This simple no bake cheesecake is one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make! A graham cracker crust gets topped with a Cool Whip and cream cheese filling that’s light, fluffy, and delicious. Top it all with homemade whipped cream and your favorite strawberry sauce for a dessert everyone will love!
Fool Proof No Bake Cheesecake Recipe
I love cheesecake, but I don’t love how long it takes to let it bake and set. And then half the time, the cheesecake cracks or doesn’t bake properly anyway.
This no bake cheesecake is a simple recipe made with a Cool Whip cheesecake filling and there’s no baking involved. If you’re looking for an easy cheesecake recipe, it doesn’t get much easier than this.
That means that unlike with a traditional cheesecake recipe, there’s no ruining the cheesecake, no baking in a water bath, no cheesecake cracking, and no having to hope that it’s baked correctly.
This no bake cheesecake recipe is one of those fool-proof recipes to keep handy because you can use it for pretty much any occasion from a Thanksgiving feast to an outdoor backyard BBQ in the summer.
Why you’ll love this
- Quick and easy – enjoy the creamy texture and rich flavor of cheesecake without spending hours in the kitchen.
- Make ahead – this is a great dessert to make ahead of time so you have less to do the day of.
- Feeds a crowd – no need to double the batch, one cheesecake is enough for almost any event. The cream cheese mixture is rich, so it goes a long way!
- Butter – both salted and unsalted will work for this.
- Graham cracker crumbs – I find it easier to buy the crumbs but you can make your own in a food processor as well. Unlike many of my recipes that can used a prepared crust (like striped delight where I use a store-bought graham cracker crust), I highly recommend making for own for this cheesecake.
- Cream cheese – I highly suggest getting a higher quality like Philadelphia and full fat. You also want to make sure to use room temperature cream cheese! If you’re not using softened cream cheese, the mixture won’t come together like it’s supposed to.
- Sour cream – I prefer full fat but reduced fat will work as well.
- Lemon juice – both fresh and bottled will work. It’s not very much lemon juice so bottled may be easier.
- Cool Whip – you can buy frozen whipped topping or make your own, although if you make your own, this is no longer the same easy recipe!
Don’t forget the toppings!
You may also want to get toppings for your cheesecake! You can do anything from fresh fruit (fresh berries are my favorite) to chocolate sauce or even chocolate and caramel like in this Twix cheesecake!
How to make No Bake Cheesecake
Making cheesecake has never been easier than this no-bake cheesecake. The best part is you will save time without compromising on flavor or richness.
Below you will find everything you need to know with pictures to answer any questions you might have along the way.
1 – Make The Crust
- To start this easy no-bake cheesecake, melt the butter in a medium or large bowl.
- Add the graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to the melted butter and mix the ingredients together until the graham cracker crumb mixture is evenly moist throughout.
- Move the crust mixture to a springform pan and spread the crust out along the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Press the crumbs firmly into the pan. The crumb mixture will not go all the way up the sides of the pan. Set in the fridge to set while you make the filling.
2 – Make The No bake Cheesecake filling
- In a stand mixer with a fitted paddle attachment, add in the cream cheese and mix until the cream cheese is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl throughout the mixing. While you could do this by hand, I don’t recommend it. An electric mixer will definitely give you the best results!
- Add powdered sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Mix the ingredients together on a low speed until everything is creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Then increase the speed to high and whip for about one more minute.
You really want the cream cheese mixture to be as smooth as possible. Make sure to mix the ingredients until everything is creamy and mixed together well before you do the one minute mixing on high.
- Gently fold in the cool whip with a spatula until it is evenly mixed in. At this point, the mixture will be thick and pretty stiff.
- Spread the prepared filling onto the graham cracker crust. The filling might go above the crust in the pan which is fine! Smooth out the top of the filling in the pan to make sure no air bubbles are in the filling.
3 – Chill And Serve the cheesecake
- Cover with aluminum foil.
- Place the covered cheesecake into the fridge and chill for 8 hours. Once it’s chilled, you can add whipped cream around the edges or leave it as is.
- When you are ready to slice the cake, run a sharp knife under hot water and then slice. Repeat that method for the other slices until you have eight large slices or 12 smaller slices.
- Top with your favorite fruit toppings like this homemade raspberry sauce or you can serve plain!
How to store no bake cheesecake
Store any leftover cheesecake in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.
Unlike traditional cheesecakes, I don’t recommend wrapping with plastic wrap because it will stick to the filling. Instead, I recommend storing in an airtight container like this cake storage pan.
The best Toppings for No Bake Cheesecake
This no bake cheesecake is delicious eaten plain but can be even better if you serve it topped with your favorite toppings! Try some of these delicious toppings on top!
- Raspberry sauce
- Hot fudge
- Fruit like fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, or fresh blueberries
- Can of cherry pie filling or homemade cherry topping
- Caramel sauce (with nuts to make a turtle cheesecake)
- Chocolate drizzle
- Chopped candy bars, chocolate chips, or nuts (like in this Butterfinger pie or Snickers pie).
Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature to ensure the smoothest cheesecake.
Be careful to not over whip the filling, you don’t want to add too much air to the mixture, stop once it is smooth.
Switch out the graham crackers for another cookie such as Oreos or Vanilla Wafers.
Bitter tasting no-bake cheesecake can be a result of expired ingredients or using too much lemon.
There’s no real way to make a large no-bake cheesecake faster without compromising on the texture and flavor of the filling. If you need something that will set faster, you can try making mini cheesecakes in a muffin tin. Avoid placing in the freezer or it may be frozen instead of creamy.
To keep the no-bake cheesecake firm, don’t over mix the ingredients and store in a cool place. When the ingredients get warm they will begin to soften and the cheesecake will become less firm.
I don’t recommend freezing this no bake cheesecake because the texture of the cream cheese mixture once thawed is different than the original creamy cheesecake texture you’re going for. It doesn’t freeze nearly as well as a standard cheesecake.
More No Bake Desserts
If you like a good no bake recipe, make sure to add these to your list to try next!
- Snickers pie – this no bake pie combines a cream cheese filing with Snickers candy bars in a delicious chocolate treat!
- Kool Aid pie – another fun and easy no bake dessert that uses just three ingredients!
- Key lime icebox cake – this layered dessert has an amazing key lime flavor and uses a freezer instead of oven to do all the magic!
- No bake banana split cake – a banana dessert with layers that taste just like a banana split!
- Strawberry ice cream cake – layers of ice cream, strawberries, and cookies make this one delicious desserts!
No Bake Cheesecake with Cool Whip
- ½ cup salted butter melted
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 24 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 16 oz Extra creamy cool-whip thawed
- Melt the butter in a medium bowl then add graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 of the powdered sugar and mix the ingredients together until evenly moist throughout.1/2 cup salted butter, 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Move the crust mixture to a springform pan and spread the crust out along the bottom and sides of the pan. The crumb mixture will not go all the way up the sides of the pan. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with a fitted paddle attachment, add in the cream cheese and mix until the cream cheese is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl.24 oz cream cheese
- Add powdered sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Mix the ingredients together on a low speed until everything is creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Then increase the speed to high and whip for about 1 more minute.1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Gently fold in the cool whip with a spatula until it is evenly mixed in. At this point the mixture will be thick and stiff.16 oz Extra creamy cool-whip
- Spread the prepared filling onto the graham cracker crust. Smooth out the top of the filling in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Place the covered cheesecake into the fridge and chill for 8 hours.
- Serve with favorite topping like homemade whipped cream, strawberry sauce, or chocolate sauce.