Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

Recipe Search

Lemon Fluff Cheesecake

Light and fluffy and full of lemony goodness, this is the perfect spring dessert.  It is actually a new twist on a very old recipe.  I'll share the recipe with you as we have enjoyed it recently and then I'll tell you the story of its first-love with cheesecake.

  • 1 (3 ounce) package lemon Jell-O
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 can 12 oz / 354 ml evaporated milk, well chilled (Carnation)
  • 1 1/3 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Combine cracker crumbs and cutter.  Press into bottom of a 9" x 13" pan. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Cool until slightly thickened.
  3. Beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice with mixer until smooth and creamy. Add thickened Jello and beat well.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the chilled evaporated milk until it is thick and forms soft peaks. Add cream cheese/Jell-O mixture and beat until combined.
  5. Spread filling over graham wafer crust.
  6. Chill overnight.
  7. Serve with fresh fruit of your choice.

Now let me tell you about my introduction to this delightful dessert. Cheesecake was not something that appealed to me when I was a teenager. But after going to our local Woolworth's store with friends and trying the famous lemon dessert in their restaurant, that all changed. It was not your typical cheesecake, but a light and fluffy ice-box dessert. Hubby remembers me dragging him there to sample this dessert as well, and he decided he could learn to like cheesecakes too. Woolworth's stores across North America closed several decades ago and their cheesecake is all but forgotten.  I have a friend who once worked at the Woolworth's restaurant, and gave me a copy of their cheesecake recipe many years ago.  I was recently reminded of that recipe, and thought I would try it...for old times' sake! Woolworth's served it without fruit and sprinkled with additional wafer crumbs. Their famous cheesecake got a 'thumbs up' review from all those around our table. Do any of you have memories of having this dessert at Woolworth's back in the day?  It's throw-back Thursday.  Feel free to share your memories.



  1. I loved Woolworth's and really miss it. I can't remember what I ate but I do remember getting coffee in the funny little paper cups with the plastic cup holder. This dessert is something I must try! It looks delicious!

  2. I have many fond memories of sharing a piece of this wonderful cheesecake with my Mom after a afternoon of shopping. They also had great cherry Coke. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  3. Thanks for posting this recipe. When I saw the picture of the cheesecake I immediately thought, where have I seen this before. When you mentioned Woolworth's I remembered. Oh the memories--lunch with my sisters and their cheesecake--it was soooo good. This is definitely going on my 'to make' list.

  4. I have fond memories of their Birthday Cakes and I cannot remember the name I suspect it was a White Cupcake with the top cut up the whole thing rolled around in Strawberry or Raspberry than rolled in coconut and the top with a bit of Icing I used to eat the bottom and save the Icing until last Remember Those !!!!!!

  5. Oh Woolworths !!! Don't we miss it? They had anything and
    everything (we once bought our parakeet and cage there) Theirs
    was a "fountain" of tasty delights and as a teenager I discovered
    the intricacies of allure at their cosmetic counter. Woolworth's -
    what a concept... Fantasyland....

  6. Their patty melts too! 😍😍😍

  7. I loved walking up the worn stone steps to the second floor where the pets were. Spent alot of time admiring the fish, turtles and birds.

  8. I remember Woolworth's well. I think my Mother made this version of cheesecake. I'll definitely give this one a go as it is lighter. Thanks Judy!

  9. Woolworth's! What a great store.

    This recipe reminds me of my mom's Lemon Bisque. I didn't check her recipe, but I know it didn't have cream cheese in it. My siblings and I still love Lemon Bisque!

    We lived near L. A., and had a lemon tree in our backyard. No one could make lemon desserts like my mom.

  10. I make a Diabetic friendly version of this. Just substitute the jello for sugar free lemon jello and substitute the 1c sugar for 1/3 c stevia or other sugar substitute you refer. comes out lovely!

  11. How I would love to walk the aisles of my community Woolworth store once again! My daddy would take us kids to shop for Mother's Christmas presents there -- I would always get her the little bottle of Evening in Paris! Later as a teen, my girlfriend and I would get our crochet yarn there and our tube of Yardley Lemonade lip gloss. (Yes, the early 70s!)

    I never knew the origin of this Cheesecake but the interesting thing about this recipe is that it was my annually requested (August) birthday "cake" from ages 7 to 17! I suppose my mom got it through friends/Woolworth's. I usually try to make it each year during spring or summer.

    If you haven't tried this recipe, reader, you will love how refreshingly light and lemony it is! Make it!

  12. I just finished making this recipe for our dessert tonight, only 6 hours to fingers crossed!

  13. I DO remember this recipe -- have the very same one in my recipe files as my mom used to make it for us all the time and for church events back in the 60's! What I didn't know was that it was a recipe that originated from the Woolworth stores! Go figure! I spent a lot of shopping time in Woolworth's as a kid -- loved sitting at the food counter watching the soda-hops working behind the counter. Learned something new with this post!

  14. Wow - I remember Woolworths and often enjoyed their apple pie with cinnamon ice-cream but I don't remember this cheesecake. It looks absolutely delicious and I LOVE anything lemon.

  15. I made this for a neighborhood get-together. It is delicious and will become a favorite dessert to serve.

  16. Any tips on how long you should set the jello? Does it need to be jiggly like jello, or just a thickened liquid. Also, am I folding in the evaporated milk to not deflate the peaks?

    1. The jello should just be slightly thickened...not solid. I add cream cheese/jello mixture to the bowl with the whipped evaporated milk and blend it with the mixer.

  17. Replies
    1. This dessert freezes beautifully. I always freeze the left-overs, but one could easily make the dessert in advance and freeze the entire pan.

  18. This is very similar to "Lemon Fluffy Ruffles" from the Yankee magazine. It's a perfect dessert for summertime. Very light.