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One slice of Sweet Basil Cheesecake with Lemon Crust on white plate

Sweet Basil Cheesecake with Lemon Crust

This no-bake, make-ahead dessert is full of beautiful and bright summer flavors. It’s easy to make and works well for both casual or elegant entertaining.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword desserts for a crowd, dessert for summer party
Prep Time 25 minutes
Refrigeration 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 449 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


Lemon Crust

  • cups vanilla cookie crumbs (from about 3/4-pound cookies), see notes
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest


  • cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, washed and dried
  • pinch of salt
  • small basil leaves for garnish, washed and dried


Lemon Crust

  1. Add the cookies to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend until you have fairly fine crumbs.

  2. Add the crumbs to a large mixing bowl and mix in the melted butter and lemon zest.

  3. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan and press it evenly and firmly onto the bottom surface. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.


  1. Use an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, to whip the cream into stiff peaks. This will take about 2 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Now add the cream cheese and powdered sugar to the food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend until it’s completely smooth. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, basil and pinch of salt and blend until the basil is tiny specks of green. Use a rubber spatula to add this to a large mixing bowl.

  3. Fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture just until it’s combined.

  4. Remove crust from the refrigerator and pour the filling into it the pan. Smooth the top and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight (at least 12 hours).

  5. Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim.

  6. Garnish with small basil leaves, slice and serve.

Recipe Notes

Almost any vanilla wafer or sandwich cookies will work, including gluten-free. Here are a few good choices: Vanilla Wafer Cookies, Vanilla Sandwich Cookies, and Gluten-Free Vanilla Sandwich Cookies.