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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.

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 N0-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 dessert topping, 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

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups (200g) graham cracker crumbs (about 1214 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons; 115g) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Make the crust: Stir the graham cracker crust ingredients together. Pour into a 9-inch 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.

Notes

  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.

Adapted from All Recipes.

Keywords: cheesecake, no bake cheesecake

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. The no bake cheesecake jars are so easy to make especially with the easy to follow directions. My husband loved them so I am sure I will be making them again (probably within the week). Next time I will pipe the filling into the jars to eliminate the streaks when trying to neaten up the glass.

  2. This is the second time I’ve made this recipe this month. The first time I only had 2 blocks of cream cheese so I cut the recipe by 1/3 and it turned out perfectly. This time I followed the recipe and have no doubt it will be just as big a hit. While I love all cheesecake, I really like the lightness of this recipe. It’s not too sweet, and it stands up to any topping if you choose to add it. Another great recipe, thank you!

  3. After reading many recepies of cheesecake, I decided to try this one.. I wanted something creamy and delicious and avoid at all costs those gelly cheesecakes (here in Europe people put gelatine in the cheesecake all the time! And too little cheese) . So I made this cheesecake yesterday for a lunch with friends.. it was a success! I totally loved it and will make it again and again. I used a strawberry homemade sauce for the topping which was the perfect match!

  4. This is truly a fool-proof recipe! I made it while visiting family in Florida. Despite having the AC on, there is still so much humidity, even with the whipping cream falling flat, having to freeze the bowl, and put the flattened whipping cream in the freezer for a bit, then rewhip, this cheesecake turned out beautifully!! It’s a perfect recipe and a go-to all the time! Thanks!!

  5. Made this cheesecake for my sister’s birthday. Was a big hit! 😀

  6. Not exactly cheesecake but still super delicious! My husband and I have been dreaming of layering this with chocolate cake ever since…one day.

  7. I made this no bake cheese cake for my daughter after her knee surgery. This was my first attempt at a no bake cheese cake and it turned out beautiful. My grandson said it was the best he ever had and his dad said it was the best he’d had in a very long time. And he loves Cheese Cake Factory. Going to make it again for work birthday lunch. For easy removal from pan, I line bottom with parchment paper. Works great!!

  8. The texture was not exactly like a cheesecake I was expecting, so that was the only disappointment. However, it’s still delicious, easy to make, and great when it’s too hot out to turn on the oven. It got compliments from my family, but my fiance said he would rather try something else next time. The crust was good, but the filling was not as dense as a cheesecake. It was more like a whip or a spread. NOW – if you wanted to make just the filling and throw it in a bowl and serve it with some various crackers or cookies to use as a dip, it would be perfect.. but next time I want cheesecake I’ll probably have to turn on the oven and go for the full thing.

  9. Hi Sally,

    I’d like to make this into a dark chocolate cheesecake. Do you have a suggestion for amount of melted and cooled dark chocolate to use and if I would need to increase or decrease any of the other filling ingredients in order to makeup for adding the chocolate?

    Thank you!
    Jesse

    1. Hi Jesse, That does sound delicious!!! Unfortunately without testing different ratios of ingredients I can’t say for sure exactly what will work. Please let me know if you try it though!!

      1. Hi Sally,
        I did try it! I used an oreo crust instead of the graham cracker crust (36 oreo cookies, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 tbsp cocoa powder in a 10 in springform pan). For the filling I used your recipe but omitted the lemon juice and added 2 cups of melted and cooled 63% bittersweet chocolate and 2 tbsp of cocoa powder. I added the chocolate and cocoa after step 3 to make sure it would incorporate well and wouldn’t deflate the whipped cream. I really wanted a rich, chocolatey filling that wasn’t cloyingly sweet. It was A LOT of chocolate and you could probably have 1 and 1/4 to 1 and 1/2 cups if you did not want it so rich. The filling set up beautifully and everyone loved it! I decorated the top more whipped cream and placed mini Milky Way Midnight candy bars in each whipped cream bundle then drizzled with salted caramel. I know many people have asked for your recipe with chocolate so I hope you test it out! Thank you for all of your recipes. I always start with you when I’m looking for something specific (or anything really) to make because I know all of your recipes are fail proof and will turn out wonderfully. I need to start posting my photos and tagging them! Have a great day!

        Jesse

  10. I wanted to make fluffy, layered, cheesecake parfaits and this was perfect!

    1. OOOOOHHHH That sounds good. using it for a parfait! Yummm!

  11. OH YEAH … THIS !!! I am not a big cheesecake fan and was looking for a dessert to take to a family gathering. Since everyone else loves cheesecake I decided to try this recipe. This is amazing! It is so light and fresh and even non-cheesecake lovers like me LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I brought two thinking there would be leftovers but every crumb was devoured! This is going to be my go-to cheesecake recipe from now on! And it’s an added bonus without having to use the oven – thank you = )

  12. Hello, could I make this in a 7″ cake pan by scaling the recipe down by 1/3? So 2 blocks of cream cheese, 200ml of whipped cream, etc. I want to make it for a family birthday this weekend but we’re only 4 so a 9 inch cheesecake would be way too big.

    1. I just made this for my husband’s 30th birthday. IT IS DELICIOUS! I have to admit, I’m not a big cheesecake fan, unlike my husband, but we both loved it! Our friends did too. The filling is light and fluffy, not your typical dense cheesecake ( which I don’t care for anyway), but still creamy and smooth. I topped it with some homemade strawberry topping ( like the easy kind you would put on shortcake), and it turned out great. I had a few issues getting the crust to mold up the sides of the pan, so when I released the spring mold it didn’t look as pretty as I wanted it to, but everything still held together perfectly. It got a bit soft from sitting out of the fridge too long, but that was my fault and I know better for next time. I will definitely be making this again!

  13. I’ve been using this recipe for awhile now! I like to “experiment “. Last week made banana graham cracker crust, the your filling and topped with sliced bananas, it was good! Today I’m making one with Oreo cookie crust and added to your filling will be chopped peanut butter cups and some on top! Also making a Oreo mint crust, your filling and sprinkles of peppermint (fine) on top! Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe!

  14. OMG!!!!! I just made this for the first time! All I can say is OMG! This is the BEST cheesecake ever!!!! And I have made alot of cheesecakes in my day……both baked and no bake. This is the best ever!!! You gotta try this people! You will be soooooo glad u did! This will be my go to cheesecake from now on and it will be yours too! And no baking to top it all off!
    Ginger ( from NJ )

  15. This filling is the best cheesecake filling ever! I don’t have a spring pan so I just used a store bought graham cracker pie crust. I had a little filling left and just ate it! Lol it was delicious. My pie is still chilling but I know it’s going to be great! Thank you so much for this no-bake recipe as we live in Texas and it’s 100 degrees outside. ❤️

  16. Hi Sally,

    Just wanted to say that it’s so funny reading all the comments of people saying this isn’t exactly cheesecake. Here is Australia this is what we consider cheesecake. Baked cheesecakes are less common. I have a family recipe for cheesecake that I always use (no gelatin!!) with cream cheese, condensed milk and lemon juice as the setting agent. It’s delicious, but I’m keen to try yours. We don’t have graham crackers in Australia so I think I will sub with digestives.

    Love your work.

    Hailey

  17. This is by far the best no bake recipe i have tried.
    The texture and flavor were wonderful.

  18. This is seriously the best no bake cheesecake ever! Really the best cheesecake! Why go through all the trouble of baking one, when this is absolutely delicious! I have used several different homemade fruit compotes for the topping. Depending on what season it it!! All your recipes are flawless! I use your website for every occasion! I agree, this would be wonderful in a chocolate no bake!!

  19. Can this recipe be reduced to make 12 cream cheese muffins/cupcakes?
    My stove/oven is not working for 2.5 weeks and I want to make 12 cream
    cheese muffins for a friend’s office, where there is a small refrigerator
    in his office. Please advise.

    1. Hi Beverly, You can make this into cupcakes by pressing the crust into the cupcake liners and then filling. I’m unsure of exactly how many this recipe would yield, but you can certainly cut it in half for a smaller amount.

    1. This recipe calls for 24oz so it would be difficult to cut the entire recipe into 1/6. But you can cut the recipe for cheesecake jars in half! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/no-bake-cheesecake-jars/

  20. Absolutely loved this recipe. The only thing I am wondering is how to make the cake a little bit stiffer. Every time I took it out of the fridge it was perfect, but then when it sat on the counter for a little it got a little too soft. Is there anyway to fix this?

  21. Could you do this recipe as individual cheese cakes, ie like cupcakes in individual cases

  22. Hi Sally,
    I just put this in the fridge to chill until tomorrow. I wanted to know if you think this gets firm enough to top with a thin layer of pie filling and then berries. I know that some no bake cheesecakes are not firm or dense enough, and wouldn’t want it to fall apart or collapse. I did put some extra butter in the crust, which is about an inch taller than the filling, hoping to support it all better. You have become one of my go-to sources for baking. Thanks!
    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you! You could top this with a thin layer of fruit pie filling for serving– it shouldn’t collapse or anything, especially if sufficiently chilled.

  23. I made this over the weekend and followed the directions without any changes it turned out perfect and so delicious.

  24. Hi, Sally 🙂 Wondering if I can use the Nestle All-Purpose Cream as a substitute for the Heavy Whipping Cream or Heavy Cream? I’m a bit confused what’s the difference between the Heavy Cream and All-Purpose Cream, but upon checking it here on this website, they look somehow similar? Or?

    1. Hi Sarah, From my understanding Nestle All-Purpose Cream is a pasteurized product that is sold in a can. It does not whip well – and whipping the cream is key for this recipe! You want either heavy cream or heavy whipping cream which is sold in the refrigerated section of the store usually by the milk.

  25. The cheesecake I made for my husband’s birthday was a total disaster. In desperation I combed the internet for help. I landed on your recipe. Fearfully I proceeded to step by step methodically make your cheesecake. After refrigerating it for many hours he inquired about the new cheesecake and so I sliced and topped with cherry pie filling that he loves and waited for his opinion. A HIT! He adores it. Can’t wait to eat another slice. And I am saving this recipe for life. God bless you, you wonderful lady.

  26. Hi Sally! I love love this recipe… Can I use this recipe for my jars?

  27. This cheesecake, along with the salted carmel recipe, made me look like an amazing baker! Thanks Sally!

  28. Hi Sally!

    I made this cake and the taste is delicious, but it wouldn’t quite set (16 hours in fridge)—this is likely because I had to use cream cheese spread, which is the only thing available where I live (in Sweden). I also definitely got the whipped cream into stiff peaks and very carefully folded it in. Any tips on how to adjust the recipe if you don’t have access to the blocks of cream cheese that you can get in North America? I’m thinking I could still make this recipe as like single-serve mousse/parfaits kind of thing (the texture is still silky and satisfying), but would be magic if I could also make the proper cake. 🙂 Thanks for any tips you might have!

    1. Hi Tracy, Unfortunately, spreadable cream cheese is too thin and the cheesecake won’t set up properly. I haven’t tested any other thickening agents, but you could try cornstarch or gelatin? Or you can absolutely use it as single servings! You can see how I did just that here: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/no-bake-cheesecake-jars/

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