This No-Bake Cheesecake features a homemade graham cracker crust with a creamy and fluffy cheesecake filling. This recipe is simple to make and perfect for an easy dessert!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I absolutely love cheesecake. In fact, I’ll always pick a slice of cheesecake over a slice of regular cake any day. The only thing – sometimes I don’t feel like baking something in the oven for an hour during the spring and summer months when I’m craving cheesecake.
That’s why I absolutely adore this no-bake cheesecake recipe! The bottom of this cheesecake is made with a simple three-ingredient homemade graham cracker crust and the topping is super creamy and fluffy too. This cheesecake is also incredibly easy to throw together and you don’t even have to turn on the oven to make it.
I love to make this recipe in a springform pan because it’s easier to slice and serve. If you don’t have a springform pan, I’ve included instructions for how to make this in a pie plate too!
How To Make This No-Bake Cheesecake
To make this no-bake cheesecake, you’ll start out with the homemade graham cracker crust. If you’ve never made one before, I have a tutorial here for how to make a graham cracker crust here. Here’s a quick break-down of how to make the crust:
- Stir together graham cracker crumbs and sugar: If you want to make this recipe a bit easier, you can use store-bought graham cracker crumbs. If you’re crushing your own graham cracker crumbs, you’ll need about 11-12 full-sheets to get 1 and 1/2 cups of crumbs.
- Add the melted butter: Stir in the melted butter until all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Press the mixture into your pan: I like to use the bottom of a measuring cup to firmly press the graham cracker crust into the pan.
- Refrigerate the crust: Transfer the pan with your graham cracker crust to the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
Quick Tip: If you’re using a springform pan, place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom before you add the graham cracker crust. This will make it much easier to remove the cheesecake from the pan.
Next, you’ll gather all of your ingredients for the cheesecake filling. For the filling, we’ll be using some cream cheese, powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice, vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream. Let’s break down each ingredient for the filling:
- Cream Cheese: I highly recommend using full-fat cream cheese so that the no-bake cheesecake sets up properly. It’s also best to use the blocks or bricks of cream cheese and avoid using cream cheese spread in a tub.
- Powdered Sugar: There’s 1 cup of powdered sugar in this cheesecake to help sweeten it and keep the filling nice and thick.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: The lemon juice helps to brighten up the flavor of the cheesecake.
- Vanilla Extract: For a little extra flavor.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Make sure to use a heavy whipping cream with at least 36% fat. While the cream cheese should be at room temperature, you want to make sure the heavy whipping cream is cold when you whip it.
Quick Tip: When you’re whipping your heavy whipping cream, it’s best to use a chilled bowl and beaters. I like to set my mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then use them. This will help your whipped cream thicken much better and quicker!
To make the filling, you’ll start by beating the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl for 1 to 2 minutes or until it’s nice and smooth. Then, mix in your powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla extract. At this point, I suggest stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl and then giving it another good mix.
Next, you’ll add the heavy whipping cream to a separate bowl and whip it until it reaches stiff peaks. In other words, when you lift the beaters out of the bowl the whipped cream should stand straight up. If it’s curling or falling to the side, you’ll need to mix it just a little longer.
Once the whipped cream is thickened and reaches stiff peaks, you’ll fold about 1/3 of the whipped cream into your cream cheese mixture to help lighten it. Then, you’ll fold in the rest of the whipped cream until just combined like the picture above.
Once the filling is ready, remove your prepared graham cracker crust from the refrigerator and scoop the cheesecake filling on top. I like to use an angled spatula to help smooth it out and make it look prettier, but the back of a spoon works just fine too.
Then, cover the cheesecake tightly and let it chill for at least 6 hours. If possible, I suggest letting the cheesecake chill overnight so that it has time to really firm up. The longer you let it chill the easier it will be to slice into and serve.
I also topped this no-bake cheesecake with my homemade whipped cream and some fresh raspberries. Here are some other great options that would work too:
- Want to make the crust a bit easier? You can use store-bought graham cracker crumbs instead of crushing your own.
- Before getting started, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature. This will ensure a much smoother and creamier cheesecake filling.
- Only fold in the whipped cream until just combined, over mixing the whipped cream can cause the cheesecake to deflate and not be as fluffy.
- Make sure to let the cheesecake chill for at least 6 hours, overnight is even better!
- It’s best to keep this no-bake cheesecake refrigerated as much as possible. If it’s not too warm, you can let it sit out for about 30 minutes but keep in mind that it will soften some at room temperature.
- Don’t have a springform pan? You can also use 9-inch pie plate that’s at least 2-inches deep for this recipe. If you use a pie dish, I suggest pressing the crust into the bottom and up around the sides of the dish.
More Cheesecake Recipes To Try!
- Mini Lemon Blueberry Cheesecakes
- Cheesecake Brownies
- Classic Cheesecake Recipe
- Mini Cheesecakes (with several different topping options)
For the crust:
- 1 and ½ cups (180 grams) graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling:
- 16 ounces (452 grams) brick-style cream cheese softened
- 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and ½ cups (360 ml) cold heavy whipping cream
To make the crust:
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add the melted butter and mix until all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared 9-inch springform pan and firmly press it into the bottom of the pan. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
To make the cheesecake filling:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
- Add the heavy whipping cream to a separate mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix on low-medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute then increase the speed to medium-high and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold one-third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until just combined, then fold in the remaining whipped cream until fully combined.
- Remove the springform pan with the crust from the refrigerator and scoop the filling on top of the crust. Spread the filling into one even layer and smooth out the top.
- Cover tightly and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. Carefully release from the springform pan (slice a knife around the outside if needed), then slice, and enjoy!