use this recepie for a berry cheesecake – ir change the lemon curd
    For fresh berries or berry compote?
    Thanks again for an amazing recepie!

  • Emily

    I made this yesterday and it was AMAZING (i’m eating some right now….) … it turned out EXACTLY like your pictures, it tastes fantastic, and i brought it to a pot-luck where it was raved about. Someone even brought a leftover piece with them into work today to eat for lunch. I will be making this plenty more times! New go-to cheesecake.

    • foodess

      SO glad you enjoyed, Emily!! Thanks for coming back to comment! :)

  • The Backyard Baker

    I made this cheesecake a while back…and it was a total winner with family and friends.
    It tastes devine.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Pat

    This was delicious. One problem was the instructions for the curd did not list sugar. Thank goodness I had set up all ingredients ahead so was left wondering why I had the extra portion of sugar. Overall the best cheesecake. Great taste and texture. Just correct instructions. Thanks.

  • Katie

    Oh my goodness!!! Delish! I did cheat a little and bought a crust, but otherwise I followed directions exactly and it turned out so good!! Making it again and again. Yum yum yum! And it is way easy, even though it sounds a little difficult.

  • S-Ann Kerns

    Do you think coconut cream might work as well as sour cream for this recipe?