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When it comes to desserts, you can’t go wrong with a cheesecake! If you’re short on time to devote to a baked cheesecake, why not try this delicious no-bake cheesecake with gelatin? Easy enough for beginners!
The beauty of cheesecake is that it can be finished off just how you like it. Whether that’s topped with seasonal fruits, some whipped cream, or a good drizzle of caramel sauce or chocolate syrup. You can even make a ‘fancy’ version by replacing the vanilla extract with vanilla bean; the flecks look beautiful.
However you choose to top your cheesecake, you don’t even need to turn on the oven with this easy cheesecake recipe! On hot days, it’s a great way to (not) bake your (cheese)cake and eat it too!
What makes this cheesecake great?
With no need to bake this cheesecake, it’s a great dessert to make when the oven is otherwise occupied, or if it’s too hot! Timing is also in your favor here because you’ll want to make the cheesecake in advance. That makes this the fanciest make-ahead dessert I know (up there with tiramisu!).
The gelatin gives the cheesecake structure while keeping it light and creamy in texture. Gelatin needs time to set up though, so if you’ve got a lot going on in the kitchen already, it’s one more thing you can take off your list!
I love that this cheesecake isn’t too sweet, but has a creamy texture that’s almost like a baked cheesecake. While not exactly identical, even resident cheesecake snob the Godfather gave this recipe a thumbs up!
Gelatin – As mentioned, the gelatin in this recipe gives the cheesecake structure, which is important when not baking. It replaces the eggs we would normally add in a cheesecake recipe.
Gelatin is of course derived from animal sources, so is not suitable for vegetarians. To make a vegetarian-friendly version, you can use an equal amount of agar agar.
BUT, it is important to note that agar agar sets thicker than gelatin at room temperature, so your cheesecake will lose a little of the light and creamy texture. Personally, I haven’t found my magic agar cheesecake recipe yet.
Instead, I’ll send you here for a No-Bake Mango Cheesecake recipe made with agar! It looks quite delicious, and I hope to give it a try one day.
Yogurt – Full-fat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt is best for this recipe. I like the tang added and the sneaky extra bit of protein. Of course, if Greek yogurt isn’t to your liking, sour cream is also a wonderful substitute!
I used plain yogurt in developing this recipe. Should you swap for vanilla, you’ll get a sweeter batter. If your yogurt is particularly sweet, you may want to reduce the sugar in the recipe by a tablespoon or two.
Vanilla extract – The recipe requires vanilla extract for flavor. It is a vanilla cheesecake after all! Of course, I encourage you to play with flavors. This is a lovely blank canvas for you.
If you’re keeping with classic vanilla, you can swap the vanilla extract for vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste. It really does beautify this cheesecake!
Top tips for your no-bake cheesecake with gelatin
Since we aren’t going to bake this cheesecake, you need a good base. One that isn’t going to crumble everywhere when you serve it up!
The best thing you can do is to use a drinking glass to press the crust into the cheesecake tin. That way, the crust shouldn’t be loose giving it a better chance of coming out of the pan without blemishes. Be sure to grease the pan well too, and line it with parchment for easy transfer.
If you find yourself without a cheesecake tin, don’t worry. You can make this in an 8 or 9-inch round cake tin. Just place long strips of parchment paper across the bottom of the tin, leaving long edges up top that act as handles. You can then carefully lift the cheesecake out of the pan once completely chilled.
Topping Your No-Bake Cheesecake
Once you’ve made your cheesecake, it’s time to add some flair! An easy way to top your cheesecake is by using fresh fruit and whipped cream.
This Easy Stabilized Whipped Cream uses agar-agar so it’s fine for vegetarians. Alternatively, this Marscapone Whipped Cream is delicious too!
If you’re a fan of caramel, I don’t know many who aren’t..! Then why not try adding this Caramel Sauce. You’ve likely got the ingredients you need already to hand and it’s quick and easy to make.
And that’s it darlings! Your no-bake cheesecake with gelatin is ready to be devoured! If you’ve made it ahead of time, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it up, and enjoy!
- 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Whipped cream
- Fresh berries
- Caramel sauce
- Chocolate sauce
- Place 1/4 cup of cool water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the water and set it aside to bloom.
- Make the crust: Spray the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray or brush with melted butter. For the easiest removal, line the bottom and sides with parchment paper too.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar. Use a fork to stir in the melted butter until no dry crumbs remain.
- Press the crust mixture evenly across the bottom of your prepared pan and along the sides. A straight-edge drinking glass is a great way to get even, compact coverage. Place in the freezer to set while you make the cheesecake filling (see notes).
- Take your gelatin and microwave it in 15-second intervals at high power, stirring after each one, until the gelatin has melted. Take the time to stir, overheating the gelatin will minimize effectiveness. Set the gelatin mixture aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, and sugars until you have a smooth, thick mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and switch to the whisk attachment.
- Starting at low speed, pour in the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract.
- Once the heavy cream is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and drizzle in the gelatin mixture.
- Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling into the graham cracker crust. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top and ensure an even layer.
- Cover with a round of parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours before slicing and serving. No-bake cheesecake can be made 1-2 days in advance.
- When you are ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan, top with any of the optional toppings if desired, slice, and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving:
39g 23g 1g 12g
These nutrition values are estimates. Exact values will vary depending on the ingredients, brands, and quantities used.
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My easy, No-Bake Cheesecake is made no gelatin or condensed milk and tastes JUST like the classic version you’re used to! This recipe needs only a few hours to chill before slicing and serving. Includes a how-to video!
No-Bake Cheesecake (Without Gelatin)
As a self-proclaimed cheesecake snob, I know how disappointing it can be to make a no-bake cheesecake recipe and have it not even closely resemble real-deal, classic cheesecake. With most recipes, you encounter one of two problems: either the texture is lacking (soft, pudding-like) or the flavor is just completely off. So, when I set out to make my no-bake cheesecake, I knew exactly what I needed to avoid just as much as I knew what I was looking for!
My no-bake cheesecake recipe creates a classic, fresh-tasting, firm cheesecake without ever turning on the oven. While many no-bake cheesecakes use gelatin or condensed milk for stabilization, I use homemade whipped cream for the best flavor and texture (and don’t even think about substituting Cool Whip!).
This cheesecake sets up very nicely in the fridge after a few hours (preferably overnight) and has that same, firm cheesecake texture and taste that you’re familiar with–NO oven needed! You’re going to love it!
Why my recipe works
- Whipped cream creates a sturdy base without the need for gelatin.
- Uses the same ingredients as classic cheesecake (minus the eggs) for that classic flavor.
- Much easier and less fussy than a baked cheesecake–great for beginners!
- Can handle toppings like fresh fruit, pie filling, or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
What You Need
For an authentic-tasting cheesecake, we want to stay as true as possible to classic ingredients. That means using:
- Cream cheese. Make sure you use brick-style, full-fat cream cheese. This should be softened to room temperature.
- Sour cream. Sour cream is CRITICAL for a rich, classic, real cheesecake flavor. Maybe this is just my cheesecake snobbery showing here, but a cheesecake made without sour cream is not a cheesecake! Sour cream packs a ton of flavor and adds depth and authenticity to this no-bake cheesecake recipe. If you don’t have or can’t find sour cream, full-fat, plain greek yogurt will also work in a pinch.
- Lemon juice. Just a splash enhances the cheesecake flavor and adds a slight tang. Bottled or fresh lemon juice will work here. This can be left out if needed.
- Sugar. I love using brown sugar in my graham cracker crust for an extra note of flavor. Powdered sugar in the filling blends beautifully while also encouraging a firm, fully-set texture.
- Heavy cream. While not typical for traditional cheesecake (though critical for my basque cheesecake), heavy cream is essential for this no-bake cheesecake. We’ll be whipping this to stiff peaks and folding it into our cheesecake mixture. This creates stability without the need for gelatin or condensed milk!
SAM’S TIP: This recipe will make too much filling for a store-bought graham cracker crust. If you want to use one, you can just pour the extra filling that doesn’t fit in a bowl, chill, and enjoy crustless!
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make No-Bake Cheesecake
For the Crust
- Start with your homemade graham cracker crust: Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well-combined and mixture resembles damp sand.
- Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan, then place in the refrigerator to chill (no baking needed for the crust, either!).
For the Filling
- Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks (thickened, fluffy, voluminous, resembling Cool Whip only tastier).
- In a separate bowl, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and sour cream until smooth.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until completely combined and batter is smooth.
- Evenly spread the cheesecake filling into your prepared graham cracker crust and chill for several hours before slicing and serving.
SAM’S TIP: Since we’re not baking this cheesecake, it won’t be smoothing itself out in the oven. You can smooth the top of your cheesecake with an offset spatula before chilling for a pretty appearance if you’d like!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can no-bake cheesecake be frozen?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze no-bake cheesecake! I recommend chilling as instructed (in the recipe below) first and then covering the cheesecake well with plastic wrap before freezing. I don’t recommend adding any decorative whipped cream topping (or any topping) until you are ready to serve, as it will make storing more difficult (and messier!).
You can eat the frozen cheesecake straight from frozen or return it to the refrigerator to allow it to thaw before enjoying.
How long does a no-bake cheesecake last?
Personally, we can never get this cheesecake to last longer than 48 hours in our house! If you have more self-control, your cheesecake will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to either store it in an airtight container or tightly wrap the springform pan in plastic wrap when storing.
Why didn’t my no-bake cheesecake set?
If you used the wrong kind of cream cheese or didn’t whip your cream long enough, your cheesecake may not set. Make sure to use full-fat brick-style cream cheese and not the spreadable kind that comes in a tub. If you need a visual of what cream whipped to stiff peaks looks like, check out the video below.
No-bake cheesecake would also be delicious on my Oreo crust!
- 9″ or 10″ graham cracker crust prepared in springform pan (please click link for graham cracker crust recipe)
- softened to room temperature (450g) (use brick-style cream cheese, not the spreadable kind sold in tubs)
- Additional whipped cream for topping, optional
- Place cream cheese in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add powdered sugar and stir until combined.
- Stir in vanilla extract and lemon juice, pausing to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add sour cream and stir well.
- Pour heavy cream into a separate, medium-sized bowl (preferably a chilled metal bowl). Whisk on high speed (preferably using an electric mixer) until stiff peaks are achieved.
- Fold your whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until smooth and well-combined.
- Spread cheesecake mixture evenly over prepared graham cracker crust.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with additional whipped cream before cutting and serving, if desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This recipe was originally posted 06/05/2017, recipe remains the same but post has been updated to be more helpful September 2022
More Cheesecake Recipes
This No Bake Cheesecake is a 10-minute prep (plus chilling time), no-bake, foolproof way to make cheesecake, the easy way. And, it’s utterly delicious. Utterly simple. And one you’ll make often!
With its melt-in-your-mouth sweet and velvety filling, it will become a favorite!
Perfect for the warm months when you want to keep the oven off — and still have a decadent treat.
While traditional cheesecakes are incredibly yummy, they can be challenging even for the pros. In this no-bake cheesecake recipe, there is no water bath method to employ, no risk of the surface cracking, and the oven, as mentioned, remains off.
It’s a win you’ll love this summer!
What to Love About No Bake Cheesecake
- 10 minutes (or less) to prep, plus chilling time
- Make ahead perfect
- So, so simple!
What is No-Bake Cheesecake?
It’s a cheesecake, made in about 10 minutes, that requires no oven, no baking, and very little time. Much like my No Bake 3 Ingredient Chocolate Pie, this dessert is made with simple ingredients, a few turns of a spatula, and chilling time.
It’s simple, it’s beautiful, and perfect for those days when you crave homemade cheesecake but want it quick and easy.
What You Need to Make this Simple No Bake Cheesecake
These simple ingredients will transform into a decadent, creamy cheesecake you’ll love. Here are the ingredients needed. The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post:
- Cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- Ready-made graham cracker crust
- Sour cream
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon juice
- Whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
- Toppings, optional
Tips for Making a Perfect No Bake Cheesecake
This classic No Bake Cheesecake is incredibly easy to make. Here are some tips to make it foolproof:
- Be sure to use pure cream cheese and not cream cheese spread.
- Bring the cream cheese to room temperature (see methods for doing this below). This will help provide a smooth and velvety texture.
- Using chilled cream cheese will result in a lumpy cheesecake.
There are several ways to serve this cheesecake. Be sure to add the topping before serving.
In the summer months, I love blueberry topping, which is what I’ve used here. You can make your own or buy a ready-made blueberry pie filling (strawberry and cherry work deliciously too).
Or, you can serve with fresh berries, like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries– which reminds me of another super easy summer dessert I love that also features fresh berries– Simple Berry Trifle Recipe!
Can I Substitute Whipped Cream for Whipped Topping?
Absolutely. However, be sure to use cold heavy whipping cream and beat until stiff peaks form. This step is essential as it gives structure and thickness to the cheesecake. If the cream isn’t whipped until stiff peaks form, it will not set as it should.
How to Bring Cream Cheese to Room Temperature
There are a couple of ways to bring cream cheese to room temperature.
Here are a few methods that work:
Can You Freeze a No-Bake Cheesecake?
A no-bake cheesecake freezes really well whether you freeze the entire cheesecake or even in slices.
Here are a few tips:
- Freeze the cheesecake without topping.
- Use an airtight container for a firm foundation for the cheesecake.
- If not using an airtight container, freeze on a cake board, double wrap in plastic wrap, and foil.
- It will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.
To thaw a frozen no bake cheesecake, and refrigerate overnight.
- 2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 (8-oz) container whipped topping (Cool Whip)
- 9 or 10-inch ready made graham cracker crust
- With a spoon or using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice until smooth and combined.
- Gently fold in the whipped topping.
- Transfer the cheesecake filling into a ready-made graham cracker crust and smooth the top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight to set.
- Before serving, add toppings.
- Pie filling (I’ve used blueberry here)
- Piping of whipped cream
- Fresh berries
Amount Per Serving:
9g 4g 0g 3g
SAVE THIS AND PIN IT FOR LATER!
An easy Keto No-bake Cheesecake recipe that’s so rich and creamy you’d never know it is sugar-free. Made with a super smooth filling and a light crust, our no-bake cheesecake is easy and perfect for the whole family. Oh and did I mention it’s based on our Classic Keto Cheesecake recipe?!
Making homemade cheesecake can be tricky, some might even say it can be temperamental. If you are one of those that feel that way, you are going to love our new recipe for NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE.
If instead you would like a traditional oven-baked cheesecake please check out our Keto Cheesecake and our Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake. They are also super yummy!
The reason it can be a no-bake recipe is that we don’t use eggs in the filling. So because of that, it doesn’t need to cook at all. It doesn’t get easier than that!
Difference Between Traditional and No-Bake Cheesecakes
There are a lot of different kinds of cheesecake out there so here is a quick breakdown of what each kind is and what the differences are. As far as what kind is better, that’s completely up to you and your personal preferences.
No-Bake Cheesecake – As you might guess, this style of cheesecake doesn’t require any baking in the oven. Since you don’t need to cook it, it means that you do not add eggs to the filling. The cream cheese filling often has gelatin, condensed milk, whipped cream, or sour cream to help stabilize it and will leave you with a softer cheesecake.
Classic or Regular Cheesecake – A classic or regular cheesecake normally includes a water bath and is cooked at a lower to moderate temperature. Even though a water bath is usually done, it’s not a necessity. A water bath gives you brown edges on your cheesecakes.
One way of identifying this type of cheesecake is that you will find other ingredients in the filling such as sour cream or even heavy cream. Using other ingredients like these implies that, unlike other cheesecakes, cream cheese isn’t the only key ingredient used.
You can find classic cheesecakes all over the country and they are compared with a New York Style Cheesecake. Another reason they call it a classic cheesecake is by how simple and “classic” the graham cracker crust is.
New York Style Cheesecake – What comes to your mind when you think of New York-style cheesecake? If you are like me, then Junior’s in NYC pops into your head.
It is rich and has a smooth, dense, thick, and very creamy texture. Most New York cheesecakes go pretty heavy on cream cheese, it’s the most dominant ingredient.
Philadelphia Style Cheesecake – This is also called the “Philly Cheesecake” and is a cake with more flavor and a very light airy texture.
This cheesecake doesn’t have anything to do with the actual city of Philadelphia but according to experts, the name is a reference to the cheesecake version marketed by the Philadelphia cream cheese brand, the one we all love!
French Style Cheesecake – In France, the classic cheesecake you find will not have any cream cheese but will have mascarpone, chevre, or Neufchatel cheese.
Italian Style Cheesecake – In Italy, their classic cheesecake base is made mostly from ricotta cheese, but at times can be made with mascarpone. A mascarpone cheesecake will taste similar to a cream cheese cheesecake. But when it’s made with ricotta the cheesecakes are drier and a little less creamy.
Is No-Bake Cheesecake Keto-Friendly?
No, not all no-bake cheesecakes are keto-friendly. Why? Because most of them are made with a graham cracker crust and cane sugar. Both of those are not good on a low carb diet.
That being said, we have adjusted those ingredients to give you a delicious keto-friendly no-bake cheesecake that is just as good.
Carbs in Cheesecake
Let’s look at a comparison in carbs between a piece of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory and our low carb no-bake cheesecake.
- 1 slice of Original Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory has 62 NET CARBS.
- 1 slice of our Keto Cheesecake has 4.7 NET CARBS.
What Ingredients are in Keto No-Bake Cheesecakes?
- Almond Flour – Be sure to use fine almond flour, and not almond meal.
- Low Carb Sweetener – Using a granulated low-carb sweetener is perfect for the crust. We used granulated monk fruit.
- Melted Butter – Melted butter is key to getting the crust ingredients to stick together.
- Cream Cheese – 24 oz softened cream cheese, my favorite brand is Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
- Sour Cream – ¼ cup full-fat sour cream.
- Lemon Juice – 2 tsp lemon juice, adds the perfect tang that you want in a cheesecake.
- Vanilla – 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Low Carb Sweetener – For this we used Powdered Swerve, it’s a must. You need the sweetener to be powdered otherwise you will end up with a gritty filling.
- Heavy Cream – Heavy whipping cream.
Best Cheese for Low Carb Cheesecake
There are a few cheese options for making a no-bake keto cheesecake or really any kind of cheesecake. However, we find that cream cheese and sour cream work the best.
We’ve found that using both of them combined makes this recipe come out the best. Now let’s briefly discuss the options below.
Cream Cheese – Most cheesecakes in the United States and even Canada are made with a cream cheese filling, giving traditional American cheesecake the thick and creamy texture that we all know and love.
Sour Cream – While sour cream is not technically a cheese, it’s a dairy product that is made by fermenting cream. Sour cream is smooth and has a slight tanginess and oftentimes is added to the cream cheese base making it thicker and creamier. It doesn’t need to be added, but I really prefer it in my no-bake cheesecake recipe.
Sweetener Options for No-Bake Cheesecake
What are the best sweeteners to use when making the best no-bake cheesecake? I chose to use 2 different ones for this low carb cheesecake recipe.
- For this keto no-bake cheesecake crust, I used granulated monk fruit. You also could use Swerve brown sugar replacement. Either one works great.
- For the cheesecake filling, I used Swerve powdered sweetener. It blends very nicely and doesn’t leave you with any grittiness.
Cheesecake variations are absolutely endless. Just take a look at the menu at Cheesecake Factory, there are over 30 different flavors! I’m not going to give you 30 different recipes but here are a few different variations you can use when making a no-bake cheesecake.
- Nut-free Crust – If you have a nut allergy then replace the almond flour with sunflower seed flour, a 1:1 ratio.
- Keto Chocolate Crust – Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the crust ingredients.
- Espresso Keto Cheesecake – Add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to the cheesecake filling.
- Citrus Cheesecake – Replace the lemon juice with juice from an orange, and add in orange zest. Cara Cara oranges make the best citrus cheesecake.
- Chocolate Cheesecake – Add 8 oz melted and cooled unsweetened chocolate to the filling.
- Add lemon zest for a more lemony flavor.
- Add ½ cup natural peanut butter for a keto peanut butter cheesecake.
- Add ½ – ¾ cup pure pumpkin puree for a no-bake pumpkin cheesecake.
- No-Bake Cheesecake Bars: Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Assemble the cheesecake according to the instructions in the recipe card.
- Cheesecake Cupcakes: Place cupcake liners into a cupcake pan. Fill each liner with the crust and the filling. Chill in the fridge.
- Cheesecake Cups: Fill small mason jars or the cup of your choice with the crust ingredients and the filling. Chill in the fridge.
No-Bake Cheesecake Shapes
Don’t want to make a traditional no-bake cheesecake in a pan? That’s ok, you can make them in other forms if you want.
- No-Bake Cheesecake Bars: Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Assemble the cheesecake according to the instructions in the recipe card.
- Cheesecake Cupcakes: Place cupcake liners into a cupcake pan. Fill each liner with the crust and the filling. Chill in the fridge.
- Cheesecake Cups: Fill small mason jars or the cup of your choice with the crust ingredients and the filling. Chill in the fridge.
Can I Make No-Bake Cheesecake Dairy-Free?
- Cream cheese with vegan cream cheese.
- Sour cream with vegan sour cream.
- Heavy cream with canned coconut cream.
- Melted butter with melted coconut oil.
Low Carb Cheesecake Toppings
Toppings can really enhance the flavor of this basic yet delicious and easy no-bake cheesecake recipe. Here are a few classic ideas:
- Fresh Berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
- Low Carb Strawberry Sauce, or another type of low carb Berry Sauce
- Sugar-Free Chocolate Sauce
- Low Carb Whipped Cream
- Keto Caramel Sauce
- Chopped Nuts
- Shredded Coconut
No-Bake Crust Options
In this keto cheesecake recipe, I used almond flour as the main ingredient giving you a keto cheesecake crust. But there are a few other options for a low carb crust.
- Replace the almond with any other kind of nut flour such as macadamia nut flour, pecan flour, or hazelnut flour.
- If you have a nut allergy, replace the almond flour with sunflower seed flour, it’s a 1:1 ratio.
Best Pan to Use
The best pan to use for any cheesecake including a no-bake cheesecake is a springform pan. I do really recommend getting a springform pan if you don’t have one already. It just makes it way easier to cut the pieces out.
There are a few common sizes you will find: 8”, 9”, and 10”. For this exact no-bake keto cheesecake, I’m using an 8” springform pan.
A quality springform pan makes it very easy to get the cheesecake out of the pan without damaging it. One thing to keep in mind is to make sure you properly tighten the pan. If it’s not tightened the right way it will leak and I guarantee you will be very unhappy with a leaky cheesecake.
What if you don’t own a springform pan and you can’t get one right away but you really want a cheesecake? We can make it work, but keep in mind you might not be getting a photo-worthy cheesecake but it’s still gonna taste good.
Here are a few options you can use when in a bind:
- Cake Pan – Like I said it’s not gonna be picture perfect but will work when in a pinch. Just slice the keto cheesecake into slices or squares. Be sure to spray the bottom and sides of the pan before adding the crust, or cut a piece of parchment paper and place on the bottom of the cake pan.
- Pie Plate – This will work if you don’t have a cake pan. It would be better if you used a deep-dish pie plate. Your cheesecake may be thinner when using a pie plate but will still do the trick.
How to Make Keto No-Bake Cheesecake
Let’s go over the step-by-step instructions on how to make a delicious no-bake cheesecake.
STEP 1: In a large mixing bowl add the almond flour, sweetener, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and melted butter.
STEP 2: Stir all the ingredients together.
STEP 3: Add the mixture to the 8” springform pan and press down evenly. Set aside.
STEP 4: In a chilled bowl, add the heavy cream. Beat the heavy cream until whipped cream consistency. Set in the fridge.
STEP 5: Grab another large bowl. Add the softened cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat the mixture until smooth.
STEP 6: Add in half of the powdered sweetener, beat until combined, then add the remaining powdered sweetener. Mix again.
STEP 7: Scoop the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling. Beat on high until the filling is smooth and well combined. You want the filling to be completely free of lumps.
STEP 8: Pour the filling on top of the crust. You may need to scoop it out and tap the pan to make sure the filling is evenly spread out.
STEP 9: Smooth the top with a spatula to get a nice even surface.
STEP 10: Place the no-bake cheesecake into the fridge to chill.
STEP 11: Make sure you let the cheesecake firm up for at least 4-6 hours, but preferably overnight.
STEP 12: Decorate the cheesecake with fresh fruit or any sauce you have prepared. Then serve and enjoy!
How to Tell When No-Bake Cheesecake Is Done Setting
It’s kind of hard to tell when exactly your no-bake cheesecake is done setting. But obviously, it’s best to give it as much time as possible. I recommend chilling it for at LEAST 4-6 hours, but overnight is even better.
Making a Low Carb Cheesecake Sauce
A lot of people love eating their no-bake cheesecakes or really any cheesecake with some sort of fruit sauce on top.
Here is how to make a delicious low carb strawberry sauce and a low carb blueberry sauce:
- 2 cups fresh sliced strawberries, or 2 cups blueberries
- ¼ cup low carb sweetener, monk fruit or swerve
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- In a small saucepan add all the ingredients.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- Pour over the no-bake cheesecake after both the cheesecake and the sauce have been properly chilled.
Cutting No-Bake Cheesecake
It can turn ugly real fast when cutting a no-bake cheesecake or really any cheesecake for that matter.. Here’s how to do it the right way:
- Get a good sharp chef’s knife.
- Pour hot water into a glass or jar, and dip the knife into the hot water.
- Once the knife is warmed up, wipe it with a paper towel and slice through the cheesecake.
- Be sure to dip and wipe your knife between cutting each slice.
FAQs and Best Tips
- Chill the bowl you are using for the heavy cream.
- Make sure the cream cheese is softened, not right out of the fridge. It makes a difference.
- You can replace the almond flour with macadamia nut flour, pecan flour, or hazelnut flour.
- NUT-FREE OPTION: Replace the almond flour with sunflower seed flour.
- DAIRY-FREE OPTION: Replace the cream cheese with vegan cream cheese, sour cream with vegan sour cream, and melted butter with melted coconut oil.
- Best to make this no-bake keto cheesecake ahead of time. It needs 4-6 hours in the fridge but preferably overnight.
Should I Use Gelatin?
There is no need for adding gelatin. When using gelatin you need more liquid, and our keto no-bake cheesecake doesn’t require a lot of liquids at all. So skip the gelatin!
My Cheesecake Didn’t Set Correctly
No-bake cheesecake doesn’t need to be set the same way as other cheesecake recipes because it doesn’t get baked in the oven. Instead, it needs time in the fridge to set correctly.
I recommend at least 4-6 hours setting in the fridge but overnight is best to ensure perfect results.
If it didn’t set the way you wanted, put it back into the fridge for another hour or two.
How to Thicken a No-Bake Cheesecake
There is plenty of cream cheese in our no-bake keto cheesecake so there is no need to add more to thicken it. Instead, just keep it in the fridge for a few extra hours to make sure the creamy cheese filling solidifies more.
Can I Bake the Crust?
Baking the crust first is an unnecessary step. When I say this is a no-bake cheesecake I mean literally NO-BAKE!
Make-Ahead Options and How to Store?
Making Ahead – You are going to want to make this no-bake keto cheesecake ahead of time because it needs plenty of time to set in the fridge before diving into it. Plan for it to take at least 4-6 hours to set in the fridge, but letting it sit in the fridge overnight is even better.
Storing – I will usually store my no-bake cheesecake with plastic wrap loosely covering it. If I only have a piece or two left then it’s best to put it in an airtight container so it stays fresh longer.
This keto-friendly cheesecake will last about 4 days when properly stored in the fridge.
Can I Leave No-Bake Cheesecake Out Overnight?
NOOOOOOO!!!! ABSOLUTELY NOT! DO NOT EAT CHEESECAKE IF IT SAT OUT OVERNIGHT!!!
Cheesecake is all dairy and will make you very very sick if you leave it out overnight and don’t keep it refrigerated.
Can You Freeze Keto No-Bake Cheesecake?
Freezing this low carb no-bake cheesecake recipe is a great idea, in fact, all cheesecakes freeze very well. You can freeze the entire cheesecake or freeze individual slices, it’s up to you.
FREEZE THE ENTIRE CHEESECAKE:
- Allow the cheesecake to fully set in the refrigerator as you normally would.
- After it’s completely chilled, wrap the entire cheesecake thoroughly in plastic wrap and then wrap it again in foil.
- Store in the freezer for 3 months.
FREEZE BY THE SLICE:
- Allow the cheesecake to fully set in the refrigerator as you normally would.
- Cut the cheesecake into slices.
- Place each slice of cheesecake on pieces of individual pieces of plastic wrap.
- Wrap them tightly, then place the slice in a freezer bag.
- Store in the freezer for 2 weeks. **Freezing by the slice does not hold up as well as freezing the entire cheesecake.
Option 1 – Place the frozen no-bake cheesecake into the fridge and let thaw overnight.
Tools to Use
- Mixing Bowls
- Springform Pan – 8”, 9”, or 10”
- Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
Other Diets This Recipe is Good For
- Gluten-Free: We use an almond flour crust recipe in our no-bake keto cheesecake making it completely gluten-free. Finding a gluten-free cheesecake can be tough, but finding a low carb cheesecake that is also gluten-free can be even tougher, but we’ve got you covered!
- Egg-Free: When making a no-bake cheesecake, you don’t add eggs into the filling.
- Nut-Free Option: Replace the almond flour with sunflower seed flour to make the crust nut-free.
Other Keto Dessert Recipes
If you’re in the mood for some other Keto-friendly Desserts, check out our:
All of them are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will have your friends raving!
- cream cheese (softened)
- 1 ½ cup
- In a large mixing bowl add the almond flour, sweetener, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and melted butter.
- Stir all the ingredients together.
- Add the mixture to the 8” springform pan and press down evenly. Set aside.
- In a chilled bowl, add the heavy cream. Beat the heavy cream until whipped cream consistency. Set in the fridge.
- Grab another large bowl. Add the softened cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat the filling mixture until smooth.
- Add in half of the powdered sweetener, beat until combined, then add the remaining powdered sweetener. Mix again.
- Scoop the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling. Beat on high until the filling is smooth and well combined. You want the filling to be completely free of lumps.
- Pour the filling on top of the crust. You may need to scoop it out and tap the pan the make sure the filling is evenly spread out.
- Smooth the top with a spatula to get a nice even surface.
- Place the no-bake cheesecake into the fridge to chill.
- Make sure you let the cheesecake firm up for at least 4-6 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Serve with your favorite topping.
4.7 NET CARBS PER SLICE.
Chill the bowl you are using for the heavy cream.
Make sure the cream cheese is softened, not right out of the fridge. It makes a difference.
You can replace the almond flour with macadamia nut flour, pecan flour, or hazelnut flour.
NUT-FREE OPTION – Replace the almond flour with sunflower seed flour.
DAIRY-FREE OPTION – Replace the cream cheese with vegan cream cheese, sour cream with vegan sour cream, and the melted butter with melted coconut oil.
Keto Chocolate Crust – Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the crust ingredients.
Espresso Keto Cheesecake – Add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to the cheesecake filling.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake – Add ½ cup natural peanut butter to the filling.
Pumpkin Cheesecake – Add ½-¾ cup pure pumpkin puree to the filling.
Citrus Cheesecake – Replace the lemon juice with juice from an orange, and add in orange zest. Cara Cara oranges make the best citrus cheesecake.
Chocolate Cheesecake – Add in 8 oz melted and cooled unsweetened chocolate to the filling.
No-Bake Cheesecake Bars: Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Assemble the cheesecake according to the instructions in the recipe card.
Place cupcake liners into a cupcake pan. Fill each liner with the crust and the filling. Chill in the fridge.
Fill small mason jars, or the cup of your choice with the crust ingredients and the filling. Chill in the fridge.
is easy, and you can freeze the whole cheesecake or individual slices.
To easily cut a cheesecake, pour hot water into a jar, dip a large chef’s knife into the water, wipe it with a paper towel and slice through the cheesecake. Redip and wipe the knife between cutting each slice.
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This No Bake Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake is all cheese with no whipped cream or sour cream and is topped off with a fresh strawberry jello/jelly topping.
How is this particular no-bake cheesecake different from a baked cheesecake? There are no eggs in this recipe and the reason it needs to be baked! Eggs in a traditional cheesecake can sometimes make the texture grainy and, if not cooked correctly, ruin it altogether by turning out lumpy and curdled.
This no bake cheesecake contains real cream cheese but no sour cream or whipped cream are added as these two ingredients can sometimes negatively affect the flavor of this creamy dessert treat.
With this recipe, you get the cream cheese flavor of cheesecake that is so velvety smooth and creamy with the right balance of creamy cheese flavor and sweetness.
Because it is a no bake cheesecake, the texture is slightly different than the baked variety, but it is definitely not lacking in the flavor department! In fact, it is just as good, if not better. This cheesecake is more ‘set’ versus cheesecake with whipping cream which is more like a mousse.
How it is better? Because it’s all cheese (cream cheese, that is). For many years, I did not like cheesecake because I was put off by the tangy, almost sour taste. I came to realize that this must have been because too much sour cream was used. This is not the case with this recipe.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good New York cheesecake, if the flavor balance is right. In fact, I have a baked Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake that is a simply delicious recipe you must try.
Why add gelatin? It just ensures that the cheesecake sets and stays together and you are guaranteed a smooth texture every time.
How do you soften cream cheese quickly?
Either put it in a warm (not hot) oven that is turned off for a few minutes in its foil packaging, or microwave (out of the packaging) on the ‘melt’ or ‘defrost’ setting until softened.
If you’re a fan of cherries, I also have another no bake option – No Bake Cherry Lemon Cheesecake. This particular recipe works best being made in a small oblong pan.
If. you’ve tried this No Bake Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake leave a comment or question below. I love to hear from my readers.
- For the crust:Add crackers to a food processor and pulse until they turn to crumbs. With the processor running, drizzle in the melted butter until combined. Pour the crumbs into the bottom of the a 9 or 10-inch (23 or 25 cm) springform pan and shake side to side to get them in an even layer. Press firmly onto the bottom of the pan to create the crust using the bottom of a measuring cup or rounded bottom glass. Freeze for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- For the cheesecake:Add the gelatin to a bowl and mix in ⅓ cup (75 ml) cool water. Set aside.
- To a mixing bowl add the cream cheese, condensed milk, vanilla and sugar. Use an electric mixer and whisk on low speed until smooth. Drizzle in the gelatin and water while whisking. Pour the cream cheese mix into the pan on top of the crust. Jiggle the pan back and forth and this will even out the cheesecake and smooth the top. If it is not getting smooth, use an offset knife to smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until set.
* Frozen strawberries can also be used
1Amount Per Serving 30g 17g 1g 10g
This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.
This post may contain Affiliate links. Please read my Disclaimer.
This easy no-bake cheesecake recipe has a creamy-smooth, light, and decadent cheesecake filling. Made of cream cheese, condensed milk, sour cream and whipped cream. No gelatine or oven is is is required! The buttery crust is made of delicious ground biscoff biscuits and lightly browned melted butter.
This no-bake cheesecake is easy to make compared to the baked cheesecake version. It’s almost zero fail and no need to worry about overbaking. All you need to pay attention to is the mixing method for a perfectly smooth texture.
A perfect cheesecake is all about the texture and creaminess. The texture should be smooth, light, and fluffy, and have a thickened mousse-like consistency.
Here’s what you’ll need for a perfect No-bake Cheesecake
Springform pans– I used small springform pans 3 of 4.5″ or 5″x 1.5″. You may also use 3 large ramekins or 6 small ramekins. By using small pans, the cheesecake will set quickly. Alternatively, you can use 8″ springform pan.
No-bake Cheesecake Ingredients
Ground Biscuits or crackers– I used biscoff biscuits. Traditionally, cheesecake is made of graham crackers crumbs. Add sugar to taste, if desired. I don’t add sugar, biscoff biscuits and honey graham crackers are already sweet enough for me.
Butter– makes the crust to set. You can use salted butter or unsalted then add a pinch of salt if desired. Melt the butter until lightly browned to add a nutty flavour.
Cream Cheese– full fat is recommended for extra creaminess and the best result. However, you can use light or lactose-free cream cheese.
Condensed Milk– to add a creamy and milky taste. For lactose-free- Fortunately, nowadays you can buy lactose-free condensed milk.
Sour Cream– adds creaminess and tangy flavour, and can be substituted with Greek yogurt.
Pure Vanilla Extract and lemon juice for flavour.
Step1. Make the crust
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat until lightly browned. It adds a nutty flavour to the crust. Crush the biscuits in a bag using a rolling pin or in a food processor to grind the biscoff biscuits.
Add and mix the biscuit crumbs into the melted butter. Then divide and transfer into the springform baking pans or ramekins. Pack tightly with the cup or glass to compact the crust. Make sure to use with a flat bottom glass.
Place in the freezer to let it set while making the cheesecake filling.
Step 2. Make the Cheesecake Filling.
In a small bowl, add the heavy cream and powdered sugar, then beat until medium-stiff peaks. Make sure not to overbeat the whipped cream for a smooth consistency.
In a separate bowl, add the softened cream cheese, condensed milk, sour cream, lemon juice and pure vanilla extract. Whisk or use an electric mixer and mix until smooth and with no lumps.
Fold the whipped cream in the cheesecake mixture until incorporated. Avoid overmixing, it may deflate the whipped cream.
Pour into the prepared baking pans or ramekins. You can use parchment paper or cake collars (if available) and place them around inside the baking pan.
Smooth and even out the top with a spatula, then carefully shake it sideways to remove some air pockets. This is the time you can add flavours if you want to make this a cheesecake swirl. Try my chocolate ganache recipe to make chocolate swirl cheesecake, and my blueberry pie filling
Check my No-Bake Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake for ideas to make a no-bake cheesecake swirl.
Step 3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Keep in mind if using a bigger springform pan, it needs to set for at least 8 hours in the fridge.
Soak the stainless spatula or bread knife in a hot water then wipe with a paper towel. Carefully run the spatula or knife inside the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Clean the side of the cheesecake with the spatula.
Skip this step if you lined the baking pans with parchment paper or cake collars.
Serve with your favourite toppings.
Don’t forget to watch the video👇 How to make this easy no-bake- cheesecake recipe without gelatine.
Strawberry Topping for No-bake Cheesecake
For the Strawberry Sauce– this is the same recipe I made for strawberry syrup, but I didn’t add the cornstarch because it’s for Strawberry Milk.
½ cup fresh or frozen Strawberries whole or pureed
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water add 1 tsp cornstarch and lemon juice if desired.
Over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer until thickened. It will be thickened more as it cools.
More Topping Ideas for No-Bake Cheesecake
Orange Maple Cranberry Sauce
Storing the No-bake Cheesecake:
Keep refrigerated. Refrigerate for up to 3 days in a sealed container. Freeze for up to 2 months in a sealed container. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
More Easy No-Bake Cheesecake Recipes to try
No-bake Ube Cheesecake
Mini No-Bake Oreo Cheesecakes
- whipped into medium stiff peaks
- substitute with Greek yogurt
- pure vanilla extract
Make the Crust
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat until lightly browned.
- Make the biscuit crumbs. Crush the biscuits in a bag using a rolling pin or in a food processor to grind the biscoff biscuits.
- Add and mix the biscuit crumbs into the melted butter. Then divide and transfer into the springform baking pans or ramekins. Pack tightly with the cup or glass to compact the crust. Freeze to let it set while making the cheesecake filling.
Make the cheesecake filling
- In a small bowl, add the heavy cream and powdered sugar, then beat until medium stiff peaks.
- In a separate bowl, add the softened cream cheese, condensed milk, sour cream, lemon juice and pure vanilla extract. Whisk or use an electric mixer and mix until smooth and no lumps.
- Fold the whipped cream in the cheesecake mixture until incorporated.
- Pour into the prepared baking pans or ramekins. Smooth and even out the top with a spatula, then shake it sideways to remove some air pockets.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve with your favourite toppings.
No-Bake Cheesecake (No-Gelatine)
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 26g
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Vitamin A 1582IU
Vitamin C 1mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Make sure to pack the biscuit crumbs tightly to avoid breaking or crumbling.
If you can’t wait 4 hours to let it set. The cheesecake in a small baking pan or ramekins can be placed in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, then thaw for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Although you can freeze the cheesecake, for the best result and smooth texture, let it set in the fridge before freezing.
Keep refrigerated. Refrigerate for up to 3 days in a sealed container. Freeze for up to 2 months.
This easy jello cheesecake is completely no-bake and perfect for summer! You’ll love the tangy, creamy filling and graham cracker crust.
Where are all the cheesecake fans at? Today’s simple recipe is sure to become a family favorite. It’s quick, easy and delicious – just like our No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake, Cheesecake Bites, and Cheesecake Brownies.
Jello No Bake Cheesecake – it’s so easy!
I love cheesecake recipes – whether it’s classic New York Cheesecake or decadent chocolate cheesecake. Nothing beats the velvety smooth texture and rich, creamy flavor.
But did you know you can make a delicious no-bake cheesecake using jello?
Yes – you can! And today I’m going to show you how simple it is! This easy recipe is a lemon jello cheesecake recipe that has delicious lemon flavor and crunchy, graham cracker crust.
Using jello in the recipe acts as flavor for the cheesecake. Not only that, but it also helps the cheesecake set properly.
You end up with a texture that’s not too dense or heavy – but instead is super smooth with an almost mousse-like consistency.
How to Make Jello Cheesecake
CRUST. I love the graham crumb crust – so this recipe makes enough to go along the bottom and up the edges. You’ll mix together graham cracker crumbs, a little sugar and melted butter, then press it into the tin.
FILLING. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until it’s soft with no lumps. Make sure to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese here.
COMBINE. Then, carefully mix in the cooled jello mixture and a little lemon juice. You want to do this slowly, and ensure that the jello is 100% cooled before going ahead. Then it’s time to gently fold in the whipped topping.
CHILL. Spoon the mixture into the pan, smooth the top, and then pop the cheesecake in the fridge to chill. It will need to chill for at least 6 hours before serving. So I typically make it the night before I plan to serve it.
DECORATE. I like to decorate the cheesecake with some whipped cream and berries, or you could spoon a dollop of lemon curd on top of each piece.
You can easily make this jello cheesecake with other varieties of jello too. My favorites are:
- For a strawberry jello cheesecake, omit the lemon juice from the recipe and use strawberry jello.
- For an orange creamsicle jello cheesecake, instead of lemon juice use 2 tablespoons of orange zest. Then use orange jello instead of lemon jello.
- For raspberry jello cheesecake, omit lemon juice and use raspberry jello.
- For lemon/blueberry, keep cheesecake as is and top with fresh blueberries.
Note that this recipe makes too much filling for a store-bought, 8-inch graham crumb pie crust. If you’d like to use a pre-made pie crust, buy 2. The filling recipe will be enough to fill both.
Recipe TIPS + FAQ
JUST in case you have leftovers, here are a few tips for storing a no bake cheesecake:
- How to store? This cheesecake must be stored in a cold place. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or foil. The cheesecake will last for 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
- How to freeze? You can freeze the cake whole or in slices. Once chilled, remove the cake from the baking pan, slice if desired, and wrap with plastic wrap (do not add toppings). Store in an airtight container or wrap again with foil. Label the contents and include the date packaged. Store in the freezer for 3-4 months for best quality but can safely be stored for 6-8 months. To eat: thaw overnight in the fridge, add toppings and enjoy!
- Store in the freezer for 3-4 months for best quality but can safely be stored for 6-8 months. To eat: thaw overnight in the fridge, add toppings and enjoy!
We typically like to make this a day AHEAD OF TIME for holidays and special occasions. 😉
For more lemon desserts, be sure to try
- In a medium bowl, stir together the graham crumbs and sugar.
- Stir in the melted butter.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan the mixture will not go up all the way up to the top of the sides).
- Place in the fridge as you make the filling.
- Sprinkle the jello into the boiling water. Stir the mixture for the jello to dissolve. Set aside as you make the rest of the filling.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft.
- Ensure that the jello mixture is cooled to room temperature. With the mixer on low speed, beat the jello into the cream cheese mixture a little at a time. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Carefully fold the thawed whipped topping into the mixture until it’s evenly mixed.
- Spoon the filling overtop of the crust and smooth the top.
- Place in the fridge for 6 hours, or until set.
- When ready to serve, carefully run a thin, sharp knife around the edges of the springform pan. Carefully unclamp the edges of the springform pan.
- Optionally, top the cheesecake with whipped cream and berries.
Store leftovers covered in the fridge.
Like this recipe?
- Put graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin until very fine crumbs form.
- Pour crumbs into a medium bowl; stir in sugar. Add butter, and stir until well combined.
- Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, spreading it 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the side; press flat. Chill crust in freezer at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling: Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.
- Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Unclasp sides of pan, and remove cheesecake.
Skip the crust: use cheesecake filling in a parfait and invent a whole new “layer cake.” Mix the filling, then put some in a glass. Top with broken-up cookies (such as chocolate or vanilla wafers) or graham crackers, and add fresh fruit (such as raspberries or blueberries). Alternate layers. Refrigerate parfait for 30 minutes, and serve.
Chocolate cheesecake: make the crust with chocolate wafer cookies (10 ounces, or about 50 cookies) instead of graham crackers. Once you’ve mixed the filling, gently stir in 1 cup mini chocolate chips, and then fill the crust. Sprinkle more chips on top of the chilled cake.