Meyer Lemon Mascarpone Cake Recipe


If you need to make use of a huge bag of Meyer lemons, start with this incredibly rich cheesecake. Made from smooth, rich mascarpone cheese and a tart lemon pudding, you'll find this cake is best suited for dainty little slices for afternoon tea. A hint of cayenne in the cheese makes for little hint of something-something, and your guests will never be able to figure out why they love the mystery zip of this early spring treat.

Note: If you are planning on using a water bath with this recipe, please be aware that springform pans are notorious for leaking. This means that you must wrap your cake tightly in heavy duty and/or commercial foil before setting in the water bath. Heavy duty foil is wider than foil made for home use, so it goes a long way to preventing water from leaking in through the bottom of the pan since you can wrap the pan in one large piece of foil (instead of using multiple smaller pieces of foil, which will necessarily have gaps between them). The flour in this recipe stabilizes the batter, so a water bath isn't really necessary. If you want to give it a try, do everything you can to guard against water seeping into your springform pan.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 75 mins
Serves: 8 to 12 servings

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For the Crust:

  • 2 cups gingersnap crumbs (about 9 ounces of cookies)

  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the Mascarpone Filling:

  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

  • Two 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest, from 2 lemons

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 4 tablespoons flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Pinch cayenne pepper

For the Lemon Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest

  • 8 large egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup butter, chopped into small pieces

  • Whipped cream, for topping

  • Lemon wedge jelly candy for garnish


  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine ginger snap crumbs, melted butter, and maple syrup and stir until well mixed. Press into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Leave oven on.

  2. Make the mascarpone filling: Add the cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until creamy, about two minutes. Add mascarpone, sugar and lemon zest, beating on low speed for 1 minute, until the texture is smooth. Do not over-beat, as mascarpone will occasionally go to pieces if abused. Turn the mixer to medium and add eggs a little a time, and then the vanilla, again beating until smooth - about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt, and cayenne, beating for another 30 seconds.

  3. Pour mascarpone filling into the cooled springform pan and wrap the bottom and sides tightly with heavy duty tin foil to keep butter from leaking out into your oven (see headnote--springform pans are notoriously leaky). Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The top should be slightly browned and a little jiggly in the middle. Cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Allow to cool completely before adding lemon filling.

  4. Make the Meyer lemon filling: In a cup, stir together cornstarch and water until you have a well-mixed slurry. Set aside.

  5. In a small bowl combine sugar, salt, lemon zest, and egg yolks, beating well with a whisk. Add in lemon juice, stir well, then add butter and cornstarch slurry, whisking again.

  6. Pour the lemon filling into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, about 5 to 7 minutes. It should be thick enough to heavily coat the back of a spoon. If the mixture begins to boil, lower the heat to medium-low.

  7. Remove pan from heat and continue to whisk for 1 minute. Push the filling through a sieve to remove any lumps, then pour the filling into the springform pan on top of the baked cheesecake. Chill for at least six hours to set the cake completely before removing the sides of the springform pan. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a slice of lemon jelly candy, if you like.

Special Equipment

9-inch springform pan or specialized cheesecake pan

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
680 Calories
49g Fat
50g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 680
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 28g 138%
Cholesterol 322mg 107%
Sodium 659mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 9mg 46%
Calcium 127mg 10%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 275mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)