This no-bake cheesecake recipe is perfect for beginners! Only 5 ingredients and absolutely no baking. It’s everything a cheesecake should be…silky, smooth, light, creamy, and decadent!
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Easy No-Bake Cheesecake
Cheesecake is one of those classic desserts that’s loved by many! It’s often served for special occasions and is the perfect dessert for celebrating. I usually only make one once a year, right around Valentine’s Day. It’s great to enjoy after a delicious Valentine’s dinner and looks so festive with the cherry pie filling on top.
This no-bake cheesecake recipe is so easy and perfect for beginners! It takes only 5 ingredients and doesn’t require any baking like my best cheesecake recipe. After taking a bite, you would never know how simple it is!
It’s everything a cheesecake should be…silky, smooth, light, creamy, and decadent. You won’t be able to get enough! If you’re still on the edge about making one from scratch, try making my no-bake cherry cheesecake dip instead. It tastes just like regular cheesecake, with a little less work.
5 Simple Ingredients
It is really that simple to create a decadent and delicious no-bake cheesecake. With only five ingredients you will be able to make this cheesecake quickly and easily. Classic cheesecake is layered with graham cracker crumbs, a silky, cream cheese mixture, and topped off with large cherries on top. This makes for a decadent dessert!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Cream cheese: This adds a nice tang and gives it that ultra-creamy consistency. Just make sure your cream cheese has softened before using. If it’s too cold, it could create a lumpy texture. Full-fat cream cheese is extra creamy whereas light cream cheese may not be as creamy.
- Sugar: The sugar helps balance the tang from the cream cheese and adds perfect sweetness.
- Heavy cream: This is key for creating a thick consistency.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla adds the perfect boost of flavor. You can also mix in some fresh lemon juice to add a taste of tartness.
- Crust: A graham cracker crust is the most traditional to use for cheesecake, but an Oreo crust or pretzel pie crust also tastes super delicious. I love using a gingersnap crust during the holidays to add more spice and ginger flavor. I have also heard that a crust made with digestive biscuits or Biscoff cookies is pretty tasty.
How to Make No-Bake Cheesecake
No oven, no water bath, and no cracks in your cheesecake with this simple-to-make dessert! It takes less than 10 minutes to make the cheesecake filling and just a few hours to chill (you and the cheesecake).
- Mix. Add the softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice into the large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat the ingredients together for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Then slowly pour in the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. The texture is super thick and creamy.
- Chill. Pour the filling on top of the prepared graham cracker crust and then spread it out evenly in the pan. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours. It should be completely firm to touch when you remove it from the fridge.
- Top. Add any of your favorite toppings right before serving. Then slice and enjoy!
Favorite Toppings for Homemade Cheesecake
There are plenty of delicious toppings that you can use for this no-bake classic cheesecake recipe. I actually love to eat mine with fresh strawberries and hot fudge or I take inspiration from my easy cheesecake dip recipe and use M&Ms or Reese’s, but the cherries look so pretty! Feel free to adjust your toppings based on preference.
- Pie filling: Cherry pie filling, peach pie filling, or apple pie filling are all great fillings to add on top. Simply open a can or use the homemade filling for a delicious topping!
- Fresh fruit: Fresh berries go a long way with no-bake cheesecake. Fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries are always a favorite!
- Chocolate: Hot fudge, chocolate ganache, or simple chocolate chips sprinkled on top for that sweet and savory taste and texture.
- Cookies: Crushed cookies like Oreos make a great dessert! It is similar to an Oreo cheesecake. You can even change the cust to an Oreo crust.
- Sauce: Strawberry sauce, blueberry sauce, or caramel sauce are all great options for topping a slice of homemade no-bake cheesecake.
- Lemon: Lemon curd is refreshing, light, and zesty all in one bite.
- Nuts: Candied nuts give it that sweet texture and crunch in every bite.
- Candy: Pick your favorite candy bars and crush them into smaller pieces to sprinkle overtop.
- Caramelized fruit: If you have had caramelized pineapple or Caramelized bananas then you know how delicious this combination is going to be!
- Cream: Whipped cream (or stabilized whipped cream for more sturdy) or cool whip is both light and creamy.
Tips + Modifications
This no-bake cheesecake is the best of the best and is made perfectly just how it is. There are always modifications that need to be made and special tips to help make your dessert even better. Look over these helpful tips and use the modifications if necessary!
- Crust. I prefer a homemade crust, but you can absolutely buy a premade one from the store to save time. Use a food processor to crush your graham crackers for the homemade crust. Use melted butter to hold the crust together.
- Lemon juice. You don’t have to add lemon juice, although I do recommend including it. The citrus adds a bit of tartness and helps balance out the strong flavors from the cheese and cream.
- Let set. It’s important that you allow the no-bake cheesecake to be set completely before serving. This usually takes at least 4 hours in the fridge, but overnight is even better. You want the filling to be firm to touch before serving. A firm filling also creates super smooth slices.
- Mini versions. You can use this no-bake cheesecake recipe to make mini cheesecakes if preferred. Simply press the crust into each muffin cup in a lined muffin pan, then pour the filling on top. Let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or until the filling is completely set. Then remove from liners and enjoy!
This cheesecake filling is made of cream cheese as the base and thickness, sugar for sweetness, heavy cream to make it silky and smooth, and a pinch of vanilla for that extra balance and flavor. Just five ingredients!
Yes, at least in stages. Assemble the crust a few days in advance, wrap it tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until it’s needed.
You can definitely use store-bought graham cracker crust if you prefer. That will save time and make this extra simple.
This is a major preference between each person. Baked cheesecake has a dense, fluffy, moist, and smooth texture whereas no baked cheesecake has a richer, thicker, and creamier texture. You may love this baked cheesecake bars recipe!
5 star review
“I made this recipe for the first time yesterday and it was so easy to make and turned out really well. It was very delicious and not overly sweet and rich. My husband and our company really enjoyed it. I will definitely be making this again.”– Sue
Storing + Freezing No Bake Cheesecake
Make this easy no-bake cheesecake ahead of time, store leftovers, or even freeze this decadent dessert. It is simple to make and to have for those special occasions!
- Store: Make sure to store the cheesecake in the fridge because of the softened cheese and cream. Cover the pan tightly in plastic wrap, aluminum foil or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy again. It will stay fresh in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days.
- Freeze: Wrap in several layers of plastic wrap or foil and place in a zip-top freezer bag. Place upright in the freezer and store for about 1 month. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the fridge and enjoy the next day!
More Delicious Desserts
Optional toppings: Cherry pie filling, Fresh strawberries or raspberries, Crushed cookies or candy bars, Caramel or chocolate sauce
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice, if using, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Slowly pour in the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes or until thick and creamy.
- Spread the cheesecake mixture into the graham cracker crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
- Top with your favorite toppings. Slice and enjoy!
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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