When it comes to desserts, you can’t go wrong with a cheesecake! If you’re short on time to devote to a baked cheesecake, why not try this delicious no-bake cheesecake with gelatin? Easy enough for beginners!
The beauty of cheesecake is that it can be finished off just how you like it. Whether that’s topped with seasonal fruits, some whipped cream, or a good drizzle of caramel sauce or chocolate syrup. You can even make a ‘fancy’ version by replacing the vanilla extract with vanilla bean; the flecks look beautiful.
However you choose to top your cheesecake, you don’t even need to turn on the oven with this easy cheesecake recipe! On hot days, it’s a great way to (not) bake your (cheese)cake and eat it too!
What makes this cheesecake great?
With no need to bake this cheesecake, it’s a great dessert to make when the oven is otherwise occupied, or if it’s too hot! Timing is also in your favor here because you’ll want to make the cheesecake in advance. That makes this the fanciest make-ahead dessert I know (up there with tiramisu!).
The gelatin gives the cheesecake structure while keeping it light and creamy in texture. Gelatin needs time to set up though, so if you’ve got a lot going on in the kitchen already, it’s one more thing you can take off your list!
I love that this cheesecake isn’t too sweet, but has a creamy texture that’s almost like a baked cheesecake. While not exactly identical, even resident cheesecake snob the Godfather gave this recipe a thumbs up!
Gelatin – As mentioned, the gelatin in this recipe gives the cheesecake structure, which is important when not baking. It replaces the eggs we would normally add in a cheesecake recipe.
Gelatin is of course derived from animal sources, so is not suitable for vegetarians. To make a vegetarian-friendly version, you can use an equal amount of agar agar.
BUT, it is important to note that agar agar sets thicker than gelatin at room temperature, so your cheesecake will lose a little of the light and creamy texture. Personally, I haven’t found my magic agar cheesecake recipe yet.
Instead, I’ll send you here for a No-Bake Mango Cheesecake recipe made with agar! It looks quite delicious, and I hope to give it a try one day.
Yogurt – Full-fat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt is best for this recipe. I like the tang added and the sneaky extra bit of protein. Of course, if Greek yogurt isn’t to your liking, sour cream is also a wonderful substitute!
I used plain yogurt in developing this recipe. Should you swap for vanilla, you’ll get a sweeter batter. If your yogurt is particularly sweet, you may want to reduce the sugar in the recipe by a tablespoon or two.
Vanilla extract – The recipe requires vanilla extract for flavor. It is a vanilla cheesecake after all! Of course, I encourage you to play with flavors. This is a lovely blank canvas for you.
If you’re keeping with classic vanilla, you can swap the vanilla extract for vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste. It really does beautify this cheesecake!
Top tips for your no-bake cheesecake with gelatin
Since we aren’t going to bake this cheesecake, you need a good base. One that isn’t going to crumble everywhere when you serve it up!
The best thing you can do is to use a drinking glass to press the crust into the cheesecake tin. That way, the crust shouldn’t be loose giving it a better chance of coming out of the pan without blemishes. Be sure to grease the pan well too, and line it with parchment for easy transfer.
If you find yourself without a cheesecake tin, don’t worry. You can make this in an 8 or 9-inch round cake tin. Just place long strips of parchment paper across the bottom of the tin, leaving long edges up top that act as handles. You can then carefully lift the cheesecake out of the pan once completely chilled.
Topping Your No-Bake Cheesecake
Once you’ve made your cheesecake, it’s time to add some flair! An easy way to top your cheesecake is by using fresh fruit and whipped cream.
If you’re a fan of caramel, I don’t know many who aren’t..! Then why not try adding this Caramel Sauce. You’ve likely got the ingredients you need already to hand and it’s quick and easy to make.
And that’s it darlings! Your no-bake cheesecake with gelatin is ready to be devoured! If you’ve made it ahead of time, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it up, and enjoy!
- 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 ounce gelatin powder (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Place 1/4 cup of cool water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the water and set it aside to bloom.
- Make the crust: Spray the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray or brush with melted butter. For the easiest removal, line the bottom and sides with parchment paper too.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar. Use a fork to stir in the melted butter until no dry crumbs remain.
- Press the crust mixture evenly across the bottom of your prepared pan and along the sides. A straight-edge drinking glass is a great way to get even, compact coverage. Place in the freezer to set while you make the cheesecake filling (see notes).
- Take your gelatin and microwave it in 15-second intervals at high power, stirring after each one, until the gelatin has melted. Take the time to stir, overheating the gelatin will minimize effectiveness. Set the gelatin mixture aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, and sugars until you have a smooth, thick mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and switch to the whisk attachment.
- Starting at low speed, pour in the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract.
- Once the heavy cream is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and drizzle in the gelatin mixture.
- Increase the speed to high and whip for about 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth and combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling into the graham cracker crust. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top and ensure an even layer.
- Cover with a round of parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours before slicing and serving. No-bake cheesecake can be made 1-2 days in advance.
- When you are ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan, top with any of the optional toppings if desired, slice, and enjoy!
- I put the crust in the freezer to help the butter set a little faster and reduce the number of crumbs that might fall off the crust and get into your cheesecake filling.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 495Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 6g
These nutrition values are estimates. Exact values will vary depending on the ingredients, brands, and quantities used.