Start to finish: 10 minutes prep; 3 hours chill Servings: 8 Difficulty level: Beginner
The no-bake cheesecake achieves its thick, smooth texture through the combination of condensed sweetened milk and cream cheese followed by time to chill and set. This no-bake cheesecake recipe, adapted from a recipe on the Eagle Brand website, makes a rich, sweet and creamy cheesecake. Serve it plain or add your choice of fruit topping.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 9 to 12 whole graham crackers *½ cup sugar, white or brown
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 small can fruit pie filling, chilled
Use a food processor to reduce the graham crackers to crumbs. You also can break the graham crackers into smaller pieces, place them in a plastic ziplock bag and use a rolling pin or bottle to crush the graham crackers.
You will need about 1 ½ cups of finely ground graham crackers, according to the recipe on the website Crazy for Crust.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl and use a fork to mix thoroughly.
Add the butter to the mixing bowl and use the fork to fold it in with the dry ingredients.
Pour the graham cracker mixture into a pie shell or dish and firmly press the mixture along the bottom and sides of the dish, up to the top edge. The more pressure you apply to press the crust the better the crust will hold up.
Refrigerate the pie crust for 1 hour before adding filling.
Mix, Assemble and Refrigerate the Cheesecake
Add the softened cream cheese to a medium mixing bowl and use a mixer to beat the cream cheese until it is fluffy. Use a low to medium setting and beat for about 2 minutes
Pour the condensed milk into the mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly mixed with the cream cheese.
Mix the lemon juice and vanilla extract in with the cream cheese and milk.
Spoon the cheesecake filling into the chilled graham cracker pie crust and smooth the filling so the surface is even.
Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator to chill for 3 hours. Chill for an additional hour if the cheesecake needs more time to set.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator and spread the pie filling -- such as cherry or blueberry -- evenly on the top, if preferred.
Serve the cheesecake while it is chilled.
Flavored Filling Suggestions
Skip the fruit topping and flavor the cheesecake pie filling.
Make a chocolate cheesecake with melted bakers chocolate and top it with whipped cream sprinkled with chocolate shavings.
Replace the vanilla extract with a different flavor. For instance, use almond extract and combine whipped cream and coconut flakes for the topping.
Add color and flavor to the no-bake cheesecake with flavored powdered gelatin, dissolved in boiling water, or flavored drink crystals.
Variations and Tips
Drizzle a little fruit syrup over the cheesecake.
Create a fresh fruit topping of peaches or a mixture of fresh fruit that includes berries, kiwi and bananas. Wash the fruit and, if necessary, peel and cut; Sprinkle banana slices with lemon juice, as recommended by Eagle Brand.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of marmalade or preserves and drizzle over the cheesecake instead of using a fruit topping.
Use a pre-made graham cracker crust from the grocer's freezer to save time.
Crazy for Crust recommends using the bottom of a glass to compress the crust in the bottom of the dish.
Experiment with different ingredients to add to the cheesecake, but be careful with liquids that might prevent the pie filling from setting.
Refrigerate leftover cheesecake to protect from spoiling and maintain the consistency.