Low-carb lemon cheesecake cups

Low-carb lemon cheesecake cups

One of the biggest challenges of creating a low-carb cheesecake is making a low-carb crust. The obvious solution is simple – don’t use a crust at all! By baking the cheesecake in custard cups, you won’t end up missing that high-carb crust one bit.

This recipe uses a hot water bath around the custard cups to create a cheesecake that is evenly creamy throughout. (Imagine eating just the creamy center of the cheesecake … you know, the good bit.) If you don’t have custard cups, you can bake the cheesecake in a pie plate – it just won’t be as creamy.

Use full-fat cream cheese (31% MF) and full-fat sour cream (14% MF), because the low-fat versions of these products contain added carbohydrates.


  • 16oz (500g) full-fat cream cheese (31% MF), softened
  • 16oz (500g) full-fat sour cream (14% MF)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup Splenda ® or stevia to equal ½ cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs

Special equipment

  • 8-10 custard cups
  • turkey baster
  • glass baking dishes (e.g. lasagne pans)


  • Preheat an oven to 350° F (175° C).
  • Zest the lemon peel with a lemon zester, or finely grate the lemon peel with a grater. (Don’t grate the white pith.) Cut the remaining lemon in half, squeeze out the juice, and set both the lemon zest (peel) and the lemon juice aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and slowly add the sour cream, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Mix in the vanilla, Splenda® or sweetener, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add each egg, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  • Fill each custard cup with about ½ cup of batter, and place the custard cups in glass baking dish, making sure that the level of the batter in each custard cup is approximately the same height. (You will probably need to use two baking dishes to fit all of the cups.)
  • Pour cold water into the baking dish so that it surrounds the custard cups and is even with the level of the batter.
  • Bake at 350° F (175° C) for approximately 40 minutes. The cheesecake is done when it is slightly yellow, cracks form on the surface, and the top is firm to the touch. (Note that if you skipped the hot water bath, the custard cups only take 15 minutes to bake, so watch them closely and don’t overcook them!)
  • The water bath is now extremely hot, so use a turkey baster to siphon off the hot water before you remove the baking dishes from the oven. Let the custard cups sit until they are cool enough to handle, and then remove them from the baking dish and set them on a cooling rack.
  • Once cooled to room temperature, refrigerate and serve cold.
Low-carb lemon cheesecake cups 10 individual cups
Calories 308
Total Fat 29.4
Total Carbohydrate 4.8
   Dietary Fibre 0.5
   Sugars 0.2
Protein 7.3

Tip: Use oven-to-freezer pyrex custard cups with lids (1-cup capacity) for this recipe. Bake the cheesecake in the pyrex cups and use the matching lids to cover them when you store them in the refrigerator. They keep up to week in the refrigerator this way, and can even be frozen. I use these 1-cup oven-to-freezer storage cups by Anchor Hocking.