Summer desserts don’t get much better than this incredibly easy Italian lemon cheesecake. Like a forkful of sunshine, just one mouthful of no bake Limoncello cheesecake and you’ll be living la dolce vita!
Products you need for this recipe
- Limoncello liqueur – this stuff tastes like an Italian dream. It’s the star of this recipe
- 23cm (9 inch) springform pan – an essential part of every cheesecake maker’s arsenal. This is the ONLY type of pan you should be using when making cheesecakes. It makes it so easy to remove the cheesecake once it has chilled
- Stand mixer – stand mixers are an absolute godsend when it comes to making no bake cheesecakes. Use on level 2 or 3 for a super smooth cheesecake filling
- Kitchen blow torch – a great tool for getting your cheesecake out intact
There are times when baking can be too much hard work and take up too much time. Sure, baked cheesecakes are great, but you’ve got to have the time and energy to spare, otherwise you won’t even be able to enjoy your creation.
That’s what makes no bake cheesecakes so great. Minimal prep time (all the time is in the chilling period), no oven and only a little bit of effort. The perfect recipe for those of us with busy busy lives!
If you do have time to spare, I highly recommend you check out my Baked Limoncello Cheesecake recipe. Similar flavors, but with a very different overall texture. Why not try making both to see which one you like best? Your friends and family will be happy to give their verdict, I’m sure!
Pronounced “lee-mon-che-lo,” Limoncello is a rich, smooth liqueur produced in the Amalfi region of Italy. Like parmesan or Serrano ham, it’s a protected ingredient, meaning it has to be produced in this region to be regarded as genuine Limoncello.
Amalfi lemons taste like no other lemon. Far less tangy, sweeter and bigger than the average, they are unique to this part of the world.
The original recipe for Limoncello stretches back many years and is shrouded in legend. Some say it was created by fishermen to keep colds at bay. Others credit monks with its invention and, according to some, the origin of the liquor goes all the way back to the first cultivated lemons.
Either way, today Limoncello is made by steeping lemon peel in pure alcohol for between three days and a week, until all the lemon oil is extracted. It’s then strained into a simple syrup mixture.
Limoncello has a rich, intense lemon flavor. It’s not as sour as lemon juice. Instead, it’s syrupy sweet, with a very balanced, refreshing taste.
Perfect for a summer cheesecake!
For me, plain digestives are perfect. Others swear by Graham cracker crumbs. So, if you’re a Graham cracker fan and they’re easier to get hold of, then go ahead and use them!
There are three main reasons why a no bake cheesecake fails to firm up. Firstly, the ingredients.
It’s very important to use full fat cream cheese and heavy double cream when making a no bake cheesecake. If you’re tempted to go for low fat varieties, be warned: they won’t set nearly as good as the full fat kind.
Secondly, chill time is essential. You need to let your no bake cheesecake chill for at least six hours, preferably overnight.
Lastly, a too soft cheesecake can be caused by overmixing the cheesecake mixture. That’s why a stand mixer is such a great tool to use. You can set it on a low speed and mix lightly, until everything is fully incorporated.
Taste the summer with these recipes
Loved this no bake Limoncello cheesecake? Check out some of my other favorite sweet summer recipes:
- Lemon chess pie – the perfect balance between sweet and acidic, this recipe is irresistible. When life hands you lemons, make this pie
- Drizzled lemon curd cupcakes – another great showcase for lemons, these cupcakes are divine! Not only that, but they’re so easy to make
- Sicilian cannoli – if you’ve never had a cannoli, stop what you’re doing and make this recipe! I picked it up when I visited Sicili, the home of the cannoli
- Don Pedro drink – a South African favorite, this is pure heaven in a glass. Add ice and a giddy smile
- Pornstar martini – now we’re getting frisky. Passion fruit liqueur, champagne and vanilla – let’s get the party started!
- No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake - if you liked this Limoncello cheesecake you're sure to love another zesty cheesecake
- No-bake cherry cheesecake - there’s something about the combination of cherry and cream cheese filling that really does it for me. Well, this recipe doesn’t just use ordinary cherries. These are extra special Italian cherries, and they taste incredible!
- 3 cups digestive biscuits
- 1 lemon zested
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter
- 3⅓ cup cream cheese
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- ½ cup Limoncello liqueur
- 1¾ cups heavy (double) cream
- ½ cup lemon curd
- 3 tbsp Limoncello liqueur
- ½ cup heavy (double) cream
- 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
For the Biscuit Base
- Place the digestive biscuits in your food processor and blitz into a crumb and add the lemon zest.
- While the food processor is still running, add the melted butter and allow to combine which should only take about 15 seconds then turn off.
- Prepare your 23cm (9 inch) springform pan, by putting a layer of greaseproof paper over the base and then clasping the springform ring around the outside (I find this easier when removing the cheesecake at the end).
- Pour your crumb into the pan and flatten evenly - I use the bottom of a large glass.
- Place in the fridge for around 10 minutes to chill.
Limoncello Cheesecake Filling
- In a bowl, beat the cream cheese - I use a KitchenAid stand mixer on level 2 or 3 as I find this so much easier, until smooth.
- Add the icing sugar a bit at a time and continue to mix.
- Pour in the Limoncello and lemon juice a bit at a time then add the lemon zest and mix until fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the heavy (double) cream until you achieve soft peaks and then fold the cream cheese mix and heavy (double) cream together till the cream is fully incorporated.
- Remove the tin from the fridge and cover the whole base with the cheesecake filling,then gently drop the tin onto the kitchen counter 5 to 10 times to let any bubbles out.
- Place the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Remove the cheesecake from the tin. Tip: I use a kitchen blowtorch to loosen the sides. Alternatively, I use a cloth dipped in hot water to complete the job.
For the Cheesecake Topping
- Place the heavy (double) cream and the icing sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk until you achieve soft peaks.
- Fill a piping bag with this mixture and decorate as you see fit then mix the lemon curd and the limoncello and then let your inner Jackson Pollock come out. Enjoy!