Easy No-Bake Cheesecake
This easy no-bake cheesecake is the most perfect 5 ingredient no-bake cheesecake recipe! It takes just 5 minutes to make and requires merely mixing the filling and smoothing it inside a graham cracker crust. The cheesecake sets up in the refrigerator and the end result is a smooth, creamy, and slightly tangy dessert!
Topping ideas are endless but we love to eat our easy no-bake cheesecake with fresh fruit, raspberry sauce, or if you’re a cheesecake purist, a fork is all you’ll need.
Why This Recipe Works
- Skip the frustration of having to bake a cheesecake and deal with a water bath and potentially leaking into the springform pan, or potential cracking… this recipe only requires mixing and refrigerating. Easy peasy.
- It’s the perfect recipe for when the weather is too hot and you don’t feel like turning on your oven.
- This recipe is made in a pie plate so you don’t have to fret over using a springform pan and removing the sides.
- This cheesecake sets up beautifully, not too stiff and not too soft.
- This cheesecake recipe is made without sour cream and doesn’t taste overly cream cheesy as we only use 1 block of cream cheese, unlike other recipes that use 2-3. The splash of vanilla extract and spritz of lemon juice also add flavor and interest as well.
- The textures and flavors are spot on: buttery, crunchy graham cracker crust with a velvety smooth cheesecake filling. Add fresh fruit for topping and you have a decadent dessert suitable for any major holiday or special occasion. No one needs to know you made this egg free cheesecake in a matter of minutes!
- Graham Cracker Crust: Use a homemade crust or store bought. I always use homemade as I think it tastes a million times better.
- Sweetened condensed milk: Any brand will work. This is what we use to sweeten the cheesecake.
- Cream cheese: Use a full-fat block cream cheese. Do not use the cream cheese spread. I prefer Philadelphia cream cheese for this no-bake cheesecake.
- Vanilla & lemon juice: Added for flavor. For the lemon juice you can use real lemon juice or lemon juice concentrate, from the green bottles purchased at the grocery store.
- Make a graham cracker crust. No need to bake it, just place the crust in the fridge while you prep the no-bake cheesecake filling.
- Mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy and no lumps remain.
- Pour in the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy.
- Spoon the filling into the graham cracker crust and smooth into an even layer.
- Chill the cheesecake for 4 hours or until set. The cheesecake never truly hardens, but will set and be slightly firm but still have a softish consistency to it.
The Cream cheese should be a warm room temperature and should be in block form. Do not use the cream cheese spread.
I usually remove my cream cheese from the packaging and microwave it for 15-20 seconds. You can also place the foil wrapped cream cheese in a bowl of warm water to speed up the process. Cold cream cheese doesn’t mix well, so getting it soft is crucial to ensure a velvety smooth cheesecake filling.
Make sure to whip the cream cheese very well. Get out all of the lumps now, otherwise it’ll be hard to do so once the other ingredients have been added.
A no-bake cheesecake should chill for a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably 4 hours or overnight. Cover the cheesecake when it’s in the fridge to prevent it from drying out.
Store any leftover cheesecake in the fridge, covered, for 4-5 days. Cheesecake is best when served and enjoyed within the first 1-2 days of making it.
Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Will keep in the freezer for 1-2 months. When ready to serve remove from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator then slice and serve.
Topping Ideas for a No-Bake Cheesecake
- You can’t go wrong with chocolate or caramel.
- A berry sauce, such as my raspberry sauce recipe, would be a perfect accompaniment to any cheesecake recipe because it adds a contrast to the cheesecake flavor.
- Fresh cut fruit.
- Fruit compote.
You can’t bake this recipe, as it is an egg free cheesecake; there is nothing in it that will help it set.
The filling is! If you want a completely gluten-free no bake cheesecake use gluten free graham cracker crumbs for the pie crust.
It will last for 4-5 days in the fridge. Keep it covered so that it doesn’t dry out.
Related RecipesFresh April Flours! Let’s celebrate this delicious day with our favorite cheesecake recipes– from fruity to chocolatey and mini to InstantPot, we’ve got you covered for your next cheesecake need!
More #NationalCheesecakeDay Recipes
- Peach Cheesecake from Fresh April Flours
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake from House of Nash Eats
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake from That Recipe
- Easy No Bake Cheesecake from Salt & Baker
- Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes from Making Miracles
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake from Devour Dinner
- Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Instant Pot Vanilla Cheesecake from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Easy No Bake Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar from Blogghetti
- Strawberry Cheesecake from Life Love and Good Food
- 1 graham cracker pie crust
- 8 oz cream cheese - softened, see notes
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice - see notes
- Make the graham cracker crust in a 9" circle pie plate. You don't need to bake the crust, just place in the fridge to chill while you make the cheesecake filling.
- In a large bowl add the softened cream cheese and mix with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until smooth and creamy and no lumps remain.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and lemon juice to the cream cheese and mix with the hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth and combined, about 1-2 minutes.
- Spoon the cheesecake filling into the prepared pie crust, cover, and place in the fridge to chill for 4 hours or overnight. The cheesecake never truly hardens, but will set and be slightly firm but still have a softish consistency to it.
- Remove from fridge, slice, and serve cold.
- Highly suggest you use a full-fat cream cheese to give the cheesecake the full creamy texture.
- Using a full-fat cream cheese will help the cheesecake set up properly.
- Make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature. It should be very soft so that when you beat it with the hand mixer there will be no lumps. If you need to, microwave the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl for 15-30 seconds to ensure it’s soft enough.
- Can use fresh lemon juice or the lemon juice you buy in the green bottles from the grocery store.
- This is actually my mothers recipe, the one she would make for me on my birthday when I was younger. When she made it she would use 1/3 cup ( 5.33 tablespoons) of lemon juice rather than 3 tablespoons. If you want a bit more lemon-y flavor with a smidge more tang, feel free to add 1/3 cup of lemon juice. The cheesecake may not set up as firm, but you can always place it in the freezer to help firm it up.
- Raspberry sauce
- Caramel sauce or salted caramel
- Fresh fruit
- Fruit pie filling