I’ve finally conquered one of my food fears—cheesecake. I’ve made lots of no-bake cheesecakes, and other dairy desserts, but for some reason, until now I’ve held back from tackling the traditional baked variety. Finally, today I present you my deliciously pink Raspberry-Swirled Lemon Cheesecake.

Why cheesecake? The holiday of Shavuot is almost upon us, when we celebrate the giving of the Torah by hearing the Ten Commandments being read in the synagogue. Some of the customs specific to this holiday include decorating our homes with greenery and eating dairy food.

This cheesecake is less heavy, rich and sweet than the many caramel- and chocolate-laden cheesecakes out there. The lemon and raspberry give it a distinct tartness.

It’s also relatively easy to make, and doesn’t require any specialty ingredients.

Simply make and bake the crust.

Pour in the filling.

Spoon the raspberry mixture over the top.

Swirl it with a knife.

Bake it and refrigerate overnight.

Cut into squares and serve.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 8 graham crackers
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt

Crust Directions:

  1. Roughly pulse the graham crackers in a food processor a couple of times. Cut the butter into small pieces and add it in along with the sugar. Pulse until mixture resembles a course crumb.
  2. Tip the graham cracker mixture into an 8″ × 11″ tart pan with a removable base and press down firmly. Bake at 325° F for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lemons

Filling Directions:

  1. Let the cream cheese come to room temperature.
  2. Juice the lemons.
  3. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, eggs and lemon juice and mix until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

Raspberry Swirl Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3 tbsp. sugar

Swirl Directions:

  1. Wash and check the raspberries.
  2. Place them in a shallow bowl, or on a plate, and sprinkle with sugar. Let the raspberries and sugar sit for about 30 minutes to draw out the juices, then blend.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.
  4. Spoon the raspberry mixture over the cheese mixture. Swirl with a knife.
  5. Bake at 325° F for 35 minutes.
  6. Refrigerate overnight, cut into squares and serve.

Yields: 15–18 squares

Do you like cheesecake? Bake it often? Leave your best cheesecake tips in the comment section below, so we can all be well equipped for our Shavuot baking!

Don’t like cheesecake? Try some of these dairy dessert alternatives: Maple Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream with Pecan Crunch Topping, Macerated Strawberry Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream with Cinnamon and Chocolate Bits or Layered No-Bake Cheesecake Cups. Or, if you prefer non-dairy, try this Cheeseless Cheesecake or my striking Mount Sinai Cake.

Of course, we have plenty of savory Shavuot recipes for you, too.

Happy Shavuot!