No-Bake Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

No-bake desserts can be just as creative and fun as bake-able desserts. From homemade ice cream…to ice box cake….to no-bake truffles, pies and cheesecakes, there’s a lot you can do. The no-bake life is for those of us who prefer our sweets chilled, possibly (and usually) creamy, and rich. And, let me remind you that no-bake desserts don’t discriminate. Lots of vegans are hopping on the trend with truffles, cakes, ice creams, etc. The point of this rant is that no-bake desserts aren’t just a shortcut, but they’re high in quality and taste, sooooo great you should save yourself a ton of prep time and give them a go.

Now, let’s talk about this no-bake cheesecake. It’s almost exactly the same as my classic no-bake ricotta cheesecake, but I’m using some lemon zest in the homemade graham cracker crust and filling, as well as lemon juice in the filling. This is like the easy, cheesecake version of lemon bars. If you like lemon bars or key lime pies, you’ll love this.

I went *lemon* with this recipe because there’s something about a well-done lemon dessert that screams “elevated, sophisticated AF” (in my opinion) and this recipe is way too easy to pass up the opportunity to feel like an elevated, sophisticated pastry chef in your home kitchen. I did make this live on my Amazon series, At Home Cooking, so check the episode out here, and go to the time frame 35:00 to watch the lemon cheesecake portion of the show! I make everything live and from scratch in real time, so it will be helpful to follow along if you have any questions. Also, please know that I had to turn my AC off during filming for audio purposes, so don’t mind me sweating up a storm!!! In that same episode, I also made my sweet and spicy shrimp which is EASY AF and delicious, so feel free to check that out as well!

I made this note with my traditional no-bake cheesecake, but I gotta make it again! The pan you use is the key to getting that perfect crust and beautiful appearance. For this version, I used a springform pan, and that’s why I have this beautiful, evenly thick crust and a soft, straight edge to the cake. Even when you’re using a springform pan, it’s important to prepare the pan with parchment paper so you can easily remove the cake or pie from it without breaking the crust. Here’s the directions on how I did that below:

How to prepare your springform pan and remove the cake after it has set:

  1. Cut a rectangular piece of parchment paper that’s a little larger than the pan.
  2. Unclip the springform pan, separating the bottom from the edges.
  3. Place the parchment paper on top of the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place the sides back onto the bottom of the pan and clip it into place. The parchment paper should be held into place by the sides of the pan, and should be above the bottom of the pan.
  5. When the cake has set, unhinge the pan and slide the parchment paper off, while the cake is still on it.
  6. Transfer the cake via parchment paper to the desired plate or lazy susan. Hold the cake in place as you slide the parchment paper from underneath of it.

Another tool that’s always helpful in smoothing out any uneven cake edge is a bench scraper. I use a bench scraper for a variety of things in my kitchen (i.e: organizing ingredients, assisting with cleaning up my cutting board, etc.) and I think you will benefit from having one, no matter how you decide to use it. I’m linking some springform pans, bench scrapers and lazy susans (the elevated plate that rotates and spins around so you can have control of decorating your cake) below if you’re interested. I own two bench scrapers, and my favorite is the Amazon Basics one below because it also helps you measure the thickness of your cuts or crusts if necessary.

OK, now let’s get to work! As always, feel free to watch my demo on Amazon or DM me on Instagram with any questions!

no bake lemon ricotta cheesecake with graham cracker crust

No-Bake Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

Try this bright, creamy and zesty no-bake cheesecake for a fun frozen dessert. The filling is made with a whole milk ricotta and cream cheese mixture, that's flavored with lemon zest and juice. Pour it onto a homemade lemony graham cracker crust and all of your wildest lemon dessert dreams will come true!
4 from 2 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free
Servings 8 slices


  • Standing mixer or hand mixer


Lemon Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups graham crackers or gluten-free graham crackers
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta strained, if there seems to be a high water content in the package
  • 16 oz. full fat cream cheese regular cream cheese, do not use whipped cream cheese!!!!
  • 1 cup powdered sugaar
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Toppings (optional)

  • Lemon slices
  • Extra graham cracker crust crumbs
  • Whipped cream
  • Lemon zest


For the crust:

  • Prepare the crust by pulsing the graham crackers in a food processor until they have a fine crumb consistency. 
  • Transfer the graham cracker mixture to a mixing bowl and add the melted butter, lemon zest and salt. With a spatula, combine the butter into the graham crackers until the graham cracker mixture develops the consistency of a wet sand.
  • With the back of a spatula or spoon, pat the graham cracker mixture into a prepared springform or disposable pie pan. Start on the bottom and then flatten the crust out, until you get to the sides of the pan. Press the crust mixture onto the sides, evenly lining the entire pan. If you don't have a disposable pie pan or springform pan, line a cake pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving a lot of extra foil/paper outside of the pan for an easy removal. If using foil, make sure you don't accidentally fold the foil into the crust!

For the filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt and ricotta. Mix or whisk on high speed until fully combined and semi-fluffy.
  • Add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the mixture and then whisk or mix again on high speed until fully incorporated.
  • Once fully combined, delicately transfer the mixture to the pan with the crust and pour it on top of the crust until the pan is full. Let it sit in the fridge or freezer for at least 5 hours. 
  • Once removed from the fridge, top with more lemon zest and some lemon slices for color. Feel free to add more graham cracker crumbs and whipped cream as well. Enjoy! 
Keyword cream cheese, graham crackers, lemon, powdered sugar, ricotta

11 thoughts on “No-Bake Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake”

    1. Thank you for this review!!! Isn’t this cheesecake so good?!?! You’re inspiring me to make it!!

  1. This is delicious!! No need to buy the no-bake powder mix. I added a little cool whip to the batter.

  2. 3 stars
    The flavor was nice but my cheesecake didn’t really set even though I left it chilling closer to 20 hours – I’m not sure what went wrong! It was very soft. I followed directions closely – will have to try again.

    1. Hi Karen! What is the temperature of your fridge? I’ve never heard of this problem happening and it most likely is a temperature issues, especially because it’s so hot out and it’s summer. You can put it in the freezer for 2-3 hours to really firm it up without it freezing entirely.

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