No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe (VIDEO)
This No-Bake Cheesecake is an elegant, crowd-pleasing summer dessert. From the crust to the velvety whipped cheesecake center, this is 100% a NO-BAKE dessert. The Strawberry Sauce takes this dessert to the next level so don’t skip it.
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No-Bake Cheesecake Video
Watch Natasha make this Easy No-Cook Cheesecake Recipe. We love the decadence and texture of a Classic Cheesecake, but this no-bake cheesecake is equally dreamy and truly easy.
Mascarpone cheese elevates the flavor and texture of this easy no-bake cheesecake and it doesn’t get any easier. The double strawberry topping is lip-smacking good and you will want the strawberry sauce on all of your desserts.
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The Best No-Bake Cheesecake
On a trip to Maui, we visited a fancy restaurant named Monkey Pod. The food was awesome but the best thing was the slice of strawberry cream pie we shared at the end of our meal. It was tall, gorgeous, silky as can be, and $10 a slice! I asked the waitress about it (of course I did) and she said they mixed mascarpone with whipped cream so I set out to experiment.
Their original cheesecake pie had a baked pie crust which I tested, but I couldn’t resist using this no-bake crust. It was crazy easy, just as good, and it makes this a true no-bake dessert. Most graham cracker crusts are pre-baked but the amount of butter here holds the crust together so baking is not necessary at all.
We tested these proportions over and over until we got the perfect no-bake cheesecake consistency. It is easy to slice, whipped, airy, rich, and decadent.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – You can buy these pre-crushed or crush your own crackers
- Butter – moistens the crumbs and keeps them set in the pan
- Cream Cheese – provides a classic cheesecake flavor
- Sugar – we use granulated sugar to add just the right amount of sweetness
- Heavy whipping cream – be sure to use HEAVY cream for the correct fat content or the cheesecake won’t set properly.
- Mascarpone – This is a key ingredient. It stabilizes the whipped cream and makes this cheesecake taste like a $10 slice at a fancy restaurant.
- Lemon Juice – Make sure to use FRESH lemon juice. It cuts the sweetness and balances the cake.
Pro Tip: Be sure to have your ingredients at the proper temperatures. Keep heavy cream and mascarpone chilled in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. You’ll want to soften the cream cheese for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature so you don’t get lumps in your creamy cheesecake.
Tools you will need
- A 9″ springform pan with 3-inch walls works best for this recipe
- Parchment paper – we found that adding a round of parchment paper to the bottom of the springform makes it easier to slide and transfer the cake out of the springform mold once it’s set.
The Best Cookies for a Crumb Crust
A variety of sweet crunchy cookies can be used for a crumb crust and each will give a different flavor profile. We used graham crackers because we usually have them on hand, but these will all work:
- Graham Crackers
- Biscoff Cookies
- Vanilla Wafers
- Chocolate Oreo Cookies (cream removed)
Pro Tip: To crush the crackers, put them into a zip bag, remove excess air, and crush with a rolling pin. You can also pulse them in a food processor until fine crumbs form then follow the instructions in the print-friendly recipe below.
How to Make No-Bake Cheesecake
We love no-bake cheesecakes especially in summer when we don’t have to heat up the oven, but they are great year-round. The best part is, it can make them ahead and even frozen (see instructions below).
- Combine Crushed Crackers with sugar and melted butter then press into a 9″ springform pan then chill.
- Beat together cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.
- Beat heavy whipping cream in a separate bowl then fold in the mascarpone.
- Fold cream cheese mixture into mascarpone mixture then fold in lemon juice 1 Tbsp at a time.
- Spread the cheesecake filling over the crust. Cover and refrigerate until set.
Make-Ahead Tip: This no-bake cheesecake (the crust, filling, and syrup) can be made for up to 3 days, covered, and stored in the refrigerator. It’s perfect for easy entertaining.
Can I substitute mascarpone?
Just like with a tiramisu, the mascarpone helps the cream set up properly into a thick and sliceable cheesecake. It not only adds flavor but acts as a stabilizer so I don’t recommend substituting it.
Can you Freeze a No-Bake Cheesecake?
This is a make-ahead dessert and freezes well. Just be sure to let it set in the refrigerator before freezing. I prefer to keep it in the springform pan for freezing.
- To Freeze: Wrap with several layers of plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months.
- To Thaw: set in the refrigerator overnight and it will taste just as good as fresh no-bake cheesecake. We also love it partially frozen because it tastes like an ice cream cake.
A great topping is a great way to finish off a cheesecake and keep things exciting with new flavors. These are our go-to cheesecake toppings:
- Fresh Cherry Sauce – tastes like cherry pie filling
- Strawberry Sauce – great over pancakes too
- Caramel Sauce – so easy to make with pantry staples
- Fresh Berries – we love adding seasonal berries
- Stone Fruit – slice up nectarines, plums, or apricots
Have you ever tried making a no-bake cheesecake? It’s so easy and good, it might just spoil you forever. Also, I’d love to hear about your favorite summer dessert in the comments below.
More Summer Desserts
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Tres Leches Cake
- Classic Tiramisu
- Strawberries Romanoff
No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe
Ingredients for Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, (from 12 whole crackers)
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, 1 stick
Ingredients for No Bake Cheesecake:
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
- 12 oz mascarpone cheese, chilled
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 8 oz Strawberries, thinly sliced
- 1 Strawberry Sauce Recipe, strained and chilled
- Make the Strawberry Sauce Recipe and strain through a sieve, pushing on the solids with a spatula to get as much syrup as possible. Set aside to cool to room temperature or cover and refrigerate if making ahead of time. The strained strawberry sauce will keep 3-4 days.
How to Make No Bake Cheesecake:
- In the bowl of a food processor, coarsely break up graham crackers then pulse into fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a bowl, add 1 Tbsp sugar and 8 Tbsp melted butter. Stir to evenly moisten crumbs. Line a 9-inch round springform pan with a round of parchment paper and press crumbs into the bottom of the pan going 1/2" up the sides. Freeze for 15 minutes or refrigerate 30 minutes for crumbs to set.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, add 8 oz cream cheese and 2/3 cup granulated sugar and beat on medium/high speed for 3 minutes until fluffy and smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, using a clean electric hand mixer, beat 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form (3-5 minutes on high speed). Reduce speed to medium/low and beat in 12 oz mascarpone until well combined and smooth.
- Use a spatula to fold cream cheese into whipped mascarpone mixture until well blended. Fold in 2 Tbsp lemon juice, adding 1 Tbsp at a time and folding until well incorporated.
- Transfer cheesecake filling over the chilled crust and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight until completely chilled. Just before serving, arrange sliced strawberries in rings over the top and brush with the strained strawberry sauce. Serve extra strawberry sauce over each slice.