Lemon Soufflè Cheesecake

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

While dining in Los Angeles at Ciudad, I had a wonderful cheesecake that was so light and airy, I had to create my own version in homage to Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.

NotesRoom temperature egg whites yield a much higher volume than cold whites.

Save extra egg yolks in a small bowl in the refrigerator for up to 2 days by covering them with water and sealing tightly with plastic wrap. To freeze, sprinkle salt or sugar over the yolks in water.

Serves10 to 12

Cooking Methodbaking


Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer

Mealbrunch, dinner

Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, light, sweet, tangy, tart

Type of Dishcheesecake


  • 1½ cups (375 mL) butter cookie crumbs
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 packages (each 8 oz/250 g) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (125 mL) sour cream
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) confectioners (icing) sugar
  • 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, greased


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C)

  2. Crust: In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.

  3. Filling: In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Set aside.

  4. In a clean mixer bowl fitted with whip attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff but not dry peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture carefully so as not to deflate the mixture.

  5. Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.

  6. Decoration: Using a sugar dredger or flour sifter, dust top of cake with confectioner’s sugar.


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