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This is truly the most perfect and easy no-bake cheesecake. By following this no-bake cheesecake recipe, you’ll be gifted with a smooth and creamy dessert that sets up beautifully in the refrigerator. Unlike regular cheesecake, no-bake cheesecake isn’t overly heavy. It’s lightly sweet and perfectly refreshing!

Slice of no bake cheesecake with a strawberry on top

I never tasted no-bake cheesecake until last year because I had my doubts.

  • What’s the point of cheesecake if you aren’t baking it?
  • Doesn’t it just taste like cream cheese?
  • How is it firm enough?
  • And, most importantly, does it taste like goo?

These are very serious questions you might consider before making it, especially the goo one. But after making real no-bake cheesecake and tasting the final results, I’m here to declare that no-bake cheesecake should be everyone’s dessert obsession. My husband, who “doesn’t like cheesecake,” went back for seconds. This stuff is GOOD.

The Kitchn ranked this recipe first place in its no-bake cheesecake recipe showdown, with a score of 10/10! They said: “The thing that sets this recipe apart is its rich, full-on cheesecake flavor. It’s not too sweet and full of cream cheese goodness. … Slices of this cheesecake are tall, gorgeous, and very impressive, and the flavor lives up to the appearance. It’s a dessert you’d be proud to serve your friends and family.”

No bake cheesecake on white cake stand

Let’s Rewind. What Is No-Bake Cheesecake?

No-bake cheesecake is exactly what the name suggests. The graham cracker crust and cheesecake filling never see the inside of the oven, so it’s a fantastic dessert when the weather’s warm or when your oven is crowded. Or when you don’t feel like baking. 😉

No-bake cheesecake is a lot easier than baked cheesecake. Without eggs and baking, there is virtually ZERO room for error. Traditional cheesecake runs the risk of over-beating the eggs, over-baking, under-baking, and cheesecake cracking. And if you’re using a cheesecake water bath, which I always recommend, your springform pan could leak. With no-bake cheesecake, we’re essentially cutting every single complicated step!

What it lacks in oven time, it makes up for in taste and texture:

  • Thick, buttery, and crunchy graham cracker crust
  • Smooth, creamy, and velvet-rich cheesecake filling

It’s totally worth mentioning that the filling tastes like cheesecake mousse!

No bake cheesecake in springform pan

4 Minute Video Tutorial:

Thick & Sturdy Graham Cracker Crust

This is a no-bake graham cracker crust. It’s thick, crunchy, and sets up beautifully… even without baking! There are only 3 ingredients required: graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. I usually use granulated sugar in graham cracker crust, but prefer brown sugar in this recipe. The moisture in brown sugar helps solidify the crust. Pack it into a 9-inch springform pan, then place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

2 images of graham cracker crust in glass bowl and pressed into springform pan

How to Make Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake

Like I mention above, this no-bake cheesecake recipe is very easy. The process is similar to how we make strawberry cream cheese pie. Beat the filling ingredients together, then spread into your graham cracker crust and refrigerate until set. That’s it! The cheesecake filling is made in 2 bowls. In the 1st bowl, beat heavy cream into stiff peaks. In the 2nd bowl, beat the remaining ingredients. Fold everything together. Here are the cheesecake filling ingredients. Each has a job to perform!

  1. Heavy Cream: Beating heavy cream into stiff peaks most important step in this entire recipe and *the secret* to a thick no-bake cheesecake filling.
  2. Cream Cheese: Make sure you use blocks of real cream cheese, not cream cheese spread. I tested with varying amounts and 24 ounces (three 8 ounce blocks) produced a thick, yet creamy cheesecake filling. Make sure it’s room temperature.
  3. Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar breaks down the cream cheese. It’s easy to go overboard on sugar, but keep it light. Less sugar helps the tangy cream cheese and vanilla flavors stand out.
  4. Confectioners’ Sugar: A smidge of confectioners’ sugar thickens the filling, while also keeping it light. I tested with flour and cornstarch and both left a chalky aftertaste. I recommend sticking with confectioners’ sugar.
  5. Sour Cream: Add a little sour cream for that trademark tangy cheesecake flavor.
  6. Vanilla Extract & Lemon Juice: A splash of both flavors add a little something special.
2 images of no bake cheesecake filling in glass bowls
No bake cheesecake in springform pan

How to Thicken No-Bake Cheesecake

These 2 important steps guarantee a thick no-bake cheesecake filling. Without 1 or 2, you’ll be eating cheesecake soup. (It’s not pretty.)

  1. As mentioned, the most important step is to beat cold heavy cream into peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling gently so you don’t deflate the air. The air creates a delicious mousse-like consistency and solidifies the filling in the refrigerator.
  2. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6-8 hours, but overnight is better. For a sturdy no-bake cheesecake with beautifully neat slices, refrigerate for at least 12 hours. This makes for a great make-ahead dessert! Do not freeze the cheesecake to set it. The filling won’t slice and you’ll lose the velvet texture!

Speaking of beautiful slices, make sure you smooth the filling into the crust. I like using a large or small offset spatula to make the job easier. After refrigerating, decorate with whipped cream, lemon curd, strawberry sauce, raspberry sauce, fresh berries, and/or salted caramel. But if you’re a cheesecake purist, all you need is a fork. 🙂

No bake cheesecake with whipped cream and strawberries on a white cake stand

Can I Make Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes?

Yes! See my mini no bake cheesecakes, which are made in a standard muffin pan.

Let’s Talk About Freezing No-Bake Cheesecake

I don’t recommend freezing no-bake cheesecake to set it– you really need to use the refrigerator for that step. And trust me, it’s worth the wait.

However, you can freeze the cheesecake to enjoy at a later time. After it sets in the refrigerator, wrap the whole pan (you can remove the sides if desired) in 1 layer of plastic wrap, then 1 layer of aluminum foil. No-bake cheesecake freezes wonderfully for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then slice and serve.

Slice of no bake cheesecake on white plate

When it’s time to serve, I’m always shocked that the crust and filling don’t fall apart. Follow this recipe for success. Would LOVE to know if you try it!

More Cheesecake Desserts

I have an entire cheesecake recipes category, too!

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Slice of no bake cheesecake with a strawberry on top

No-Bake Cheesecake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 1012 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Whipping
  • Cuisine: American


This is truly the most perfect and easy no-bake cheesecake. By following this no-bake cheesecake recipe, you’ll be gifted with a smooth, light, and creamy dessert that sets up beautifully in the refrigerator. The most important steps are whipping the heavy cream into stiff peaks before folding into the filling, and refrigerating the cheesecake overnight.



Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups (240g) graham cracker crumbs (about 16 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons; 113g) unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 and 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • three 8-ounce blocks (680g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Make the crust: Stir the graham cracker crust ingredients together. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan or 10-inch springform pan and pack in very tightly. The tighter it’s packed, the less likely it will fall apart when cutting the cheesecake. I recommend using the bottom of a measuring cup to pack it into the bottom and up the sides. You can watch me do this in the video above. Freeze for 10–20 minutes as you prepare the filling.
  2. Make the 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 4–5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium speed until perfectly smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the confectioners’ sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat for 2–3 minutes on medium-high speed until smooth and combined. Make sure there are no large lumps of cream cheese. If there are lumps, keep beating until smooth.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove crust from the freezer and spread filling into crust. Use an offset spatula to smooth down the top.
  6. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6–8 hours and up to 2 days. For best results, 12 hours is best. I chill mine overnight. The longer refrigerated, the nicer the no-bake cheesecake will set up.
  7. Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean between each slice.
  8. Serve cheesecake with desired toppings (see Note). Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: This cheesecake can be made 1–2 days in advance. It can be refrigerated in step 6 for up to 2 days before serving. You can also make the crust 1–2 days ahead of time. Freeze for up to 1 hour in step 1, then cover tightly and refrigerate for 1–2 days before adding the filling. Another way to make this cheesecake ahead of time is to freeze it. Cheesecake can be frozen up to 3 months. See instructions in blog post above.
  2. Lemon Juice: Lemon juice brightens up the flavor. This cheesecake does not taste like lemon. For lemon-flavored no-bake cheesecake, remove the sour cream from the recipe and add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon lemon zest.
  3. Room Temperature Ingredients: Bring the cream cheese and sour cream to room temperature before beginning. Room temperature ingredients guarantee a smooth cheesecake filling. Beating cold ingredients together will result in a chunky cheesecake filling. (The heavy cream, however, MUST be cold in order to whip into stiff peaks.)
  4. Toppings: Before serving, decorate with  whipped cream, lemon curd, strawberry sauce, fresh berries, salted caramel, or your favorite cheesecake toppings. I used Ateco 849 piping tip for the whipped cream in the pictured cheesecake.
  5. Can I Make Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes? Yes, see my mini no bake cheesecakes, which are made in a standard muffin pan.
  6. Non-US Readers: ​​Don’t have graham crackers where you live? Use 270g ground digestive biscuits instead (about 18 biscuits), the same amount of butter, and add a bit more brown sugar (about 1/2 cup, or 100g). And from what I understand, spreadable cream cheese sold in a tub in countries outside of the US is a little different from the spreadable cream cheese in the US. It’s thicker, sturdier, and more solid and should be OK to make cheesecake. I have no experience with it, but this is what I’ve heard from other non-US readers.

Adapted from All Recipes.

Keywords: cheesecake, no bake cheesecake

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. This is the best cake/pie I have ever had!!! Carrot cake used to be my favourite cake but I changed my mind. It’s this one!! I made it for my dads birthday party and everyone absolutely loved it.

  2. Such an easy way to make velvety smooth creamy cheesecake! Second time making it and this time I added more sour cream and less whipped cream for my own personal taste and it was fantastic for my individual cheesecakes topped with oreos, berries and caramel apple.

    1. Hi Deb, can you please tell me the adjusted amounts of sour cream and whipped cream you used? I prefer more tangy flavor, too. How long did you let the individual cheesecakes set in the fridge? Thank you!

    2. I made this cheesecake for my in laws and their daughters and husbands.. big family summer gathering. Everyone loved it. At dinner there was some leftover but my mother in law put her leftover cake (which to be fair is delicious but she serves at every gathering so people are a bit tired of it) on the table instead. When someone went to get mine because it was requested and everyone was tucking in, my sister in law asked ‘omg this is the best cheesecake ever, what’s in it’ and my MIL just said in her poshest voice ‘FAT’ Luckily everyone ignored her and it’s gone down as one of the most requested family favourites since. Thank you!

  3. Excellent result but two comments about you tips for “non-U.S.” readers:
    1) yes, most cream cheeses are a bit denser than the Kraft Philadelphia cheese that is popular in the USA, but Philadelphia brand cream cheese is one of very few products I’ve found is available world-wide, even though most Kraft brands seem to be distributed only in selected markets
    2) best biscuits for the crust in my view are Lotus Biscoff biscuits, which I’ve also found to available more or less globally. I used them as a direct substitute for the Graham crackers in the recipe and crust was perfect

  4. I’ve made this cheesecake a few times now and it always turns out beautifully! I’m curious, though, whether there’s a way to adjust the recipe slightly to use less sugar? I love your salted caramel topping, too!!

    1. Hi Melissa, so glad you love it! We fear that reducing the sugar too much in this recipe will not only impact taste, but will prevent the cheesecake from setting properly. For best results, we recommend sticking to the recipe as written.

  5. I made the no bake cheesecake, carefully following the recipe. Left it in the refrigerator for two days. It did not set.

    1. Hi Jane, we’re happy to help troubleshoot. Did you use full-fat block cream cheese and heavy cream/heavy whipping cream with at least 36% fat? When no-bake cheesecakes do not set properly, it’s usually because there is not enough fat content in the filling.

      1. Hi Tia, You can replace the heavy cream with 2 and 1/2 cups of Cool Whip (1 and 1/4 cups of heavy cream whips into around 2 and 1/2 cups.) You may also want to reduce the sugar since Cool Whip is sweetened. We like to use heavy cream (36% fat) to make our own whipped cream. Enjoy!

      2. Hi Sandy, we don’t recommend butter as a replacement to sour cream. Yogurt will work in place of the sour cream in a pinch — plain full fat yogurt is best.

  6. Would it work to put the brown sugar pecan topping from your pecan pie cheesecake on this? Or would it be too heavy for this recipe to hold up?

    1. Hi Yenni, You can replace the heavy cream with 2 and 1/2 cups of Cool Whip (1 and 1/4 cups of heavy cream whips into around 2 and 1/2 cups.) You may also want to reduce the sugar since Cool Whip is sweetened. We like to use heavy cream (36% fat) to make our own whipped cream. Enjoy!

  7. Excellent recipe for no-bake cheesecake! I made the filling and used it, along w/ a pumpkin mousse, in individual parfaits. Another winner, Sally.

    1. Any chance you can revise this recipe to make it scaleable for use worldwide please? In Australia we have 250g blocks of Philadelphia cream cheese, so trying to use 2 blocks and then adjusting the rest of the measurements requires a maths degree…. Then realising that your half a cup of something should be 125gs and not 100gs as you state, makes it harder again. I’m going to try, but this is tricky. ‍♀️

  8. Is there a way to make this in less time, perhaps by cooling it in the freezer instead of the fridge? I don’t have 6 – 8 hours!!

    1. Hi Lois, This cheesecake needs at least 6-8 hours (12 hours is best) in the refrigerator to set. After it is set you can freeze it, but don’t skip the time in the refrigerator!

  9. i had this cake at a party and loved it! With thanksgiving approaching I want to make it like pumpkin cheesecake and wondering how I can twitch it

    1. Hi Amanda, you can certainly use a pre-made crust. Depending on the dimensions of your pre-made crust, this may be too much filling, but you can use any leftovers for a few mini no bake cheesecakes.

  10. I want to make this recipe, but I would like to add some crushed pineapple to it. Will it ruin the fluff? Do you recommend it?

    1. Hi Chris, we haven’t tested this with adding fruit right to the batter. Let us know if you try it!

  11. I love this recipe!!!! It is easy and it comes out perfectly every time I make it. My family absolutely loves it and we make it for birthday celebrations. I will have it for Thanksgiving today too. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.

  12. OMGNESS!!!!! I’ve tried many no bake resumes and this is bar far my FAVORITE!!!! I ran out of vanilla extract so I used almond extract and OMG it’s sooooo good!!!! This recipe is now added to my list! Thanks for sharing ❤️

  13. Could this be made in a square or rectangular pan? I want to freeze it in individual portion sizes and cutting a square works so much better for me. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Patty! We haven’t tested it but you could try making this recipe into cheesecake bars. The bars will be very thick in a 9×13 pan (there will be far too much for a 9×9 pan), so make sure they are sufficiently chilled, even up to 24 hours! Or try these mini no bake cheesecakes.

  14. hii, question, do I really need the heavy cream to do this recipe? and if so, what will happen if i don’t use it?

    1. Hi Colette, You can replace the heavy cream with 2 and 1/2 cups of Cool Whip (1 and 1/4 cups of heavy cream whips into around 2 and 1/2 cups.) You may also want to reduce the sugar since Cool Whip is sweetened.

  15. I love this recipe,
    How much whip cream did you add at the end of your video

  16. hey,
    can we add gelatine just in case because i live in very warm country and it will melt if we leave it outside.
    Also kindly tell me how much gelatine is required in this recipe?

    1. We don’t add gelatin to our cheesecakes as the whipped heavy cream adds enough stability and structure. However, certainly feel free to give it a try if you’d like — we’re unsure of the amount.

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