Lemon Basque Cheesecake

Basque cheesecake is said to have originated in 1990 in San Sebastian, Spain. Unlike American cheesecake, it bakes at a very high temperature that creates a caramelized exterior while its interior remains scrumptiously soft.

Lemon Basque Cheesecake on parchment paper
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
50 mins
Cool Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 20 mins
1 9-inch cheesecake


  • 1 ⅓ cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 3 8 ounce pkg. cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 8 ounce carton mascarpone cheese, room temperature

  • 6 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream, room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon limoncello

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • Sea salt flakes (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with two 15x15-inch pieces of parchment paper, extending edges 2 to 3 inches over edge of pan. Place prepared pan on a large rimmed baking sheet.

  2. For filling, in a large bowl beat together sugar and lemon zest until zest is evenly distributed throughout. Add cream cheese and mascarpone; beat on medium until smooth and sugar has dissolved. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add next four ingredients (through vanilla). Beat on medium until combined. Sift flour evenly over cream cheese mixture. Beat on low just until combined, scraping bowl as needed. (Mixture will be thin.)

  3. Pour filling into prepared pan. Tap on counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until outside edge is set and center is still wobbly when shaken. Cheesecake should be dark brown. Remove from oven. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Gently peel off parchment. Serve at room temperature or cover and chill up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Top with salt flakes (if using).


Change up the flavor if you like by omitting the lemon peel and limoncello. Add Grand Marnier, kirsch or Chambord in place of the limoncello.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

502 Calories
40g Fat
30g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 502
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 23g 115%
Cholesterol 203mg 68%
Sodium 425mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Total Sugars 26g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 0.7mg 4%
Calcium 107mg 8%
Iron 0.7mg 4%
Potassium 138mg 3%
Fatty acids, total trans 1g
Folate, total 22.7mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.4mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*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.

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