Lemon Swirled Cheesecake
“This cheesecake is better than Juniors!” Those are the words I heard when I first baked this cheesecake for an event I was attending. Full of lemon flavor with the hit of tangy lemon curd swirled in and a thin layer of shortbread crust, this Lemon Swirled Cheesecake is our favorite cheesecake recipe in the Grumpy house.
Lemon Swirled Cheesecake

Because this is our favorite cheesecake recipe EVER, I made it to celebrate my brother’s birthday.  I am so lucky to have such a great brother. He has a lovely home, wonderful wife and two handsome sons! The only problem is I only see him a few days out of the year due to the miles between us.

Steve is the official  Apple Dumpling maker and I rarely make them myself because he does such a good job, it’s hard to do better than him! I really wish I could be closer. I would happily share some of my cheesecake with him in exchange for some of his apple dumplings!

Lemon Swirled Cheesecake

For this recipe, I made my own lemon curd. I love this stuff! The sweet tang is so delicious that I can just eat it by the spoonful! Lemon Curd is very simple with only 4 ingredients – Lemon Juice (and zest), butter, sugar, and eggs!

Lemon Swirled Cheesecake

I love the bright citrus scent of the lemon. It literally makes you feel sunshine! I believe this is the biggest reason citrus (lemons especially) is big in the spring. It invokes the feeling of sunshine, brightness, and life!

Lemon Curd

When the lemon curd is done I always top it with some plastic wrap to prevent a “skin” forming over top of the curd. Once it has cooled enough, I put it in the refrigerator to get cold. The curd thickens up more as it chills. It is perfect for swirling into this cheesecake!

Lemon Swirled Cheesecake

The crust for this cake is a shortbread type crust and is very thin. I love this because I’m looking for cheesecake when I eat cheesecake, not the crust!

Lemon Swirled Cheesecake
I feel bad my brother isn’t here to share this with us….seriously. It makes a lot of cheesecake!

Lemon Swirled Cheesecake

While the recipe is a tiny bit time consuming, it really is not hard to make at all. If you don’t want to make your own lemon curd, it can be easily bought at the store. Be sure to use the size 9 inch springform pan suggested. If you use anything smaller, your cheesecake will rise up taller than it should and you take the chance of a spillover. Also, a springform pan is best to use because the sides will remove once the cheesecake is chilled and you will not have to worry about how you’re going to cut a slice to come perfectly out of the pan!
Lemon Swirled Cheesecake
Author: Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • Crust:
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ice water
  • Cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup Lemon Curd
  • Recipe for Lemon Curd:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
For the Lemon Curd
  1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is light in color (about 3 minutes). Stir in lemon juice and butter; cook for 5 minutes or until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cool. Cover and chill (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
To prepare the crust,
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Place 2/3 cup flour and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add chilled butter; pulse 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. With processor on, slowly pour ice water through food chute, processing just until blended (do not allow dough to form a ball). Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 325.
To prepare the filling,
  1. Beat cheeses at high speed of a mixer until smooth. Add 1 3/4 cups sugar and the next 4 ingredients (1 3/4 cups sugar through salt); beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour the cheese mixture into prepared pan. Spoon mounds of Lemon Curd over filling, and swirl together using the tip of a knife. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cheesecake is almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven, and cool to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.

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About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. Lisa May 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Happy Birthday , Steve! Great cheesecake and I love the ,lemon dots on the plate.

  2. Cristine May 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    What a sweet sister! Happy birthday to your brother. The cheesecake looks AMAZING!

  3. honeyb May 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Happy B-day old man! 😉

    P.S. – You should be guilting mom into sending you this cheesecake.


  4. Gabi May 1, 2009 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Work of art!!! Happy B-day Steve!!

    Gabi @ Mamaliga

  5. Emily Justeatfood May 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    I wish there to share too! Happy Birthday Steve!

  6. Jessie May 1, 2009 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    I love the artsy design on the cheesecake and Happy Birthday to Steve!

  7. Dan May 1, 2009 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Happy birthday Steve. Bring some of that desert back for me next time you visit your sister.

  8. teresa May 1, 2009 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    This looks like heaven! What a nice thing to do for your brother!

  9. Liesl May 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Oh my does this cheesecake look good! This would be good on a nice warm summer afternoon, sitting on the porch in my rocking chairs with a glass of sun made iced tea! :o)

  10. bakersbakery May 1, 2009 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    That looks fabulous!

  11. Gera @ SweetsFoods May 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Happy Birthday, Steve! Heaven Heaven great cheesecake and lovely pics!

  12. Reeni♥ May 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Happy Birthday Steve!! Look at that gorgeous cake your missing out on!

  13. Anonymous May 1, 2009 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    My Dear Steve, When I think about you as a baby, what I remember most is your “cheeks”. You had cheeks, really kissable cheeks and we kissed on you LOL gotcha! Now you are in the over 40 club for sure:) Grandpa Whitton would have been 92 today and I remember how proud he was that you were born on his birthday. He had some fun with that! The Lord has been generous to us. I love you, Aunt Ann P.S. Eat your heart out on the cake!

  14. Anonymous May 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Hi uncle Steve! Chris here, hope you have a great birthday! 😉 Look forward to seeing you this summer. Love ya lots.

  15. Creative One May 1, 2009 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful sister you are. Birthday wishes to Steve. The cheesecake looks awesome!!

  16. Gaby May 1, 2009 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    this looks sooooo yummy! I love cheesecake!

  17. Stephen May 1, 2009 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes. It’s been a good day. If my FAVORITE sister would freeze the cheesecake and send it to me, I would be ecstatic. I’m sure the pics have less calories though. Thanks Shelby!

  18. HoneyB May 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Just so you all know…his FAVORITE sister is his ONLY sister. ;o) But that is ok, I’ll take it.

  19. gail May 1, 2009 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    That cheesecake is GORGEOUS!!! It must be sooo good. Awesome combo! Lucky brother he is.

  20. Laura May 1, 2009 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    That is simply gorgeous. I love lemon and cheesecake.

  21. Pamela May 2, 2009 at 1:25 am - Reply

    What a sweet sister you are! That cake looks fabulous! I just made this one over Easter and it was so good!! Nice job.

  22. Tangled Noodle May 2, 2009 at 2:23 am - Reply

    What a lovely, sweet treat to celebrate your brother’s birthday! I can empathize – all of my sisters live near each other on the West Coast while I’m the only one in the Midwest. We visit them once a year (if possible) but we always miss our birthdays with each other. It’s the reason we cherish the times we do have together even more!

  23. Anj May 2, 2009 at 2:34 am - Reply

    That is one seriously beautiful cheesecake. I love the lemon swirls. What a lucky brother.

  24. Angie May 2, 2009 at 3:11 am - Reply

    That cheesecake looks great. It makes me wish I wasn’t allergic to cheesecake.

  25. Delectable Dining May 2, 2009 at 3:27 am - Reply

    This looks wonderful!

    I left an award for you on my blog… I love reading your wonderful recipes!


  26. Anonymous May 2, 2009 at 4:10 am - Reply

    That is a beautiful cheesecake Shelby!

  27. Katie May 2, 2009 at 6:24 am - Reply

    What a beautiful cheesecake! I am a firm advocate of celebrating birthdays, even if the person whose birthday it is isn’t present.

  28. Coleen's Recipes May 2, 2009 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Happy Birthday to Honeybunches little brother!!

  29. Chowhound May 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    That cheese cake looks phenomenal! Happy birthday to your brother.

  30. Katy ~ May 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Steve, happy birthday! Many happy returns!

    HoneyB, I LUV cheesecake! YUMMERS!

  31. Megan May 3, 2009 at 2:03 am - Reply

    I love lemon, I love cheesecake!
    Nuf said? 😉

  32. Design Tutorials May 3, 2009 at 4:56 am - Reply

    Hey Steve Happy Birthday Nice cake peace

  33. Elyse May 3, 2009 at 5:41 am - Reply

    Awww, happy bday, Steve!! Steve is lucky to have such a wonderful sister! This cheesecake looks amazing. I’m just loving the swirl of lemon curd. How totally fantastic.

  34. Debbie May 3, 2009 at 5:55 am - Reply

    Little brothers are great! But I feel EXACTLY as you do…. too bad we’re so far apart.
    Happy day!!

  35. Tatieva May 3, 2009 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Oh, ce que ça a l’air délicieux !
    J’aime beaucoup la couleur du citron, c’est frais, léger et acidulé, délicieux !
    Kisses from France,

  36. RecipeGirl May 3, 2009 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Wow, does that look like a wonderful cheesecake! I love the lemony swirl 🙂 Happy bday to your little bro!

  37. cindy May 3, 2009 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I love lemon, I love cheesecake. It looks delish!

  38. JMom May 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    That is one gorgeous looking cake! Happy birthday to your brother Steve 🙂

  39. TheGourmetGirl May 3, 2009 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Two of my all time favorites, lemon and cheese (cake)!
    Great recipe thanks for sharing, will have to give it a try in the near future.

  40. TeaLady May 3, 2009 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    I lOVE cheese cake and that ones looks fantastic. I have wanted to use lemon curd in one, but couldn’t think of a really good way to do it. Now I know how…

  41. Debi May 5, 2009 at 1:14 am - Reply

    Wish I could have a piece right now!
    Your brother is lucky to have a sister who takes time out to bake such a delicious treat.

  42. Lynnylu May 13, 2009 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Nice work on the lemon curd swirl. I’m sure your brother enjoyed this beautiful cheesecake.

  43. The Hungry Mouse May 27, 2009 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Whoa! That looks SO good!


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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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