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No-Bake Cheesecake tartlet with berries
Food,  Recipes

How to Make No-Bake Cheesecake with Berries: Cool Dessert

Make this No-Bake Cheesecake with Berries for your next gathering and you’ll be the coolest dessert maker around!

Summertime cookouts are the best. There is nothing like gathering with friends and family to enjoy some good food and conversation. And what better way to top off the meal than with a delicious dessert?

This no-bake cheesecake is light, refreshing, and perfect for summertime gatherings. It features tangy yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese for a rich flavor, but without the guilt. So go ahead and indulge in this heavenly dessert!

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake for Summertime Cookouts

I really enjoy a delicious, rich cheesecake from time to time. It is a simple but impressive dessert that most people enjoy. And it is a great base to display the freshest fruits of the season.

But heating up my oven for the time it takes to bake an entire cheesecake at the peak of summer temperatures is absolutely out of the question. Sure, I want all that tangy, cool goodness loaded with fresh fruit, but I do not want to pay a higher a/c bill in the process.

Beyond keeping my oven off as much as possible and the kitchen temperature down, this no-bake cheesecake does not contain eggs, so it has a super clean flavor profile and a very light texture.

Plus, the simplicity of this dessert allows it to serve as the base for fresh berries giving it an upscale twist on simple summertime berries and cream.

What is No Bake Cheesecake?

No-bake cheesecakes are often lighter in flavor and texture than baked cheesecakes. This is because they do not require the high temperatures used in baking, which can cause the cheesecake to become dense or dry.

Regular cheesecake slice on plate with berries on top

Often no-bake cheesecake consistency is referred to as “mousse-like” or very creamy. Whereas baked cheesecakes are considered more custard-like in consistency.

No-bake cheesecakes also tend to be easier to make, as there is no need to bake the crust separately. Simply combine all of the ingredients and refrigerate until set. It takes less hands-on time, but some argue that overnight refrigeration means more time overall. Quibbling.

I think this makes them a perfect dessert for summertime gatherings when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen.

How do you Make This No-Bake Cheesecake Filling?

This no-bake cheesecake filling is made with low-fat cream cheese, nonfat yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon zest. The combination of these ingredients results in a light and refreshing dessert that is perfect for summertime cookouts.

To make the filling, simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Then, pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight. The longer you refrigerate, the better.

Is the Cream Cheese in This No-Bake Cheesecake Philadelphia Brand?

You can use whatever brand of low-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese that you like. Philadelphia makes excellent cream cheese, but if you find a lower-priced version in your local store then I say go for it.

Can I use Neufchatel instead of Cream Cheese?

A post on the website “The Word on Cheese Culture” states that “cream cheese is made with 33% milk fat, Neufchatel is just 23% milk fat, in addition to having a slightly higher moisture content. Despite this difference, Neufchatel can be substituted in almost any dish that requires traditional cream cheese.”

You may have a slightly different texture due to the higher moisture content in Neufchatel, but it probably won’t be noticeable.

What Kind of Fruit for Cheesecake Topping Should I Use?

The great thing about this no-bake cheesecake recipe is that you can use any type of fruit for this cheesecake topping that you like.

I usually go for a mixture of fresh berries, but you could also use peaches, cherries, or even pineapple. Whatever fruits are in season will work great on this dessert.

Mixed berries ready for the topping

Wait to sprinkle the berries or fruit on top just before serving so any accumulated juice doesn’t run all over your dessert.

Store the berries in your refrigerator until ready to use.  You could even freeze some of the berries before serving for a cooler summertime topping.

How Long Does No-Bake Cheesecake Last in the Fridge?

According to FoodSafety.gov cheesecake that has been stored above 40 degrees F for more than 2 hours must be tossed.

The Food Network suggests you should “apply this same logic when serving cheesecake to guests at home, once that cake comes out of the refrigerator and out at room temperature, you’ve got 2 hours! As soon as 2 hours have passed it is time to return that cake to the fridge or give it a toss. If the temperature is over 90 degrees F then it should be tossed after 1 hour.” Eat up in a hurry!

USDA food safety recommendation is to keep the homemade cheesecake for 3 – 4 days if stored in the fridge. But make sure to use an airtight container, so your cheesecake doesn’t absorb any fridge odors.

So, if you are making it ahead of time for a summer cookout, simply prepare it the night before and store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

It is also a great dessert to take to potlucks or picnics since it can be made ahead of time and transported easily in your cooler.

overview of no-bake cheesecake with berries on top

What are the ingredients in this No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe?

  • 7 ounces graham crackers
  • ½ cup toasted or dry roasted pecans
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce package low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups fresh berries, raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries – Use the freshest fruit of the season!

Is this No-Bake Cheesecake Easy to Make?

It is very easy to make.  If you absolutely do not want to turn on your oven to toast the pecans, then use packaged dry roasted pecans, raw pecans or leave them out of the recipe.

  • Toast the pecans in a small rimmed baking sheet in an oven set on 350°F for 5 – 7 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they can quickly burn. Remove, set aside and let cool for a bit.
  • Wash and dry your berries. Throw some in the freezer for an extra cool topping.
  • Break up the graham crackers and place them in a food processor. Then add the cooled pecans, ½ tsp cinnamon, and ¼ tsp salt. Process until finely ground. Keep the processor running and slowly pour in the oil. Give it a few more pulses to combine. Press mixture into an 8×8-inch baking dish. Press down using a drinking glass or measuring cup to really pack the crust and make it even.
  • Wipe out the food processor bowl. Place cream cheese, yogurt, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the food processor bowl. Process until smooth, about 30 – 45 seconds. Place scoops of the cream cheese mixture all over the crust and carefully spread over the crust in an even layer. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to serve, top with berries and cut into 12 bars.
Side view of a slice of  this rich, creamy dessert

Do I need to Toast Pecans?

OK, I know I said not to use the oven as much as possible, but toasted pecans just taste so much better than raw! You don’t have to toast these pecans, but the flavor of the crust won’t be quite as rich.  

Another option is to use dry roasted pecans, but do be careful to purchase those without salt. If you cannot find them, then leave the ¼ tsp of salt out of the recipe.

Exposing pecans to heat for a short time adds depth of flavor and a crunchier texture to this delicious nut.  Toasting will bring out the pecan’s sweet nutty flavor and aroma. In addition, it gives them an extra crunchy bite.

Taste of Home has a good post on four ways to toast pecans: in the oven, in a skillet, in the microwave, and using an air fryer. My favorite way, and seems to be the most consistent, is to use the oven.

Even though you are only toasting a half cup for this recipe, I throw extra pecans on the baking sheet and toast them for snacking or to use later. You can also rough chop a few extra and add them to the berries on top of this no-bake cheesecake.

How to Toast Pecans in your Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F and spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake the pecans at 350°F until they’re a bit darker brown. It will take about 5 – 7 minutes for a half cup. If you are making more then it will take around 6 to 10 minutes depending on if you are toasting them whole or less time if you chopped them.

About halfway through I quickly open the oven and vigorously shake the pan to move the nuts around. Otherwise, you might get some uneven toasting.

When the pecans have reached your desired level of toasted goodness, remove them to a cutting board or plate to cool.  If you leave them on the hot baking sheet to cool, they will continue to cook.

Keep an eye on them while they are in the oven.  Nuts can go from perfectly golden or browned and deliciously crispy to burnt and bitter in a hot minute.

What else should I serve at my Cookout?

Start with these no-cook appetizers for a cool beginning to your gathering.

Then make these amazing BBQ Chicken Sliders with creamy coleslaw.

Add some Grilled Coleslaw with Dressing and this Mediterranean Pasta Salad for delicious side dishes.

No-Bake Cheesecake topped with berries

Invite Friends Over for a Summertime Cookout

Hosting a cookout is the perfect way to celebrate summertime. It is a great way to gather with friends and family and enjoy some good food and conversation. And what better way to top off the meal than with a delicious dessert? This no-bake cheesecake is light, refreshing, and perfect for summertime gatherings.

So go ahead and invite your friends over for a summertime cookout. The weather is warm, the food is delicious, and the company is even better. It is the perfect way to spend a summer evening.

Cheers Y’all!

P.S. Share is Caring – Please pass this along to any of your friends that might benefit by having you over for a cookout!

Side view of a slice of no-bake cheesecake loaded with berries

No-Bake Cheesecake with Berries

Rani
Cheesecake you don’t have to bake? Wow! This dessert is bursting with tangy flavors and fresh berries making it a perfect ending to your summertime cookouts.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Chilling Time 6 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 211 kcal

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients
  

  • 7 ounces graham crackers
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 8- ounce package low fat cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups fresh berries, washed and dried raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast the pecans in a single layer on a small rimmed baking sheet for 5– 7 minutes until they are deep brown and fragrant. Keep an eye on them as they can quickly burn. Remove and let cool.
  • In a food processor, add broken graham crackers, cooled pecans, ½ tsp cinnamon, and ¼ tsp salt. Process until finely ground. Keep the processor running and slowly pour in the oil. Give it a few more pulses to combine. Press mixture into an 8×8-inch baking dish.
  • Place cream cheese, yogurt, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the food processor. Process until smooth, about 30 – 45 seconds. Place scoops of cream cheese mixture all over the crust and carefully spread evenly over the crust. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to serve, top with berries and cut into 12 bars.

Notes

Another option is to use dry roasted pecans, but try to purchase those without salt. If you cannot find them, then leave the ¼ tsp of salt out of the recipe.
Keyword cookout, summertime

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