No-Bake Cheesecake Bars

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
August 31, 2022 | Updated on May 15, 2024

These no-bake cheesecake bars are like a gift that keeps on giving. Give your oven a break and whip up this incredibly delicious dessert–no baking required!

If you are looking for more cheesecake and strawberry inspired desserts, then check out my Honey Butter Toast with Strawberries, No-Churn Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream and Strawberry Shortcake with Jasmine Whipped Cream recipes, next!

no-bake-cheesecake-bars

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Why This Recipe Works

  • Fool-proof. This recipe is practically fail-safe; if you follow the recipe and refer to my tips and frequently asked questions, you will have no trouble getting perfectly smooth, creamy, mousse-like, and delightfully light cheesecake.
  • No oven necessary. Times when you want dessert but don’t feel like baking, or heating up your kitchen, these no-bake cheesecake bars are here to do you a solid.
  • Perfect for a holiday party or gathering. We all know what it’s like to host a gathering and strategically plan when to make a dish based on oven cooking time and how much space it will take in the oven. With these easy-no-bake cheesecake bars, you can make dessert and carry on with making that casserole or two–see, you can have your cake and eat it too!
  • The flavor and textures don’t miss a beat. OBSESSED is an understatement.
no-bake-cheesecake-bars-recipe

No-Bake Cheesecake Bars

This no-bake cheesecake bars recipe is one of my favorite dessert recipes to make. I became obsessed with making it when I found out how delicious and easy it is to make, and frankly, I like it a bit more than traditionally baked cheesecake.

I know that’s kind of a bold statement, but trust me, once you try this cheesecake bars recipe for yourself, you will be a believer of the no-bake method, too.

These no-bake cheesecake bars are made with sweetened condensed milk, which aids in this cheesecake’s creamy, decadent texture and when combined with the rest of the ingredients, adds a beautiful balance of sweetness.

What is No-Bake Cheesecake

It is exactly what the name implies–cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, that looks, smells, tastes, and texturally feels like cheesecake, except it is not baked and is also eggless. Okay, there are a few other key differences. Let’s go through the breakdown:

A few reasons why I love this no-bake cheesecake recipe is because:

  • No cracking – Anyone else feel an immense amount of anxiety over whether the presentation of your cheesecake will be ruined with unsightly crack? That will be the least of your worries with the no-bake method.
  • No water bath – Also known as bain marie and the secret to a creamy, dreamy texture, I have a secret ingredient that will guarantee that signature smooth cheesecake texture, no water bath required.
  • No under- or over-baking – Once placed in the pan, give cheesecake overnight, or at least 6 hours to fully set for perfect results, every time.
  • No springform pan – Springform leaks no more. I make these no-bake cheesecake bars using this 9×13 pan and it works like a dream.
no-bake-cheesecake

Buttery Graham Cracker Crust

Sure, the cheesecake filling is the star of this dessert, but let’s give a moment to the buttery graham cracker crust which works harmoniously with the filling and adds the perfect amount of richness and texture.

The secret to get getting this crust to hold its structure without having to bake it is by adding a good amount of butter which helps bind to the crust.

Another trick is to use the bottom of a glass cup to push the crust into the pan. This reinforces the crust into the pan and compacting it even more. Once set, place the crust in the freeze and proceed with making the filling.

By the time you are ready to add the filling, the crust will be frozen over, creating a solid base for the cheesecake filling.

How Does No-Bake Cheesecake Get Its Structure?

Big thanks to heavy cream and it’s wondrous ability to give these no-bake bars its structure.

The trick is to whip very cold heavy cream until stiff peaks form, which takes about 1-2 minutes.

Then, carefully fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, being mindful of keeping the fluff and not losing the air that was incorporated into the cream.

easy-no-bake-cheesecake-bars

How to Make No-Bake Cheesecake Bars

Buttery Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Blend graham crackers in a food processor until fine in texture.
  2. Add graham cracker crumble, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt to a bowl and mix until well combine.
  3. Line A 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. Add graham cracker mixture then use a spatula to evenly distributed throughout pan. Use the bottom of a flat bottomed glass cup to reinforce the crust into the pan. Place in the freezer until ready to add cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filling

  1. Add room temperature cream cheese to a stand mixer bowl using the whisk attachment and beat on high until cream cheese is light and whipped. Add sugar and whip on high until creamy.
  2. Add sour cream, pure vanilla extract, powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and beat again on high until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl add very cold heavy cream and whisk on high with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form (about 1-2 minutes).
  4. Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and use a spatula to gently fold the mixture onto itself, until both the whipped cream and cream cheese mixture are evenly mixed.
  5. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling into the pan. Use a spatula or this tool or spatula to even the top of the cheesecake.
  6. Cover with plastic cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, best if overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and slice into 16 square. See my FAQs on how to get cut clean slices.
strawberry-glaze

How to Serve No-Bake Cheesecake

This beautiful cheesecake bars are fantastic on its own, but feel free to top with sliced strawberries and strawberry glaze (recipe below!) or any topping of your choosing.

Tips and Tricks

  • Be sure to use room temperature cream cheese and sour cream. If you rush this step and use cold cream cheese, you will end up with lumps in the filling.
  • Do not freeze to rush the set step. I know you might to freeze the cheesecake bars as soon as they drop into the pan and may think that freezing won’t cause any harm, but when it comes to setting, you want to make sure to refrigerate and for at least 6 hours, best if overnight.
  • Slice just before serving. The graham cracker crust hold up pretty well considering it wasn’t baked, but just be sure to slice just before ready to serve. See the Frequently Asked Questions section on how to get clean looking slices.
  • Stiff peaks are a must. Be sure to whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Not whipping long enough will not provide the lift the cheesecake needs and whipping for too long will result in churned butter (I learned the hard way). Aim for 1-2 minutes to whip heavy cream from liquid to a stiff texture.
no-bake-cheesecake-closeup

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get perfectly clean slices?

The trick is to dip a clean knife in hot water, just until hot. Wipe the knife of any hot water, then make a clean cut into the cheesecake. Repeat this step with each cut.

Can you freeze leftover cheesecake bars?

Absolutely. While I advise against freezing when setting the cheesecake, it’s perfectly fine to freeze the leftovers.

How long does no-bake cheesecake last?

When properly covered, no-bake cheesecake bars will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and up to 2 months when frozen.

Looking For More Desserts?

Try these favorites:

Are You Loving This Cheesecake Bars Recipe?

It’s one of our favorite desserts, and for good reason! Leave a comment below and share your love for this recipe on Instagram and PinterestWe love to see you get down in the kitchen. Happy eating!

no-bake-cheesecake-bars

No-Bake Cheesecake Bars

5 from 1 vote
These no-bake cheesecake bars are like a gift that keeps on giving. Give your oven a break and whip up this incredibly delicious dessert–no baking required!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Set in refrigeratro 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment
  • 9×13 pan

Ingredients

Buttery Graham Cracker Crust

  • 18 rectangles Graham crackers, two sleeves
  • 1 stick salted butter, melted
  • cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 8 ounce packages full-fat cream cheese, room temp
  • cup plus 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup sour cream, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • cup heavy cream, very cold

Strawberry Glaze (optional)

  • 12 ounces strawberries, lightly pulsed in blender
  • cup sugar
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Garnish

  • Sliced strawberries

Instructions

Buttery Graham Cracker Crust

  • Blend graham crackers in a food processor until fine in texture. Add graham cracker crumble, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt to a bowl and mix until well combine.
  • Line A 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. Add graham cracker mixture then use a spatula to evenly distributed throughout pan and pressing crumble into the pan as your spread.
  • Use the bottom of a flat bottomed glass cup to reinforce the crust into the pan. Place in the freezer until ready to add cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filling

  • Add room temperature cream cheese to a stand mixer bowl using the whisk attachment and beat on high until cream cheese is light and whipped.
  • Add sugar and whip on high until creamy. Add sour cream, pure vanilla extract, powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and beat again on high until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl add very cold heavy cream and whisk on high with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and use a spatula to gently fold the mixture onto itself, until both the whipped cream and cream cheese mixture are evenly mixed.
  • Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling into the pan. Use a spatula or this tool to even the top of the cheesecake.
  • Cover with plastic cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, best if overnight. While waiting on cheesecake to set, make the strawberry glaze (optional).
  • When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and slice into 16 square. See my note on how to get cut clean slices.

Strawberry Glaze (optional)

  • Add strawberries, sugar, and pure vanilla extract to a small saucepan and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, until mixture reduces and thickens. Set aside and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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