An easy, no-bake cheesecake recipe made completely from scratch, and unlike many recipes there’s absolutely no gelatin required for this one! This recipe is also made without condensed milk and uses homemade whipped cream (no Cool Whip) and uses sour cream as a key ingredient for the best, most authentic cheesecake flavor. Skip the oven and make yourself an easy, authentic-tasting cheesecake from scratch.
Today’s recipe includes a step-by-step video showing you exactly how to make this no-bake cheesecake in your own kitchen!
I am a huge cheesecake snob (regarding baked and no-bake cheesecakes alike). Store-bought cheesecakes never fail to disappoint me. When I go out to eat I never get the cheesecake for dessert (unless we’re at the Cheesecake Factory, of course) because it’s always a letdown.
They’re always bland, and while the texture is usually fine, the taste is just not cheesecake that I know and love.
So, when I wanted to make a no-bake cheesecake I had high standards and approached the recipe development process meticulously.
I knew that the filling needed to be perfect, and this one absolutely is. Let’s dig in.
How do you make a cheesecake filling?
For an authentic-tasting no-bake cheesecake recipe, we want to stay as true as possible to classic cheesecake ingredients. That means using:
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
These are essentially the same ingredients as your standard cheesecake recipe, minus the eggs, of course.
Notice that the sour cream is bolded? That’s because it’s very important for a rich, real cheesecake flavor. Maybe this is just my cheesecake snobbery showing here, but a cheesecake made without sour cream is not a cheesecake, and is leaving a lot on the table in terms of flavor. Sour cream packs a ton of flavor and adds depth and authenticity to this no-bake cheesecake recipe.
The whipping cream is important for the texture and for the cheesecake to set. Many no-bake cheesecake recipes use condensed milk or gelatin for a firm final product, but I definitely prefer the taste of homemade whipped cream for an authentic flavor.
Now for the crust, I recommend using my easy graham cracker crust recipe, which does not need to be baked, keeping the entire recipe no-bake. It calls for only a few ingredients and will set up nicely in the fridge or freezer during the 10-15 minutes that it takes you to make the cheesecake filling.
How Long Can You Keep a No Bake Cheesecake in the Fridge?
No-Bake Cheesecake will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to either store it in an airtight container or to tightly wrap the springform pan in plastic wrap when storing.
Also, I think that I should note that we can never get this cheesecake to last longer than 48 hours in our house!
Can You Freeze a No Bake Cheesecake?
Yes! I recommend chilling the cheesecake as instructed first and then covering the cheesecake well with plastic wrap before freezing. I don’t recommend adding the whipped cream topping (or any topping) until you are ready to serve, as it will make storing more difficult (and messier!).
You can eat the frozen cheesecake straight from frozen or return it to the refrigerator to allow it to thaw before enjoying.
This cheesecake sets up very nicely in the fridge after a few hours (preferably overnight) and has that same, firm (homemade) cheesecake texture and taste that you’re familiar with. Check out my video to see exactly how it’s done.
Oh, and if my voice sounds funny in the video, that’s because I had a cold over two weeks ago and even though all my other symptoms are gone, my voice is still not back to normal (which is actually pretty typical for me).
How to Make No Bake Cheesecake
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- 1 9" or 10" graham cracker crust prepared in springform pan (please click link for graham cracker crust recipe)
- 16 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature (450g)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (150g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sour cream (75g)
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream (355ml)
- Additional whipped cream for topping, optional
- Place cream cheese in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add powdered sugar and stir until combined.
- Stir in vanilla extract and lemon juice, pausing to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add sour cream and stir well.
- Pour heavy cream into a separate, medium-sized bowl (preferably a chilled metal bowl). Whisk on high speed (preferably using an electric mixer) until stiff peaks are achieved.
- Fold your whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until smooth and well-combined.
- Spread cheesecake mixture evenly over prepared graham cracker crust.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with additional whipped cream before cutting and serving, if desired.
This recipe was originally posted 06/05/2017, photos were updated, additional tips were added, and a video was added 07/11/2018, some original photos can be found below.