Perfect No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe

This Easy No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe makes a perfect, smooth & creamy cheesecake that sets up in the refrigerator! It’s the best cheesecake recipe to make if you’re new to making cheesecake or want an absolutely fool-proof recipe. Made with whipped cream and sour cream, it has the perfect cheesecake texture and flavor.

Looking for more no-bake cheesecake recipes? Try my No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake, or this No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake Recipe!

No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake! Made from scratch with sour cream and fresh whipped cream and no gelatin!

THE BEST NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE RECIPE

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve always been a bit of a cheesecake snob. Very few cheesecakes that you’d get at a restaurant really make me happy (unless it’s Cheesecake Factory), so I rarely order them. Both taste and texture are big for me. It’s got to be thick and creamy and if it’s too soft, it’s not right.

Which is why I’m even pickier about no bake cheesecake! We’ve all tasted those no bake cheesecake box mixes, right? They’re made with gelatin and totally the opposite of what I want my cheesecake to feel and taste like (sorry if you’re a fan). Getting the right taste and texture isn’t easy and it’s easy to disappoint.

So when it came to making my own No Bake Cheesecake recipe, I knew I would be picky. It’s taken a long time for me to share my favorite No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake because it just MUST be right! And after lots of testing, I can say that for me that means fresh whipped cream, no sweetened condensed milk and no gelatin. Sweetened condensed milk simply isn’t the right flavor and gelatin isn’t the right texture.

The other thing I decided against was white chocolate. I used melted chocolate in my no Bake Chocolate Cheesecake and it does a wonderful job of helping to set the cheesecake. But you really do taste the white chocolate in a vanilla version and I don’t want this to be a white chocolate cheesecake.

The final cheesecake is seriously perfect! It’s so thick and creamy – it’s about as close as it can get to being like a regular cheesecake. It firms up beautifully! And the flavor is pretty much spot on. For someone who has always kind of not been so into vanilla no bake cheesecake, this one has changed my mind! Love it!

So now that I’ve done all the testing, let’s talk about what makes this best no bake cheesecake recipe so good!

BUT FIRST, WHAT IS A NO BAKE CHEESECAKE?

A no bake cheesecake is exactly what it sounds like – a cheesecake that isn’t baked. The crust and the filling firm up in the fridge without needing anything else to help hold it together. The ingredients used in the cheesecake do the work of firming things up all by themselves! It’s perfect when you need something quick and easy, or don’t have an oven available (or don’t want to use one).

No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake! Made from scratch with sour cream and fresh whipped cream and no gelatin!No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake! Made from scratch with sour cream and fresh whipped cream and no gelatin!

INGREDIENTS FOR A NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE

To get the perfect No Bake Cheesecake, you’ll want to have everything you need for both the crust and the filling. No good cheesecake is complete without a delicious crust! I shared my favorite graham cracker crust the other day and that’s what we use here. You’ll need:

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Butter

For the cheesecake filling, you’ll need:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Sugar
  • Sour Cream
  • FRESH Lemon Juice
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Powdered Sugar

You may notice that the ingredients are very similar to my baked cheesecake, but without the eggs or flour and with the addition of heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. A couple of the most important things you’ll need are the sour cream and lemon juice. Let’s talk about why.

WHAT MAKES THIS NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE WORK?

A regular cheesecake is going to use eggs to firm up the cheesecake when baked. With a no bake cheesecake, you obviously don’t want to use the eggs. But then how does the cheesecake firm up? This no bake cheesecake firms up with the help of two things – fresh whipped cream and fresh lemon juice. Lemon juice interacts with the sour cream and effectively “curdles” it, which thickens the cheesecake. It doesn’t curdle in the traditional way – you won’t have a lumpy cheesecake filling – but a similar process happens and creates a firming effect. It might seem like a decent amount of lemon juice, but it really does help the cheesecake firm up and it really doesn’t make the cheesecake taste like lemon.

The other key ingredient is the sour cream. It’s generally pretty essential to the proper taste for cheesecake, so it’s used in this no bake version and it’s perfect. The tang from the sour cream also helps to subdue the potential of the lemon flavor to come through. The reaction of the sour cream and lemon juice together actually are what give this cheesecake the classic tang that we know and love in a regular cheesecake, without giving it a lemon flavor.

HOW TO MAKE NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE:

So to actually make this no bake cheesecake, you’ll start with the crust. Mix together all the ingredients and press them into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. Set it in the fridge to start to firm up while you make the filling.

When you’re ready to make the filling, be sure your cream cheese is plenty soft so you don’t end up with lumps. Beat it together with the sugar until it’s nice and smooth.

Add in the sour cream, and mix until smooth. Then add the lemon juice. Set this mixture aside while you make the whipped cream.

No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake! Made from scratch with sour cream and fresh whipped cream and no gelatin!

One thing I love about making homemade whipped cream is the control you have over it, versus something like Cool Whip. By adding powdered sugar, we can thicken the whipped cream and stabilize it, so that it stays firm and so does our no bake cheesecake. No to mention, the superior taste. And since this cheesecake is all about the taste, homemade whipped cream is the way to go!

Whip the whipped cream until it’s nice and stiff and then gently fold it into the cream cheese mixture so that it doesn’t deflate. Spread the filling evenly into the crust and then refrigerate it for at least 5-6 hours, or overnight. I’m a big fan of making things a day ahead, so resting overnight is my preferred amount of time.

HOW LONG CAN YOU STORE A NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE IN THE FRIDGE?

This cheesecake will last for about 4-5 days in the fridge when kept well covered. While you could continue to snack on it after that, it will be at it’s best for that length of time.

CAN YOU FREEZE A NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE?

You could definitely freeze this no bake cheesecake. I would recommend leaving off any toppings, so they don’t create an issue during thawing. It’d also be best to firm the cheesecake in the fridge first, then freeze it. Then you can wrap it without messing up your beautiful work. Thaw the cheesecake in the fridge when you’re ready to use it and add your toppings.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE

Speaking of toppings, what should you serving with a no bake cheesecake? The sky is the limit! Fresh fruit is always delicious, but you could also add a yummy sauce like this homemade caramel sauce or lemon curd. YUM!

No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake! Made from scratch with sour cream and fresh whipped cream and no gelatin!No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake! Made from scratch with sour cream and fresh whipped cream and no gelatin!

TIPS FOR A PERFECT NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE

– Start with room temperature cream cheese, so that you don’t end up with lumps.
– Be sure to use the full amount of powdered sugar in the whipped cream for the filling. It stabilizes the whipped cream, therefore stabilizing the cheesecake.
– Be sure to use the sour cream and the lemon juice. They react to help firm up this cheesecake and give it that classic tang that we all know and love in a good cheesecake.
– Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 5 hours before serving, overnight is even better.
– Make sure to use heavy whipping cream. The higher fat content will allow the cream to whip up thicker which is needed to hold the filling together.


Read transcript

You might also like these cheesecake recipes:

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Mini Cheesecakes
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
Chocolate Lover’s Cheesecake
No Bake Cheesecake Parfaits

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The Best No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe | Life Love and Sugar
Recipe

Best No Bake Cheesecake Recipe

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Easy No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe makes a perfect, smooth & creamy cheesecake that sets up in the refrigerator! Made with whipped cream and sour cream, it has the perfect cheesecake texture and flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 1/4 cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tbsp (65g) sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp (140g) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 24 oz (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (58g) sour cream
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3/4 cup (86g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

1. In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients and mix well to combine completely.
2. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set in the fridge to chill.
3. In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until well combined and smooth.
4. Add the sour cream and mix until well combined and smooth.
5. Add the lemon juice and mix until well combined and smooth. Set mixture aside.
5. In another large mixer bowl, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
6. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture in two parts until well combined.
7. Add the filling to the crust and spread into an even layer.
8. Refrigerate cheesecake until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
9. To finish off the cheesecake, remove it from the springform pan and set on a plate or serving platter.
10. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract for the whipped cream topping to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
11. Pipe swirls of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake. Top the cheesecake off with your desired toppings, such as fresh fruit.
12. Refrigerate cheesecake until ready to serve. Cheesecake is best for 4-5 days.

Keywords: no bake cheesecake, no bake vanilla cheesecake, vanilla cheesecake, best no bake cheesecake, easy cheesecake recipe, how to make cheesecake, best cheesecake recipe

Enjoy!

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Recipe rating

82 Comments
  1. Mayanka Khetarpal

    Hi Lindsay,
    Can I use this cheesecake crust recipe for a banoffee pie?
    Please let me know.
    Thanks,
    Mayanka

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t made banoffee pie before, so I can’t say for sure. But if you want to use a graham cracker crust, I’d think this would be fine.

  2. Ashley Murray

    I LOVE your cheesecake recipes! The Oreo cheesecake is one of my favorites. Could I use this recipe, no bake, to make cheesecake jars?

    1. Lindsay

      Sour cream works with the lemon juice to help firm up the cheesecake. I personally would not leave it out. But if you do, you may as well leave out the lemon juice as well. There’s not a substitute.

  3. Chiara

    Hello! May I ask you, if you know, in case I want to make this recipe a bit lighter using only philadelphia and greek yogurt, with no cream, how I can amend the recipe? Thank you so much! Chiara

  4. Kirstie

    Hi there, is the cheesecake filling firm enough (once set) to hold on a base that doesn’t go up the sides of the tin? Or do you think it would all squish out once you remove the springform? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Do you mean a crust that doesn’t go up the sides? That would be fine. It’ll hold together. Just be sure to use a non-stick spray or something on the sides of the pan so it doesn’t stick. Or even parchment paper.

      1. Kirstie

        Great thanks! Yes that’s what I meant – in NZ we call it a cheesecake “base” rather than a crust 😀

  5. Jonelie

    Hi I’m Jonelie and I’m 12 years old! I want to make your delicious and elegant cheesecake recipe but can i top it with Bluberry jam so it will be a blueberry cheesecake? Thank you

  6. Rebecca

    I am not a cheesecake lover, but my family is, sooooo I made this for them and they absolutely loved it, and believe it or not you made me a believer also, it’s delicious and easy to make!♥️
    Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.
    Side note I used a large packet of digestive biscuits, ( cookies) crushed into crumbs  for the base as my darlings like a thicker base.

    1. Rebecca

      I used whipping cream and it was perfect, I made sure I whisked it into stiff peaks then folded it into the cream cheese .
      It remained all together, even by the next day.

  7. Pam

    Hi! I did not have heavy whipping cream but had heavy cream and whipping cream on hand. Used both but seems like the filling didn’t fluff and almost curdled. 

    Any tips? 

    Thank you

    1. Lindsay

      It’s going to be best to use a heavy cream, not just whipping cream. The heavy cream has a higher fat content and that makes for a better whipped cream.

  8. Zaahira

    This sounds really yummy. Cant wait to try this! I do have a problem though. I dont hv a mixer. Would it be possible to use a food processor or a blender?

    1. Mr Martin Appleby

      Good morning Lindsay.

      I came across your website when I was searching for how to make a no bake cheesecake.

      I really like baking, I was a baker and confectioner when I left school and did the job for around five years.

      I have never made a cheesecake before so I thought I would give the no bake vanilla cheesecake a go and I’m really pleased to how it turned out.

      Keep up the great work and i look forward to seeing more of your recipes.

      Regards
      Martin

  9. Queen

    Hi Lindsay! Thank you for this recipe. Excited to try it out! I have two questions:

    1) To make this rose flavored, can I use rose essence in place of vanilla extract?
    2) I plan to lightly flavor it with some spices and layer it in between a carrot cake using a springform pan, a day prior to cutting the cake. I would then cover the springform pan with clingwrap to refrigerate it. Would this be a good idea?
    THANK YOU!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, you could use rosewater. I was actually playing around with rosewater in a cheesecake recently and you really don’t need much. The flavor is very strong. I would say half a teaspoon to a teaspoon is all you need, depending on how strong of a flavor you want. And I would actually leave some vanilla extract in there. I think the vanilla extract softens the rosewater so that it’s not overly floral tasting.

      As for layering it with a cake, I have never tried a no bake cheesecake for layering so I’m just not sure if it will hold up or not. You may want to try using a baked cheesecake. Here is my classic vanilla cheesecake to check out.
      https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/classic-cheesecake-recipe/

      1. Maria

        Hi Lindsay! I plan to make this no bake cheesecake recipe for my husband’s birthday next week. I would like to know if the cheesecake is firm enough to hold 1/2 a can of blueberry (Duncan Hines Comstock) as my topping? Will it not turn out soggy? Thank you.. 

  10. Amy

    Hi. I don’t have a 9 inch pan but I have an 8 inch one and a square glass dish baking pan, would either of those work as well?

  11. Ann

    Thanks for your reply Lindsay. Seems like it will be better with the sugar in it. I’ll do that.
    Thanks again Ann

  12. Ann

    Hi. Could I leave the sugar out altogether in the filling? Would the powdered sugar make it sweet enough although I don’t want it too sweet.   Thank you. Ann

    1. Lindsay

      You could leave the sugar out of the filling and it would be fine. As for whether or not it would be sweet enough, that’s going to be a personal opinion. I personally don’t think it’s too sweet as it is. I would probably find it not sweet enough if I left all the sugar out of the filling.

  13. Tara Ashmore

    I just used this recipe to make a lemon lavender cheesecake and it was spectacular! I did everything the same but used a tablespoon of the sugar and “mashed” it with 1 tablespoon of culinary lavender and the zest of 4 lemons and added it to the cheesecake mix. I also added a tablespoon of lemon juice to the whipped cream. The flavor was so nice and refreshing but the best part is the creamy consistency of the cake itself. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

  14. Linda Curtis

    I made this cheesecake for Father’s Day~ what a hit! I added a layer of fresh cut strawberries in the middle, which was wonderful. That being said, it may have made the cheesecake itself a bit softer than I would have liked (I can be my own critic), but the flavor was greatl! As with most cheesecakes, I find the flavor and texture is best 24+ hours after making it, which makes anything left over that much more delicious!!.

    I’d definitely make this again!

  15. Amber

    Made this last weekend–SOOOO good! Rich and decadent. Holds its shape like a baked cheesecake but it’s fluffier and fresher. I skipped the whipped cream topping and topped it with some slightly sweetened strawberries. My husband loved it plain. Ended up freezing some because I couldn’t stop eating it! This will be my go-to cheesecake recipe. Thank you!

  16. anthonique

    Hello LIndsay! Is this recipe firm enough for cherry topping ?Also can i just use the whip cream in the spray can ?I want to try this for church this weekend.

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, it should be plenty firm for a cherry topping. And whipped cream out of the can is fine. It just won’t hold up for very long before it wilts.

  17. Julia

    Hi, just wanted to double check, am I supposed to use a mixer (of some sort – I have a hand mixer) to mix the initial mixture? I’m just aware that sometimes it can be over-whipped, and I want my cheesecake to be a firm dense one. Thanks! x

  18. Denise

    I’m looking for a firm filling to use in mini sugar cookie cups. Do you think this recipe is stable enough to fold in puréed strawberries without sacrificing firmness? Also, would piping a thin layer of dense dark chocolate ganache  in the bottom of the cookie cup affect the firmness of the cheesecake layer in 24 hours? I have my heart set on a chocolate/strawberry cheesecake combo. 

  19. lori

    Just made this recipe. I’ve been making different kinds of cheesecakes for many years, and love how this turns out. Really easy to make, and turns out perfect. Thank you!!

  20. Mary Beth

    Lindsay,
    I plan on making this tonight for company tomorrow. As much as I would rather make my own crust but short on time,can I use a store bought crust? I am planning to use an oreo crust, and top it with creme de mint candy pieces for St.Patrick’s Day dessert

  21. Marissa Petersen

    I wonder if you could use Greek plain yogurt instead of sour cream? I’m going to give it a go. I’m also substituting the sugar with Swerve. Trying this keto thing and sugar is a no no! But cheesecake is good for the keto way 🙂 and of course tastes delicious too. I’ll come back to let you know how my substitutes turn out

    1. Lindsay

      That’s a little more modification, because you’ll need to add a good bit of citrus juice to get the flavor. I actually have a No Bake Lemon Cheesecake I’ll be sharing next week, so be sure to check it out. 🙂

      1. Lindsay

        A springform pan really is best. It’s going to be very hard to remove the cheesecake from the pan without it, especially since it’s a no bake cheesecake and won’t be quite as firm as a baked one. That said, you could try using a regular 9 inch cake pan or a pie pan. You just might not be able to fit all of the filling in a pie.

      1. Sarah

        So my daughter’s birthday is coming up in Dec and she asked for a cheesecake instead of a cake. She really dislikes cakes and cupcakes for a soon to be 8yr old! Lol Anyways my question is I want to add food coloring to the cheesecake to go with her birthday theme, probably 3 colors. Haven’t decided if I’m going to layer it or marble it but do you think the added coloring would change anything, like consistency or texture? Would I have to compensate some ingredients, add more of something? Also thinking of coloring the whipped cream but have no clue on where to begin.
        I really want to use this recipe I just dont want to mess it up! Any help would be appreciated.

      2. Lindsay

        I would definitely suggest using gel icing color. You don’t need as much of it and it shouldn’t alter the consistency too much. If you use that, you shouldn’t really need to make any other adjustments. You can use the same coloring for the whipped cream.

      1. Aurea Neal

        When substituting the whipping cream and powdered sugar for the cheesecake recipe, how much Cool Whip do you fold in?

  22. Meta

    Hi Lindsay,
    This looks yummy! I’m browsing for no-bake cheesecake because I am not brave enough to make the classic cheesecake yet. I have one question though, I already bought a pack of creamcheese, can I use that to substitute sour cream? 

    Thank you.

    1. Lindsay

      Do you mean can you add a fourth package of cream cheese in stead of the sour cream? I would imagine you could. The cheesecake will be a little more dense and the flavor a little different, but it’d be fine.

  23. Debbie

    Hi Lindsay
    Great recipe, I am looking forward to making it.
    I am from London England and just wanted to know,
    Is heavy whipping cream the same as double cream?

    I only ask as we have whipping cream over here but it tends to be lighter
    Was wondering if I should use double cream instead of our British whipped cream?

  24. Alex

    Hey Lindsay. I made this cheesecake for my mum’s birthday. It was so good! Mum loved it and said it was delicious . It was quick and really easy to make. Will definitely be making it again!

  25. Ava Vivion

    Thank You Lindsay!! I have always been disappointed with no bake cheesecake recipes and yours is delicious. Vanilla is my absolute favorite flavor, I am proud to admit it! Thank you for your research and detailed information.

      1. Alyssa

        Super easy with awesome results. It came together no problem and has a great taste and texture.

  26. Hannah@butterloveandcowboys.com

    I am such a sucker for real vanilla cheesecake that I’ve never been a big no-bake vanilla cheesecake fan either. I love other flavors of no-bake cheesecake, but have never found a vanilla one that was spot on. I’m definitely thinking this could be it! Thanks for the recipe, I’m excited to try it!

    1. Hannah

      Also, I suggest you try something involving doughnuts at some point. They are really fun to make. Sorry, I know this is really of topic!

  27. Evelyn Jennerich

    Good Morning Lindsey. I am having a get together with my Aunts, and want to make this recipe, but as individuals. This way they can take them home. Do you think its possible, if so any suggestions? I have individual glass jars with plastic lids. I will also be making two more of your recipes. Just love your ideas and recipes. Thank you!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12