Easy No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe
This easy no-bake cheesecake recipe is my family’s favorite dessert of all time!! My grandma has been making this for as long as I can remember and I always request it for my birthday dessert. Not only is it rich, creamy and over-the-top delicious, it’s probably one of the easiest desserts to whip up. There’s no oven required and you only need 4 simple ingredients for the cream cheese filling. No-bake cheesecake is a fun and festive dessert that looks impressive, yet is so easy to make! Perfect to serve for the holidays, Valentine’s Day, or any special occasion.
best no-bake cheesecake
I have been in love with this no-bake cheesecake for as long as I can remember. I know there are many no-bake cheesecake recipes out there, but this one simply cannot be beat! It’s one of those recipes that once you try, you’ll be craving and wanting to make again and again. Thankfully, this cheesecake recipe is so easy! It’s probably no surprise that this easy no-bake cheesecake is the recipe that I have made more times than any other recipe on my site.
While I love classic cheesecake, I think the light creaminess of no-bake cheesecake is even more delicious than the real thing. Where traditional cheesecake is very firm and ultra rich, no-bake cheesecake 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 has already requested that I make this cherry cheesecake for his birthday dessert in June. 😊
This wonderful cream cheese pie recipe is made with just 4 basic ingredients, plus the crust and topping. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Crust. You can buy a pre-made graham cracker crust 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. We like Philadelphia’s cream cheese best. You will want the cream cheese to be very cold. It should be soft straight out of the refrigerator, but if it’s too soft, the cheesecake 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! I’ve found that fresh lemon juice reacts best with the sweetened condensed milk to firm-up the filling.
- 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 cheesecake. See more topping options below.
how to make easy cheesecake
Not only is the ingredient list short and sweet, but making the cheesecake is a breeze! Here’s a quick rundown of how to make this no-bake cheesecake 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 4 filling ingredients (cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla).
- 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 no-bake cheesecake 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 cheesecake, like my son and I did this weekend. Oops! You think I’m joking, but I’m totally not! 😳 It’s that good!
see how to make no-bake cheesecake in the recipe card
This recipe could not be easier, but if you like having a visual guide, check out the video in the recipe card.
tips for the perfect no-bake cheesecake
- 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.
- Firm cheesecake. I recommend only using Philadelphia cream cheese for this recipe. The cheesecake tends to set up better with this brand of cream cheese. Also, make sure your cream cheese is super 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.
I’m pretty fond of no-bake cheesecake served with a topping of cherry pie filling, but there are lots of tasty ways to get creative with your cheesecake. Here’s a few ideas:
- Oreo cheesecake. Try using Oreo cookies for the crust, instead of graham crackers, and then top the cheesecake 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!
Because of the necessary refrigeration time, no-bake cheesecake is a great make-ahead dessert! You can make the cheesecake 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 no-bake cheesecake
Leftover no-bake cheesecake 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 no-bake cheesecake?
No-bake cheesecake can be frozen!
Once the filling has been added to the crust, wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap. For the best texture, allow the cheesecake 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 cheesecake for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator or on the countertop, then slice and enjoy!
You will not be disappointed by this no-bake cheesecake – it’s so easy and a mega crowd pleaser! I also love that it can be made days ahead of time, so on the day of your party all you need to do is slice, serve and enjoy!
more family favorite desserts
If you try this no-bake cheesecake 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.
Easy No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe
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, softened
- 1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 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 electric mixer, whip cream cheese until fluffy.
- Gradually add sweetened condensed milk while continuing to beat until well blended. You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and give the mixture a good stir with a spatula. Do not over-beat or filling will be too thin.
- Add lemon juice and vanilla; blend well. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust, cover, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight. I chill mine overnight for best results. The longer this pie is refrigerated, the better the no-bake cheesecake will set up.
- Serve cheesecake with cherry pie filling or other desired topping. Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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 cheesecake 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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I made this per instructions but it would not set.
Possibly WHY. ?
Sorry you did not have great results. I have cut down on the lemon juice, from the 1/3 cup in my grandma’s recipe to 2 tablespoons. I would also recommend only using Philadelphia cream cheese. You could also try using 2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese. However, please know that the texture will still not be that of regular cheesecake.
What can I use in place of sweetened condensed milk. We don’t eat sugar. I use monk fruit sweetener in place of sugar.
I’m not really sure, but I would google homemade monk fruit sweetened condensed milk and see if you have come up with anything. Good luck!
Hi, Kim, what a simple and delicious dessert! Thanks for sharing! It’s been years since I have made no-bake cheesecake – I would love to try this no-bake filling in a baked merangue crust. Think it would work (without crust turning mushy)? Dianna
I’ve never tried it in a different crust, but I think if it was baked first it would work. Let me know if you try it!