Bake a refreshing, lemony cheesecake

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

This is a remarkable recipe that truly is a cheesecake. Taking a cheesecake and making it into an actual cake was a delight, especially since I reduced the fat ordinarily found in cheesecakes.

This cross between a dense yet fluffy pound cake with the bold flavor of cheesecake will replace both cakes and is a great addition to summertime strawberry shortcake as well. Enjoy what cheesecake should taste like.

lemonycheesecakereinventedFresh strawberries
Nonstick cooking spray
4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 cup (8-ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, room temperature
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Toss sliced strawberries with a little sugar and set aside. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a clean dry bowl, add the egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Place cream cheese, remainder of sugar, yogurt and butter to another bowl and beat until well blended, using same beaters. Add yolks, lemon juice and lemon zest and continue beating until smooth.

With the beater still running, slowly add both flour and cornstarch, beating again until well-combined and smooth. Fold in half the beaten egg whites until completely blended. Add remainder of whites, blending until no streaks remain.

Pour into a prepared pan and let drop an inch or two a couple times to get rid of any air bubbles within the batter. Place pan in a large baking pan with 2-inches of water. Bake 30 minutes, or until top is very well browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out fairly clean.

It may crack open on top, but will fold into itself as it cools. Turn off oven heat and leave in until the oven is back to room temperature, or another 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove collar of pan. Let completely cool before serving with sliced strawberries.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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