Classic cheesecake requires blind-baking a crust, careful incorporating of ingredients and specific beating technique, then long, gentle baking in the oven, often with a fussy water bath.
My no-bake cheesecake is basically the opposite of that. It requires little more than a pulse. And it is, in my opinion, this version is just as good as the original. Arguably even better, if you’re into cool, creamy, light-and-fluffy cheesecake vs. dense and rich.
How to Make Cherry Cheesecake Bars
Here’s how to make cherry cheesecake bars:
- Make a quick crust by combining graham crumbs and melted butter right in the pan.
- Beat together the cream cheese and sugar for the filling.
- Fold in whipped cream to lighten it up.
- Smooth filling over crust.
- Chill until firm.
- Top with cherry pie filling and serve!
How to Store No-Bake Cheesecake
No-bake cheesecake bars will keep in the fridge for about a day before the moisture from the filling starts to make the crust soggy. If you’re not going to eat the bars all in one day, I applaud your strength of will. Store them in the freezer. They’ll keep perfectly there for a few weeks. You can freeze the bars with or without the topping.
Freeze them first in the pan and once they’re firm, use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the whole slab out of the tin so that you can use your pan again. Simply wrap the frozen cheesecake bars in plastic wrap (or parchment paper first and then aluminum foil, if you’re moving away from plastic).
Slice cheesecake while still frozen to make perfect, tidy bars, then let them stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving. A slight thaw brings them to the perfect creamy consistency (totally frozen, they’ll be hard and somewhat icy, especially the topping).
Swap the Flavour
You can change out the cherry pie filling for a homemade favourite, or any other flavour of store-bought pie filling you prefer.
Lemon curd would be a delicious alternative, as would fresh berries macerated with sugar for about 20 minutes to draw out their juices.
You could even smother the cheesecake bars with chocolate ganache.
More Cheesecake Recipes
No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (if using whole crackers, that's 28 square graham crackers or 14 double graham crackers, crushed)
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream or 35% fat)
- 2 8-oz bricks full-fat plain cream cheese room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 18 oz/540 mL store-bought cherry pie filling
- Line an 8" square baking dish with parchment paper. Add the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and mix with your hands until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press firmly into bottom of pan using your palms or a flat-bottomed measuring cup.
- Beat the heavy cream to soft peaks with a stand mixer. Scrape into a separate bowl for later. Without bothering to wash the mixer bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar. Beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
- Scrape this cheesecake batter into the prepared crust using a rubber spatula to evenly smooth it into the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze 2 hours. Top with cherry pie filling and serve immediately or store in freezer until ready to serve (up to one month).