This is the best no-bake cheesecake you will ever eat - rich, creamy, indulgent, and perfectly balanced in flavor. This cheesecake takes only 15 minutes of work and less than 10 ingredients to make, giving a classic New York cheesecake a run for its money!
My best New York cheesecake recipe is one of my top performing recipes ever, and for good reason. I maintain it is the best baked cheesecake I've ever eaten, and I've tried many cheesecakes around the world. Having said that, if I were asked to compare that cheesecake with this, significantly easier no-bake version... I would have a tremendously hard time picking! In fact, the no-bake version might actually take the edge simply because of how much simpler it is to make. So if you've tried and enjoyed my New York classic cheesecake, you simply MUST try this one, too!
This recipe needs less than 10 ingredients:
- Graham Crackers or Wheat Digestives depending on where you live
- Unsalted Butter
- Full fat cream cheese, room temperature - I strongly recommend using Philadelphia block cream cheese (not tub cream cheese) for the best results
- Granulated sugar
- Lemon juice
- Sour cream - if you don't have sour cream, you can use heavy cream instead, and add more lemon juice to get the flavor you want
- Heavy cream, chilled - this is whipped and folded into the cheesecake filling to aerate it and help stabilize it without the use of gelatine
- Whipped cream
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE
Now, let's walk through the simple process. This takes just 10-15 minutes of work! Check out this short video:
1. Make the crust
Use a food processor to blitz the Graham Crackers until they turn into a fine powder (you can also use this step by using a pestle or rolling pin if you don't want to use a food processor). Add the melted butter and salt and mix. The mixture will still be crumbly, which is what we want so the crust ends up crispy (adding too much butter will give you a soggy crust).
Line the bottom of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. I do this by placing a square of parchment paper on the bottom part of the pan, and then placing the rim of the pan on top and clasping it.
Transfer the crust ingredients to the pan, and tightly pack them down using the back of a large spoon or a measuring cup. The tighter you do this, the crispier the crust will be.
Note: This recipe makes for a very thick crust (which I like!), but if you don't want that, you can also push some of the crumbs up the edge of the cheesecake pan. This will still give you ample crust, but it won't be as thick on the bottom.
Place the pan in the fridge or freezer to set while you make the filling.
2. Prepare the cheesecake filling
Add the room temperature cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla into the bowl of your stand mixer, and use the paddle attachment to whip until the sugar dissolves and you have a creamy mixture (about 2 minutes). You can also do this using a hand mixer.
Then, add the lemon juice and sour cream, and whisk until combined.
In a separate bowl, whip up the chilled heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling using a rubber spatula until combined. This will give your cheesecake a fluffy texture.
3. Assemble and chill the cheesecake
Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan with the crust, and spread it out evenly. I like to do this with an offset spatula, and first I push the filling down to ensure there aren't any air pockets in the cheesecake.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least for 4 hours, for the cheesecake to fully set.
4. Decorate & serve!
Once the cheesecake is set, carefully remove it from the pan. I do this by first running a butter knife around the edge, and then open the springform pan. The parchment paper makes it easy to lift the cheesecake and slide it onto the serving stand as the crust is solid once fully chilled. You can also use an offset spatula to smooth the edges of the cheesecake after removing it from the pan.
Optionally, decorate the cheesecake with more whipped cream and berries.
And that's it! Now you're ready to slice in and enjoy this absolutely divine dessert.
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE
While this is an "easy" recipe, some people still struggle with getting their no-bake cheesecake perfect. Here are my best tips for you:
- Make sure to pack the crust tightly. Since the crust isn't baked, packing it tightly will help ensure it is crispy and sticks together instead of being soggy or crumbly.
- Use high quality, full-fat cream cheese. You can never go wrong with Philadelphia, and if you can, please get the block cream cheese, not tub cream cheese. Block cream cheese has higher fat content and makes for the creamiest, richest cheesecake
- Ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge ~1 hour before using. This will help ensure the cream cheese mixes properly
- Avoid overmixing cream cheese. Cream cheese is hygroscopic, meaning it can actually become more runny if it is whisked for too long. When making cheesecake, whisk the cream cheese and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture looks creamy, but not any more than that
- Scrape the edges and bottom of the bowl while you mix the cream cheese! This will ensure all the cream cheese fully mixes, and you don't end up with lumps of cream cheese in your batter
- Do not overwhip the heavy cream. Stop whisking as soon as the heavy cream reaches stiff peaks (meaning it holds shape). Whisking longer will cause it to split and become grainy, ruining the texture of the cheesecake
- Use high quality vanilla! I strongly recommend using vanilla bean paste, as it will significantly enhance the flavor of the cheesecake as opposed to vanilla essence or extract
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Sour cream adds incredible flavor and texture to cheesecake. However, if it is not available where you live, you can substitute it by adding more heavy cream (not whipped) instead of sour cream, and add 1-2 tablespoon more lemon juice.
Cover the cheesecake with a cloche or cling wrap (or place it in an airtight container) and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Yes! Cover the cheesecake thoroughly with plastic wrap, and keep in the fridge for up to 3 months. Let it defrost in the fridge overnight before enjoying.
If you enjoy this recipe, make sure to check out my other cheesecakes, too!
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