This is a full page dedicated to homemade individual no-bake cheesecake jars! Use this simple no-bake recipe when you need a quick and crowd-pleasing 30 minute dessert. Have fun with different flavors and toppings, too!
Welcome to the July Baking Challenge, the 30th Sally’s Baking Challenge on Sally’s Baking Addiction! We’re celebrating this monumental 2 and 1/2 year anniversary with an easy & light summertime recipe. 🙂
No bake cheesecake jars are a fun individual dessert to serve when you’re short on time and don’t feel like turning on the oven. There’s literally no baking involved and the entire dessert takes around 30 minutes. You only need a handful of familiar ingredients and some cute little jars. Individual desserts have been all the rage the past several years and this mason jar dessert trend isn’t disappearing any time soon.
Why You’ll Love Individual No-Bake Cheesecake Jars
If you’ve ever enjoyed my no-bake cheesecake recipe, you know you’re in for a real treat with this mini version. You see, no-bake cheesecake (either served as a whole or in jars) is a lot easier than baked cheesecake. Without eggs and baking, there’s no way to mess up this dessert. You can’t over-bake it, you can’t over-whip the eggs, and there’s no cheesecake water bath involved. If summer was a dessert, it would be no-bake cheesecake jars.
Here’s what I appreciate and know you will too:
- Easy recipe
- Creamiest cheesecake filling
- Few tools required– just a mixer and a couple bowls
- Ready in 30 minutes
- Unlimited flavors & topping options
- Convenient to transport to parties, BBQs, baby showers, & other events
- Did I mention no baking?
Video Tutorial: No Bake Cheesecake Jars
Before we get to the written out recipe, let’s review each layer. Even though this is a simple dessert, it’s important you familiarize yourself with the process before starting.
3 Layers in No-Bake Cheesecake Jars
- Buttery Graham Cracker Crust
- No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
The graham cracker crust doesn’t need much explanation. You only need graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Mix the two together, then layer into the individual jars. Again, there is NO BAKING so you do not need to pre-bake this graham cracker crust.
2 Parts to Cheesecake Filling
There are 2 parts to the cheesecake filling. First, whip heavy cream into stiff peaks. You’re essentially making whipped cream without sugar or flavor. Set that aside. Then beat the remaining cheesecake filling ingredients together. Finally, fold in the whipped cream. Whipping the cream 1st is imperative because it supplies all the deliciously fluffy and creamy texture. This no-bake cheesecake jar filling almost tastes like cheesecake mousse– it’s so light– and we have the whipped cream to thank for that. 🙂
Cheesecake Jar Filling Ingredients
- Heavy Cream: Whip into stiff peaks. Set aside.
- Block Cream Cheese: Use full-fat block cream cheese, not cream cheese spread.
- Sugar: Sugar sweetens the cheesecake jars. This is a lightly sweetened dessert, so you only need 1/3 cup of sugar in the entire filling.
- Sour Cream: Sour cream is a must-have ingredient in this recipe. Even though you only need 2 Tablespoons, it promises a tangy cheesecake flavor and ultra creamy texture. In fact, I don’t make regular cheesecake without it.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a little brightness and slight flavor.
Here’s the heavy cream beaten into stiff peaks:
Here’s the cheesecake filling after you fold in the whipped cream. It’s airy, light, and fluffy:
The pictured no bake cheesecake jars are plain, but you can definitely add some flavor! Add these ingredients when you beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla extract together. I recommend leaving out the lemon juice if making the peanut butter, Nutella, chocolate, or coconut variations.
- Peanut Butter: 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- Nutella: 1/3 cup Nutella
- Lemon: 2 extra teaspoons lemon juice + 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Raspberry: 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons raspberry preserves
- Chocolate: 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or chocolate ganache and replace graham crackers with Oreos or chocolate graham crackers
- Coconut: 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- Key Lime: replace lemon juice with lime juice and add 2 more teaspoons of lime juice, plus 1 teaspoon lime zest
Last layer! Finish the no-bake cheesecake jars with your favorite toppings. This recipe yields about 6 8-ounce cheesecake jars, so you can layer each with a different topping.
- Chocolate Ganache (pictured with raspberries & mint)
- Strawberry Topping (pictured)
- Homemade Blueberry Sauce (pictured with fresh blueberries and lemon slice. Use the blueberry sauce from my blueberry swirl cheesecake)
- Whipped Cream
- Lemon Curd
- Salted Caramel
And let’s not forget garnishes like sprinkles, berries, lemons, mint, etc!
Jars for No-Bake Cheesecake Jars
8 ounce jars, as pictured, are a pretty generous serving size. Feel free to use smaller jars or even use this recipe as a trifle. Whichever size jar, I highly recommend using wide mouthed jars so you can easily spoon the layers inside.
- 8 ounce glass jars (pictured)
- 8 ounce glass jars (vintage fruit design)
- 6 ounce glass jars (hexagon shape)
- 6 ounce glass jars (smooth surface)
If you don’t have jars, use custard cups or bowls. Same taste, different delivery. 😉
Join Sally's Baking Challenge
This July, we’re celebrating 2 and 1/2 years of Sally’s Baking Challenge. This 30th monthly baking challenge will have 3 winners! Here’s how to enter:
Make my no-bake cheesecake jars or no-bake cheesecake recipe. (Yes, you can make the full no-bake cheesecake as an entry!) If you’re not into this recipe, here is the alternate July Baking Challenge:
After you make the no-bake cheesecake jar or alternate recipe, share your photos throughout the month using #sallysbakingchallenge on your public Instagram or Twitter account. (Instagram messages are hard to track, so email instead!) Or upload a photo to my Facebook page or Facebook group or email it to me. By sharing your photo, you’re automatically entered in the $250 giveaway.
For a bonus entry, leave a review on the recipe below!
This jar dessert recipe combines a 2 ingredient graham cracker crust with an easy no-bake cheesecake filling. For best results, read through the recipe and watch the video tutorial above before beginning. See blog post for cheesecake filling flavors and see recipe notes or blog post for topping and garnish suggestions.
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (100g) graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham crackers)
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, cold
- one 8-ounce block (224g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- toppings & garnishes (see note)
- Have your jars ready to go and lined up. This recipe yields about 6 8 ounce jars or 10 6 ounce jars.
- Crust: Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium heat-proof bowl or use the stove. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs. The mixture will resemble wet sand. Spoon a generous spoonful into each jar, about 2 Tablespoons into the 8 ounce jars and 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons into the 6 ounce jars. If there’s any crust leftover, sprinkle into the jars to use up or discard. Set jars aside.
- Filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cold heavy cream into stiff peaks on medium-high speed, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Make sure there are no large lumps of cream cheese. If there are lumps, keep beating until smooth.
- Using your mixer on low speed or a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling until combined. This takes several turns of your rubber spatula. Combine slowly as you don’t want to deflate all the air in the whipped cream.
- Layer a couple large spoonfuls of filling on top of the crust in the jars. Use about 1/4 – 1/3 cup filling in the 8 ounce jars and 3 Tablespoons (or however much you can pack in!) into the 6 ounce jars. Make sure to leave room for the topping.
- The cheesecake jars are at room temperature at this point, but if you’d like to serve chilled, chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days before adding the topping. (Cover if chilling for longer than 30 minutes.) I recommend adding the topping when serving or up to 2 hours in advance. The topping can seep down into the layers, so that’s why I recommend adding it soon before serving.
- Spoon topping and garnishes on top of filling, then serve.
- Cover and store leftover cheesecake jars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead Instructions: These cheesecake jars can be made 1-3 days in advance. They can be refrigerated in step 7 for up to 3 days before serving. You can also make & layer the crust 1-2 days ahead of time. Another way to make these cheesecake jars ahead of time is to freeze them before adding the toppings. Seal jars with the lids and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before topping and serving. You can also freeze the cheesecake filling as a whole. Cover tightly and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before layering on top of crust.
- Toppings: Chocolate Ganache, Strawberry Topping, Blueberry Sauce (use the blueberry sauce from my blueberry swirl cheesecake), Whipped Cream, Cherry Pie Filling, Lemon Curd, Salted Caramel
- Garnishes: Fresh berries, chopped fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, lemon slices, lime slices, shredded coconut, sprinkles, mint, or whatever you desire.
- More Cheesecake Jars: This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. Keep in mind the whipping and beating times will increase with the added volume.
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