June 13, 2024


Cooking Is My World

Marie Callender’s Lemon Cream Cheese Pie


Marie Callender’s Lemon Cream Cheese Pie is simply irresistible! This layered no bake lemon cheesecake pie with graham cracker crust is a show stopper.

homemade copycat Marie Callender's lemon cream cheese pie.

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What Is a Lemon Cream Cheese Pie? 

Sweet and tart, this cream cheese lemon pie is a classic dessert that was all the rage in the 60s, but it is just as good today. Think of this recipe as the lighter, brighter country cousin of the more famous New York Style Cheesecake. 

What Makes This Lemon Cream Cheese Pie So Good? 

The way that the three separate layers with their own distinctive taste and texture combine with one another is what makes this no-bake pie so gosh darn good.

The crunchy graham crust is the ideal base for the creamy, sweet, and tart filling, and the citrusy lemon topping helps to heighten the other flavors.  

Why This Is the Recipe for Marie Callender’s Lemon Cream Cheese Pie You Must Try

This isn’t the simplest Lemon Cream Cheese Pie recipe you can make, but the five or ten extra minutes it takes are all worth it once you try a bite.

This recipe creates an exceptionally airy pie filling by replacing the more common sweetened condensed milk with sour cream and gelatin. The layer of lemon gelatin on top adds just the right amount of refreshing tartness, making this the perfect summertime pie. 

Recipe Ingredients

This cream cheese lemon pie recipe has three components; the crust, the filling, and the lemon topping:

To make the graham cracker crust, you’ll need:

  • Graham crackers crumbs
  • Sugar
  • Melted butter

To make the cream cheese layer, you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese
  • Sugar
  • Sour Cream
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Knox gelatin
  • Water

To make the lemon layer, you’ll need:

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Cornstarch
  • Grated lemon zest
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Knox gelatin
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)
Marie Callender's lemon cream cheese pie ingredients.

How to Make Cream Cheese Lemon Pie

Here are the recipe steps for each component of this pie:

Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Put ten graham crackers into a plastic bag, seal the bag and use a rolling pin to crush the crackers into small pieces. You don’t want powder, but there shouldn’t be any big chunks either. 
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. 
  3. Pour the crushed graham crackers into a mixing bowl and stir in the butter mixture to moisten.
  4. Form a graham cracker crumb crust in a 9-inch springform pan. Make sure to bring the crust up at least three-quarters of an inch onto the sides of the pan. 
  5. Put the pan in the freezer to allow the crust to stiffen.
graham cracker crust preparation collage.

Cream Cheese Layer

  1. Dissolve the gelatin in water and add the vanilla extract. 
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and salt.
  3. Stir in the dissolved gelatin and vanilla extract once the cream cheese melts and tiny bubbles form on the surface. 
  4. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer and cook for two minutes while continuously stirring.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir while the filling cools slightly.  
  6. Pour the lukewarm filling into the frozen graham cracker crust and put it directly into the fridge.
lemon cream cheese layer preparation collage.

Lemon Topping

  1. Dissolve the gelatin in a tablespoon of water.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, a half-cup of water, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. 
  3. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened — about two minutes. 
  4. Whisk in the butter, lemon zest, and optional food coloring.
  5. Add the gelatin, continuing to stir until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  7. Use an offset spatula to cover the top of the cheese pie with the lemon topping. 
  8. Place the pie in the fridge for at least three hours before serving. 
lemon layer preparation collage.

Fresh whipped cream may be added for garnish. Enjoy!

homemade Marie Callender's lemon cream cheese pie.

Possible Substitutions 

No lemons, or just prefer limes? Feel free to make a one-to-one substitution of lime juice for the lemon juice in the topping recipe above. And if you are using food coloring, don’t forget to switch to green unless you want to confuse people. 

Do you want to save a lot of time? Use a prepared 9-inch graham cracker or cookie crumb crust and swap your favorite jam or jelly for the lemon topping. Fresh or macerated fruit are other great topping options.

What Goes Well With Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

A good cup of coffee is just about the perfect accompaniment to this pie. Non-coffee drinkers may prefer a mug of strong black tea.

How To Store Lemon Pie with Cream Cheese Layer 

Always store a Cream Cheese Lemon Pie in the refrigerator. Cover the pie with plastic wrap, or better yet, keep it inside a covered pie plate to avoid damaging the lemon topping.

No-bake cheese pies tend to separate when you freeze them, so consuming the pie within five days is best. 

How Long Does This Last? 

The pie you make with this Marie Callender’s Lemon Cream Cheese Pie copycat recipe lasts up to five days in the fridge.

lemon cream cheese pie slice on a plate in front of the pie.

More Recipes for Marie Callender Pies

Favorite Pie Recipes

Check out more of my easy pie recipes and the best desserts here on CopyKat!

homemade copycat Marie Callender's lemon cream cheese pie.

Marie Callender’s Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

Make a Marie Calender’s lemon cream cheese pie at home with this copycat recipe.

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Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Lemon Cream Cheese Pie, Lemon Pie Recipe, Pie Recipes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Chilling: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours 35 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 533kcal


Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups Graham Crackers Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Melted butter

Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 12 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Knox Gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon Cold Water
  • 1 1/2 cups Water

Lemon Layer:

  • 1 ¼ cups Sugar
  • ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon Water
  • ½ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 6 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Grated Lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 packet Knox Gelatin 0.25 ounces
  • 4 drops Yellow Food Coloring optional


Graham Cracker Crust:

  • Mix all ingredients together and shape in a 9-inch springform pan. Be sure to slightly go up the sides by about ¾ of an inch.

  • Place in the freezer until it’s time to add the cream cheese layer.

Cream Cheese Layer:

  • Combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and salt in a medium-sized pan and cook on a very low heat, stirring constantly until mixture starts to boil lightly.

  • Mix gelatin with water and dissolve. When dissolved add to mixture along with vanilla and stir well.

  • Cook until mixture reaches a light boil and cook for 2 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and cool off.

  • When it’s lukewarm, layer cream cheese on crust and refrigerate until cooled.

Lemon Topping:

  • Place sugar, cornstarch, ½ cup water, and salt in a saucepan and whisk until mixture comes to a boil at medium heat and sugar is dissolved.

  • Cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.

  • Dissolve the gelatin in the tablespoon of water. Add the gelatin mixture, butter, lemon zest, and dye (if using).

  • Once butter is melted, add lemon juice. Continue to stir until thickened. Set aside to cool.

  • When the lemon mixture reaches room temperature gently smooth it over the cream cheese mixture and chill for several hours before serving.

  • Fresh whipped cream may be added for garnish. Enjoy!


Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 982IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg


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