No bake lemon cheesecake miniatures are little bites of citrus heaven, made with sour cream, cream cheese, a touch of sugar and gelatin, and plenty of lemon. No-bake some today!
We’ve certainly made plenty of gluten free cheesecake here on the blog. But if you just can’t stand the heat during the dog days of summer, these gluten free mini lemon cheesecakes are an entirely no bake way to enjoy some. If you can operate a hand mixer, you can make these little gems. Trust me.
I like this no bake lemon cheesecake best made as miniatures. Not only is everything miniature just adorable (amiright?), but when you make these simple cakes into minis, it’s so easy to store them in the freezer and pop them out whenever you need a little something sweet.
Of course, you could make this same easy recipe as 9-inch no bake cheesecake. Just press the simple graham cracker crust into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan, pour the filling on top and place in the freezer until firm. Just like our no bake strawberry cheesecake, but even simpler—and made lemon, instead, of course.
Don’t feel like making the crust? Then just skip it! These cheesecakes will set up beautifully in their liners with no crust at all. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the brand of gelatin I use, you can really use any unflavored gelatin, like Knox brand you find at all grocery stores. I prefer Great Lakes brand, since it’s higher quality (and actually good for you!), and since it’s not in packets it’s much easier to measure out a specific amount by weight. Find a link to it here in my shop!
For the filling
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) freshly-squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 medium lemons)
1 2/3 teaspoons (5 g) unflavored powdered gelatin
2 8-ounce packages (16 ounces total) cream cheese, at room temperature (light-style cream cheese works fine, too)
1 cup (227 g) sour cream, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups (115 g to 175 g) confectioners’ sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Line the wells of a standard 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium-size bowl, place the graham cracker crumbs and butter, and mix until all of the crumbs are moistened. Divide the mixture evenly among the wells of the muffin tin, and press the crust evenly and firmly into the bottom of each liner. Moistened fingers work well, and so does the moistened bottom of a juice glass. Set the pan aside.
In a small, heat-safe bowl, place the lemon juice and sprinkle the gelatin on top in an even layer. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes until the gelatin swells. Heat the mixture over low heat or in the microwave (or a small saucepan over low heat) for about 20 seconds or until the gelatin is dissolved and the mixture has liquified. Allow it to cool until no longer hot to the touch.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, place the cream cheese, sour cream, and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Toss all but about 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon zest in 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, breaking up any lumps in the zest, and then add the sugar to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until well-combined. Taste the mixture, and add more confectioners’ sugar to taste. Then, while continuing to beat slowly, add the dissolved gelatin mixture in a slow drizzle and continue to beat until the mixture begins to thicken (about 5 minutes).
Pour the filling on top of the crust in each of the wells of the muffin tin, dividing it evenly among them. Sprinkle the reserved lemon zest lightly and evenly on top of each of the fillings. Place the muffin tin in the freezer for about 2 hours or until very firm. Remove the mini cheesecakes from the muffin tin and store in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving, chilled.