Pauline’s Chilled Lemon Cheesecake




Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and he requested this lovely cheesecake for birthday cake. It’s a recipe my mother-in-law Pauline gave me when Steve and I were first married and it has become something of an identity marker for our little family, a tradition that we’ve made our own for special celebrations. What we have always loved about this chilled cheesecake, is the light but creamy texture of the filling that comes from not using gelatine and its faint taste of lemon. And it’s so versatile flavour-wise: yesterday we enjoyed it topped with fresh mango pieces and raspberry sauce and in the past it’s been lovely with drizzled melted chocolate on top. These extra serving options are totally unnecessary though, because the cheesecake is just delightful all by itself. There are a couple of simple but essential tricks to making this cheesecake successfully: the first is not to forget the fresh lemon juice – it’s what makes the filling set and unfortunately, this won’t happen if you replace it with lemon squeeze either; and the second is not use lite versions of cream, cream cheese or condensed milk – the setting factor of the filling is determined by interaction of the citric acid, fat and sugar content. But with these factors in mind, this cheesecake is super simple to make because it doesn’t require baking, and cost-effective because it easily serves 10-12 people – Pauline’s cheesecake costs around $10 to make.

  • 250g cream cheese, full fat, softened to room temperature
  • 1 x 395g tin sweetened condensed milk, full fat, (home brand is fine)
  • 300ml thickened cream, full fat
  • 1 x 250g packet of Nice biscuits
  • 190g butter, melted
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon, yielding 60ml of juice
  1. Select a loose-bottomed pie tin or springform cake tin, 20-25 cm in diameter and spray lightly with canola spray.
  2. Place biscuits into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until a rough crumb. The biscuits need to be well and truly crushed, but don’t go too fine with them.  Remove blade and add melted butter, mixing through. Using clean hands and spoon for pressing down firmly, place biscuit mixture into the tin to form the base, which should come up the sides 3/4 of the tins height. Place in freezer to set.
  3. Using electric beaters, beat the cream cheese to a paste, continue mixing and add the condensed milk. When thoroughly combined, continue mixing and add the cream and lemon juice. Beat a little longer to ensure the mixture is well-combined. Remove the now set base from the freezer and gently fill the base with creamy filling. Place the cheesecake in the fridge for 4-6 hours to set.

About foodthatserves

Welcome! My name is Jane and I'm a wife, mother and daughter of God. I love using my time to tell people about Jesus and cook food that gathers people together to glorify him. Here you'll find the recipes and resources I find most helpful: easy to make, modify and budget friendly. If you'd like to contribute a recipe that you've tested and fits these criteria please feel free to send your contribution to

6 responses »

  1. My friend Claire made this for dessert for us recently…right from your blog!! So cool to have this resource Jane and to have it used by so many. Thank you!

  2. Hi Jane, I made this today and unfortunately mine didn’t set. It became a layered cheesecake ‘mess’ as in Eton mess. Do you whip the cream before you add it.? I didn’t. Other recipes I’ve looked at either have cream cheese and condensed milk or condensed milk and cream.
    It still tasted great.

    • Hi Christine. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. Did you use fresh lemon juice? Did you use enough of it? This cheesecake wont set if it’s replaced with lemon squeeze or if there’s not enough juice. Also, it won’t set if you use lite cream. I don’t normally beat the cream first, but I do give the whole mixture an extra good beating after filling ingredients are combined as per the recipe. Hope this helps!

      • Hi Christine & Friends,
        I’ve just re-made this recipe at home and have tightened a couple of things up on the recipe above, in particular the 60 millilitre measurement of lemon juice I normally get out of one lemon.
        Also, after a quick consult with my mother-in-law, she confirmed that none of the filling ingredients can be lite/reduced sugar etc in order for the filling to set. I’ve tightened up my wording in the blurb above to reflect this. Hope this helps!

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