This no-bake cheesecake recipe is so easy! You only need 5 ingredients + a graham cracker crust to make this cool, fluffy, and silky-smooth dessert.
*This post was originally published on May 31, 2019. I thought it was due for an update, so I’ve added a new step-by-step video. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this no-bake cheesecake recipe as much as we do!*
It’s Friday, woo-hoo! And we are down to just 5 more full days of school.
Can I just tell you: I am so excited for summer vacation. Not that school has been tough lately or anything. My kids have pretty much just been coasting along since spring break. But I am SO looking forward to a slower pace. And to have them home with me. Sleeping in, hanging out, and heading to the local pool to sit in warm sunshine all afternoon- this is what I am really looking forward to.
And no-bake desserts like this easy no-bake cheesecake!
I love cheesecake and I’ve got plenty of cheesecake recipes on this site to prove it. This vanilla cheesecake is the basis of so many of my more creative cheesecake creations, and so is this chocolate cheesecake. And this Oreo cheesecake is an absolute favorite. So are these pumpkin cheesecake bars, especially in Fall.
Every one of these recipes bakes up insanely creamy and luscious. But sometimes you just want something quick and easy. Bonus points if you don’t even have to turn on your oven!
That’s when I look to this no-bake cheesecake. It’s fluffy, smooth, and so light, with a buttery graham cracker crust. The combination of creamy, tangy filling and that crunchy crust, with just a whisper of cinnamon? It’s everything! You are going to love it!
WHAT IS NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE?
No-bake cheesecake is basically just what it sounds like: a cheesecake recipe that you don’t have to bake! It’s easy as can be, and perfect for those warmer months where you just can’t even think about turning the oven on.
It only takes a few minutes to make, and you only need 5 ingredients for the filling.
Best of all, none of those ingredients are weird or tricky. There is NO sweetened condensed milk in this recipe and NO gelatin. And just look at the results! Could it slice any prettier??
HOW TO MAKE NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE
Here’s a peek at the ingredients you’ll need to create this amazing cheesecake:
As you can see, I’ve pictured the crust ingredients as well as the filling ingredients.
For the crust, you’ll need graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter.
For the filling, you’ll need cream cheese, powdered sugar, cream, lemon juice, and vanilla.
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS
I like to buy the boxed graham cracker crumbs for making graham cracker crust because it just makes life so much easier! They can usually be found in the baking aisle of my regular grocery store. You can also order them online: graham cracker crumbs. Or, just place about 9 whole graham cracker crumbs in your food processor, and pulse them until finely ground.
Please don’t think that because this recipe contains lemon juice that it’s a LEMON cheesecake. It’s just a small amount of lemon juice, and its only purpose is to bring out the naturally tangy flavor of the cream cheese. Think of it as a seasoning.
And if you really hate lemon, feel free to just leave it out.
Start by making the crust. Pop the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a big bowl and stir.
Then add the melted butter and stir it all up until it’s well combined.
Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased, 10-inch springform pan.
Now just press it flat into the bottom of the pan.
Ta-dah! That’s your graham cracker crust made. If you need more info on graham cracker crust, or ideas on other types of no-bake cookie crusts, check out this post: Graham Cracker Crust.
Now you can get going on the filling. Start with the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
Just blend these together until totally smooth. I like to use the whisk attachment for this. It really gets the lumps out! But you can use a hand mixer too. Just make sure it’s perfectly smooth because if there are any lumps now, it will be really hard to get them out later.
Once you’ve got it silky-smooth, scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, and add about a quarter cup of cream.
Continue to mix in the cream, a little at a time, stopping frequently to scrape. This is really going to help your cheesecake to be lump free!
Once all the cream has been added, “season” with lemon juice and vanilla.
Whip the filling for about a minute or so, until it’s really fluffy and thick. Then pile it onto the crust!
Smooth it out into a nice, even layer, and pop it in the fridge to chill! Easy!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SET?
I would recommend chilling this no-bake cheesecake for a minimum of two hours. You may be able to get away with less, but why take chances?
If you really want beautiful, clean slices like you see here, two hours should be good enough, overnight is even better.
IS IT GLUTEN-FREE?
The filling for this cheesecake is completely gluten-free!
And if you want to make the whole thing gluten-free, just look for gluten-free graham cracker crumbs.
CAN YOU BAKE IT?
You cannot bake a no-bake cheesecake. It does not contain anything that would “set” in the oven, like eggs or flour. If you put this no-bake cheesecake in the oven, it would just melt. And a melted cheesecake is too sad.
If you are looking for a baked cheesecake recipe, check out the cheesecake category of my recipe index: Cheesecake Recipes. There are tons of choices there!
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
This no-bake cheesecake should keep in the fridge for about a week or so. Be sure to keep it covered so it doesn’t dry out.
HOW LONG CAN IT SIT OUT?
If you’re having a party, you can probably leave this cheesecake out at room temperature for a few hours without a problem. But if it’s very hot in your house (like above 80 degrees or so) it could get a little softer than you might like.
WILL IT MELT?
This no-bake cheesecake should not melt at normal temperatures. It obviously is more firm when chilled, and softer at room temp. But it holds its shape very well despite the fact that there is no gelatin in it.
CAN IT BE FROZEN?
If you’d like, you can freeze this no-bake cheesecake. It makes an extra-cool creamy treat on a hot day!
It should last in the freezer for about a month or so. Be sure to wrap it well so it doesn’t pick up any funky freezer odors.
I just know you are going to LOVE this no-bake cheesecake recipe! It’s easier than anything else I’ve seen out there, and the creamy, fluffy filling contrasts with the crunchy crust in the most delicious way! Make it- asap!
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For the Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 1/2 cups (126 g) Graham cracker crumbs*
- 1/4 cup (55 g) light brown sugar, , loosely packed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter , (1 stick), melted
For the No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
- 24 ounces (680.39 g) cream cheese, (3 blocks)
- 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
- 2 cups (473.18 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, (freshly squeezed)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Optional Garnishes
- 3/4 cup cream, , whipped to soft peaks with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- fresh berries
To Make the Graham Cracker Crust
- Place the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the melted butter and mix until evenly combined.
- Mist a 10-inch diameter springform pan with non-stick spray, then press the mixture into the bottom in an even layer.
To Make the No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
- Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth (about 1 minute on medium speed).
- Whisk in the cream on medium speed, about 1/4 cup at a time, stopping frequently to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.
- When all the cream has been added, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, and then whip in the lemon juice and vanilla extract, until the mixture looks fluffy and can hold stiff peaks (about 1 minute on high speed).
- Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, and smooth into an even layer.
- Chill for at least 2 hours.
- Garnish with whipped cream and fresh berries (optional).
It was so easy to make and amazing! We all loved it! The video was great too. Thank you for sharing!
Crushed, well drained pineapple is amazing in a no bake cheesecake. ‘Just saying’.
OMG! Absolutely delicious. My husband loved it as did our daughter who isn’t a fan of cheesecake. Will definitely make this recipe again. It did however take longer than one minute to get the stuff peaks. Otherwise a very simple recipe. Thank you for sharing.
My pleasure Debbie! I’m so happy you and your husband and daughter enjoyed.
Hi, thank you for this amazing recipe. Do you think it could be made using a mini cheesecake pan. The loose bottom pan
Yes I think it could- but you may have to use more than one pan, or else halve the recipe. Good luck!
Hello, I would love to try your no bake cheesecake but is it possible to give the amounts in ounces or grams please. I get very confused with cups. Thank you
Just click the “Metric” button just below the list of ingredients.
So I added about another half cup of powdered sugar, another 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of lemon rind because I am a sucker for lemon and worked out a treat!!! So deliciously light and fluffy 🤤
Yay! I’m so glad you liked it Gemma! Thanks so much for the great feedback.
Hi… Do I have to use a springform pan?
For this recipe I think you do. I know, I hate springform pans too, but even after chilling this cheesecake is still quite airy and may not be firm enough to flip out of a regular cake pan without the top getting messed up. Sorry!
Hi Allie can this be made into a no bake chocolate cheesecake?
I’m sure it could but I have not tested it out, so I’m not sure how much cocoa or chocolate you’d want to add.