It was only a matter of time before I made a dessert that combined my love of lemons with my love of cream cheese. This keto lemon cheesecake is the perfect marriage of tart and creamy, and it’s not for those who do not like lemons.
The best bit is that you will find no refined sugar in this recipe, or any gluten.
This recipe is:
- Low Carb
- Refined sugar-free
A low carb lemon cheesecake that will knock your socks off
This dessert is not lightly flavored, the lemon tartness pops. The curd topping is tart tart tart, with a bit of a sweet. Kind of like sour gummy candy. The filling has a softer lemon flavor, a bit more refined, but still present.
The tart punch of the lemon curd and the creamy sweetness of the cheesecake base go together beautifully. It’s a lemon cheesecake that doesn’t skimp on the lemon flavor.
If you’re a lemon lover, you’re in for a treat.
What sweeteners work best in this keto lemon Cheesecake recipe?
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For the crust and cheesecake base
Use your favorite 1:1 sugar substitute.
Powered is preferred over granular, as it blends better and has a nicer texture. Erythritol and monk fruit also tend to get grainy when cold, but I found the powdered versions to do it much less.
If you don’t have powdered erythritol or monk fruit and only have granular, go ahead and give it a blast with a high-speed blender or food processor.
My favorite powdered sweetener by far is So Nourished Monk Fruit Blend. I find the monk fruit powdered blend has almost no aftertaste at all.
Swerve and stevia will work perfectly fine here as well as does any powdered erythritol, monk fruit, or xylitol brand.
Just remember, xylitol is poisonous to dogs and cats, so if that’s your choice and you have little furry friends running around, be aware that it can be deadly for them.
For the lemon curd topping and meringue
Allulose is the recommended sweetener as it will not grain up when cold. If you use erythritol, monk fruit, xylitol, etc., the curd will grain up significantly, and the meringue will not brown the way it should. Allulose also helps the lemon curd thicken and turn sticky. Other sweeteners do not have the same results.
A WORD ABOUT FRESH LEMONS (PLease do not use bottled lemon juice)
Don’t even consider using bottled lemon juice for this recipe. That stuff is horrible (personal preference). It’s so incredibly sour, tart, and bitter that it will ruin this tart. Fresh lemons have such a better flavor, so do yourself a favor and grab a few.
The other thing about fresh lemons is they range wildly with how tart and sweet they can be. You may need to add a touch more sweetener if your fruits are particularly sour.
A few notes about the crust
When you pull your ingredients together for the crust, it’s going to look sticky and gooey. It’s ok, it works!
You also do not need to refrigerate this dough, as soon as you have it mixed up to can press it into the pan.
- Press the dough evenly into the pan. You cannot overwork this dough, so take your time and press it to make sure no areas are thin. Once you press the crust into the pan, make sure to prick it all over with a fork. The crust gets prebaked for 10 minutes.
- Cover the pie pan with a double layer of tin foil and crimp the tin foil up and over the rim of the cheesecake pan. The tin foil prevents the crust from over-browning, and over baking.
Perfect Cheesecake Top – No Cracks (well most of the time)
Here are a few tips to prevent over-browning of your cheesecakes. These tips will also help to prevent cracking. For this particular recipe, cracking isn’t a big deal. We’re topping the dessert with two additional layers, so if the top isn’t perfect, it is not the end of the world.
- Use room temperature ingredients.
- Wrap your springform pan, sides and bottom, in aluminum foil.
- Don’t open the oven door, don’t peek!
- When the cheesecake
These tips have made it so about 90% of my cheesecakes come out perfectly. Sometimes though it doesn’t seem to matter what I do, I still get a crack.
the low carb lemon curd topping
The topping to this cheesecake is not lemon meringue pie filling; it’s a soft lemon cream curd. The curd is luscious and tart, and the texture goes exceptionally well with the creamy smooth cheesecake base.
There are a few tips I want to give you for making this low carb lemon curd perfect every time.
- Use allulose as your sweetener. Allulose will thicken, get sticky, gooey, and will not crystallize when cooled.
- I said it before, but I will repeat it, fresh lemon juice, please. Add 2/3 cup to your allulose.
- Add two large eggs and two large egg yolks, 2 Tbsp heavy cream to your pan, and whisk well. Cook on low heat constantly stirring until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (about 7-10 minutes).
- Add 2/3 cup butter and blend in until melted.
- Continue to whisk the lemon curd until it thickens up a tiny bit.
- Place the curd in a bowl to cool and cover with plastic wrap allowing the plastic wrap to touch the top of the curd.
The curd will thicken up substantially when cooled completely.
The meringue topping and other options
I topped the lemon curd in this recipe with whipped meringue. You can toast the meringue with a kitchen torch. I mean, not everyone has a kitchen blow torch, so you probably want some options.
I wanted the taste of vanilla meringue to round out the lemon flavors, but you can get that flavor balance in other ways.
First off, not a great idea to top the cheesecake with meringue and pop in the oven to brown. That’s not going to work, unfortunately. If you don’t have a cooking torch, please skip the meringue and go right to the whipped cream option.
Vanilla whipped cream topping is a perfect substitute, so go ahead and whip up some whipped cream, add a bit of sweetener, and few drops of vanilla. You can pipe the whipped cream too if you want to get fancy.
Serving and storing suggestions for your keto Lemon cheesecake
You can make this cheesecake in advance and freeze it without the toppings for up to four weeks. Wrap the cheesecake very well before placing it in the freezer. To thaw, place the frozen cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight and top before serving.
You can also make the lemon curd up to two days ahead of time.
This low carb lemon cheesecake will stay fresh in the fridge for up to four days. After that, the meringue starts to lose its texture, and the cheesecake goes downhill a little bit after day four.
- 2 cups almond flour
- 2 Tbsp sweetener (I used So Nourished Powdered Erythritol Monk Fruit Blend)
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups cream cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sweetener (I used So Nourished Powdered Erythritol Monk Fruit Blend)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp Vanilla
Lemon Curd Topping
- 2/3 cup sweetener (I used So Nourished Powdered Erythritol Monk Fruit Blend)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks (save the egg whites for the meringue!)
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2/3 cup butter
- 4 egg whites
- 2/3 cup allulose
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Add almond flour, powdered erythritol, and grated lemon rind into a 9-inch springform pan wrapped with tin foil. (see notes)
- Gently whisk butter with the egg and vanilla and add to the pan.
- Blend all ingredients well with a fork. Once blended spread mixture evenly at the bottom of the pan. The back of a small flat bottomed measuring cup works very well.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until just lightly golden brown.
- Cool to room temperature before adding the cheesecake batter.
- In a medium-sized bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer whip cream cheese, vanilla, powdered erythritol, and lemon juice and blend until soft and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time until fully blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding each egg.
- Pour cheesecake filling into your crust.
- Bake at 350F oven for 35-40 minutes or until the cheesecake is set in the center.
- Leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool.
Lemon Curd Topping
- Add eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice, powdered erythritol, and heavy cream into a heat-safe bowl and whisk together.
- Cook on low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. This process can take up to 7-10 minutes. Use a whisk and stir constantly while cooking to avoid burning.
- Once the mixture thickens, add the butter in cubes one at a time and whisk until fully melted.
- Place the lemon curd in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cool in the fridge.
- Pour the lemon curd over the cooled cheesecake and spread evenly.
- Add 4 egg whites to the bottom of a metal or glass bowl.
- Whip until egg whites are light and fluffy, but not fully whipped.
- Add allulose and vanilla to the egg white mixture and blend on high until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
- Dollop the meringue over the top of the lemon curd, or use a piping bag to decorate the top of the cheesecake.
- To toast the meringue use a kitchen torch and slowly move around the meringue until fully toasted.
Tips for a perfectly baked cheesecake
- Use room temperature ingredients.
- Wrap your springform pan, sides and bottom, in aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
- Don’t open the oven door, don’t peek while the cheesecake is baking.
- When the cheesecake is done, leave it in the oven to cool.
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- Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener with Erythritol Confectioners (1 lb / 16 oz)
- Anthony's Organic Coconut Flour
- Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour
- Leakproof Springform Pan 9 Inch
- Cake Decorating Supplies Kit
- Hoosier Hill Farm ALLULOSE Low Calorie, Zero Net Carb Keto Sugar, Natural Sugar Alternative, Made in the USA, Granular Powder, 2 lb bag, batch tested gluten free
- Culinary Torch (Butane NOT included)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409 Total Fat: 39g Saturated Fat: 19g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 186mg Sodium: 274mg Carbohydrates: 8.2g Net Carbohydrates: 5.8g Fiber: 2.4g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 10g