No-Bake Cheesecake

By Shiran

This is my favorite recipe for no-bake cheesecake. It’s simple and quick to make and holds its shape well.

Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake | prettysimplesweet.com

Writing my last post about my favorite kitchen products brought back memories from my days as a novice baker. Before having a “real” oven, I used a tiny toaster oven for any baked goods, believing that there wasn’t much of a difference between the two. While theoretically you could bake a cake in a toaster oven, judging by my own cakes back then, I would have to say that it probably isn’t the best idea. The fact that some did turn out delicious still remains a mystery to me.

Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake | prettysimplesweet.com

Before the toaster oven, I had no oven at all, but that still didn’t stop me from making cakes because, if I want a cake, I will get a cake ASAP. So I made no-bake cheesecake (and chocolate salami) over and over and over again, though it wasn’t nearly as good as the one I’m sharing with you today.

Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake | prettysimplesweet.com

This cheesecake is tall with a creamy mousse-like consistency, and it holds its shape well after refrigeration. It’s rich but not heavy, and it tastes absolutely amazing.

If you want the cake to be more stable, you can add gelatin. It’s definitely not a must, but once you learn how to do it once, it really becomes simple and quick. First, sprinkle 12g gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water and let it sit for a few minutes to soften. Then gently heat it in the microwave for just a few seconds. Allow it to cool slightly before adding to prevent it from melting the cheese, then continue with the recipe as normal. That’s all there is to it! You can read more about gelatin in my panna cotta post.

Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake | prettysimplesweet.com Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake | prettysimplesweet.com

No-bake cheesecake goes perfectly with many different toppings. Some of my favorites include berry sauce, fresh fruit, fruit puree, cherry pie filling, caramel or salted caramel sauce, dark or white chocolate ganache, lemon curd, basic streusel, or grated chocolate.

Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake | prettysimplesweet.com

This cake is a great make-ahead dessert because it freezes well. I can make it even a week in advance if I have tight schedule, then thaw it in the fridge the night before I want to serve it. If you choose to add a topping, add it the same day you serve the cake.

 

No-Bake Cheesecake
Yields: 9-inch (23cm) cake
 

This is my favorite recipe for no-bake cheesecake. It’s simple and quick to make and holds its shape well.
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 200 g/7 oz graham cracker/digestive biscuit crumbs* (about 2 cups of crumbs)
  • 100 g/3.5 oz unsalted butter, melted
Cake:
  • 24 oz (680 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (about one box) instant vanilla pudding mix**
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • zest of one lemon, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (150 g/5.3 oz) granulated sugar
  • berry sauce or topping of choice (see post for more suggestions)

Instructions
  1. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix together crumbs and melted butter until combined and crumbs are moistened. Press the mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan using either your fingers or the bottom of a cup to form a crust layer.
  2. Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and vanilla pudding mix, whisking well until combined and completely smooth. If the mixture is grainy, beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form (they should hold their shape but have a soft texture). Using a spatula, gently fold half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the other half.
  4. Pour filling into the pan and smooth the top. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or until completely set, before serving. Cheesecake can be left in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Serve cold.
  5. Cheesecake can also be frozen, wrapped tight, for a month. To thaw, place overnight in the fridge.
  6. Top with berry sauce, fresh fruit or any other topping you like (read above post for suggestions).
  7. *To make crumbs, pulse in a food processor or blender until finely ground.
  8. **You don’t need to make an actual pudding, just simply mix in the powder as-is. For a substitute, use ½ cup powdered sugar.

 

18 Comments on No-Bake Cheesecake

  1. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
    June 19, 2015 at 11:25 am (2 years ago)

    What a great cake, Shiran! I love that it’s no bake and so simple to put together. Also, look at the lovely height you got on that cake…gorgeous! Such a beautiful cheesecake 🙂

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 19, 2015 at 2:02 pm (2 years ago)

      You’re so sweet Beeta! Thank you so much!

      Reply
  2. LAN
    June 19, 2015 at 12:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow!! Thank you so much. I am looking for the ‘no bake’ cakes. This cheesecake is absolutely delicious. I like your food styling too.

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 19, 2015 at 2:03 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much! I’ll make sure to post more no-bake recipes then!

      Reply
  3. Winnie
    June 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm (2 years ago)

    עוגה פשוט מדהימה!!
    קלאסית לעוגת גבינה ללא אפייה, ואני שמחה שהיא ללא ג’לטין (בו אני לא משתמשת)
    והיא ניראית נהדרתתתתתתתתתתתתת

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 21, 2015 at 5:00 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Winnie! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Kaylene @ The Links Site
    June 23, 2015 at 4:39 am (2 years ago)

    Yum this looks wonderful. I love having some emergency cheesecake in the house so it’s great that you can make it ahead and freeze it. I also make a cheesecake then slice it before freezing so that I can lift out just a slice when I get a craving!
    Definitely pinning this recipe to try soon!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 23, 2015 at 5:10 pm (2 years ago)

      I do this too! I have cravings all the time though so it doesn’t stay in the freezer for so long 🙂

      Reply
  5. Anne
    June 23, 2015 at 1:16 pm (2 years ago)

    This cheesecake looks amazing!!! Your pictures make me want to make this right now, especially since it’s no bake!!!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 23, 2015 at 5:08 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Anne 🙂

      Reply
  6. Kay
    July 26, 2015 at 2:17 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Shiran, I just discovered your blog and I love it! While reading the above recipe you mentioned something called “chocolate salami”. The name has me intrigued. Would you be willing to share this on your blog? If not, I understand. I can not wait to try some of your recipes. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    Sincerely
    Kay

    Reply
    • Shiran
      July 27, 2015 at 2:03 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Kay! What a super sweet comment, thank you so much! 🙂 Chocolate salami is really simple to make! You can google it to see how it looks like. I’ll share my recipe for sure one day, but for now, I hope you enjoy the other recipes!

      Reply
  7. trish
    December 13, 2015 at 12:23 am (1 year ago)

    Does this hold up well out of the fridge? Wanting to make it for a wedding. Sounds wonderful…Thanks.

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 13, 2015 at 5:36 am (1 year ago)

      Hi Trish! Once the cake reaches room temperature it becomes soft, so it all depends on how long you want to keep it out of the fridge. You can add gelatin if you know how (I mentioned it in my post), but even without it, as long as the cake is still pretty cold, it would hold up well.

      Reply
  8. Jo
    August 18, 2016 at 8:21 am (6 months ago)

    Hi! Is it possible to omit the lemon juice, zest and the vanilla? Only because I bake very rarely and my vanilla extract always expires before I get to use even half of the bottle 🙁

    Reply
    • Shiran
      August 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm (6 months ago)

      Instead of using vanilla extract you can use vanilla sugar (substitute some of the sugar in the recipe with 1-3 packages of vanilla sugar), which is sold in small packages and keeps for a long time. You can omit the vanilla if you must, but it does add a great flavor. If possible, I recommend to at least use lemon zest or orange zest, or a fruit/citrus flavored liqueur.

      Reply
  9. tina
    November 8, 2016 at 1:51 pm (4 months ago)

    This looks so good! Thank you for posting. What do you think about using some sour cream in the batter to give it a hint of tartness just like the flavor of a classic new york cheese cake? Should I sub half the amount of heavy cream for sour cream?

    Reply
    • Shiran
      November 9, 2016 at 6:52 am (4 months ago)

      Hi Tina, the cake holds its shape well because of the whipped cream, so I’d start with a smaller amount of sour cream, about 1/2 cup, and if you like the result you can keep adjusting. You can also try to replace some of the cream cheese with sour cream.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: