Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lemon Curd Soft Cheesecake

Cotton soft cheesecake with a tangy topping

Soft and delicious cheesecake that melts in your mouth with a sweet, tangy lemon citrus finish.  This is similar to my earlier Nutella Cheesecake, except that I replace the Nutella cocoa mixture with lemon curd.  The cottony soft texture is credited to the same method for making chiffon cake.  Compare to making chiffon cake, I find this is easier to handle with a higher success rate.

(makes an 8" round cake)


160g cream cheese
90ml milk
60g unsalted butter

50g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
30g corn flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon curd
Zest from half a lemon

4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
50g caster sugar

1) Place  ingredients (A) in a bowl and place over a small pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat.

2) Beat egg yolks and sugar (from B) till pale and creamy.  Mix in corn flour, vanilla extract, lemon juice, zest and lemon curd.  Mix well to ensure no lumps, pour in ingredients A (from Step 1) and mix well to combine.
3) In another clean bowl, whisk egg whites and salt till foamy.  Add cream of tartar and gradually add in the  50g sugar.  Continue to whisk at high speed till soft peak, then whisk at low speed for 2 minutes.
4) Mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the cheese mixture.  Then, pour the cheese mixture into the remaining egg whites and fold till well incorporated (similar to making chiffon cake).
5) Pour batter into an 8" round loose bottom cake pan (see notes below).
6) Bake in preheated oven at 140C for 30 minutes (need to cover with foil after 15 minutes to prevent top from burning).  Reduce oven temperature to 120C and bake for another 30 minutes.   Leave to cool in oven with door ajar for 20 minutes, before transferring to rack to cool completely (see notes below).
7) Gently pour a thin layer of lemon curd on top and chill in fridge for at least 3 hours before serving. 

1)  If you want a nice and tall cheesecake, you need to line the sides of the cake pan with baking paper (extend higher than the cake pan by 2 inches).  This allows the cake to expand and rise properly.  I omit the side lining and just fill the cake pan to 3/4 full and use the remaining batter to make another small cheesecake.  I did not grease the cake pan either, as after cooling, the cheesecake will shrink a little and it will detach from the cake pan easily.  I only lined the bottom of the cake pan (just in case it sticks).  

2) This cake needs to be bake in a hot water bath (i.e. wrap the cake pan with foil, then place into a bigger pan/tray filled with hot water and bake in oven).  My oven is too small to accommodate a big tray, plus I do not want to risk water seepage into the cheesecake.  Simple solution:  Fill a few aluminium foil muffin cups or ramekins with warm water and place them at the bottom of the oven.   They provide the necessary sauna for the cheesecake.  I have been using this method all along and it works well.

Lemon curd topping
2 egg yolks
100g sugar
60ml to 80ml lemon juice* (depends on how tangy you want)
1 lemon zest (grated)
1 tbsp butter, thaw to room temperature

* I run out of lemon, so mixed in some lime juice.

Mix all ingredients, except butter & zest.  Simmer over double-boiler (ie over a pot of simmering water) until mixture thickens slightly (about 5 mins, stir throughout).  Then, strain it through a sieve.  Stir in the butter and lemon zest.  Return to double-boiler for another 2 to 3 minutes till mixture thickens (note: the curd will thicken further upon cooling).

If not using the lemon curd immediately, need to cover with plastic wrap to prevent a layer of skin forming on top.  Keeps well in fridge for 2 to 3 days.  

Plain lemon cheesecake without the lemon curd topping

I will be submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #6: Say Cheese! (April 2011), hosted by  Jean of Need More Noms.  


  1. Wow, your cheesecake also look perfect and spongy.

  2. what a wonderful way to make such a simple cake look so exuberant! Thanks for sharing!

  3. the cheesecake look so cottony and lemon sure makes it refreshing and delicious!! (: (:

  4. Very Nice! Would like to try it out someday.


  5. Love your cheesecake... thanks for sharing the recipe... going to be my "To Bake" list...

  6. I used to bake for Japanese Cheese Cake, but never put the lemon curd in. Can I get the lemon curd from shopping mall? Next time can try to put the lemon curd topping.. is it too sour?

  7. Hi Irene, I like cheesecake with lemon flavour, so it's not too sour for me. If you're using store-bought lemon curd, you will need to test how sour it is before using.

  8. Hi, I realised your ingredient only include cornflour and not cakeflour? Any reason why? I have seen other similar recipes with cake flor as well.

    1. corn flour gives a soft and light texture to cheese cake. In fact, the quantity of flour required is very little for this recipe. I have also read somewhere that corn flour helps to reduce cracking on top of cake.

  9. I followed your recipe but my cake got a "pudding" like bottom, plus it didn't cook through even after I gave it 10 minute extra. I didn't bake it over water bath, so it couldn't be the water... Do you know what I did wrong? I notice that you needed to put some foil over to prevent burning only after 15 min. My cake was still wet at that time. Did you bake it in convection/fan oven?

    1. My small oven top heat is hot and uneven. And being a small oven, as the cake rises up, the top is near to the top heat element. Hence, after 15 mins, I need to cover with foil to prevent the top from burning. The cake is not fully cooked yet at this stage. If using bigger built in oven, you may not need to cover. Is a conventional oven, not a fan blow type. Did the cheesecake rises up, despite the pudding bottom? It could either be the folding of whites, or your oven is not hot enough. I have not baked this cheesecake for some time already. When I get ready the ingredients, let me walk through the steps again to refresh my memory. This time, I shall use a built in oven, will see if it makes any different.


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