Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

/// February 8th, 2016

You’ve probably had lemon cheesecake before, but have you ever had a lemon blueberry swirl cheesecake? That’s right – vibrant lemon and sweet blueberry swirls… all in one creamy slice! This recipe is a game changer.

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you probably already know my love for blueberries knows no seasons. They are, without a doubt, my favorite fruit! In the Summer I easily eat 5 pounds a week. And when I find them on sale – in the middle of WINTER – I buy in bulk, baby. Last week I hit the jack pot, finding fresh, organic blueberries for just 2 bucks a carton. I have to confess, I cleaned them OUT. So many blueberries = so much happy!

After inhaling a few cartons by the handful, I got to business, baking you some fabulous new recipes. Last week it was these Greek Yogurt Lemon Blueberry Scones, and today? Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake!!!

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

Each bite is heaven. Pure heaven. Just look how supremely creamy it is!!! And that swirl.

YES.

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

This better-than-the-bakery lemon blueberry cheesecake is made up of 3 parts: the graham cracker crust, the lemon cheesecake filling, and the blueberry swirl sauce. If making a cheesecake from scratch seems intimidating, fret not my friend– I’m going to walk you through each step.

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

Making the graham cracker crust is the first step in this recipe and it’s an extremely easy one. Ingredient wise you’re going to need graham crackers, melted butter, sugar, and a pinch of salt – that’s it! You will need to pulse the graham crackers into crumbs, or – if you want to make things even easier – you can buy already crushed graham cracker crumbs at the store. I typically find them in the baking aisle, somewhere near the pie fillings. To assemble the crust you’ll combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt, then fold in the melted butter and stir until it’s well combined. You want all of the crumbs to be moist from the butter. Then you’re going to dump the crumb mixture into a lightly greased 9″ springform pan and press it down firmly, working from the center and slightly up the edges.

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

For the cheesecake filling you’re going to need cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and a spot of flour. A Few important things! Your cream cheese MUST be verrrrry soft before beginning. I typically leave my blocks of cream cheese out on the counter for at least two hours before I plan on baking. It’s also important to have your eggs, egg yolks, and sour cream at room temperature.

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

This recipe calls for a water bath.

If you’re unfamiliar with the water bath process, read on! A water bath is, simply, the term bakers use when they place a baking pan (in this case, our cheesecake pan) into a larger pan that’s been filled with hot water. Taking this extra step helps insulate the pan from direct heat on all sides while it bakes. The water bath method helps your cheesecake bake gently, ensuring the finished product doesn’t burn, curdle, or crack. It also helps the cheesecake maintain its silky smooth texture. When it comes to choosing a pan for your water bath, choose one that is as tall as the cheesecake pan and large enough to leave a few inches between the cheesecake pan and the outer rim – you want enough room for the water to circulate easily. When you’re ready to make your water bath, here’s what you do: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to called for temperature. When the oven is preheated, carefully (using an oven mitt) pull out the middle rack and place your large pan on it, fill the pan half way with hot water, then place the filled cheesecake pan in the center of the water bath. Slowly slide the rack back to its full inserted position, close the door, and bake the cheesecake according to instructions. If you’re using a spring form pan it’s essential to wrap the pan in heavy-duty tin foil to avoid water seeping in. I wrap my pan from every possible angle pressing the foil in and around to prevent a soggy crust. I use my large skillet as a water bath and it works great. Visual below in case you need it.

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

The blueberry swirl sauce is probably the easiest part of this entire recipe. You will need a small food processor or blender to blend the the blueberries smooth. Then you’ll press this mixture through a fine mesh strainer, getting rid of the seeds and pulp. Add in a little sugar, and you’re all done. To swirl, you’ll dollop the blueberry mixture on top of the unbaked cheesecake batter by the spoonful, then use a skewers to swirl. I don’t recommend swirling to much, or the end result will look messy.

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

Keep in mind this cheesecake needs to chill for at least 6 hours before being sliced and serve.

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

So are you ready for a slice of this cheesecake, or what?

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on Instagram! Seeing your kitchen creations makes my day. ♥

Supremely smooth and creamy homemade Lemon cheesecake topped with fresh Blueberry swirls. All layered on top of a buttery homemade graham cracker crust.

Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: (1) 9" Cheesecake, About 12 slices (depending on how you cut them)

Serving Size: 1 slice of cheesecake

Sweet and supremely creamy, this easy-to-make Lemon blueberry swirl cheesecake is the perfect addition to any dessert table!

Ingredients

  • For the Crust:
  • 2 cups Graham Crackers, pulsed into crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
  • For the Lemon Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages Full-Fat Cream Cheese, very soft
  • 1 cup Full-Fat Sour Cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 large Eggs + 2 Egg Yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Zest
  • For the blueberry swirl:
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
  2. For the Crust:
  3. In the body of a blender or food processor, combine graham crackers, sugar, and salt; pulse until the crackers have been completely transformed into fine crumbs. Add melted butter; stir well to combine. Press down into a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
  4. For the Lemon Cheesecake Filling:
  5. In the body of a high power blender, food processor, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in the eggs and yolks; beat until smooth. Stir in the flour, mixing just until combined.
  6. Quickly stir in the lemon juice and zest, mixing just until it's incorporated in the batter.
  7. Pour filling into prepared crust, and spread the top smooth. Add blueberry swirl. Wrap the bottom of the pan in tin foil (I highly recommend doing several diligent layers here; no one wants a wet/soggy crust).
  8. Place the cheesecake pan into another large pan (it should be wide enough to comfortably fit the springform pan holding the cheesecake and deep enough to hold a few inches of water without risk of a spill) . Fill the pan up with very hot water; it should rise half way along the cheesecake pan. This is your water bath and will help ensure your cheesecake comes out crack free. Be sure to pour the water in slowly, as you don't want any of it to splash up and get into the actual cheesecake!
  9. Place pan into the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit, undisturbed, for 45 minutes inside the oven, with the door shut. The cheesecake should be still slightly wiggly.
  10. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, run a knife very gently around the edge of the cake, and let it sit in the pan for another 15 minutes before covering loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerating for at least 6 hours.
  11. For the blueberry swirl:
  12. In a small food processor or blender, puree the blueberries until completely smooth. Press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, discarding seeds and pulp. Stir in the granulated sugar. Spoon the blueberry mixture on top of the unbaked cheesecake, a few dollops at a time. Use a skewer to swirl the mixture as much or as little as you'd like. Bake cheesecake as directed above.

Notes

*It is very important to bring your ingredients to room temperature when baking cheesecake - especially the cream cheese. I recommend sitting the blocks of cream cheese out on the counter for at least 2 hours prior to baking. *Full-Fat cream cheese and sour cream is what was used for this recipe and what I find yields the best results. Using reduced-fat or non-fat versions will alter the taste and texture of this recipe. *Meyer lemons may be used in place of regular lemons (In fact, that is what I used the final time testing this recipe). *Cheesecake (without any whipped cream on top) may be sliced and frozen for up to one month. *If you have any questions about the water bath prior to baking, please feel free to ask and I will walk you through it. *Table salt may be used in place of kosher salt.

http://bakerbynature.com/lemon-blueberry-swirl-cheesecake/



39 thoughts on “Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

  1. Eileen

    This looks absolutely beautiful I’m obsessed with your blog and I literally just found it all of your recipes are amazing!

    Reply
  2. Honey

    Hello
    I so love your recipes.
    If I want to avoid using lemon juice what should I substitute it with?
    Could you please help!?

    Reply
  3. Jessica

    HI! I found your blog through Pinterest! I just tried your recipe only I used blackberries because I already had them on hand. It’s in the oven currently but I’ll send a pic when I’m ready to serve it tonight!!

    Reply
  4. Callie

    I tried the recipe with 1/3 fat cream cheese and reduced fat sour cream. Sadly the center didn’t cook all the way and the only part of my cake that had that cheese cake texture was about 2 inches from the crust in. Do you think it did that because of the reduced fat and 1/3 fat or something else maybe? It did look beautiful coming out of the oven though! Friends we drooling over it until I tried cutting into it.:/

    Reply
  5. Patricia

    I had to try this mostly out of curiosity. I make cheesecakes as a profession and I’ve never made one without baking the crumb crust first. I don’t know how yours turned out but the crust was a mushy wet mess. The filling was good but the blueberry swirl needed some tweaking.

    Reply
    1. Rae

      Mine turned out to be a mushy mess too :( Very disappointed after going to a berry farm yesterday to pick berries and then spending so much time making this recipe. Next time I’ll try a different recipe that doesn’t involve a water bath.

      Reply
      1. bakerbynature Post author

        Hi Rae. I’m sorry you had issues with this recipe. I know how frustrating that can be! Did you let the cheesecake cook in the oven and then cool for 6 hours in the fridge? Also, what was a mushy mess? The whole cheesecake? Or the crust?

        Reply
  6. Ann

    Do you think subbing cornstarch for the flour would work? If so, how much would you use? (Glutten intolerant chick here.) I know where to find glutten free graham crackers, so just trying to think of a way to alter the filling. Thanks for any help you can give!

    Reply
  7. Amanda

    This cheesecake has great texture; very light and creamy. The swirl looked cool, too. I over swirled and and it gave the top of the cake a neat marbled look. I was disappointed in the water bath, though: Four layers of tinfoil and the water still seeped through and the top still cracked. Thank goodness the swirled blueberries disguised the cracks.

    Reply
  8. Bridget

    So my grandmother taught me what I know. Im the type that just goes for it and my friends and family eat it. so far ive never had a NO. But with a family reunion in a week and a few days away my grandmother left me in charge of desserts. I came to the thought of a lemon blueberry cheese cake. light fluffy yummy what more could you ask for???? I cant wait to make this next Friday ( yea I get to spend my 29th birthday baking which Im actually excited for) I wanted to say thank you for this. I could not throw this one together for people I do not know. Fingers crossed it goes well and I will let you know how it goes!!!

    Reply
  9. Dan

    Given that it cooks only at 325 and for an hour and 20 minutes and it cools in the hot oven for 45 minutes and it cools for hours after that, how much room for error is there based on variations of oven heat distribution and cooling? Mine looked a little more than jelly jiggly. I might have let it cook another 4’ish minutes before shutting off the oven. I’ll see how it turns out. but good lord, the badder tasted so good!

    Reply
  10. Shariah

    Hey, when doing the water bath, the only pan I had large enough is a thick glass one, can I put glass in the oven? I checked to see if it was heat/oven proof but I couldn’t find anything.

    Reply
    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Shariah. It would definitely need to be oven safe for you to use it as a water bath. Do you know the brand of then pan? You may be able to google it and find out that way.

      Reply
  11. Mohamed

    I made this last night and put it into the fridge this morning to chill. Arguably the best lemon blueberry cheesecake I have ever eaten. The tartness of the lemon with the blueberries really bring out the best in the dish. I used blueberries in a tin with syrup and left some of the blueberries whole which added to the fresh taste . Simply delicious .

    Reply
  12. Danica

    SO GREAT! First time making a cheesecake, followed the instructions very carefully, and it was amazing flavour and a hit with guests. The water did get through 4 layers of foil, but my pan luckily appears to be watertight and the crust was excellent. I felt like a pro serving this up! Definitely going into my recipe box.

    Reply
  13. John

    Hi! Thank you for the recipe! New baker here. The filling tastes great but only about two inches in from the crust firm up. Made it twice now in the last week and the same thing happened both times. The two cakes look identical. Is it possible I need to bake it longer to get the middle to firm up?

    Thank you!
    John

    Reply
    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi John! Sounds like you may need to bake it a little longer. I would recommend adding 20 minutes. Also, are you letting the cheesecake sit in the oven and then cool completely before serving? It firms up a lot as it chills.

      Reply
  14. John

    Hi! Thanks for the reply. Yes, I let it cool in oven and chill in fridge overnight. I’ll add some time in the oven…Keep you posted.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  15. Angela

    Hi I just finished making this cheesecake and it looks fantastic. Only thing is it is very jiggly. When I ran the knife around the edge of the pan it seemed to be still very wet . Would it be advisable to put it back in the oven for some more time? I read some comments that stated it would firm up once it was refrigerated. I’m just not sure its done. I think I will put it back in for about 20 minutes and let it sit for the 45 minutes again, then chill in fridge. Hope it comes out alright.

    Reply
  16. Anthony

    My crust came out soggy too. I’m curious why it’s not baked first and then the filling is added. Also, if I were to make it again, I’d back off on the lemon juice from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup as it seemed to be dominated by the tartness of the lemon. I would also increase the blueberries from 3/4 cup to one cup as a carton is typically one cup and the blueberry swirls were not evident. Finally, there’s a discrepancy in the cooking time. Up top in the summary is says 1 hour, 30 minutes, but the body of the instructions says 1 hour 20 minutes.

    Reply
  17. Deb Cooney

    I read all the comments and didn’t see this. you put1 1/4 cups of sugar and 2teaspoons of vanilla in the ingredients list,yet no where in the instructions do you add them in to the recipe? The cake was a little soft when done. I haven’t checked this morning to see if it has firmed up, the taste was good though. Also in the instructions # 10 doesn’t actually tell you to remove the ring from the cake, this might confuse some first time cheesecake bakers.

    Reply

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