Cheesecake Lemon Mousse

03.19.2016

Soft, light and delicious, this lemon mousse is the ultimate spring summer dessert. Made with a graham cracker base and a smooth, silky and luscious whipped cheesecake topping, it’s pretty hard to resist!

Lemon mousse in individual glasses topped with whipped cream

Creating This Cheesecake Lemon Mousse

Could there be a better spring dessert?? In my opinion, this lemon cheesecake mousse is hard to top! It’s three of my favorite things in one bright, luscious, rich, heavenly dessert! I absolutely love cheesecake, I love lemon-flavored everything and I could eat mousse for breakfast lunch and dinner.

So, what I’m getting at is this dessert was made for me, quite literally :). I originally had tried another lemon mousse recipe earlier this week (this one here) that I thought I’d love.

The flavor was oh so fresh and lemony, buuuut the texture was nothing like what I think of mousse to be. It was more of a droopy whipped cream texture with just a little more density to it.

So of course I set of to come up with my own easy mousse recipe so I could end satisfied with a perfect lemon mousse, one worthy of sharing here (yes, I am picky about what I’ll share, there are many things that don’t make the cut. If I didn’t feel it was worth my time and ingredients then why should it be worth yours?).

I asked my mom to try one bite, she insisted on just one bite since she was trying to eat less dessert, but of course after one bite she continued to polish the whole whole thing off.

I’d reach in the fridge too intending on just one bite, but it never ends there. No one will be able to resist these! Try them and you’ll see what I mean.

Want to see how easy this Cheesecake Lemon Mousse recipe is? Watch the video!

This Lemon Cheesecake Mousse is everything I’d hoped it would be an then some — even though it does use a store-bought lemon curd (which have you added to a s’more yet? It’s dreamy times one thousand! Just graham cracker, fire roasted marshmallow and a generous slathering of lemon curd as done here).

Lemon mousse in small glass jars

Lemon Mousse Ingredients

  • Lemon juice
  • Gelatin
  • Heavy cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Lemon curd
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)

These individual mousse cups would be perfect for Easter and Mother’s Day, or for any get together for that matter.

And of course they are also perfect for a weekend treat! I made these just a few days ago and I’m already dreaming about when I’ll be able to make them again (I’m glad Easter is coming up soon!).

How to Make Mousse From Scratch

  • Whisk together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and stir. Divide among dessert cups and press into an even layer.
  • Combine water, lemon juice and gelatin in a small bowl and let rest 5 minutes.
  • Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  • Add in part of the powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
  • In a separate bowl, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in the lemon curd and remaining powdered sugar.
  • Heat gelatin mixture in the microwave and whisk to dissolve the gelatin.
  • Slowly pour the gelatin mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Blend to combine.
  • Fold the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
  • Spoon mousse into dessert cups over graham cracker layer. Refrigerate 2 hours to set, then garnish as desired.

Lemon mousse in a glass topped with whipped cream, blueberries and lemon

How to Serve Lemon Mousse

This cheesecake lemon mousse should be served cold. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it for best results. I topped my lemon cheesecake mousse with lemon slices, sweetened whipped cream, mint leaves, and fresh berries as well.

Can I Use Granulated Sugar Instead of Powdered?

No, powdered sugar is a must for this mousse recipe. Granulated sugar wouldn’t dissolve completely in the cheesecake mousse and would result in a grainy texture.

Do I Have to Use Food Coloring?

Not if you don’t want to! The yellow food coloring just adds more color to this lemon mousse, but it can be omitted if desired.

Close up of a Lemon Mousse with a spoonful missing

Tips for the Best Cheesecake Lemon Mousse

  • The gelatin mixture shouldn’t be allowed to cool more than 3 minutes, otherwise it may start to set. Then you could end up with little lumps in the mousse.
  • For the freshest, brightest flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice and not the stuff in the bottle.
  • Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, otherwise it won’t whip up properly.

More Easy Mousse Recipes You’ll Love:

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Lemon Cheesecake Mousse

4.88 from 8 votes

A favorite lemon desserts! A bright, luscious and heavenly treat that's perfect for spring and summer. Layered with a graham cracker based and filled with a rich cheesecake flavored lemon mousse filling.

Servings: 8 -10 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 3/4 cup crushed graham crackers (6 full sheets)
  • 2 Tbsp (26g) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp (42g) salted butter, melted

Mousse

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (110g) powdered sugar, divided
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 12 oz (340g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (10 oz) jar lemon curd (tested with Dickenson's)
  • Sweetened whipped cream , lemon wedges, blueberries and mint for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Pour in butter and stir until evenly moistened. Divide mixture among 8 - 10 dessert cups and lightly press into an even layer, set aside.
  2. Pour lemon juice and water into a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over top, let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whip heavy cream in a medium mixing bowl until soft peaks form. 
  3. Add in 1/3 cup of the powdered sugar, tint with yellow food coloring if desired and whip until stiff (but not lumpy) peaks form (shake cream from beaters, no need to clean). 
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl whip cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Mix lemon curd and remaining 2/3 cup powdered sugar into cream cheese mixture.
  5. Heat rested gelatin mixture in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Whisk for 1 minute to thoroughly dissolve gelatin, then let cool 3 minutes (no longer or it may start to set then you could end up with little lumps in the mousse). 
  6. While mixing cream cheese mixture with hand mixer, slowly pour in gelatin mixture then blend until thoroughly combined. 
  7. Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture to lighten, then add remaining whipped cream and gently fold until combined. 
  8. Spoon or pipe mixture into dessert cups over graham cracker layer. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours (or up to 1 day ahead if desired) to set. Garnish as desired. Serve cold.

Recipe Notes

  • Calories based on 10 servings.
  • The gelatin mixture shouldn't be allowed to cool more than 3 minutes, otherwise it may start to set. Then you could end up with little lumps in the mousse.
  • For the freshest, brightest flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice and not the stuff in the bottle. 
  • Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, otherwise it won't whip up properly. 
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Cheesecake Mousse
Amount Per Serving
Calories 353 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 43%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 95mg 32%
Sodium 198mg 8%
Potassium 89mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Sugars 16g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 21.7%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 6.3%
Iron 2.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Individual Cheesecakes
Calories: 353 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

156 comments

  • Susan Gates: Where can I buy cups like these March 17, 2019 at 12:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: They’re Weck brand jars. You can find them at World market and other places online. March 20, 2019 at 12:18pm Reply

  • Dianne Miles: This was an excellent dessert. I froze a a test portion to see if it worked, and it did. There was no change in flavor or texture. I would like to make it a little less sweet. Do you think I could cut back on the powdered sugar added to the cream cheese mixture to 1/3 cup? February 13, 2019 at 9:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes you can reduce the sugar to taste. February 14, 2019 at 12:13am Reply

  • Judi Norvell: I haven’t made this yet. I’m hoping it will be stable enough to spread between layers as the filling for a layer cake? Maybe increase gelatin by 1/4-1/2 tsp? Or add an extra ounce of cream cheese? January 15, 2019 at 9:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Without testing I can’t say for sure but yes I’d probably add in some extra gelatin so it’s more firm – no extra cream cheese. January 30, 2019 at 11:55pm Reply

  • Jen: What size dessert cups sould you suggest? I want to order some disposable cups in advance. December 22, 2018 at 7:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Mine here are nearly 1 cup. Sorry for the late reply! December 31, 2018 at 5:00pm Reply

  • IzzyJ: Um WOW. These are amazing! Serving them tomorrow for a party and tried one to test. The calories are worth it! Lol November 30, 2018 at 5:56pm Reply

  • Danielle Byrn: I just wanted to say a great big “thank you” for sharing this fantastic recipe! I just made it for our family Thanksgiving as an alternative dessert (I was thinking of something light to contrast the heavy food and pies.) I followed your recipe exactly and they turned out amazing! I found that it was easier to pipe the filling into glasses. I also copied your garnish and each dessert looked so lovely. Everyone just raved over this lemon dessert and I can’t wait to make them again! Thank you again! November 26, 2018 at 8:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad they turned out well for your Danielle! Thanks for the great review! November 26, 2018 at 9:32pm Reply

  • Marina Marcus: Hi! I made the raspberry cheesecake mousse last September for my baby shower and people absolutely loved it! This year, for my son’s 1st birthday party I would like to make orange creamsicle mousse cups using your recipe as a base. Do you think instead of lemon curd/juice I could use concentrated orange juice? Please let me know if you have any ideas how to make it happen. Thanks! September 26, 2018 at 8:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: That might work but without testing I can’t say for sure sorry! September 26, 2018 at 1:12pm Reply

  • Cindy: How many days in advance can I make these please?? Thanks June 30, 2018 at 12:05am Reply

    • Jaclyn: For best results I’d go with 1 day in advance. Hope you enjoy! July 9, 2018 at 8:34pm Reply

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