No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake

  • This No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake is decadently smooth and creamy, with a classic graham cracker crust. It’s rich and tangy like a traditional cheesecake, yet airy and light at the same time. The simple vanilla base makes it the ideal canvas for any flavor topping!

    Slice of no bake cheesecake on white plate with fresh berries.

    This No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake is one of the best summer desserts! It’s smooth and creamy like you’d expect, but not overwhelmingly rich. Plus it looks impressive with very little effort, so it’s great for serving to guests.

    If you love no bake cheesecakes, check out my other recipes for No Bake Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake, easy Lime Cheesecake Fluff, or Easy Berry Cheesecake Cups.

    What is a no bake cheesecake?

    It is simply a cheesecake that requires no baking. It has no eggs and no granulated sugar, yet it still has plenty of cream cheese to keep that tangy flavor. The filling is a lot softer than a traditional baked cheesecake, which gives it that light and airy texture.

    Now, for a little disclaimer: No bake cheesecakes and traditional baked cheesecakes taste different.  I just wanted to let you know that they are not the same. But I love them both, and to be honest I probably like the no bake a little better.

    Why you’ll love this recipe:

    • No bake cheesecakes are easier to make than a traditional cheesecake, so it’s perfect for beginner bakers or anyone looking for a faster alternative.
    • This dessert has the best texture – smooth, silky, and creamy in the middle. Yet instead of being dense and heavy, the whipping cream gives it an airy lift to lighten the whole dessert.
    • This recipe does not use gelatin like many other no bake cheesecake call for. That way you don’t get the odd bouncy texture!
    No bake vanilla cheesecake removed from springform pan with towel underneath.

    Ingredients you’ll need:

    This recipe starts with a Homemade Graham Cracker Crust, made with graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon, and butter. The for the filling you will need heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese.

    If you’re wondering, the filling uses powdered sugar instead of granulated to make sure the texture is smooth and not grainy. Granulated sugar won’t dissolve in the cream cheese since the cheesecake isn’t baked. So the powdered sugar can’t be substituted.

    Front view of slice of no bake cheesecake topped with berries

    How do you make a no bake vanilla cheesecake?

    WHIP THE CREAM: First, beat the heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Start with really cold cream and beat it at medium speed to avoid splashing it everywhere. Once it starts to thicken a little, bump the speed to high.

    BEAT UNTIL STIFF PEAKS FORM: Keep beating the cream on high until stiff peaks form. You’ll know the peaks are stiff when you pull the beater or beaters out of the whipped cream and the peak holds its shape with a slight curl at the tip. Don’t go much past this or it will quickly become over-whipped.

    BEAT THE CREAM CHEESE: Next, in a separate mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. The cream cheese should be ultra-soft to start, or else you won’t get that smooth texture you’re looking for.

    FOLD THE MIXTURES TOGETHER: Next, add the whipped cream into the cream cheese and gently fold it with a spatula until just incorporated. Don’t beat in the whipped cream or you will lose all the air that was incorporated to make it light and fluffy.

    Whipped cream folded into cream cheese with spatula.

    MAKE THE CRUST: Next, use a food processor to blend the graham crackers into fine crumbs. In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs with the sugar and cinnamon, then stir in the melted butter. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan, using a flat measuring cup or bottom of a glass to press the crust down firmly.

    SPREAD THE FILLING ON THE CRUST: Now spread the filling onto the crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. I think overnight lets the flavors and texture develop the best!

    This No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake is super simple to make. It's smooth, light and perfect for any topping!

    Tips for making this cheesecake recipe:

    • Start with very soft cream cheese and cold whipping cream. The cream cheese absolutely must be soft if you want a smooth and silky filling. The cream must be cold to help it whip quickly.
    • Use a springform pan. It will make it much easier to serve into nice slices (trust me!), plus it gives it the look of a traditional cheesecake.
    • Make sure the crackers are very fine crumbs, then press the crust down firmly with a glass or the bottom of a measuring cup. This will make sure the crust holds together.
    • Serve this cheesecake cold. Because it doesn’t have gelatin, it will soften considerably the longer it sits outside the refrigerator. I don’t recommend letting it sit out longer than 1 hour, but 30 minutes would be the best.

    FAQs:

    What toppings can I put on no bake cheesecake?

    You can use any toppings you like on this vanilla cheesecake! Fresh berries, flavorful jam, chocolate ganache, or caramel sauce would all be delicious. You can also use whipped cream, lemon curd, or Oreo crumbs. The sky’s the limit!

    Can I make no bake cheesecake in advance?

    Yes, a no bake cheesecake will last in the fridge for 4-5 days if covered tightly. I suggest making this dessert 1-2 days in advance to keep the crust firm, then storing leftovers for 2-3 more days.

    How long can no bake cheesecake sit out?

    Since this recipe does not have gelatin, the cheesecake should sit out no longer than an hour. Ideally I would leave it out no longer than 30 minutes and serve it cold. Otherwise the filling will soften considerably.

    Will a no bake cheesecake firm up in the fridge?

    If you think you need to thicken your no bake cheesecake filling, just pop it in the fridge. The filling is very soft until it firms up in the cold. Let it firm up for at least 4 hours before serving, but ideally overnight.

    Slices of vanilla cheesecake with berries on plates next to whole cheesecake.

    More cheesecake recipes:

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    5 from 2 votes
    This No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake is incredibly smooth, light and airy. And it will go perfect with so many toppings!
    No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake
    Prep Time
    4 hrs 30 mins
    Total Time
    4 hrs 30 mins
     

    This No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake is decadently smooth and creamy, with a classic graham cracker crust. It’s rich and tangy like a traditional cheesecake, yet airy and light at the same time. The simple vanilla base makes it the ideal canvas for any flavor topping!

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: cheesecake for beginners, easy cheesecake, no bake cheesecake, no bake cheesecake without gelatin, no bake vanilla cheesecake, vanilla cheesecake
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 289 kcal
    Author: Malinda Linnebur
    Ingredients
    Graham Cracker Crust
    • cups graham cracker crumbs (about ten full sheets)
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 6 tablespoons butter melted
    Cheesecake Filling
    • 2 cups heavy whipping cream very cold
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2-3 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese (full fat) softened
    Instructions
    Graham Cracker Crust
    1. Using a food processor or blender grind the crackers until you have fine crumbs. Otherwise place crackers in a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin until you have fine crumbs. It is important to have fine crumbs so the crust holds together well.

    2. In a medium sized bowl combine the crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the butter until well combined. The mixture should be thick, coarse and sandy.
    3. Press the mixture in one even layer on the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Use a flat measuring cup or the bottom of a glass to help compact the crust. This is very important or the crust may fall apart. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
    Cheesecake Filling
    1. In the bowl of your stand mixer or in a large bowl beat the heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In another large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth.

    2. Spoon the whipped cream into the cream cheese and fold in gently just until combined. Spoon into the prepared crust and spread into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
    3. TO SERVE: Run a knife around the perimeter of the pan then unclasp and remove outer ring. Serve with desired toppings.
    Recipe Notes
    1. Start with very soft cream cheese and cold whipping cream. The cream cheese absolutely must be soft if you want a smooth and silky filling. The cream must be cold to help it whip quickly.
    2. Use a springform pan. It will make it much easier to serve into nice slices (trust me!), plus it gives it the look of a traditional cheesecake.
    3. Make sure the crackers are very fine crumbs, then press the crust down firmly with a glass or the bottom of a measuring cup. This will make sure the crust holds together.
    4. Serve this cheesecake cold. Because it doesn’t have gelatin, it will soften considerably the longer it sits outside the refrigerator. I don’t recommend letting it sit out longer than 1 hour, but 30 minutes would be the best.
    Nutrition Facts
    No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 289 Calories from Fat 189
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 21g32%
    Saturated Fat 13g81%
    Cholesterol 70mg23%
    Sodium 135mg6%
    Potassium 48mg1%
    Carbohydrates 23g8%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 16g18%
    Protein 2g4%
    Vitamin A 758IU15%
    Vitamin C 1mg1%
    Calcium 36mg4%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.
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