No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake!

no bake strawberry cheesecake (8 of 4)

This is my homemade version of a 1960s dessert. The original recipe could have been found on Strawberry Jell-O package or CoolWhip containers. I thought it was brilliant, despite the fact that it was overly sweet, too stiff from the Jell-O and, if one were being picky, they may point out the slight chemical after taste. But, in its defense it was fast and very pretty. My version of no-bake strawberry cheesecake is made with nothing but fresh sweet strawberries, cream cheese, real whipped cream, and just the slightest bit of gelatin to keep it standing tall until you bite into it, then it melts in your mouth. No oven required, which makes it ideal for the sultry summer days.

Watch my quick video on how to make and assemble the strawberry cheesecake. 

no bake strawberry cheesecake (11 of 4)

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

Makes one 8 or 9-inch cheesecake
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Refrigerator Time: 2 ½ hours
Level: multiple steps, but all of them are easy

Ingredients
Crust:
7 whole (106g) graham crackers
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons (40g) nutella
2 tablespoons (30g) brown sugar
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons (16g) cocoa powder

Strawberry topping:
1 pound (454g) fresh or frozen strawberries, washed and stemmed
1/4 cup (55g) sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

Cheesecake:
1 pound (450g) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (75g) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups strawberry topping (see above)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Fresh strawberries for garnish

For directions on how to make this no-bake strawberry cheesecake, watch my Craftsy video on youtube:

Prepare the crust:
In a food processor grind the graham crackers until they are broken into a fine powder. Add the butter, nutella, brown sugar, salt and cocoa powder and process until it is all well incorporated. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.

Press the crust evenly into the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch spring form pan. It should come up the sides slightly.

Prepare the Strawberry topping:
In a saucepot add the strawberries, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat until the strawberries are quite soft. Use an immersion blender to puree the fruit. (You can also do this by pouring the strawberries into a regular blender, then return to the pot to finish cooking.)

Sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl. Allow it to sit for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer the gelatin to the strawberries and gently cook over low heat.

Whisking just until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Reserve ¾ cup of the strawberry mixture for the top layer of the cake.

To make the cheesecake:
In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-low speed, using the paddle attachment, until smooth. Add the vanilla extract.  Add the strawberry topping, except the ¾ cup you have reserved for the top layer.

In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream until medium peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry cheesecake batter. Gently folding just until it is all combined.

Pour the cheesecake into the prepared pan. Tap the pan gently on the counter to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Let it sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until it is set to the touch.

Once the cheesecake is set, pour the remaining ¾ cup strawberry topping over it. If the topping has set up in the pot, gently heat it for a minute, just until it is pourable.

Place the cheesecake back into the refrigerator and allow to set, uncovered,  for another 30 minutes, or until the topping is set. At this point it is ready to serve or you can cover the cheesecake with plastic and it can sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Before unlocking the spring form pan, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it. Top with the fresh strawberries.

Last week I was put on a list that took my breath away. Saveur Magazine listed zoebakes.com as one of the 50 food blogs to be reading. As if being mentioned by Saveur isn’t mind blowing enough, to be named with the other blogs on that list is unbelievable. I am beyond honored to be included with so much talent.

read the full article:

50 More Food Blogs You Should Be Reading

60 thoughts to “No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake!”

  1. Just beautiful Zoe! I rarely use pre-packaged products in my cakes and appreciate your work in developing this recipe…and congratulations on your Saveur recognitions!

  2. This is news only to Saveur, Zoë. We’ve known it since you began writing. They are late to the party. “-0) Mazel tov!!

  3. Jeez — what took Saveur so long?!!! They have (previously) given recognition to sites that aren’t even in your league. Yours is one of the first sites I go to when I’m looking for inspiration. Congrats!

  4. Congratulations on the Saveur mention. The quality of your work is really amazing, you deserve it. Beautiful cake, and with no baking required, impossible not to try on a hot summer day. Thanks!

  5. Congrats on your Saveur accommodation. It is well deserved. You always come up with fun treats to make and break them down so they are easy to follow.

  6. YOu are the absolute best and glad they recognized it. Can’t wait for the new book and love your dessert. Now only if they didn’t end up on my hips I would like them even more…

  7. I thought to let you know, that I have placed you (or rather your blog) in the top 10 dessert blogs on my blog. You may be interested to see it and if you wish, I could still add a photo of one your creations.

    Best regards,

    Georgette G

  8. Congratulation Zoe! You really deserve it: every page of your blog is a concentrated of ability, beauty and love. Kiss. Anna

  9. Hi!
    Just wanted to say that your cheesecake is amazing! I did it for mothersday yesterday (here in Sweden) and is was wonderful.
    Maybe I’ll do it again for the graduation. A more beautiful cake is hard to find.
    Maggan

  10. I gave this recipe to my mom and she made it for a cookout yesterday. She had two observations — the vanilla bean is listed in the ingredients, but the recipe does not tell what to do with it. And she wondered if the strawberry mixture should have been cooled for a while before incorporating it into the cream cheese/whipping cream. Wouldn’t too warm a filling cause the whipped cream to break back down and liquify? But it was really very light, creamy and tasty. We’ll definitely make it again.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      So pleased that your mom tried the recipe. Thank her for the feedback. I will fix the missing vanilla bean problem. As for the strawberry mixture, I tried it both ways and as long as it wasn’t boiling hot, it seemed to work both ways. It will break down less if it has a chance to cool slightly, but it still works both ways.

      Thanks again! Zoë

  11. Hi Zoe, in the recipe you mentioned I can make it with either 8 or 9″ springform pan. Do I need to adjust the ingredients or will it only affect how thick (or tall) the cheesecake will be? Thanks.

    1. Hi Yenny,

      I have successfully made the cake in both an 8 or 9-inch cake pan, the only difference is the height of the cake.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  12. Dear Zoe,
    My wonderful friend,Barbara Bubser, made your spectacular strawberry cheesecake and brought it to the office. Now our office has dozens of attorneys, legal assistnats, paralegals, file clerks, etc , etc,. EVERYONE tasted it as it was prominenetly displayed on a ledge in a busy area. And EVERYONE raved about it. Barbara did your fabulous recipe justice.
    Congrats on your Savieur selection. Well deserved!!!

    1. Hi Debi,

      How fantastic, please thank Barbara for me! I am so thrilled she tried the recipe and shared with you all! 🙂

      Enjoy, Zoë

  13. Hi Zoe,

    I couldn’t help but making this cheesecake over the weekend. The pics look too tempting! That was my first time working with cream cheese, whipped cream, making strawberry topping, or making crumbs (well, basically everything). We loved how it tasted!

    A few questions: I made it in a 8″ springform pan, however the cheesecake didn’t fill up to the top of the pan like the one in the pic. Does how long I beat the cream cheese & sugar matter? Also, I didn’t get 1.25 cups of strawberry topping left after I took 3/4 cup for the glaze. How about the whipped cream? I believe I had it at medium peak, but what difference does it make to the cheesecake, if I may now?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Yenny,

      So glad you enjoyed it!

      Most spring form pans are actually 9″ and the cake comes out just a little bit flatter. The one I used is an old pan and 8″.

      How much strawberry puree were you left with? Was it much less than what I had? I suppose 1 pound of strawberries, depending on their density, can yield slightly different amounts. Did you have enough to finish the top of the cake?

      The whipped cream should be medium-firm peak. If the cream is too loose it will not hold up to being folded into the cream cheese.

      Thank you for the feedback! Zoë

    2. It happened exactly the same to me! It tasted good but it was a couple of centimeters tall. It did not look like the picture and that was kind of disappointing.

  14. I tuned in to KFWB Talk show’s Food & Wine with Chef Jamie Gwen this morning for the first time and was lucky enough to hear you talk about this cheesecake recipe and the merits of using gelatin. Not only will I be trying this recipe soon but I’m also excited to put your Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day to the test. You made a long car ride an interesting and inspiring adventure. Thank you!

  15. Hi Zoe,

    The top of the cake was fine, as I used 3/4 cup of the sauce. I didn’t measure what’s leftover, but probably only 1/2 of the sauce left in the pan afterward. The texture of the cheesecake look similar to your pic. I’m just wondering about the height.

    I’ll put a pic of my cheesecake in another comment (so you can just delete/moderate the comment separate from this one) to let you see what I’m talking about.

    By the way, I stumbled into another blog & she was raving about your artisan bread in 5 minutes a day book! I don’t remember the site though.

  16. Zoe, thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it for my grand daughter’s seventh birthday. She decorated it with bleeding hearts from my garden. It was absolutely delicious and beautiful! Any chance I could convert it to chocolate amaretto?

  17. I made this for my nephew’s party and it was a huge success! I topped it with chocolate covered strawberries. It was beautiful; the cake tasted like strawberries (and not jello!) and it was easy to make. Thanks!

  18. That’s awesome!! You deserve it! I have become obsessed with your recipes, they are delish!! I need to make strawberry cheesecake cupcakes for a birthday this weekend. Is there any way to make these into cupcakes?

  19. I prepared the cheesecake a couple of days ago and I would like to comment the following:
    – the cheesecake mixture probably needs the double amount of gelatine. My cake never set and it had a runny, mousse-like consistency. Instead of cutting into the cake we had to spoon it out!}
    – I used a 9″ pan and it came out super flat! Compared to the picture shown above the result is frankly disappointing. I made the cake for a birthday and it wasn’t very appealing.
    – the flavors were very good and the crust came out great. It did not stick to the pan and had a good texture. Other crusts I’ve tried have been just too hard to cut or separate from the rest of the cake.
    – it would be very helpful to have the ingredients listed in grams or ounces. I live outside the US and to properly substitute some ingredients that would have been quite an aid.

    1. Hi Margarita,

      I am sorry to hear that it didn’t turn out for you. I have a feeling that the blame is with the gelatin. There are different strengths of gelatin available, so if you weren’t using the brand that we tend to get in the US, it may have been a much weaker variety. So, your assessment of needing double the gelatin may be spot on.

      I think your idea of using grams and ounces is a good one and will do that when I can.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Heidi,

      Desserts with gelatin can not be frozen or it breaks down the gelatin and it will become weepy and lose its shape.

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. Congratulations! You are highly deserving of this honor, I love everything you do. I’ve take both of your Craftsy classes (bread and cheesecake) and this blog is terrific. Your baked goods are beautiful but perfectly doable for the average baker.

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