No-bake lemon cheesecake mousse parfaits are the ultimate summer dessert – easy, creamy, and full of natural citrus flavor. Make these ahead to simplify your next BBQ or summer party!
I’m back from the dead! The Internet dead, anyway. It’s easy to fear or feel like, in this age of constant connectedness, taking even a little hiatus is tantamount to being gone and forgotten, but of course that’s not really the case.
At least, if you did forget me, I hope this recipe will be reason enough to renew our acquaintance. Because, really: Lemon. Cream cheese. Whipped cream. Berries. And a graham cracker crust. All packaged in individual servings. This is summer sweetness in a jar, people.
I know it’s almost the end of July (whaaat?) but that means you still have more than a month of summer to enjoy and many excuses/reasons to bring these lemon cheesecake mousse parfaits into your life.
The Best Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits
Whipped cream, cream cheese, and lemon curd are all folded together to create the most smooth, creamy, cheesecake-like mousse your tastebuds can dream of. Fresh lemon juice and zest add the best fresh flavor – don’t skimp or sub here!
If it’s important to you that the finished result is distinctly and vibrantly yellow, you might add a drop or two of yellow food coloring, just to make the color stand out. But that is totally optional!
And if you really want to go the extra mile, try using homemade lemon curd. At least glance at the recipe – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make, and it is so flavorful and vibrant compared to most store-bought varieties!
That said, it is summer, and I’m not one to scoff at any short-cuts. 🙂 Pool time is precious!
Another reason to enjoy these parfaits? They are so darn convenient! First of all, NO-BAKE for the win. Also, they are easy to divide into whatever portion sizes suit your crowd, and ideal for a party since they’re made ahead of time and chilled.
Tips For Making Lemon Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits
A few more tips for making these perfectly in your own kitchen.
- Use a microplane grater to easily zest the lemon, getting all the vibrant and flavorful yellow zest without any of the bitter white pith. You can snag this microplane for less than $10, or pay a couple dollars more for this version with a nice comfortable handle!
- Zest the whole lemon before cutting it in half to juice it. It’s just easier that way!
- You might be tempted to skip transferring the whipped cream into a different bowl before beating together the cream cheese and lemon curd, but trust me, it’s worth washing the extra bowl, because the whipped cream will fall if left in the mixing bowl, and for the best texture you want the cream to maintain as much lightness as possible.
- For the parfaits shown here, I simply used leftover Bonne Maman jam jars – I hoard these and use them for everything in the kitchen! In these jars, this recipe yielded 6 generous portions. The parfaits would also be adorable in glass or ceramic yogurt cups, or these Weck jars (which you can conveniently pick up on Amazon).
- For smaller portions, these little parfait glasses would be so sweet! I used glasses like this the first time I made these parfaits, for an Easter dinner dessert; in this size the recipe yielded about 12 portions.
And, lastly, on a personal note, thanks to all for the well wishes as we packed up and moved back across to the Atlantic! We are settled into our “new” house, which is really our old house, in Virginia, and looking forward to receiving the rest of our household goods and getting into more of a routine in August, after visiting some family in Pennsylvania and out West. Life is good, and I’m grateful for your patience as I get my kitchen – and life – back in order!
If you try these parfaits or any other recipe on the blog, please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
Lemon Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits
For the Mousse
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup lemon curd (store-bought or try it homemade!)
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
For the Crust
- 3 graham crackers (crushed to fine crumbs)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
- Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a second bowl and set aside.
- Add cream cheese and powdered sugar to the original mixing bowl. Again using the hand or stand mixer, beat them together until smoothly combined and slightly fluffy. Add the lemon curd, juice, and zest. Beat for about 30 seconds on medium, then for 2-3 minutes on high speed, until mixture is smooth. If using food coloring to brighten the yellow, beat it in now.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream, and mix just until no streaks remain. Set aside.
- To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Divide evenly among serving dishes, then top with the mousse. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, until ready to serve. Garnish as desired with additional whipped cream, lemon zest, or fresh berries.