Perfectly Easy No-Bake Cheesecake is creamy with a silky smooth texture and crunchy graham cracker crust. Learn all the tricks for the perfect cheesecake!
If you love cheesecake, but don’t feel like turning on your oven – then this perfectly easy no-bake cheesecake recipe is just the thing. Making a New York cheesecake from scratch can be a little intimidating, which is also why I recommend this no-bake cheesecake if you’re a bit apprehensive about making a traditional baked cheesecake. It’s easy, it’s creamy, it sets beautifully, and it has the classic creamy, tangy cheesecake taste that you love. Impress everyone by making a few different versions, like my favorite No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake.
PERFECTLY EASY NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE
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A traditional cheesecake (such as New York Cheesecake) – has eggs in the batter and is baked in the oven for usually about an hour. As the name suggests, no-bake cheesecake doesn’t go in the oven and instead goes in the fridge to set and firm up. No-bake cheesecakes don’t have eggs and tend to be lighter in texture than the baked variety.
No-Bake cheesecake is perfect for warmer weather because you don’t have to turn on the oven. You also avoid a lot of the potential pitfalls of making a traditional, baked cheesecake because most potential problems happen in the baking process.
How to make No-Bake Cheesecake
The graham cracker crust made from just three ingredients: graham crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. You can either buy the graham crumbs that come in the baking aisle of the grocery store or buy graham crackers and process them in the food processor (or crush them in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin).
Then the cheesecake filling is made with:
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- sour cream
- a little fresh lemon juice
- vanilla extract
- heavy whipping cream
Make sure to use full fat, brick-style cream cheese. Spreadable and lite cream cheese are too thin, and your no-bake cheesecake recipe won’t set. The lemon juice helps to give a little tanginess to the cheesecake (don’t worry, it won’t taste like lemon). Follow the rest in the recipe card below.
No Bake Cheesecake with Cool Whip
I prefer the flavor of this cheesecake with whipping cream. However, if you’d like to use whipped topping instead, such as cool whip – thaw the cool whip first. Then measure out 2 cups of cool whip and gently fold it into the batter in the step where you’d fold in the whipping cream.
How to make a no-bake cheesecake stay firm
No one wants a watery cheesecake. So here are my tips:
- Use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese.
- Soften the cream cheese to room temperature before getting started to avoid lumps in the batter.
- Make sure the whipping cream is cold. Beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. You need stiff peaks to keep the cheesecake thick.
- Very gently fold the whipped cream (which you’ve beaten until stiff peaks form) into the cream cheese mixture. You want to keep the air and volume from the whipping cream so that the cheesecake isn’t too dense.
- You must leave the cheesecake to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving so that it can firm up. I recommend letting it set in the refrigerator overnight if possible.
For more cheesecake recipes, try these other favorites:
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Low Carb Cheesecake Bites
- No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
- Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownie Cheesecake Bars
- Oreo Mini Cheesecakes
- More dessert recipes…
Tools used to make this Perfectly Easy No-Bake Cheesecake
Mixing Bowls: These mixing bowls are perfect for mixing and serving. I love the varied sizes so I always have to right size bowl for all my mixing needs.
Springform Pan: These pans are great for no-bake desserts or showstopping dinners.
Rubber Spatula: Rubber spatulas are one of those kitchen tools you don’t realize how much you use until they’re all dirty. This set of three spatulas in various sizes and shapes will make cooking everything from dinner to dessert a breeze.
- 2 1/2 cups graham crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese brick-style, not in a tub
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Whipped cream
- Fresh berries
Graham Cracker Crust
- Stir together the graham crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
- Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan so that it's packed tightly.
- Place in the freezer as you make the cheesecake layer.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Beat in the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until evenly incorporated.
- Spoon the batter over the cheesecake crust, and smooth the top flat.
- Lightly cover the pan, and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours to set before serving.
- When ready to serve, gently trace around the edges of the springform with a very thin, sharp knife. Unclamp the springform.
- Top with whipped cream and berries, or your favorite cheesecake toppings. Store leftovers in the fridge.