This lemon zest cheesecake is a tasty citrus twist on a classic dessert.

When I got married a group of ladies got together to throw a recipe shower for me.

It was my mother’s idea.

At the time I was so all about my red lipstick and Dear Abby and my giant monogrammed train…..and so not all about cooking.

But I heard there might be a toaster oven involved.

So I went.

Only a little reluctantly.

The best recipes are passed down from older generations and handwritten on paper.

There were recipes for Potato Soup and Chicken Tori and Chicken ‘n Dumplings and Ham-Filled Party Puffs…..

…..and my mother’s Teriyaki Meatballs.

The ladies smiled so sweetly when they handed them to me.

Each recipe was hand-printed neatly on these blue checkered cards with chickens…..titled optimistically….”Good Ole  Homestyle Country Cookin'”

Fresh strawberries pair well with this lemon zest cheesecake.


I didn’t want to break it to them.

I wasn’t planning on cooking.

That’s what I wanted the toaster oven for….to heat up the frozen Lean Cuisines.

My dinner of choice.

But no one wants to hear nonsense like that at a recipe shower.

So I wisely kept my frozen dinner thoughts to myself…..meekly took the recipes and neatly placed them into my coordinating chicken recipe book…..

…..and promptly filed them away.

Until now.

Ladies of the recipe shower….this one’s for you.

Assemble your ingredients for the lemon zest cheesecake: cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon rind, graham cracker crumbs, margarine, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Lemon Zest Cheesecake


1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 Tablespoons margarine, melted

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese

1/2 cup of sugar

1 Tablespoon of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

2 eggs, separated

Combine crumbs and margarine to use as the crust of your cheesecake.

1.  Combine crumbs and margarine and press it into the bottom of a 9 inch pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.

2.  Combine cream cheese, sugar, juice, rind and vanilla in a large bowl.

Mix together on medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended.

3.  Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4.  Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Pour mixture over crust.

5.  Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

6.  Let cool completely and refrigerate at least four hours before serving.

This lemon zest cheesecake with strawberries is light and fluffy.

My family loved it.

It’s lighter and airy than other cheesecakes I’ve tried and it has a little zing to it.

When I came back to the table…people weren’t even using forks.

They were just eating it with their hands and shoving it into their mouth and asking for another piece.

The recipe shower ladies would have been proud. 🙂


PS  Looking for a little more recipe inspiration?  Check out my recipe page.

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  1. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    I can testify to the lack of forks and shoveling it in their mouths. By the time I heard about this yummy dessert it was in fact gone and I didn't get a bite - quess I will have to make it myself!

  2. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Your cheesecake with my morning coffee would have tasted so good...oh, but you all ate it! Guess I'll have to make my own! Have a super weekend, and thanks for the giggle! ;)

  3. Image for Lisa Lisa

    OHHHH, thank you for sharing. I'm surely going to make this and on my way home from work today, I'll stop and get all the ingredients. PLEASE share more of your shower recipes in the NEAR future. LOVE YOUR BLOG and your humor. SOOOO... refreshing. ~ Lisa from Indiana ~

  4. Image for judi judi

    no wondered those recipe cards looked so've had them preserved for all that time! its so fun to watch for your next kitchen tested recipe and this one has to be one of my favorite as i LOVE cheesecake. those strawberries look scrumptious too.

  5. Image for Sonya ~At Home with The Barkers Sonya ~At Home with The Barkers

    YUM! Seriously will be making this! Thanks for sharing it! I recently came across a set of handmade pillow cases from one of my grandmothers friends that was given to me at my wedding shower. I thought, I will never use these...but my daughter just found them and we love them! They have eyelet lace trim...perfect! SO after almost 19 years I wish I could say thank you to that sweet lady for such a special gift!

  6. Image for SheilaG @ Plum Doodles SheilaG @ Plum Doodles

    I love the idea of a recipe party, would have been handy back when I cooked. Did you know I used to make cheesecakes to sell? I didn't do that for very long. Found I don't really like to bake unless I'm eating it myself. :P

  7. Image for Marian Marian

    Isn't it funny how dumb we are when we are young? Someone gave me a hand blender for a wedding gift or for Christmas early in my marriage. I remember thinking it was one of the stupidest ideas I had ever seen. I promptly returned it. I can't tell you how many times I have wished for that hand blender back. So yay for you keeping the cards. And using them. Way to get older and wiser.

  8. Image for Milisa Milisa

    That pie looks soooo good! Can't wait to try that recipe. I absolutely look so forward to your posts each day. I love your style & humor. Have a great weekend! It's supposed to be nice here in Arkansas :)

  9. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Have you ever tried a cheesecake rub? That's what I do with mine. It's not as good as actually eating it, but I rub the cheesecake right on my thighs since that's where it goes anyway. Judging from the looks of my legs, it's working. Bliss

  10. Image for Cheryl in Wisconsin Cheryl in Wisconsin

    Girl, your photo of the ingredients was so attractive I think you could re-create it and make it into a centerpiece. I have always just purchased my cheesecakes but have you noticed lately that the price of anything pie-shaped or -oriented starts at $8 and goes up substantially from there? Even from my grocer's freezer section! It's time for me to also peruse my recipe collection, and make them myself. You've been very inspiring. Wish me luck.

  11. Image for Linda Adams Linda Adams

    Karianne, It looks yummy thank for sharing the recipe. I have questions again. Did you get the toaster over? You still have not told me what you had monogrammed on your train? Hugs, Linda

  12. Image for Barbara Barbara

    That looks delicious! I love lemon desserts and they are generally in short supply unless you make them yourself. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Some of the best recipes I have, I got from my bridal shower. Most people share their best recipes with a bride, not the so-so, random casserole. My favorites were the one's from hubby's grandmother, she has since passed, but it's nice to be able to make some of her recipes for him.

  13. Image for Angie Angie

    Your recipe looks great and I LOVE lemon, so I'll be trying this one. Gotta love recipe showers...eventually! Have a great weekend! ~ Angie

  14. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    We love everything lemon in this household!!...Great recipe...glad you saved it!!!..Now can you bake it in a toaster oven? Have a great weekend!!

  15. Image for Marti Marti

    Hi , I really like your Blog Kelly from the "my Soulful home" referred me and I'm glad she did. You can find me at Look forward to reading more. Marti

  16. Image for Debbiecz Debbiecz

    I was given recipes at my shower too...I still have them 18 yrs later. My confession is I gravitate towards the ones that have legendary cooks as the author. I'll remember, "Hmmm, she always had the great cookies, casserole, etc. ". We do get wiser with age.

  17. Image for Mimi Mimi

    Love this! My philosophy about anything with lemon in it - not only do I adore it but, it just feels healthier. Maybe it is , maybe it isn't but all that matters is I don't feel guilty. And this cheesecake sounds delightful! Gotta love a little zing :) Thanks for sharing this!

  18. Image for Nana Diana Nana Diana

    That looks really, really good! Just what I needed at this time of night- a craving for something sweet. Did anyone ever tell you that you were a naughty girl to post things like this around people like me?;>) xo Diana

  19. Image for Susan Susan

    The cheesecake makes my mouth water--my mom's recipe for Lemon Cheesecake is my favorite, but this looks really good and worth a try for something a little quicker. BTW, the strawberries look gorgeous, XOXO

  20. Image for Judy Judy

    ooh, i had one of those parties too...back in the day...all i was worried about was looking cute in my new outfit at the shower...who cared about those "old ladies" and those recipes? (LOL). right after our honeymoon i was going to throw my first dinner party by cooking that old standby...spaghetti...for his grandparents who were visiting from Scotland....can you believe i burned the sauce? true story!!! maybe i should have used one of those tried and true recipe cards!

  21. Image for martha martha

    The cheesecake looks delicious! I am going to make it this week. I really look forward to reading your blog. You have a unique style of writing that feels so conversational....also love the photography. I have been married 44 years so my wedding showers were long ago, but I do know my main concern was looking good and also didn't appreciate some of the gifts until years later. Have a great day!!

  22. Image for Donna Donna

    I made this yesterday, and we ate it last night. It is absolutely delicious. I cut a sliver this morning to taste it again. I just wanted to be sure I was not dreaming. No more store bought cheesecake for me. Thank you for sharing. Donna

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