It would seem that lemons are made from sunshine. They soak up the rays until their skins turn a bright cheery shade that radiates warmth and happiness. These delightful pucker-fruits add a bright flavor to every dish. An All-Star pair, lemons and sugar combine to heavenly deliciousness in lemonade and lemon bars to name just a few enjoyable concoctions. There’s no end to their adaptability. Consider them stirred together into yummy cheesecake batter and infused in the crust. They transform this luscious cake with their lemony-sweet goodness into a treat so good you have to share! Yeah, it’s that good! Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s get started…..
1 box Lemon Cake Mix
½ c. butter, softened
1 t. grated lemon peel
2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
¾ c. sugar
3 (3.5 oz) containers ready to eat lemon pudding (from 4-pack container)
½ c. sour cream
2 c. frozen (thawed) whipped topping
Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
You’ll begin with a lemon cake mix. Before you start, reserve ¼ cup of the mix for later. Now mix in the butter and lemon zest until crumbly.
Spray your pans with cooking spray and then scoop some of the crust mix into each of your pans. We used these fun 3-inch cake pans with a lift out bottom. They’re awesome! Press the crust mix down into the bottom and up the sides a bit. This recipe will make about ten 3-inch cakes. Reserve the remainder of your crust mix in a small bowl while you stir up the cream cheese batter.
Combine reserved cake mix, softened cream cheese, pudding, sugar and sour cream on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until mixed. It will look heavenly and it will taste even better. Resisting the urge to dip your fingers in the batter, spoon the mixture in on top of your crusts, filling each cake up about two-thirds of the way. The filling will rise and then sink back down as it cools.
Bake in a preheated oven for about thirty minutes. Begin checking around 25 minutes. You want each cake to be firm around the edges but still a bit jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven.
Cool on the counter for about twenty minutes and then refrigerate for twenty more before loosening and removing from the pans. You’re going to want to pop them out before then, but trust me, it will only end in tears! Let them firm up completely in the fridge before working your magic. During this time, keep your batter in the fridge, lightly covered until your pans are free to make the remaining cheesecakes. Then repeat the process until you’ve used up all your batter.
Once removed from the pans, cover and refrigerate your cakes 4 hours or overnight…if you trust your husband not to sneak in and “taste test” them for you. It’s your call.
When you’re ready to serve, top with one tablespoon each of lemon curd. Pipe on whipped cream and top with a half slice of lemon. Now call your girlfriends over for lunch and wow them with this little nibble of sunshine that will have them raving! Enjoy!