In this paper, we present a variationally consistent formulation for the weak enforcement of essential boundary conditions as an extension to the finite cell method, a fictitious domain method of higher order. The absence of boundary fitted elements in fictitious domain or immersed boundary methods significantly restricts a strong enforcement of essential boundary conditions to models where the boundary of the solution domain coincides with the embedding analysis domain. Penalty methods and Lagrange multiplier methods are adequate means to overcome this limitation but often suffer from various drawbacks with severe consequences for a stable and accurate solution of the governing system of equations. In this contribution, we follow the idea of NITSCHE  who developed a stable scheme for the solution of the Laplace problem taking weak boundary conditions into account. An extension to problems from linear elasticity shows an appropriate behavior with regard to numerical stability, accuracy and an adequate convergence behavior. NURBS are chosen as a high-order approximation basis to benefit from their smoothness and flexibility in the process of uniform model refinement.