Easy No-Bake Cheesecake

In search of an easy dessert that wins over dinner party or holiday guests? This no-bake cheesecake is just the ticket. Top with strawberries, chocolate, or simple whipped cream.

An easy no bake cheesecake with a slice removed and set on a pink background.
Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

Featured in 16 Recipes Kids Can Make for Mother's Day

This no-bake vanilla cheesecake is light, creamy, and perfect for any dinner party or holiday gathering.

No-bake cheesecake also eliminates a lot of the worries that might keep you from making a cheesecake in the first place: There's no need for fussy water baths or elaborate cool-down steps. No worries about cracks in the top. No need to even turn on the oven, hence, no-bake cheesecake!

Video: How to Make No-Bake Cheesecake

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No Bake Cheesecake

How to Make Easy No-Bake Cheesecake

This basic steps for no-bake cheesecake are as follows:

  1. Beat together softened cream cheese and sifted powdered sugar.
  2. Whip in some heavy cream until the mixture is thick and billowy.
  3. Add a little gelatin and whisk it in at the end to help make the cheesecake stable and easily sliced.

The finished cheesecake has a creamy, silky texture, like a cross between traditional cheesecake and extra-thick whipped cream.

A cake stand with No bake cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries with a slice removed.
Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

Tips for No-Bake Cheesecake Filling

There are a few key things to keep in mind for this no-bake cheesecake filling:

1. First, make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature (very soft). Cold cream cheese becomes lumpy when mixed and you’ll never be able to get the signature light and fluffy texture of a no-bake cheesecake. Let it warm on the counter for at least two hours before making the cheesecake. It should feel very soft when you press on the package.

If you forget to take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator, you can hurry the process a bit by placing the bricks of cream cheese (removed from their boxes, but still sealed in their foil wrapping) in a large bowl of warm water. Just be sure to replace the water with more warm water as it cools. Repeat until the cream cheese is at room temperature.

2. Second, sift the powdered sugar so there are no dry clumps when you mix it with the cream cheese.

3. Third, I also add gelatin to this cheesecake to help it firm up and make it easy to slice. Without it, the cheesecake is fairly soft and will gradually deflate. Some no-bake cheesecake recipes use commercial whipped cream (which is already stabilized) or condensed milk instead of gelatin, but personally, I don't like the chemical taste that commercial whipped cream can give the dessert or the super-sweetness of the condensed-milk version.

If you'd prefer not to use gelatin, I'd recommend just making a classic baked cheesecake instead.

A slice of cheesecake with no bake cheesecake filling topped with strawberry preserves.
Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

Favorite Cheesecake Toppings

Of course, my favorite part of the no-bake cheesecake is picking a topping. My go-to favorite is strawberries in an easy sugar syrup. You can swap in blueberries, blackberries, peaches, cherries or whatever fruit you like. Frozen fruit works well, too, though you might need to add some extra cornstarch if the sauce is too runny.

If you're not in the mood for fruit, try a drizzle of warm caramel sauce or chocolate sauce over your slice of cheesecake! You can also top your easy no-bake cheesecake with chocolate shavings or whipped cream.

How to Freeze Cheesecake

There is just something about knowing you have a dessert in the freezer ready and waiting that makes life just a little brighter!

For this cheesecake, you can even make the strawberry topping ahead of time and freeze it. Once the cake and the topping have thawed, go ahead pour the strawberry sauce over the top and serve.

I prefer to transfer the cheesecake to a cake board then wrap the whole thing plastic and foil, but you can also freeze cheesecake by the slice, which is nice when you have just a little leftover.

Click on How to Freeze Cheesecake for a step-by-step guide on keeping a cheesecake in the freezer so you're ready the next time a cake craving strikes.

A whole easy no bake cheesecake topped with strawberries on a pink background.
Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

Can't Get Enough Cheesecake?

What Is No-Bake Cheesecake?

A no-bake cheesecake is a light, creamy version of a cheesecake that requires no cooking at all. Cream cheese, heavy cream, gelatin, and vanilla come together for a filling that firms up in the refrigerator. It's in a graham cracker and butter crust—no baking there either! There's a good reason why the name of this is easy no-bake cheesecake.

No-Bake Cheesecake Vs. Classic Cheesecake

Besides the obvious (no-bake cheesecake doesn't go in the oven and classic cheesecake does) there are some differences between these two cheesecake versions. The texture of a baked cheesecake can be dense. A no-bake cheesecake is light and airy. Both, however, are creamy. The no-bake version is also a bit more foolproof. You don't need to worry about baking it in a cumbersome water bath. As long as you use the gelatin in the no-bake, it will keep its shape.

The No-Bake Cheesecake Crust

We could call this recipe Easy No-Bake Cheesecake with Easy No-Bake Crust. Just two ingredients—crushed graham cracker crumbs and melted butter—are in the crust. They're pressed down into a springform pan and as the butter cools, it keeps the mixture together. There's no need to bake it to keep it together.

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake

Prep Time 30 mins
Chilling 60 mins
Total Time 90 mins
Servings 8 to 12 servings

Be sure to let the cream cheese warm at room temperature until very soft before making the cheesecake, at least 2 hours. If you forget, you can speed up the process by placing the wrapped packages of cream cheese in a bowl of warm water.

I use an actual vanilla bean in this cheesecake because I think it adds a rounder and more complex flavor than extract, plus I like the way the specks look in the finished cheesecake.

If you don’t have a vanilla bean, feel free to add an additional 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the cheesecake. (You'll then have a total of 4 teaspoons of vanilla in the cheesecake.)

The gelatin in this recipe helps firm up the cheesecake and makes it easy to slice without the need for commercial whipped cream (which already has stabilizers) or sweetened condensed milk (which can make the cheesecake too sweet).

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 8 ounces (225 g) store-bought graham crackers (about 14 rectangular crackers)

  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 1 tablespoon (1 1/2 packages) unflavored powdered gelatin

  • 1/4 cup cold water

  • 16 ounces (455 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups (175 g) powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • 2 cups cold heavy cream

For the strawberry sauce (optional):

  • 1 pound (455 g) fresh or frozen hulled and sliced strawberries

  • 2/3 cups (135 g) granulated white sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons cold water

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, optional

Method

  1. Make the crust:

    Lightly coat a 9-inch round springform pan with cooking spray. Break the graham crackers into a few large pieces and place them in a food processor. Process into crumbs. Drizzle in the melted butter and process until the crumbs start to clump together. Dump the buttery crumbs into the prepared pan and press into a thick crust over the bottom of the pan using the bottom of a glass.

    Graham cracker crumbs in a food processor to make a no bake cheesecake recipe.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    A hand squeezing the graham cracker mixture to make a no bake cheesecake recipe.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Graham cracker crust poured into a pan to make a no bake cheesecake recipe.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Using a cup to press the graham cracker crust into the springform pan to make an easy no bake cheesecake recipe.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  2. Dissolve the gelatin:

    Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Stir to moisten - it should look like applesauce. Set aside for 5 minutes to soften. Once softened, microwave the gelatin for 20 to 30 seconds, until the gelatin is dissolved and liquid. Set aside to cool.

    A glass bowl with gelatin to make the no bake cheesecake filling.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    A glass bowl with gelatin to make the no bake cheesecake filling.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  3. Prepare the cheesecake base:

    Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and sift the powdered sugar over top. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the sugar is begins to mix into the cream cheese, and then raise the mixer speed to medium and mix until the sugar is fully incorporated and the cream cheese looks fluffy and creamy, like frosting.

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the edge of a butter knife. Add the seeds to the cheesecake batter, and reserve the vanilla pod for another use. Mix for an additional 15 seconds or until the vanilla extract and seeds have been blended in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beater.

    Sifting powdered sugar into a mixer bowl to make an easy no bake cheesecake recipe.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Mixing the ingredients in a stand mixer to make a no bake cheesecake recipe.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Slicing vanilla beans for an easy no bake cheesecake.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Vanilla added to the no bake cheesecake filling in a mixer bowl.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  4. Switch to a whisk attachment and add the cream:

    Mix on low speed until the cream is incorporated, then raise the speed to medium. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue to mix, slowly increasing the speed to high, until soft peaks form (peaks that slowly bend over at the tips).

    Whisk attachment whipping cream to make the no bake cheesecake filling.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  5. Reduce the speed to medium and slowly drizzle the warm gelatin into the bowl:

    If your gelatin has cooled too much and started to gel, warm it in the microwave for another 5 to 10 seconds until liquidy again before adding mixing it into the filling. Once all the gelatin has been added, return the mixer speed to high and beat until the mixture forms firm peaks (peaks that stay firmly upright at the tips).

    Whisk attachment whipping cream to make the no bake cheesecake filling.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  6. Spoon the filling into the pan on top of the graham cracker crust:

    Smooth the top of the cheesecake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight to firm up.

    No bake cheesecake in a springform pan.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  7. Prepare the strawberry sauce (optional):

    Place the strawberries and sugar in a large pot. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch and cold water together until they make a smooth, milky liquid, and then pour over the strawberries. Cook on medium high heat, stirring constantly for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the strawberries have softened and the sauce has thickened.

    Remove from heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar if using. Let cool to room temperature, then spoon over the chilled cheesecake and return to the refrigerator to chill for an additional hour or overnight. (Alternatively, serve the sauce at the table and spoon over individual slices.)

    Strawberries and sugar in a pot for an easy no bake cheesecake recipe.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Strawberry sauce in a pan for an easy no bake cheesecake recipe.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  8. When ready to serve:

    Run an offset spatula or a thin butterknife around the edge of the cake, then remove the outer ring. Leave it on the pan base, and transfer to a serving platter or cake stand. Top with any toppings you like. Slice and serve.

    Running a knife around a springform pan for an easy no bake cheesecake.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    A side view of a plate with easy no bake cheesecake topped with strawberry preserves.
    Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
460 Calories
35g Fat
33g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 460
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 21g 103%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 219mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 123mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.