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Philadelphia No-Bake Cheesecake

Cherry Cheesecake
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This Philadelphia No-Bake Cheesecake has just 6 ingredients and comes together in 10 minutes! It’s a decadent and creamy dessert with a graham cracker crust and your choice of topping – without all the fuss.

It’s got that moist, melt-in-your-mouth cheese custard-like filling with a sweet and crumbly crust, finished off with a great variety of toppings that will tingle your taste buds.

Traditional cheesecakes can be quite troublesome. Even expert bakers still encounter problems when making it (i.e. browning, overbaking, underbaking, and cracking), so it can be a little intimidating.

If you want something easy, fool-proof, and just as delicious, start with a no-bake cheesecake. It’s cool and creamy without ever having to open the oven!

This Philadelphia No-Bake Cheesecake is made with a sweet graham cracker crust, creamy filling, and your choice of fresh fruit and pie filling on top. Let’s dig in!

What is No-Bake Cheesecake?

It’s a cheesecake that does not require an oven or any form of heat to cook. Unlike regular cheesecake that has eggs, it makes use of whipped cream or in this case, Cool Whip, to firm up the batter and achieve that wonderful cheesecake texture.

It’s great for people who want to make a beautiful dessert but don’t have an oven at home. It’s also an excellent recipe for beginners because this one’s almost impossible to mess up!

Cherry Cheesecake

Topping Ideas for a No-Bake Cheesecake

There’s a wide variety of options you can use to top a no-bake cheesecake. It’s just a matter of personal preference, really, because whether you’re a fan of sweet sauces, tart berries, or crunchy toppings, your cheesecake will still be impeccable. Here are some ideas:

  • You can’t go wrong with the classics – chocolate and caramel.
  • Any berry-based sauce is also perfect because it offers a nice tart contrast to the sweet cheesecake. Whether it’s blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, or cherry, it’s guaranteed to taste amazing.
  • If you want something with a nice crunch, how about some chocolate chips and Reese’s peanut butter cups? Those toppings will attract the kids and kids-at-heart in an instant.

Tips & Tricks

As I’ve said, it’s almost impossible to mess up a no-bake cheesecake. But here are some useful tips, for good measure.

  • No Cool Whip? Use whipped cream instead. Be sure to use cold heavy whipping cream and beat it until it forms stiff peaks. This is a crucial step because it gives the cake its thick consistency. Without it, your cake mixture won’t set.
  • Use a gentle touch. This may seem silly, but it’s important. Be gentle when folding the cream into the cheesecake mixture. It’s the only way to get that signature mousse-like consistency.
  • Use real cream cheese. Cream cheese spread won’t do the trick. Also, be sure it’s room temperature. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lumpy cheesecake. Set it out 2 hours in advance or place the wrapped square in a bowl of warm water.
  • Stick to powdered sugar. Granulated sugar will work. However, powdered sugar ensures a smoother, clump-free cheesecake. Some also use condensed milk as an alternative. That works fine too!
  • Skipping the whipped cream? Add gelatin! It’ll firm up the batter.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice. It’ll give the cheesecake an extra depth of flavor.
  • Don’t rush the cake. Give it at least 4 hours before you serve it — overnight is better. The longer it chills, the firmer your cheesecake will be.
  • Don’t use a food processor. When mixing the filling, mix by hand or with a hand mixer on low speed. Overdoing it will cause the cheesecake to be way too soft.
Whole Cherry Cheesecake

Can You Freeze a No-Bake Cheesecake?

Definitely! You can freeze your no-bake cheesecake so you can enjoy it at a later time. Here’s how:

You can either freeze the cheesecake whole or cut them into slices – your call.

  1. Transfer the cheesecake to a cake board. This gives the cake a firm foundation for freezing. If you don’t have a cake board, just cut out some cardboard and you’re all set.
  2. Double wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and foil. If you’ve sliced it up, double wrap each individual slice. Double wrapping is an important step because it protects your cheesecake from contact with air.
  3. Label your cheesecake with the current date so you know how much time it has left. Frozen cheesecake is best enjoyed within one month, but it can still last for up to two.

Important tip: be sure to freeze cheesecake without the topping. When thawed, it will become entirely too mushy. Instead, add your favorite topping just before serving.

How to Thaw Cheesecake

To thaw frozen cheesecake, transfer it into the fridge and let it sit there overnight. Leave the plastic wrap on to ensure it doesn’t absorb nearby odors and/or flavors.

Alternatively, you can let it defrost on the counter for 2 to 4 hours. The thawing time depends on the size of the cheesecake. Be sure to remove the foil when defrosting the cake.

If you’re in a rush, you can microwave the cheesecake slices for 30 seconds. Be sure to remove the plastic wrap and foil!

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How to Make Philadelphia No-Bake Cheesecake

Philadelphia No-Bake Cheesecake



Prep time






  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (softened)

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 (8-ounce) container nondairy whipped topping (Cool Whip)

  • 1 9-inch pre-made graham cracker pie crust

  • pie filling, for topping (optional)


  • Beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until you form a smooth mixture.
  • Gently fold in the Cool Whip.
  • Pour the cheesecake filling into a store-bought graham cracker crust and smooth the top with a spoon or spatula.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow it to set. Preferably overnight.
  • Just before serving, top with your favorite cheesecake topping and enjoy!

Looking For More No-Bake Recipes?

No-Bake Cookies
No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake
Mason Jar Desserts

Philadelphia No-Bake Cheesecake

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

13 thoughts on “Philadelphia No-Bake Cheesecake”

  1. Made this for my sons birthday and he said it was delicious! I cut recipe in half and used an 8″ springform pan. I feel like it was a bit overcooked at 350 for 45 mins so would suggest checking it sooner. But he loved it!

  2. I can’t believe how good this cheesecake turned out. I used a rectangle cake pan and my own crust of graham crackers. The best tip was using powdered sugar. It was perfect to slice out of the pan to dessert plates. I also had a variety of toppings so everyone could choose their favorite from the dining table. Again, this was soooo easy and tasted so yummy. No excuse for not serving a fantastic dessert.

    • Hi Wanda, you just made my day! I’m so happy to hear that it came out perfect and you enjoyed it. It’s one of my favorite cheesecake recipes to date! 🙂

  3. Hi! I want to put this in between a carrot cake. How much gelatin would I use to firm it up enough to do this?

    • Hi Donna,

      Generally speaking, 1 (7 gram) envelope – 2 1/2 teaspoons – of unflavored gelatin will set 2 cups of liquid firm enough to slice.
      And it will softly set 3 cups of liquid.

      With that in mind, I would use 2 envelopes.
      If it’s going between heavy cake layers and you want it quite firm, 2 envelopes will give it a firmer texture.

      Sprinkle it over 1/2 cup of water, leave it to swell, then microwave for about 30-45 seconds. Stir it and set aside.
      Add the cooled, melted gelatin before mixing in the Cool Whip.

      Hope it works out!


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