Easy Cream Cheese Pie
This Easy Cream Cheese Pie topped with cherry pie filling is a family-favorite dessert recipe! It’s rich, creamy and absolutely incredible! It’s also probably one of the easiest desserts to make. There’s no baking required and you only need 4 simple ingredients for the cream cheese filling. Perfect to serve for the holidays, Valentine’s Day, or any special occasion.
I couldn’t tell you the first time I devoured this pie. I’ve been enjoying it since I was old enough to eat pie. It’s a hand-me-down recipe from my sweet grandma… the best kind of recipes, if you ask me. And I’ve requested it for my birthday on more than one occasion.
I’m a huge fan of classic cheesecake, but I think the light creaminess of this no-bake cream cheese pie is even more delicious than the real thing. Where traditional cheesecake is very firm and ultra rich, cream cheese pie is smooth, velvety and kind of like a cheesecake mousse. I love it because it’s not too heavy, but it’s still decadent enough to taste like a special treat.
My son requests this no-bake cheesecake on the regular and I’m happy to oblige. In fact, I’ve probably made this easy cream cheese pie more than any other recipe on my site! Let’s get to all of the delicious details!
This irresistible cream cheese pie recipe is made with just 4 basic ingredients, plus the crust and topping (if using). Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Graham cracker crust. You can buy a pre-made graham cracker crust from the store to save time, but I prefer a homemade graham cracker crust. And it’s actually very simple to make with graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.
- Cream cheese. Make sure you use a block of real cream cheese, not cream cheese spread. I recommend using Philadelphia original cream cheese, as it will yield the best results. You will want the cream cheese soft, but super cold. Cream cheese is typically pretty soft straight from the refrigerator and that will work great. If your cream cheese is too soft, the pie filling may not set up correctly.
- Sweetened condensed milk. One 14-ounce can of full-fat sweetened condensed milk sweetens the dessert and provides a smooth texture. My grandma always used Eagle Brand, so that’s what I use.
- Fresh lemon juice. This gives the cheesecake a tiny amount of tartness, but doesn’t make it overly lemony. It’s a really delicious addition! Not only that, it’s an essential addition. Lemon juice helps to thicken the sweetened condensed milk, which is necessary so that the cream cheese pie sets properly. I recommend using fresh lemon juice for best results.
- Vanilla extract. For an extra boost of flavor!
- Cherry pie filling. Totally optional for the topping, but definitely my favorite way to serve no-bake this pie. See more topping options below.
HOW TO MAKE EASY CREAM CHEESE PIE
Not only is the ingredient list short and sweet, but making the recipe is a breeze! For full, printable instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post. Here’s a quick rundown of how to make the recipe:
- Crust. Make or buy a graham cracker crust (my favorite!). I love a good homemade graham cracker crust and this one is so easy, I recommend just making it yourself. Allow the crust to set in the fridge for about an hour.
- Cream cheese filling. Using an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese until fluffy. Then gradually add in the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Scrape down the mixing bowl as needed. Beat the mixture until everything is fully combined. Do not over-beat or the mixture will become too thin.
- Assemble the cheesecake. Pour the filling into the refrigerated crust and chill the whole pie for at least 6 hours or overnight, if you have the time.
- Topping. Spoon on the cherry topping… or don’t. My mom and sister actually prefer to eat their cream cheese pie without any topping at all. Much like classic cheesecake, but better! You could also use fresh berries, if you want to keep the dessert a little lighter.
- Serve. Enjoy and try not to eat the whole pie, like my son and I did this weekend. Oops! You think I’m joking, but I’m totally not! 😳 It’s that good!
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE
I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count and I have a few tips, so that your dessert is perfect. This pie can be a little tricky sometimes to set properly and it’s essential that you follow all of these tips for best results.
- Graham crackers. For the crust, you can buy graham cracker crumbs from the grocery store (you’ll find them down the baking aisle), or make your own by pulsing 10 full sheets of graham crackers in your blender or food processor.
- Cream cheese. I do not take my cream cheese out of the fridge prior to beating it. It should be soft, but very cold.
- Refrigeration time. For best results, be sure to refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6 hours, but overnight is even better. The longer you refrigerate no-bake cheesecake, the sturdier it will be and the more lovely the slices. Do not freeze the cheesecake to set it. It will be difficult to slice the filling and the texture won’t be as smooth.
- Slicing. Use a clean, sharp knife to cut into slices for serving. For extra neat slices, wipe your knife clean with a paper towel between each cut.
Customize this cream cheese pie
I’m pretty much obsessed with this recipe as-is, but there are lots of tasty ways to get creative with your dessert. Here’s a few ideas:
- Oreo cheesecake. Try using Oreo cookies for the crust, instead of graham crackers, and then top the pie filling with Oreo crumbles and cookies. Sounds amazing!
- Toppings. Cherry pie filling pairs really well with the tang of no-bake cheesecake, but some other toppings that would be delicious are fresh berries, chocolate drizzle, salted caramel drizzle, or any other canned fruit pie filling.
- Cheesecake bars. Want this same cherry cheesecake flavor in bars? Try my cheesecake bar recipe!
- Cheesecake dip. Skip the crust and cherry topping and create a dip instead of a pie. Genius! Add fluffy cream cheese filling to a serving bowl and serve with graham crackers, fruit and cookies.
This easy cream cheese pie is just an all around great pie that’s perfect for bringing to a potluck, serving after Easter lunch and beautiful enough to surprise your sweetie with on Valentine’s Day. I even made it this year for Christmas! Believe me, you won’t be trying to get rid of extra slices. This stuff goes quick.
Because of the necessary refrigeration time, cream cheese pie is a great make-ahead dessert! You can make the recipe up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate before adding topping. You can also make just the crust up to 2 days ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days before adding the filling.
STORING LEFTOVER cream cheese pie
Leftover pie will keep well, covered, in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days. I seriously doubt it will last that long, though!
CAN YOU FREEZE cream cheese pie?
This no-bake cream cheese pie can be frozen!
Once the filling has been added to the crust, wrap the pie in plastic wrap. For the best texture, allow the pie to set in the refrigerator for about 6 hours before placing in the freezer. Before freezing, I like to wrap aluminum foil around the plastic wrap for extra freezer protection. You can freeze the pie for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator or on the countertop, then slice and enjoy!
This pie is off-the-charts amazing. Hands down my favorite and pretty much my whole family’s favorite pie. My son is already requesting this cream cheese pie for his birthday dessert in June. 😊 It’s:
And easy as pie!
MORE FAMILY FAVORITE DESSERTS
If you try this cream cheese pie recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Watch the video below to see just how easy this recipe is to whip up!
Easy Cream Cheese Pie
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, (10 full graham cracker sheets)
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar, (I use slightly less than 1/4 cup)
For the pie:
- 1 (8 ounce) package Philadelphia cream cheese, very cold and straight from the fridge, should be a bit soft
- 1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice , I highly recommend fresh lemon juice. It seems to react best with the sweetened condensed milk to firm-up the filling.
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 1 20 ounce can prepared cherry pie filling**, optional
To make the crust:
- Combine all crust ingredients and firmly press with fingers into a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for 1 hour before adding the filling.
To make the filling:
- Using a stand or hand-held mixer, whip very cold cream cheese until fluffy. Then, pour in the sweetened condensed milk while continuing to beat until blended. Do not continue to beat too long or the mixture will become too thin. Add lemon juice and vanilla; beat until just combined. You may need to stop the mixer a few times and scrape down sides and give the mixture a good stir with a spatula. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight. I chill mine overnight for best results. The longer this pie is refrigerated, the better it will set up.
- Serve pie with cherry pie filling or other desired topping. Cover and store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Crust. To save time, you can use an already made store-bought (9-inch) graham cracker crust. You could even try an Oreo crust, which would be delicious.
- Topping. For a healthier option, top with fresh fruit. Also, many members of my family prefer this pie with no topping at all.
- Make Ahead Instructions. This recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate before adding topping. You can also make just the crust up to 2 days ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days before adding the filling.
- Nutritional info calculated without topping.
Did you make this recipe?
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Yum! Loved this pie! Will be making again for Christmas!
I have been making this pie for over 40 years, my son loves it and now makes it for his family, years ago one of his friends would go and buy the ingredients and bring it to me to make for him and many times I made it for him just because. it’s a great recipe so delicious, I used to make it everyday at a restaurant I worked for.
It really is so good! A family favorite for sure!
To have this set up properly you need 2 blocks of cream cheese!! This will keep it from being runny!! Works great!
What do you cover the pie with while in the fridge overnight? Won’t plastic wrap stick to it??!?
Thanks for the tip! I always put a couple of tooth picks in the pie and then cover it with plastic wrap and the tooth picks will keep the plastic wrap from sticking. Enjoy!
If I double the recipe will it still set up? I’d like to use a 9in spring form pan.
I’m sorry, I can’t say for sure because I’ve never tried this.
For those expressing frustration at the pie being soupy: DO NOT use an electric mixer to beat in the condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. After beating the cream cheese with an electric mixer, switch to a large spoon or spatula to blend the remaining ingredients. Also, the cream cheese and condensed milk should be blended together BEFORE stirring in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. If you will make this simple change, your pie will set beautifully every time! I would actually recommend the recipe be amended to state this. Almost every version of this pie I’ve found online says to blend everything together with an electric mixer. For years I did that and could never figure out why the pie was so runny. In fact, even the handwritten recipe from my late grandmother had instructions to just blend everything together in a mixer. No, no, no!! But now I know, and I want y’all to know too. 🙂
Thanks so much for all of these tips! I make this pie all of the time and next time I do, I will definitely give your version a try and update the recipe accordingly. 🙂
Can this pie be frozen so I won’t eat the whole pie in a few days? 🙂
Haha! Yes, freezing this pie should work great. After it sets in the refrigerator, wrap the whole dish in 1 layer of plastic wrap, then 1 layer of aluminum foil. It should keep well for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then slice and serve.
This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever made. Not only is it easy, but the cream cheese with the sweetened condensed milk is delicious.
So happy you enjoyed! It’s definitely a favorite of mine!
This was amazing! Super easy and so delicious. We couldn’t stay out of it… ha! Will definitely be making again!
This pie is absolutely amazing. My whole family loved it and I will definitely be making it again.
Awesome recipe. It was absolutely delicious and the whole family loved it! It was so easy to make too.
Made this yesterday and it was fabulous! Set up perfectly… I think it definitely helps to fully cream the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until light and fluffy.
I have made this pie for years. My family loves it. The last 2 years of making the pie it will not set??? It’s liquidity? What am I doing wrong??
Are you using full fat cream cheese? That definitely helps, but this pie isn’t like a typical cheesecake and I don’t think I’ve ever had it set up completely. Hope you enjoy anyway!
This tastes great but does not work well as a pie. The filling made as instructed never set up past the soft pudding stage. My recommendation: serve in parfait glasses with the graham cracker mix between layers of filling with cherries in the top. It looks very pretty that way and is well received.
I love that this is a no-bake dessert and it looks so pretty with the cherries. Thanks for the great recipe!
I used to make this pie for Christmas and Thanksgiving going back at least 20 probably 30 years ago. My Dad loved it. I haven’t made it for years but I made it tonight because I bought sweetened condensed milk by accident instead of regular canned milk. Simple, easy, delicious. I use strawberry pie filling to top it with or just plain is fine too. It’s best if you let a chill overnight so the flavor soaks into the graham cracker crust and makes it soft.
It’s a family favorite of ours too! So glad you enjoyed!
This has been our thanksgiving and christmas pie for almost 40 years. Both cherry and pineapple. Pie for breakfast was a tradition at my mom’s😂
my cream cheese did not set up. It was still very soft and somewhat runny. I checked the recipe again and made it just like it said to. What happened?
It will definitely be a bit softer using the light cream cheese and it doesn’t set up like a normal cheesecake. It should have the consistency of a thick pudding. But it should not be runny. You may just need to refrigerate it a little longer. Sorry you’re having trouble.
OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!! My mother used to make this ALL of the time from when I was about 6 yrs old on up (and I am OLD!!! I am a Grandmother now!) I had forgotten about this pie and OMG IT WAS TO DIE FOR!! She always made it when we had company, ALWAYS…….it was a staple. I wish I had seen this a few days ago I would have made it for Valentine’s Day…hmmmm…I think I might just make it for the Oscars!!!! I am so happy you posted this, THANK YOU!!!!
Yes, it was totally my grandma’s sample too! Ha! Hope you get a chance to make it soon! 🙂
Wow the colour of the cherries just popped off the screen!! . This looks so yum and easy to bake
What a great recipe, will be making again!
100% my dessert dream! YUMMMMMO I love how easy this is!
Looks so creamy and delicious! I’m pinning this for later!
This pie was amazing! I will be making this pie again and again! Thank you for sharing!
This pie looks so good. Cherries and cream cheese go so well together. And I love that it’s no bake.
No bake desserts are the best, especially when made with cherries 🙂
Love the look of this delicious Pie, the color is so amazing. Have to try this Pie for my Kitty party. My friends to love it.
You had me at easy! This pie looks so good! And I love that I Could make it quickly before a party!