This easy no-bake cheesecake is simple and very quick to make. It will surprise you with its smooth texture and amazing taste. Top it with fruit preserves or sautéed peaches
I know there are many simple no-bake cheesecake recipes out there, but I really think that this is one of the easiest you will find. It is made with Philadelphia cream cheese spread and without condensed milk. Actually, the basic ingredients for this recipe are very few (cookie crumbs, butter, sugar, cream cheese and heavy cream) plus some lemon and vanilla extract as aromatics. The topping can be fresh fruit, fruit preserves or the sautéed peaches you see in the photos. And if you’re a fan of no-bake desserts, then you should definitely try these no-bake Oreo tarts with white chocolate cream and red fruits.
Why this is the best easy no-bake cheesecake recipe
- It is made with simple ingredients like cookie crumbs, butter, sugar, cream cheese and heavy cream – yes it’s without condensed milk. Some lemon and vanilla is used for extra taste.
- It is quick. You will only need 20-25 minutes to make the cheesecake (and another 10 minutes if you decide to make the sautéed peaches)
- You will not bake the crust or the filling (perfect for summer when you don’t have to turn on your oven).
- You only need one bowl to make it (I mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter in a large bowl, then I wipe it clean and make the cream cheese filling in the same bowl).
- You don’t have to wait for the cream cheese to come to room temperature. I use cream cheese spread which has about 21% fat content (it’s also lighter than a regular block of cream cheese). This produces a very creamy, light and tangy cheesecake with a perfect velvety texture and great taste. It’s not very dense, but something in between a baked cheesecake and a mousse.
- Unlike many no-bake cheesecake recipes, you don’t have to beat the heavy cream separately and then fold it into the filling.
- Sometimes taste can be subjective, but anyone who has tried this cheesecake has asked for seconds!
How to make this easy no-bake cheesecake
The steps are very simple
- Melt the butter (in a small pot or in the microwaves) and mix it with the cookie crumbs. Transfer to the pan and press it firmly to form the base.
- Beat the cream cheese spread with the sugar and then add the heavy cream. Continue beating with your electric mixer until the mixture thickens and becomes fluffy.
- Transfer the filling to the pan and chill in the fridge.
What to serve it with
You can serve this cheesecake plain or with fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries, pineapple chunks or kiwi are great). One of my favorite and easiest ways is to open a jar of fruit preserves and spoon it over the top.
If you have juicy, ripe peaches, I highly recommend sautéing them with some butter and a bit of white sugar.
How to make sautéed peaches
- Peel and cut the peaches into slices.
- Transfer the butter to a pan and melt it over high heat. Add the fruit and sauté for 4 minutes.
- Add the sugar and the brandy and continue cooking, stirring gently 1-2 times, until the peaches are somewhat soft and the sauce has thickened (about 5-6 minutes).
I wanted to preserve as much of the fresh taste of the peaches as possible, so I kept the cooking time short and used white sugar and just a touch of brandy. If its late fall or winter and you want to use apples instead, you can replace the white sugar with light brown sugar and add a stick of cinnamon to the pan.
The only downside of the sautéed peaches is that the sauce thickens and they lose their glossiness when refrigerated. So it is best to make them the day you plan to serve the cheesecake and keep them at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- 2 3/4 cups (360 grams) cookie crumbs (I use the type called digestive biscuits)
- 2/3 cups (160 grams) melted butter (you may need a couple tablespoons more depending on the type of cookies)
- 3 cups (750 grams) cream cheese spread (21% fat), cold from the fridge (I most often use the philadelphia brand – not the block but the spread)
- 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (180 grams) white sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 3/4 cups (420 grams) heavy cream (35% fat), cold from the fridge
- 3 large peaches peeled and cut into slices
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon brandy or cognac optional
- a pinch of salt
- mint leaves optional
Make the crust: Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter in a large bowl (the mixture for the crust should resemble wet sand. If it seems dry, add some more melted butter).
Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch spring-form pan and press it firmly with the back of a measuring cup to form the crust. Store it in the fridge until needed.
Make the filling: Transfer the cream cheese spread, the sugar, the lemon juice, the lemon zest, the vanilla and the salt to a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the sugar is dissolved.
While beating, add the heavy cream gradually, until incorporated. Continue beating until medium stiff peaks form (they should hold their shape pretty well). Don’t overbeat because the mixture may curdle.
Transfer the filling to the pan and level the surface with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Make the sautéed peaches: Transfer the butter to a pan and melt it over high heat. Add the fruit and sauté for 4 minutes.
Add the sugar and the brandy and continue cooking, stirring gently 1-2 times, until the peaches are somewhat soft and the sauce have thickened (about 5-6 minutes). Set aside and let it come to room temperature.
Serve the cheesecake: Spoon the sautéed peaches over the surface and garnish with a few mint leaves. Cut into slices and serve.
This cheesecake is not as dense as a baked cheesecake. If you like it denser, use cream cheese block instead of cream cheese spread. Make sure you beat the cream cheese very well before you add the heavy cream.
You can process the cookies in a food processor or put it in zip-lock bag and crush it with a heavy object (like a rolling pin).
I like the base of my cheesecake on the thick side. For a thinner crust, use 2 cups cookie crumbs and 1/2 cup melted butter.
If you want to make rosettes, keep 1 cup of the filling aside and store it in the fridge. Before serving, transfer the reserved filling to a piping bag and make rosettes along the perimeter of the cake.
The sautéed peaches should be kept at room temperature and spooned over the cheesecake just before serving. If refrigerated, the sauce will thicken (because it contains butter) and it will lose its glossiness.
For a cozier, winter-ish cheesecake use apples instead of peaches. Replace the white sugar with light brown sugar and add a stick of cinnamon.
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