Lemon Cheesecake + Wojapi

Sliced Winter Lemon Cheesecake l www.scarlettabakes.com

If you are a student of anything to any great degree, you are probably able to easily discern areas of conflict within that field.

A., the husband, tells of vociferous debate about certain types of golf clubs, for example.

B., the 9 lb. wiener dog, relays the details of raging discussion about the healthful virtues of 2 Beggin’ Strips vs. 4 Beggin’ Strips before bedtime.

I have no link for that last one. I believe B. may be attempting to put one over on me.

Blueberry Wojapi l www.scarlettabakes.com

A quick Google search of ‘flour in cheesecake’ will alert you to the varied opinions on how to properly bake a cheesecake, and more specifically, whether flour has any business being in the mix.

As with to sift or not to sift and optimal creaming time questions, I monitor the flour vs. flour-free cheesecake debate with great interest: I want my sifted goods to be tender, my creamed butter to be light, and my cheesecakes to be as delicious as possible!

But I know that the time will ultimately come when I must make a choice and pick a side – there can be no hanging chads when it comes to cheesecake preparation.

Assembling Winter Lemon Cheesecake l www.scarlettabakes.com

So I did the research, I conducted my tests, and I landed firmly in the camp of Team Flour.

Don’t send hate mail, Team Flourless! I gave you a shot and made my choice, fair and square.

Plus, I just feel that I look a little better in Team Flour’s uniform…

Winter Lemon Cheesecake l www.scarlettabakes.com

Following is my new favorite cheesecake recipe, along with just a few tips for successful cheesecakery. This particular version of cheesecake involves a bit of tart winter citrus and the fancy accessory of Wojapi, a thick, Native American berry-based sauce that is so good you may opt to omit the whole cheesecake business.

Plus, this recipe for Wojapi doesn’t call for any flour!

So now this recipe really does include something for everyone…

Tips For Making Cheesecake

  • For a classic, dense finished cheesecake, you’ll want to be sure to use regular, non-whipped cream cheese that is not just softened, but has come to room temperature. Cold or evenly slightly chilled cream cheese will yield lumps in the batter.
  • All-purpose flour is often called for in cheesecake recipes, as in the one listed below, in order to stabilize the cake. If you use flour or any other starch, you may omit taking the step of baking your cake in a water bath. If you omit the flour, I recommend baking with a water bath.
  • When mixing the ingredients for your cheesecake, be sure not to mix on any speed other than the lowest possible, in order to avoid aeration.
  • Avoid making the most common mistake when it comes to baking cheesecakes:  overbaking. Your finished cheesecake will still be jiggly in the bullseye center even when it is baked through. Overbaking can lead to cracking along the top and an undesirable texture inside so be sure to remove your cheesecake promptly.
  • Immediately upon removing your finished cheesecake from the oven, run a sharp knife between the edge of the cake and the pan; releasing the baked cake from the sides of the pan will help to avoid cracking along the top of the cake. While this is merely an aesthetic issue, it is one that can be easily avoided by taking the time to separate the cake from the pan, allowing it to cool and contract in one piece.
  • As soon as you have separated the baked cake from the pan, leave it in the pan and remove it to the refrigerator to cool and finish setting overnight. I realize that this step is somewhat of a drag, given that you will likely want to dig into your spoils immediately, but allowing the cake to cool and set overnight in the refrigerate further prevents unsightly cracking and allows the cake to settle and sink into that most dense finished texture that is so important when it comes to cheesecakes. Plus, cheesecakes are best served cold from the refrigerator.

Winter Lemon Cheesecake With Blueberry Wojapi (Pudding Sauce)

For the cheesecake:
14 whole graham crackers (approximately 1 1/2 sleeves of crackers)
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
32 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
juice of two large lemons
3/4 c. white sugar, granulated
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
zest of one large lemon
4 large eggs

For the Wojapi:
4 c. blueberries (I recommend going with fresh berries here.)
1 c. white sugar, granulated
1 1/2 c. water, divided
1/2 c. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper and set aside. Please note that this recipe yields a substantial cake that will puff up quite a bit while baking. The walls of your pan should be at least 3″ tall to prevent any overflow.

Break graham crackers into large pieces and place into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the melted butter and pulse-process until the mixture resembles damp sand. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes, at which point the crust should be just turning golden brown at the edges. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and lemon juice together until the mixture is smooth. Beat in the sugar, flour, zest and eggs, one at a time, mixing until you have a uniform batter. Pour the batter over the baked crust, place the filled pan on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 60-65 minutes. The finished cheesecake will be puffed, golden at the edges, and slightly jiggly in the center. Remove the baked cake and immediately run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, separating the cake from the pan. Leave the cake in the pan and remove to the refrigerator to cool, contract, and set overnight.

Meanwhile, to prepare the Wojapi, bring the berries, sugar and one cup of water to a boil in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Mix the cornstarch and remaining water together in a small bowl and, once the berries are boiling, carefully stir the cornstarch slurry into the berries, immediately reducing the heat to low. Continue to stir as the mixture thickens to a dense, pudding-like consistency, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve or store, refrigerated, in a covered container.

Once the cheesecake is ready to serve, carefully unmold, slice, and top generously with Wojapi. Note that this recipe will yield 3 1/2-4 cups of Wojapi.

YIELD:  approximately 16 servings


  1. 26

    intlyouday says

    In Lakota, it’s typically prounced wo-zha-pay. The tradiitonal Lakota recipe calls for chokecherries, but you can use any mix of berries. My go-to recipe makes a big batch: 48 oz frozen fruit (I like the strawberry, blackberry, and blueberry blend), 1 cup water, ~1/4 cup sugar or honey (or to taste). Smash the berries, add water, bring to a boil, let simmer for ~1 hour, add sweetener to taste, then simmer for another hour to desired thickness.

    Also, this recipe looks amazing! I think i’ll try making a lemon cheesecake to go with my current batch of wojape!

  2. 25


    The texture of that cheesecake looks fantastic! I think I’d like to try the wojapi technique with other berries/fruit. Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. 20


    i love cheesecake. LOVE LOVE LOVE. There is a reason I hardly make it. Because I cannot stop slicing off “slivers” for myself. It’s bad. like a terrible addiction. What’s worse? Kevin hates cheesecake so I’d literally be baking a huge cheesecake for myself. But OMG Meagan! Lemon cheesecake! I love it! I once made lemon blueberry cheesecake bars but these are like a fancy, upscale, prettier version of them. It’s a gorgeous cheesecake!

  4. 16

    Silly Question But... says

    What if you don’t have the right pan? I need to get one of those pans. I don’t have much storage in my kitchen though.

    • Meagan says

      Not silly at all! I actually think a 9″ standard circular cake pan would work except that this cheesecake puffs up so much while it bakes. If I were you, I would halve the recipe for the cake batter and bake in your standard cake pan (be sure to line with parchment paper) set on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Let me know how it turns out!

  5. 15

    fantasticat says

    I have homegrown Meyer lemons and they are huge.
    How much lemon juice did you actually use —
    was it about 1/2 cup?
    Love your blog.

    • Meagan says

      Yes, about 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Meyer lemon juice would be AMAZING in this cheesecake. Thanks so much for reading!

  6. 11


    thank you for sharing you tips on how to expertly bake a cheesecake! I have a low-fat version using Greek yogurt that always comes out delicious, yet I ALWAYS crack the top – tastes good, looks funky lol. I’ll try it again in the future with your baking suggestions :)

    Also – slather that blueberry sauce on some waffles, would you?! :)

  7. 9


    Yip – I think I have an expert on B too! She would tend to agree! I must admit, I am a no bake fan, I have never even attempted a baked cheese cake, having said that though, your post is amazing, and I would like to try out your recipe, that cheese cake looks like it has a smooth and silky texture, which is what I love !

  8. 8

    Mary says

    Gosh, that looks good! Terrific recipe, especially with the blueberries! The only thing this latest post is missing is a picture of you in your Team Flour uniform. Please provide!

  9. 6


    Blueberry Wojapi <– I don't even know how to say that, but I want to eat it!

    The creaminess of this cheesecake and that crust, oh it's so moist, not crumbly and normally crust is an afterthought but yours is gorgeous. Along with the whole thing!

  10. 5


    I have never made a cheesecake with flour, but this looks so fantastic, I definitely will be soon! Lemon and blueberry are too perfect a match to pass this one up. And I love your cheesecake tips too!

  11. 4


    Ohh, I like the idea that using flour requires no water bath! I do not bake cheesecake often, but it is always fun to see recipes! It`s especially tempting since it’s a lemon cheesecake! You definitely make me want to try the blueberry sauce!

  12. 3

    Judy Micozzi says

    That looks absolutely delicious…..that looks like it will be on my Easter dinner table. I’m sure A will be very grateful for that one!

  13. 1


    I’d keep an eye on B. if I were you. Sound suspicious for certain.

    I have to say flour or no flour, cheesecake is by far my fave thing to scarf. I think the speed at which I inhale it may tarnish the results of any testing. If push comes to shove I could slow down but I don’t really want to.

    I could just eat the sauce out of a trough with my hands tied behind my back. Not that I ever have or anything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>