Lemon Poppyseed Cheesecake

There’s not a lot of chances you get to enter a cheesecake contest. But when my office suddenly decided to wage a battle of the best baker, I knew I would have to break out something new and exciting.

The simplicity of the lemon poppyseed cheesecake is the whole point. Lemon poppyseed muffins are the best muffins. Lemon poppyseed bread is the best bread. Lemon shortbread cookies are, well, they’re great cookies. On both flavor and style, this is hard to beat.

If you’ve made any of our previous Oy Sauce cheesecakes (whether the deconstructed Nutella or the guava with strawberry-elderflower sauce) you’ll know the basic rhythm of this recipe. But by request (hi Alex) this cheesecake doesn’t use any ingredient you can’t find in a chain supermarket.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes we won the contest. Obviously.


Shortbread Crust

  • 150 grams ground shortbread cookies (approx. 20 Lorna Doones)
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan. Finely grind shortbread cookies in a food processor. Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix in melted butter.

Press crumbs onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes while you’re making the filling.

Lemon Poppyseed Cheesecake Filling

  • 24 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. 

Mix eggs, vanilla, zest, and juice together in a small bowl and then incorporate into cream cheese mixture. Add poppy seeds and mix until evenly distributed.

Take your crust out of the fridge and transfer filling into the pan. In the preheated oven, place a baking pan full of water on the bottom shelf underneath the cheesecake pan (the water creates steam, which helps the cake to bake evenly). 

Bake until the edges of the filling are puffed and center is just set, about 50 minutes. When the cake is done, turn the oven off and crack the door open, leaving the cheesecake inside the oven (this prevents the cake from falling flat in the middle).

Sour Cream Topping

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar
  • Lemon zest, sprinkled on top
  • Poppy seeds, sprinkled on top

Mix sour cream and powdered sugar together. Once the cake is cool (seriously, make sure it’s cool!) pour topping onto cake. Garnish with zest and some poppy seeds. 

Place into the fridge and refrigerate until well-chilled, about 6 hours (can be prepared 1 day ahead).

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