Lemon Cheesecake with Streusel Topping

Happy Sunday! It’s starting to warm up a bit here in Chicago so I’m looking forward to getting outside a bit more today. Spring is just around the corner and I can’t wait to enjoy it with some new outdoor projects around the house, planting herbs and flowers, and playing outside with Zoey.

Last night we had plans to attend our friends housewarming party, and I received a special request to bring Aaron’s famous chocolate chip cookies (don’t worry, I’ll blog this soon), and my moms famous cheesecake. With Spring approaching, I decided to put a little spring twist on moms original recipe with the addition of more lemon flavoring and a graham cracker-streusel topping!

Crust Ingredients:

  • 15 honey graham crackers, broken into smaller pieces
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup pure cane sugar
  • 6 tbs melted unsalted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 5, 8oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature (4 oz)
  • 8oz of sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • Juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp of vanilla paste or extract

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/3 cup of crust ingredients mixed together
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbs melted unsalted butter

To bake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 13inch springform pan. Cut 2 long pieces of parchment paper and place them in your springform pan in the shape of a + sign (this helps to easily remove it from your pan later).
  3. Pulse graham crackers with salt and sugar to small crumbs within a food processor. Add the butter until fully incorporated. Pour mixture into springform pan and evenly press the mixture until it’s firm (I use the bottom of my measuring cups to help create a firm bottom). Bake for 15 minutes, crust should be golden brown. Then remove and set aside on a wire rack to cool while you mix the filling.
  4. Using a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, beat your cream cheese. After a few minutes, add your butter, sour cream and sugar until it’s smooth and light. I put my mixer on low-medium and let it go for 5 minutes or so to achieve this texture. Then add your eggs, 1 at a time. Once fully incorporated, add your lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla paste.
  5. Create a water bath by making another + sign with foil, then place your springform pan with the cooled crust on top of the foil in the middle. Then wrap the foil around the pan tightly. Pour your filling into the pan, then place the springform pan onto a roasting pan. Place the roasting pan containing the springform pan into the oven, then add your water. Pour the water into the roasting pan until it comes nearly half way up the springform pan.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. While baking, combine the streusel ingredients. When your timer goes off, place your streusel topping over the cheesecake – I also topped mine with a few fresh lemon slices. Bake for another 45 minutes until top has browned and cheesecake has only a slight jiggle when you tap the pan. Lift the cheesecake right out of the roasting pan and set onto a wire rack. After 15 minutes, remove the foil and place the cheesecake back on the wire rack to finish cooling for 1 hour. Then cover & place in the refrigerator to cool.
  7. Before serving, release the springform pan and remove the parchment paper.

Enjoy! P.S. How cute are these lemon towels?! Just picked them up from Home Goods a couple weeks ago.

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Baking with Soul


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