No-Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Layer {Gluten-Free!} |

No-Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Layer {Gluten-Free}

It’s not very often that I whip up an entire cake. I’m definitely more of a cookie kind of gal. Or cupcakes. You know, something with built in portion control so I don’t completely house an entire dessert in one sitting.

It’s been known to happen. No judgment, please.

But today is a special day. Because we’re here to celebrate Sarah of Snixy Kitchen and her soon-to-be arriving baby girl with a surprise virtual baby shower! Hooray!!!

I couldn’t be more excited for Sarah and her husband, Lucas. It’s a joyful and momentous occasion (= their first baby!). One that certainly deserves a proper dessert. Enter stage left: this No-Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Layer.

If you’re not familiar with Sarah’s site, you better take yourself over there right now. Seriously. Sarah has some of the best food photography around. And a witty and quirky personality that just makes you instantly want to be her friend. I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Sarah this past summer, and I can’t wait until we have the opportunity to hang out in person again. For now, I’ll just have to settle for the internet.

No-Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Layer {Gluten-Free!} |

The theme for Sarah’s virtual baby shower is Cheese & Sweets. So of course, I had to bake a cheesecake. OK, well I didn’t actually bake a cheesecake. But I did make one. That’s right. No oven required here. This light, fluffy cheesecake is completely no-bake. And it’s got a surprise inside: a luscious little layer of dark chocolate ganache tucked in between the graham cracker crust and the cheesecake filling. It’s totally dreamy.

You all know by now that I’m absolutely obsessed with Meyer lemons. They are my favorite citrus and they are in season right now. So of course, I needed to use them in this recipe. But you could certainly substitute the Meyer lemons with regular lemons, blood oranges, clementines…you get the idea.

Since Sarah is gluten free, I used gluten free graham crackers to make the crust. There are a couple brands that are widely available in most major grocery stores, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some (I’m guessing some kind of gluten free cookie would work too). However, if you aren’t concerned about making this recipe gluten free, then feel free to use regular graham crackers instead.

My fellow blogging friends totally brought their A-game to this party. Be sure to check out all the links below for enough cheese recipes, sweet recipes, and cheesy-sweet recipes to last you through the long, hard winter (and probably beyond!). And a BIG thank you to Alanna and Todd for organizing this #cheesebabyshower!



Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

No-Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Layer {Gluten-Free}

Serves 8-10

No-Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Layer {Gluten-Free}


  • For the Crust
  • 2 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest from 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • For the Ganache Layer
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  • For the Cheesecake Layer
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 16 ounces full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Finely grated zest from 1 Meyer lemon

  • For the Candied Lemons
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Meyer lemons, thinly sliced and seeds removed

  • For Topping
  • Dark chocolate shavings


  1. Cut out a round of parchment paper and fit it into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust. In your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, lemon zest and salt until the crumbs are moistened and everything is well combined. Dump the crumbs into your prepared springform pan and press them evenly into the bottom of the pan and approximately three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan. Place the pan in your refrigerator to chill.
  3. Make the ganache layer. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream, honey and vanilla extract to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Then stir in the butter. Let the ganache sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes to cool slightly. Then spread it evenly over the graham cracker crust layer in your springform pan. Return the pan to your refrigerator to chill.
  4. Make the cheesecake layer. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a clean bowl and set it aside. In the bowl on your stand mixer (no need to clean it out from making the whipped cream), whisk the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then whisk in the yogurt, powdered sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract and salt. With a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream and lemon zest. Pour the cheesecake layer over the ganache layer, smoothing it out so the top is flat and even. Cover your springform pan and return it to your refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours, or up to overnight.
  5. Make the candied lemons. In a pot with a large surface area, combine the water and sugar over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the sliced lemons and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the lemon slices for 30 minutes, checking on them occasionally. With a pair of tongs, remove the lemon slices and lay them out in a single layer on a piece of parchment paper to cool.
  6. When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, run a sharp knife between the sides of crust and the springform pan. Then release the springform pan and lift off the outside ring. Carefully slide the cake off the bottom of the springform pan and onto a plate or serving tray. Top with the candied lemons and dark chocolate shavings. Slice and serve.
  7. Leftovers can be stored in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Cheesy Things

Sweet Things

Cheesy & Sweet Things

76 comments on “No-Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Layer {Gluten-Free}”

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  8. So fun you two hung out last Summer! One of the best things about blogging is meeting your friends in real life! This is a fabulous recipe, Liz! You’ve combined so many flavors and textures into this stunning cheesecake. And those candied lemons are divine! I think I would pick them all off first, eat them, then devour the cake. I wouldn’t want to be left in the room alone with this cake!

    • Yeah the lemons on top are probably my favorite part too. I had a hard time NOT snacking on them! Thanks, Traci! I hope we get to meet in person some day soon!

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  10. Oh myyyy goodness, look at this beauty! I love that you took a dessert that normally isn’t filled with chocolate and injected some into it, YES. Happy happy baby shower to one lovely lady!

  11. Love this! Meyer lemons and no-bake is perfect 🙂

  12. Liz! what a perfect dessert for a virtual baby shower!!! Congrats to Sarah!!!! This cheesecake is gorgeous!!!!

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  14. I would gladly take a slice or two this beautiful cheesecake! Happy baby shower to Sarah!

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  17. Gorgeous Liz! Congrats to Sarah!

  18. So awesome you guys got to spend time together this summer! This cheesecake is crazy pretty, Liz!!

  19. DREAMYDREAMYDREAMYDREAMY!!! This is absolutely gorgeous, Liz. Cheesecake is my favorite. And so is citrus. And chocolate. So basically you created my dream dessert. I’ll just take that over here in the corner and…kthxbyeeeee! YUM!

  20. This cheesecake looks totally delicious! I’m loving the chocolate/lemon combo- so good and doesn’t happen often enough 🙂 Pinning!

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  22. LIZ! This is SO stunning and such a sweet post. I would totally house the entire thing in one sitting #noshame. I’m so glad we got to meet and hang out in Portland – again soon please!! xoxox

  23. I can’t get over all the flavors and deliciousness going on in this cheesecake! I totally wouldn’t judge you for eating this entire thing because I am seconds away from trying to lick my computer screen That’s awesome that you got a chance to meet Sarah, too!

  24. This flavor combination Liz!!! You are so creative.

  25. I am all over this cheesecake, girl! I can’t get my baked cheesecakes to not crack so this seems like the perfect solution. And gluten-free to boot so I’m selfishly happy about that. I have a meyer lemon tree growing in my house, but still waiting for them to turn yellow, but once they do…….

    So fun for us all to come together and celebrate Sarash + her little one on the way. xo!

    • WHAT! You have a little Meyer lemon tree. Oh that’s so exciting! My neighbor in California had one in their yard and I got very spoiled having such easy access to them.

  26. Oh my goodness, there is so much goodness going on here! I love this gorgeous cheesecake – I just spotted meyer lemons at the store the other day, I’m definitely going to need to pick some up. Big congrats to Sarah, she’ll love all the gorgeous goodies everyone made.

  27. What a beautiful way to celebrate Cheesebaby Girl! I love that this is a no-bake cheesecake; it’s really hot down here in Australia at the moment and not having to turn on the oven in order to get a sweet dessert sounds like heaven! I can’t wait to make it, and I love the layer of chocolate ganache too. Delicious!

  28. Liz – this no-bake cheesecake looks almost too delicious to eat (I say almost because I never met a dessert I wouldn’t dig my face into..). Everything about it from the chocolate shavings to the perfectly laid out lemons – you’re making me swoon! Thank you so much for celebrating #cheesebabygirl’s arrival in the most beautiful way possible (and for your sweet compliments on my photography – you’re a constant source of photo inspiration too!). I look forward to our next in-person date!! xoxo!

    • Ps. I was totes pregnant in that instagram pic you linked to and you didn’t even know!! Tee hee.

      • Oh I totes knew because you kept waving away alcohol at all the events. I was paying very close attention (but not in a creepy way, you know?). Ha ha!

    • I’m so happy to be able to celebrate with you – even if it’s just virtually! XOXO!

  29. Ooooo!! I love meyer lemons and this cheesecake is amazing!

  30. This is just STUNNING! Seriously gorgeous photos, Liz! And now I want cheesecake at 9am 🙂 (There’s never a bad time for cheesecake, though, right?)

  31. Why do I not cook with meyer lemons ever??! And I have been craving cheesecake something fierce lately….

  32. Ohhh yum! I loooove a good cheesecake, and those lemons look divine!

  33. Gah this cheesecake sounds amazing! I love the flavor combo here!

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  35. This cheesecake is SO pretty!! I love how you decorated the top, Liz! And this sounds absolutely perfect and fun for a baby shower! 🙂

  36. I haven’t read Sarah’s blog, but I am heading over there now!! I could pretty much live on cheese and sweets (hey, I’m half French!), so I am all about this shower. 😉 Your cheese cake looks sooo good! And so pretty, too!

    • Oh I could totally just live on cheese and sweets. You’ll definitely have plenty of options to choose from with all the gorgeous recipes from this shower!

  37. This is such a BEAUTIFUL cake, Liz!! Seriously, I am drooling BIG TIME over here. This is perfect for the #cheesebabyshower!

  38. What a lovely cheesecake! Lemon + chocolate is such an underrated combination, I can imagine it works wonderfully in here. Love the candied lemons too 🙂

  39. This is the most perfect reason for the most perfect cake!!

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  41. Hi, great recipe! Looking forward to making it soon. May I ask how the cornstarch would work if there is no heat applied? Thanks a lot for the recipe again 🙂

    • The cornstarch will still provide a small amount of thickening power without heat. Let me know if you try the recipe!

      • Thanks for your response! I’ve never applied cornstarch without heat. I will definitely try if only to test your method out 🙂 Do you prefer the texture of the cheesecake with cornstarch thickening over the use of gelatin?

      • I wanted it to be vegetarian, so I choose to not use gelatin (although I believe there are some vegetarian gelatins available now?).

  42. Hi, Liz,

    Your Meyer lemon cheesecake won me over immediately for looks and the flavor combos, and I made it the next day to take to a community cheesecake bakeoff as a dark horse entry, since I didn’t have time to test it first in my kitchen. I followed the recipe exactly and it looked beautiful in the pan. I chilled it for 24 hours before the event, but when I took the springform “collar” off, it began to look scarily soft, and sure enough, 30 minutes later during judging (under a shady tent, not a blazing hot day) it became a landslide. It tastes great, but no way could it hold up.
    Given that it had only 1 T of cornstarch to bind all that whipped cream, sour cream, and cream cheese together, I’m not completely surprised, but I am disappointed. Thoughts on what could have gone wrong?

    • Hi Amy,

      Sorry it didn’t work out. I’ve made this recipe many times and haven’t had this issue. Could be because of the temperature. Or maybe the product brands you used. I always use Philadelphia full-fat cream cheese and Fage full-fat Greek Yogurt. I’ve definitely noticed some other store brands don’t seem as thick/firm.


  43. Will try this cheese cake ,just baked a Meyer lemon cheese cake with white chocolate granche it was dreamy, it’s all gone .I want to try chocolate granche this time .I too am a fan of Meyer lemons since I own a Meyer lemon tree and for the last fifteen i have been baking lemon cookies and cakes .I can’t wait to try this recipe ! 💛

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