No-bake desserts are a perfect solution to summer entertaining, and this Strawberry No-Bake Cheesecake recipe is an excellent option when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven! It’s a crowd-pleasing, flavorful dessert that isn’t overly sweet or dense. I’ve teamed up with California Strawberries to create a strawberry cheesecake recipe that’s packed full of fresh strawberries. You’re going to love this!
I love a good no-bake dessert. While I’ve always loved cheesecake parfaits, I had never actually prepared a no-bake cheesecake recipe before now.
When I began researching and experimenting, I was surprised to learn how many varieties exist!
How to Make No-Bake Cheesecake (3 Methods)
- Many no-bake cheesecake recipes use sweetened condensed milk, which thickens when combined with fresh citrus.
- Some no-bake cheesecake recipes are simply frozen, with the idea being that you slice and eat them immediately like an ice cream cake before they melt into a pile of creamy goo.
- The third, and in my opinion, best way, is to use just enough unsweetened gelatin to provide stability to the cheesecake without allowing it to veer into panna cotta territory.
I experimented with all three methods, and I found using gelatin to be the best and most foolproof. When I viewed online recipes using the other methods, there were always people in the comment section who struggled for one reason or another.
At the end of the day, I’d rather have a recipe that works for everyone, even if there may be arguments for why the other versions are better. Otherwise, I recommend going the no-bake cheesecake parfait route.
- Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. I leave it out for at least two hours before getting started. If the cream cheese isn’t at room temp, you might find yourself with a lumpy mixture that’s extremely difficult to smooth out in the mixer. Cutting the cream cheese into smaller pieces will help make sure it’s room temperature throughout.
- Break up the graham crackers before placing them into the food processor. I realize this seems redundant, but it will also save you time. Those are some big crackers, and the food processor only has one small blade.
- Use strawberries that are bright red, with no visible white or moldy spots. White spots at the tip or stem are an indication that the strawberries were picked too soon and won’t be as sweet.
- I went for a thin topping that gets most of it’s sweetness from the strawberries themselves. As you can see, it’s much thinner than a typical cheesecake glaze. If you prefer a more traditional, thicker glaze, this looks like a good option.
Watch: No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe Video Tutorial
Are you a visual learner like I am? You might enjoy watching a step-by-step tutorial for this strawberry cheesecake on the California Strawberries website!
Looking For More Strawberry Recipes?
- 2 cups graham crackers, broken into pieces (about 15 crackers)
- 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice, strained (about 1/2 orange)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2-3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (see notes)
- 16 ounces plain, full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 3/4 ounces granulated sugar (1 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pureed California Strawberries (about 8 medium strawberries)
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold
- 3 cups California Strawberries, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Grand Marnier (fresh-squeezed orange juice may be substituted)
- Add the graham crackers to a food processor and pulse several times to make crumbs. With the machine running, add the salt followed by the butter, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula a few times to make sure the ingredients are evenly blended.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray. Transfer the graham cracker crumbs from the food processor, spreading in an even layer. Using a flat surface, such as the bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass, press the crumbs down firmly, forming a crust. Refrigerate until needed, up to 2 days in advance.
- Place the orange juice and water in a small microwave-safe bowl, then sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top, stirring to combine. Microwave for 20 seconds, until the gelatin has melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until the ingredients are smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the strawberries and continue mixing on medium for another minute. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Once the gelatin has cooled but is still melted (you can refrigerate it briefly if it’s still warm), add it to the bowl with the mixer running on medium speed. Turn the machine off and scrape down the bowl, all the way to the bottom.
- Swap the paddle attachment for the whisk attachment. With the machine running on medium-low speed, add the heavy cream, then turn the mixer up to high speed and whip for 1-2 minutes, until the ingredients become light and fluffy.
- Pour cheesecake filling into the prepared crust, smoothing out the top with a regular or offset spatula. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours to allow the gelatin to set (you can also leave it overnight).
- Place 1 cup strawberries in a medium-sized bowl. Add the sugar and Grand Marnier or orange juice, stirring to combine.
- Let the ingredients rest for a minimum of 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the sugar dissolves and the berries are juicy. Puree the strawberries and liquid in a blender.
- Slice or quarter the remaining strawberries.
- Before releasing the springform pan, run a knife or offset spatula around the edges to ensure it doesn’t stick.
- Drizzle the strawberry puree over the cheesecake and top with fresh strawberries. Alternately, you can top individual slices with the sauce and berries since the puree can make the crust a bit soggy after a few hours. This might be a better option if you anticipate leftovers.
- Serve chilled. Leftovers will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic.
2 teaspoons gelatin will hold the cheesecake together, but it will be a little wobbly. If you want the slices to hold their shape better, use 3 teaspoons (aka 1 tablespoon).
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