posted in Cake and Cupcakes

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Cake

I’ve made them before and I’ll make them again… I couldn’t resist making another one of these cheesecake cakes (two layer cake with a layer of cheesecake tucked into the middle). I spotted a basket of Meyer lemons at my local market the other day. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re a sweeter and brighter variety of lemon. They’re wonderful for baking, and they worked beautifully in my Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Cake.  If you can’t find Meyers though, regular lemons will do just fine.

An Easter-themed cake is featured here, but you can also make it into a spring/Mother’s day cake with flowers (scroll all the way down to see that version…). I used the Sunny Lemon Cake recipe from my favorite go-to cake baking book: Piece of Cake by Camilla Saulsbury. One bowl, no fuss cakes… tons of recipes. I seriously love this book and use it all the time.  You need two 9-inch baked cake layers and one 9-inch cheesecake layer too.  It sounds like a lot of work, but I usually make the cheesecake one day, toss it in the freezer overnight, and then make the rest of the cake the next day.  Not a big deal.

Assembly of the cake is shown above.  For flat, even cake layers (that will stack very nicely!), I recommend using these insulated cake strips.  I use them for all of my cakes and they work perfectly!
One layer of cake on the serving platter, then a little frosting, then the cheesecake layer, then a little frosting, and then 2nd cake layer.  To frost the cake, I like to start with a big blob of frosting on top and then use an offset spatula to spread it evenly on top and then down the sides.  Decorate as you wish!

After frosting the cake, it’s a good idea to give it at least an hour or two of chilling before slicing.  Then you’ll be guaranteed to get neater, nicer cuts.  You can even make it the night before and let it get really chilled and firm.  It’ll soften up quickly at room temp.

Using edible flowers (like orchids) is another pretty, easy way to decorate a cake.  Sometimes you can find edible flowers at your grocery store- packaged among the fresh herbs.  I stopped by a local florist and asked if they carried any edible flowers- they did!  Using flowers might be a nice idea for a Mother’s Day cake too.

I used a plain cheesecake layer in the middle (not wishing to overwhelm the cake with excess lemon flavor), and topped it all off with a Fresh Lemon Frosting (also from the Piece of Cake book).  Chocolate Malted Eggs top the Easter version, and fresh, edible orchids top the “pretty” version.  I shared slices of this cake with three families in my neighborhood yesterday.  They enjoyed it… it’s rich… you only need a small slice, so this one can feed a lot of people.  Happy Easter baking… or Mother’s Day baking… or decadent dessert- splurge baking!  Just bake!

Yield: One 9-inch cake

Prep Time: 1 hour + cooling and chill times

Cook Time: 1 hour 10 min

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Cake

Use Meyer lemons for this recipe if you can find them. Regular lemons may be substituted too.


Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups All Purpose Gold Medal® Flour
2 cups granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-Up)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces block cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup + freshly squeezed lemon juice


1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a 13x9 pan on the lower third rack of the oven and fill it halfway with water. Place another rack on a level above the pan. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all is mixed in. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in the sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan on the rack above the roasting pan. Bake the cheesecake for 40 to 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely (4 to 5 hours or overnight).

3. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and spray two 9-inch pans with nonstick spray with flour (Baking Spray). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, buttermilk, butter, shortening, zest, and juice to the bowl. Use an electric mixer on low speed to combine (1 minute). Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed 2 minutes. Add the soda and vanilla and beat on low speed for 30 seconds until incorporated. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the pans cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pans and turn the cake layers onto rack to cool completely.

4. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on high speed to beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on low speed until blended. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the lemon zest and 1/4 cup lemon juice; beat on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy. If the frosting appears to be too thick, add an additional tablespoon or two until you get a nice consistency. Cover and refrigerate the frosting until you are ready to assemble the cake (it will firm up a bit upon chilling).

5. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Spread a couple of spoonfuls of frosting on top. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the the cheesecake to release it from the pan. Trim the cheesecake, as needed to match the size of your cake layers (see *Tips). Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer and spread a couple more teaspoons of frosting on top of the cheesecake. Place the second cake layer on top of the cheesecake. Pile the frosting on top of the 2nd cake layer, spread it to the edges and down the sides of the cake. Decorate as you wish! Keep this cake refrigerated until serving. It's okay to make it 24 hours in advance and keep it in the refrigerator.


*Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be slightly larger size round than your cake layers, move it to a cutting board and use a knife to gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake.
*The pan of water in the oven will help prevent the cheesecake from cracking while baking.

Source: (Cake and frosting recipes from this cookbook:  Piece of Cake)

More Easter/Mother’s Day lemon desserts on the blogs that are looking good:
Lemon Meringue Mother’s Day Cake (how to video) by Zoe Bakes 
Blueberry Bundt Cake by Bake at 350 
Lemon Truffle Cake by RecipeGirl 
Lemon Bundt Cake by Crunchy Creamy Sweet 
Lemon- Blueberry Marble Cake by Your Home Based Mom

Disclosure:  Affliliate links are included within this post. 


  1. postedMar 21, 2013 4:00 AM

    Serious food porn! I love lemons, but especially meyer lemons (the juicy-ness never ends), amazing!

    Are all orchids edible?

  2. postedMar 21, 2013 4:17 AM

    Oh this looks lovely Lori!! I love lemon desserts, and cheesecake cakes are the bomb! Beautiful job!!!

  3. postedMar 21, 2013 4:22 AM

    I love all of your cheesecake layer cakes and this one is no different. Such a great idea to decorate with edible flowers, they are so pretty!

  4. postedMar 21, 2013 4:47 AM

    Lori this is beautiful! The layers are PERFECT. Like bakery-quality. You could sell this cake! And the cheesecake layer, mmm, so good! All with lemon. And the cute eggs you put on top. So pretty! Pinning!

  5. postedMar 21, 2013 4:58 AM

    The flavor and the decorations of the different cakes scream Spring to me! We are still trying to get warmed up here in NJ, so seeing some sign of spring is very welcome!

  6. postedMar 21, 2013 4:58 AM

    Thank you for sharing…the perfect decadent birthday cake.

  7. postedMar 21, 2013 5:02 AM

    Beautiful and so innovative, Lori! This cake is so you…”The Cheesecake Cake Queen”! So very lovely for spring, Easter, Mom’s Day & summer. Yes…saw your tweet about where to find edible flowers too late (you had tweeted you had found them at a florist). ONLY trust florists for this as they know their sources and can verify the flowers are a) edible and b) grown organically (no pesticides or sprays). This tip comes from Toni Elling, of Meadowsweets, who once guested on Martha Stewart’s television program…waaaay back in like 1995 or 1996. She showed how to candy violets. I did them for a BIG 3-tier bridal cheesecake. Again, your Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Cake is just beautiful and probably tastes even better! xo

  8. postedMar 21, 2013 6:17 AM

    I am in total love with this! LOVE that cheesecake in the middle 🙂

  9. postedMar 21, 2013 6:19 AM

    Such a pretty spring cake!

  10. postedMar 21, 2013 6:21 AM

    Loving the Eater touch, it sounds delicious with the meyer lemon!

  11. postedMar 21, 2013 6:41 AM

    This looks amazing. Lemon is my favorite all time flavor. I love the idea of combining cake with cheesecake. Can’t wait to try this – think it will be part of our Easter dinner! Thanks for linking to my Lemon Blueberry Marble Cake too!

  12. postedMar 21, 2013 7:31 AM

    What a gorgeous cake and so festive for Easter! I love this! 🙂

  13. postedMar 21, 2013 8:34 AM

    Those orchids! So pretty!

  14. postedMar 21, 2013 8:34 AM

    Nothing wrong with a double cake!

  15. postedMar 21, 2013 8:41 AM
  16. postedMar 21, 2013 8:46 AM

    This cheesecake cake looks stunning, Lori! I am a big sucker for anything cheesecake and this cake is seriously tempting! 🙂 Pinning! PS: Thank you so much for linking up to my lemon bundt cake!!

  17. postedMar 21, 2013 8:59 AM

    Such a pretty cake! I love the look of the edible flowers- a nice change from frosting ones.

  18. postedMar 21, 2013 9:10 AM

    I love all things lemon and all things cheese cake! It’s settled. I’ll make this for a party at the end of April. Thank you so much!

    Breakfast After 10

  19. postedMar 21, 2013 9:26 AM

    This cheesecake cake looks really beautiful. Looking at it seriously made my mouth water. You’re right, it does look like a great idea for a Mother’s Day cake. I think I’ll surprise my wife with this on Mother’s Day.

  20. postedMar 21, 2013 10:30 AM

    Oh, Lori. I’ve wanted to try your cheesecake cake for a long time, but now I feel the urgency even more! I LOVE Meyer lemons! Luckily they make an appearance at the Costcos here a couple times a year so I don’t have to go to Whole Foods and spend a fortune on them. Looks fantastic!!

  21. postedMar 21, 2013 10:50 AM
    Laura in Texas

    I’m so making this for Easter with the last of Meyer Lemons! Thank you!!

  22. postedMar 21, 2013 11:30 AM

    This looks soooooo good! That is one serious cream cheese layer. Love it!

  23. postedMar 21, 2013 1:44 PM
    Maegan @ The BakerMama

    What a gorgeous and delicious looking cake for spring! And such a great way to satisfy both the cake cake fans and the cheesecake fans in my family. One indulgent cake for all!

  24. postedMar 21, 2013 3:38 PM

    This is stunningly gorgeous!!! Meyer lemons are SO good, and with cheesecake AND cake? I’m so all over this!

  25. postedMar 21, 2013 3:54 PM

    Beautiful! I’m loving the cheesecake layer with the lemon, sounds so fresh and inviting! 🙂

  26. postedMar 21, 2013 4:01 PM
    Lisa Cornely

    I can’t wait to make this dessert. I love lemon desserts and I also love your cheesecake cakes. Perfect spring dessert.

  27. postedMar 21, 2013 4:55 PM

    This looks fabulous, and I just picked up some Meyer lemons today!

  28. postedMar 21, 2013 6:03 PM

    This cake is luscious, the orchids atop are beautiful. Oh, and I love meyer lemons 🙂

  29. postedMar 21, 2013 6:28 PM

    I still have yet to make a cheesecake cake…but it’s on my to-do this! I just need a good occasion for it because there is a real and serious danger that I will eat it all myself if there’s no one around to help me!

    I love meyer lemons…this might just appear on my easter table!

  30. postedMar 21, 2013 7:00 PM

    MMM the lemon cake looks super moist and dense! My favorite!! And the cheesecake, well it’s cheesecake! LOL

  31. postedMar 21, 2013 7:16 PM

    Looks fantastic!! I love meyer lemons!

  32. postedMar 21, 2013 7:57 PM

    What a beautiful spring cake!!

  33. postedMar 21, 2013 8:35 PM

    This is so cute! Thanks for another great recipe!

  34. postedMar 22, 2013 4:41 AM

    Love the layers and great idea making a lemon cheesecake cake. Perfect for spring 🙂

  35. postedMar 22, 2013 8:04 AM

    Lori…this is absolutely gorgeous! And, I KNOW is is scrumptious!

    you know, I bought some of those cake strips and have never used them. I think it may be time to find them and get baking!

  36. postedMar 22, 2013 4:04 PM

    This is beyond gorgeous, Lori! So perfect for Easter. Elegant and totally decadent – Love it!

  37. postedMar 22, 2013 5:25 PM

    Thank you for sharing Lori!!…I’ll make this for my 43’s birthday at the early of April. Thank you so much!

  38. postedMar 22, 2013 11:15 PM

    So beautiful! In fact, too beautiful to eat. Love everything meyer lemony 🙂

  39. postedMar 23, 2013 12:22 AM

    This cake is so pretty, Lori! I just love anything lemon this time of year!

  40. postedMar 23, 2013 7:24 AM

    I love Lemon anything..this looks so good

  41. postedMar 23, 2013 10:09 AM

    This looks amazing! So pretty and SO delicious! 🙂

  42. postedMar 23, 2013 7:51 PM

    Can this recipe use cake flour instead of regular flour?

    • postedMar 24, 2013 9:32 PM

      No, it will not turn out the same.

  43. postedMar 24, 2013 5:14 AM

    So lovely, Lori! Lemon and cheesecake are both favorites of mine. Thanks for the insulated cake strips tip, too!

  44. postedMar 24, 2013 9:44 AM

    And to make this cake really decadent – Instead of joining layers with frosting use lemon curd. Love this recipe.

    • postedMar 24, 2013 6:56 PM

      Yes! Nice idea. I might be a little worried about the cake layers being slippy slidy with the lemon curd in there though. The frosting acts as a rather nice glue holding the layers together.

  45. postedMar 24, 2013 11:22 AM

    I made this yesterday for an early Easter party. It was easy to make, beautiful, and everyone loved it! Thank you!

    • postedMar 24, 2013 9:32 PM

      Yahoo! Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  46. postedMar 24, 2013 6:26 PM

    I have a couple questions. What do you use for vegetable shortening? Crisco? Can I use butter flavored? For the sprite or 7 up, can I use diet? And would light sour cream be ok?

    • postedMar 24, 2013 6:56 PM

      I used butter-flavored Crisco, diet 7-up and full-fat sour cream for mine 🙂 I’m sure light sour cream would be just fine.

  47. postedMar 25, 2013 3:43 AM

    I used to buy this type of cake at Sams. It looks awfully close to it. I am praying it is because I have been searching for the recipe for a while, I have tried several things. Now I will totally be trying this.

  48. postedMar 25, 2013 4:58 AM

    Love! I love lemon cheesecakes and love yellow cake stacked with cheesecake. And it’s a beauty!

  49. postedMar 25, 2013 9:41 AM

    I am a little confused as to why the cheese cake needs to be frozen and not just refridgerated. Surely when it starts to defrost it will wet the cake. I am looking forward to making this tonight.

    • postedMar 25, 2013 7:15 PM

      You really need to be able to pick up the cheesecake and handle it with your hands… need to trim the edges cleanly and place it onto the cake layers without breaking it into pieces! There isn’t any problem when it defrosts… I’ve made several different kinds of cheesecake cakes & they’re all fine w/ a frozen cheesecake.

  50. postedMar 25, 2013 11:19 AM
    Laura Adams

    This looks yummy. I loce making mini cheese cakes as they are just enough dessert after dinner. Thinking I may try this, minus the cake, but frost the individual mini cakes and decorate!

  51. postedMar 26, 2013 10:29 PM

    This is so gorgeous. I am on a meyer lemon kick lately. I have 3 bags I’m working on right now. I see this in my future.

  52. postedMar 30, 2013 6:22 PM

    I made this today for Easter dessert I hope it taste as good as it looks.

  53. postedMar 31, 2013 2:27 PM

    Made this for Easter dessert and it was a hit! Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours, my layers didn’t bake nice and flat but the frosting more than made up for that.

  54. postedMar 31, 2013 3:44 PM

    Hi Lori,
    I am looking a the pictures of the cake assembly and the third picture shows some type of darker filling, like maybe a glaze or somthing. Did I miss somethine as I was reading the directions? I would really like to make this cake but want to make sure all steps are correct.
    P.S. Can’t wait for your cookbook to come out.

    • postedMar 31, 2013 4:27 PM

      Hey Chris, no extra filling there… the camera must have just picked up some darker light where those edges meet… sorry it looks confusing. Just follow the steps as written!

  55. postedApr 10, 2013 1:50 AM
    Theresa D.

    Omg!! I made this cake for our Easter dinner – it’s divine! The Meyer lemon flavor is incredible! And everyone who had it was really impressed as well!
    I was not totally confident about making this beautiful cake, as I rarely make cakes (I do make an awesome cheesecake tho), and I followed your recipe to the letter and it was perfect. I also did it in stages as you suggested – making the cheesecake the night before and then the cake in the morning, icing & then assembly. Soooo much easier – too easy!! Love the one bowl cake recipe.I was shocked how simple to make it all. It was easy to slice into perfect thin slices and I used the Cadbury ‘mini’ eggs to decorate it. Thank you, thank you for sharing this – you are amazing!

  56. postedApr 26, 2013 6:58 AM

    I couldn’t find the Meyer Lemons, but made the cake with regular lemons,
    it was to beautiful and worth the time and the calories. I was wondering
    how the filling would work in a fresh strawberry cake. My four year old
    granddaughter said “this receipe is a keeper”!

  57. postedMay 1, 2013 8:39 AM

    Anytime I want to make flat cakes, I decrease the oven temp. by 50 degrees and increase the baking time by 30 minutes! Works every time 🙂

    • postedMay 1, 2013 8:39 AM

      That’s a pretty cool tip!

  58. postedSep 12, 2013 9:59 PM
    Dianne Berg

    I made this yesterday for my son in laws b day party
    It was a huge success—I didn’t freeze the cake just
    chilled it overnight–then used my big bench scraper
    to put it on the cooled lemon cake—didn’t have a
    problem–loved it-very impressive

  59. postedOct 30, 2013 4:58 PM

    I was wondering if this cake could be frozen, either assembled or pieces for a couple of weeks? Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • postedOct 31, 2013 8:28 AM

      Possibly! Maybe wrap the pieces individually and then assemble later?

  60. postedFeb 12, 2014 7:04 PM
    nancy patterson

    this is so good. the cheesecake recipe alone is the tastiest cheesecake I ever ate. Then the frosting and the cake flavored with the lemons, meyer lemons, mmmm. all together and wow. I couldn’t stop eating it.

  61. postedApr 3, 2014 5:45 PM

    How many people will this serve?

    • postedApr 9, 2014 12:18 PM

      I’d say 12 comfortably. A small slice is totally enough 🙂

  62. postedApr 19, 2014 9:13 PM

    Made this for our (early) Easter celebration, today. While I made the mistake of forgetting to flour the cake pans after I greased them (ended up with half of each cake still stuck in the pan), I managed to shape it into place and it still turned out super delicious! It was a hit 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Would love to feature this recipe on my site with a link back to you. Would you mind?


    • postedApr 21, 2014 7:00 AM

      Glad it turned out for you- as long as you don’t re-post the recipe and just provide a link to the recipe on my site, that’s okay with me! Thanks!

  63. postedApr 3, 2015 8:11 AM

    Can I use the freeze dried lemon zest?

  64. postedMay 23, 2015 10:42 AM

    This has been my daughter’s go-to request for her birthday for two years now.  And it’s been requested by a friend as well.  Absolutely a wonderful cake.  Total winner!! 

  65. postedApr 16, 2017 9:53 PM

    Made this for our Easter dessert! Thank you so much for this recipe! It was easy to follow and the results were amazing! It was so good there wasn’t any left over!

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