When the cheesecake craving hits you in the summer, you need something ready to fulfill that craving fast and without unnecessary oven time! Enter this Best Ever No-Bake Cheesecake! Rich, creamy and super smooth, it tastes just like cheesecake because it is… just entirely no-bake!
Wait… it is May, right? Because Sacramento suddenly thinks otherwise and the last two weeks have been soggy, overcast and chilly! Personally, I am perfectly fine with this as it prolongs the inevitable sweltering heat that will soon rear its hideous head. But most people are freaking out anyway.
In fact, the pool at my apartment complex closed down for a couple months for repairs… which was fine because it was like late February – early May and it was cold. But the second the pool opened last week, people were in it even while it rained that day. Um, don’t you guys worry about lightning? I mean, I’m no scientist or electrician or scientician or anything but like, doesn’t being in an open “body” of water while it downpours and thunders kinda, you know, make you susceptible to being struck by lightning? No?
Maybe parents aren’t worried that their little Billy will get struck with a freakin’ thunderbolt while he cannonballs into the 60 degree pool? I digress.
But soon enough, the pool will be packed on sunny, hot days because it is the only brief respite against the bludgeoning heat. Sorry to be all dramatic about it but it reaches over 110 degrees F here sometimes. I’m allowed to be dramatic when it comes to heat, just like all you Minnesotans with your fourteen feet of snow are allowed to be dramatic in the winter.
ANYWAY. I am trying to build up some no-bake recipes for the summer because turning on your oven in the summertime should be banned at all costs. In fact, my oven vacations in the summer because I absolutely loathe turning it on when it’s already 90 degrees in my home at 9am!
And one of the things people are looking for in the summertime is something easy, no-bake, and chilly, so this Best-Ever No-Bake Cheesecake is perfect for all those requirements!
It starts like any self-respecting cheesecake: with a graham cracker crust. You simply mix some graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter together until moistened. Press the mixture into a very lightly greased 9 or 10″ springform pan, then pop it in the freezer for a few while you prepare your filling.
The filling is such a dream, you guys. Beat together some cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla until super smooth, then add in some sour cream and fresh whipped cream. You can totally use Cool Whip if you’d like, but the fresh whipped cream was a little special twist that I had to use! The sour cream may seem like an odd ingredient, but it adds that authentic, signature tang all good cheesecakes have!
Spread it into the crust and let the whole thing chill out and set up for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. This can be made a day ahead which rocks! Just before serving, I like to garnish it with more fresh whipped cream piped around the edges and some fresh strawberries or cherry pie filling – classic.
Creamy, light, fluffy and super smooth, this rich, no-bake cheesecake needs to make it in your dessert rotation STAT!
- FOR THE CRUST:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
- 1 & ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ⅓ cup full-fat sour cream
- Additional whipped cream and/or fresh fruit or pie filling, optional but recommended
- Very lightly grease a 9" or 10" springform pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter, stirring until moistened and mixture resembles wet sand. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan and use your hands and fingers to press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Freeze for 10 minutes while you prepare filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream on high speed with a whisk attachment for 5-7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice with the paddle attachment for about 2 minutes or until creamy and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the sour cream and mix well, scraping the bowl as needed. Lastly, very gently fold in the whipped cream until thoroughly combined and no whipped cream streaks remain.
- Spread the mixture evenly on top of the crust and smooth out the top. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm and set, about 2 hours or up to overnight. Just before serving, garnish with more whipped cream and cherry pie filling or fresh strawberries.
I just love the delicious, authentic cheesecake flavor without all the unnecessary steps! This will be my go-to recipe from here on out!
Have a super sweet day!