Lifestyle Food and Recipes 15 May 2019 Tangy no-bake cheese ...

Tangy no-bake cheesecake

Published May 15, 2019, 12:29 pm IST
Updated May 15, 2019, 12:35 pm IST
Cheesecake without the fuss? Enter the no-bake cheesecake.
Lemon juice, lemon zest and a little vanilla added just enough spark to perk up the tangy cream cheese. (Photo: AP)
 Lemon juice, lemon zest and a little vanilla added just enough spark to perk up the tangy cream cheese. (Photo: AP)

Washington: We love a tall New York-style cheesecake but there’s no denying it’s a bit of a project. It’s also incredibly rich and decadent. Sometimes we want the essence of a cheesecake with less fuss and want the tang of a cream cheese-based cake without the weight something lighter and creamier to finish a meal.

Enter no-bake cheesecake: The filling is lightened with whipped cream and the absence of eggs makes for a less rich cake. You can achieve the best flavour and texture when stuck to the tried-and-true combination of heavy cream and cream cheese thickened with gelatine.


Allowing the gelatine to hydrate in a portion of the cream and then bringing it to a boil in the microwave fully activated its thickening power. Lemon juice, lemon zest and a little vanilla added just enough spark to perk up the tangy cream cheese.

And with a few simple tweaks, we created a peanut butter lover’s variation, using Nutter Butter cookies in the crust and a generous dose of peanut butter in the cake. Serve with Fresh Strawberry Topping (recipe follows), if desired.

Icebox cheesecake


8 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


2 1/2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatine

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) sugar

1 pound cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces and softened

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

For the crust:

Step 1

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 F. Pulse crackers and sugar in food processor until finely ground, about 15 pulses. Transfer crumbs to bowl, drizzle with melted butter, and mix with rubber spatula until mixture resembles wet sand.

Step 2

With your hands, press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of 9-inch spring form pan. Using bottom of measuring cup, firmly pack crust into pan. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 13 minutes. Let crust cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 30 minutes.

Step 3

For the filling: Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cream in 2-cup liquid measuring cup and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave until mixture is bubbling around edges and gelatine dissolves, about 20 seconds; whisk to combine and set aside.

Step 4

Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip remaining 1 1/4 cups cream and sugar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Fit stand mixer with paddle, reduce speed to medium-low, add cream cheese, and beat until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl once (mixture may not be completely smooth).

Step 5

Add lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and continue to beat until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add dissolved gelatin mixture and lemon zest and continue to beat until smooth and airy, about 2 minutes.

Step 6

Pour filling into crust and spread into even layer with spatula. Wrap cheesecake tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

Step 7

To unmold cheesecake, wrap hot, damp dish towel around pan and let stand for 1 minute. Remove sides of pan and slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, then slide cheesecake onto platter. Serve.

Fresh Strawberry Topping

This topping is best the day it’s made. Do not use frozen strawberries in this recipe.

1 1/4 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced thin (4 cups)

1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar

Pinch salt

1/2 cup strawberry jam

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Step 1

Toss strawberries, sugar, and salt together in bowl and let sit, stirring occasionally, until berries have released their juice and sugar has dissolved, about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Process jam in food processor until smooth, about 8 seconds. Simmer jam in small saucepan over medium heat until no longer foamy, about 3 minutes. Stir warm jam and lemon juice into strawberries. Let cool completely, about 1 hour. Serve at room temperature or chilled.