easy limoncello cheesecake

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Okay, are you ready for REALLY easy? This is the easiest cheesecake I’ve ever made. The only part you bake is the graham cracker crust, and that takes 9 minutes.

Is this healthy? No, it is not. It has Cool Whip in it, which I know whips some of you into a frenzy. I don’t cook with the stuff very often, but it’s an absolutely necessary ingredient if you want to make this successfully and speedily.

Is this delicious? Yes, it is. Gracie requested it for her birthday cake this year. That limoncello syrup is going to knock your socks off. Double the recipe for the syrup if you’re a limoncello fanatic. It’s also awesome in iced tea.

Oh, and don’t try using low fat versions of stuff for this recipe. I’m not trying to be a bossy cheesecake Nazi. If you don’t use the fully loaded stuff your cheesecake will be watery and weird.

for the cake:

4 cups graham cracker crumbs

2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (no substitutes)

16 oz. cream cheese softened to room temperature (not low fat)

16 oz. Cool Whip, thawed (not low fat… no, you can’t use regular whipped cream)

1 cup sour cream (not low fat… and not greek yogurt)

1/2 cup limoncello

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well until the butter is evenly incorporated throughout the crumbs. Press the graham cracker mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared springform pan.

Bake crust for 9 minutes. Remove crust from oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.

Beat the cream cheese, Cool Whip, sour cream, limoncello and vanilla in a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer OR use your Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment for super easy mixing. Mix until very smooth.

Once crust is cool, spoon cream cheese mixture into the springform pan. Smooth the top, using a rubber spatula, until even.

Place in refrigerator and allow to chill for 4 to 6 hours.

When the cake is completely chilled, gently remove sides of the springform pan. Remove bottom of pan and carefully place the cake on a pretty serving platter. Cut into 12 slices.

for the limoncello syrup:

1/2 cup limoncello

1/2 cup sugar

Simmer, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before drizzling over cheesecake.

Garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint sprigs.



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  18 comments for “easy limoncello cheesecake

  1. Heidi
    August 13, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Hi I live in England do you know what we could substitute for cool whip

  2. Linda Hanly
    August 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    What is limoncello. Never heard of it?

    • Melissa
      August 18, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Linda!
      Limoncello is a lemon liqueur found at most liquor stores.

    • Yvonne
      August 24, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      An Italian liquor

      • Melissa
        September 6, 2014 at 10:17 am

        Hi Yvonne! 🙂 That’s right. Limoncello is Italian. Thanks for stopping by! XO ~M

  3. Barbara
    September 21, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I’m confused. I have a bottle of Limoncello, but then the recipe has instructions for Limoncello Syrup, adding sugar. So, do I use my limoncello and add sugar to it also?

  4. Jessica
    June 18, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Hi, can you use other flavors besides limoncello?

  5. July 19, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    This looks fabulous for our next potluck BBQ party! Love it! Nettie

  6. Dennis
    July 20, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Hi, your picture looks like there are specks of lemon in the cheesecake. Did you put some zest in?

  7. Nancy
    January 7, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    The recipe calls for 1/2 c. limoncello. That is the amount needed to drizzle over the cheesecake. Also, the recipe for the ‘actual cake’ says to add limoncello but it doesn’t say how much. Am I the only one confused by this? I thought I’d see the answer in the comments/replies somewhere. Possibly they’re hidden from me.

    • Melissa
      January 7, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      the recipe for the cake calls for 1/2 cup… as does the syrup… 🙂 I cup total. 1/2 cup each

      • Nancy
        January 7, 2016 at 5:52 pm

        Thank you for your quick reply! So, 1 cup ‘divided’ then. I’ll be heading to the liquor store now. I’m almost out. (It’s a favorite of mine 😉

  8. Cathy
    June 10, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    1/2 cp limoncello into all ingredients

  9. janice
    November 11, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    i have never heard of limoncello. what is it and where do you get it. what section of the store.

    • Melissa
      November 12, 2016 at 9:23 am

      Hi Janice! 🙂
      It’s a lemon liqueur, and you can buy it at most liquor stores 🙂 if you want to omit the alcohol, the cheesecake won’t be quite the same, but you could use a lemon simple syrup in it’s place. Hope that helps! ~M

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