Tested till perfect Lightened-Up Lemon Drop Cheesecake
Lightened-Up Lemon Drop Cheesecake
Photography by Joe Kim

Lightened-Up Lemon Drop Cheesecake

This velvety smooth and tangy cheesecake is so delicious that it's hard to believe there is anything light about it. Reduced-fat cottage cheese, light cream cheese and Greek yogurt team up to rival the original full-fat version without giving up any flavour or texture. Omit the candied lemon zest for an even lighter version of classic New York cheesecake.

By Adell Shneer and The Test Kitchen

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: May 2012

Recipe4 out of 5 based on 28 ratings.
  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Total time 24 hours
  • Portion size 16 to 20


  • 16 16reduced-fat graham wafersreduced-fat graham wafers, broken
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspgranulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup 1/4cupunsalted butter, melted


  • 1 cup 1cup2% cottage cheese
  • 3 pkg (250 g each) 3pkg (250 g each)light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cup2% plain Greek yogurt2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup 3/4cupgranulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp 1tbspgrated lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp 3tbsplemon juice
  • 1 tsp 1tspvanilla
  • 3 3eggeggs


  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupwhipping cream, (35%)
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspgranulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup 1/4cup2% plain Greek yogurt2% plain Greek yogurt

Candied Lemon Zest:

  • 4 4lemonlemons
  • 1 cup 1cupgranulated sugar
To change the number of servings, enter the number, then press "calculate". or reset


Candied Lemon Zest: Using vegetable peeler, peel off strips of lemon zest, without white pith, from end to end. (Reserve lemons for another use.) Cut lengthwise into scant 1/8-inch (3 mm) wide strips.

In skillet, bring 2 cups water to boil; boil lemon strips for 1 minute. Drain and set strips aside.

In same skillet, bring 1 cup water and sugar to boil over high heat; boil for 2 minutes. Add lemon strips; reduce heat and simmer until translucent, about 10 minutes. Let cool in syrup for 10 minutes; drain, discarding syrup. Place strips, without them touching, on rack over waxed paper; let dry, about 12 hours.

Grease bottom and side of 9-inch (2.5 L) springform pan. Line side with parchment paper. Centre pan on large square of heavy-duty foil; press foil up side of pan.

In food processor, pulse graham wafers with sugar to make scant 1 cup fine crumbs. Add butter; pulse until moistened. Press over base of prepared pan. Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven until firm, about 15 minutes. Let cool on rack.

Filling: Drain cottage cheese in strainer over bowl for 30 minutes; shake to drain any excess whey.

In food processor, whirl cottage cheese until paste. Add cream cheese and yogurt; whirl until smooth, scraping down bowl often, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla; process until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time and pulsing to combine after each. Spread over base, smoothing top.

Set springform pan in larger pan.Pour enough hot water into large pan to come 1 inch (2.5 cm) up sides. Bake in 300°F (150°C) oven until shine disappears and edge is set yet centre still jiggles slightly, 1-1/2 hours.

Turn off oven and leave door open a crack. Let cake stand in warm oven for 1 hour. Remove from water and transfer to rack; remove foil and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 4 hours. (Make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Topping: Whip cream with sugar; fold in yogurt. Spread over top of cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove side of pan; arrange candied lemon zest around top edge of cheesecake.

Nutritional Information Per each of 20 servings: about

cal 218 pro 7g total fat 13g sat. fat 8g
carb 19g dietary fibre 1g sugar 15g chol 70mg
sodium 280mg potassium 122mg

% RDI:

calcium 7 iron 2 vit A 15 vit C 7
folate 3
All rights reserved. TVA Group Inc. 2015