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No-Bake Cheesecake

There are certain days during the summer when the last place anyone wants to be is in a hot kitchen. But that's when kids can come to the rescue, making a delicious dessert for the whole family without ever having to ask their parents to turn on the oven.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes One 9-inch Cake
No-Bake Cheesecake

Photography: James Baigrie

Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Late Summer

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (20 sheets) graham crackers
  • 11 tablespoons (1 3/8 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin until very fine crumbs form.

  2. Pour crumbs into a medium bowl; stir in sugar. Add butter, and stir until well combined.

  3. Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, spreading it 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the side; press flat. Chill crust in freezer at least 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, make the filling: Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

  5. Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

  6. Unclasp sides of pan, and remove cheesecake.

Reviews (32)

  • Martha Fraile 22 Oct, 2014

    Love it!!!! It´s really easy to cook.

  • Rosie Dunningham 10 Jul, 2014

    I made this cheesecake for my boyfriend's birthday and it went down amazingly with everybody. The only change I made was replacing the graham crackers with digestive biscuits, and I decorated it with blueberries. The cheesecake set well, but after an hour of being at room temp it began to melt a little bit. So delicious and so easy - I will definitely make again maybe with some crystallised ginger and gingernut biscuits!

  • ppulman 9 Jun, 2014

    I wondered how this would turn out because there was nothing to "firm up" the mixture. I made this with 1/3 fat cream cheese and it was too slack to slice into pieces. I know full fat cream cheese is stiffer, so maybe it works that way. I could have partially frozen this and it might have been slice-able, we just served in bowl as a pudding. I probably won't bother with this again, the canned milk flavor was too obvious for my liking. In this instance, easy was not better.

  • Jason C 18 Apr, 2014

    Martha Stewart has the simplest and clearest recipes of all! I've linked to this page from our Web list on our favorite subject: no-bake cheesecake at http://readish.com/course/531 Thanks for a classic recipe, Jason

  • ZT1 11 Apr, 2014

    How does it set? There is no setting agent like gelatine or agar agar. I have been looking for a vegetarian cheese cake recipe for a long time. Just wondering, if it sets like any other cheese cake with gelatine.

  • Tyson Marion 1 Apr, 2014

    The first time I made this it was for a party and it was a hit! It was so easy too. I've made this several times and everyone loves it.

  • Prajna Faux 5 Feb, 2014

    I have been making this cheesecake since it first appeared in MS Kids. I am a huge cheesecake fan and so was my daughter. Every year she wanted cheesecake with strawberries for her birthday in February. She passed away 11 years ago, but every year on her birthday we remember her by making this cheesecake. It is very creamy and not dry like some recipes. And so easy! It's even better if you let it set in the fridge overnight.

  • linda11212 23 Dec, 2013

    I made 2 cheese cakes 1 from Martha Stewart site and the other from a famous chief site and everyone loved and devoured this cheese cake. I will make this recipe only for future occasions

  • zzzapfx 19 Dec, 2013

    Made 3 of these for Thanksgiving and 5 of them for gifts for my daughters teachers, and I'm in Thailand. Easy as pie, and oh so creamy. I added lemon zest to one and topped another with fresh strawberries. Everybody loved them.

  • Srishti K 1 Dec, 2013

    Dear Bianca T,
    as you can READ, the recipe calls for Condensed milk and no sugar.
    That's because Condensed Milk has a lott (and believe me when i say this) a lott of sugar in it.
    Its really sweet, thus the no sugar.
    Please try this recipe at home once. I bet you'll love it.

  • JB of Richmond 24 Nov, 2013

    Bianca must not have actually read the recipe. See? I refrained from calling her an idiot! Darn it...still work to do there. This is a simple and delicious cheesecake. Made it once in my house already and we're making it again for pre-thanksgiving. One word to the wise. make it a day out from your intended service. It really does improve the consistency.

  • Bianca T 6 Nov, 2013

    EW. just... EW. I read over 20 of the reviews before starting, I was somewhat surprised that the filling has no sugar in it. I tried it out and it just tastes like weird cream cheese. I was expecting the consistency, but this recipe needs work. I don't know how anyone else could have liked it at all!

  • MsAurelius 13 Jun, 2013

    I absolutely loooovvveee this recipe. Easy and extremely yummy. It was the best cheesecake I had ever made.

  • Angsihan 13 May, 2013

    Great recipe! Easy to make and delicious!

  • bakaengie 13 Mar, 2013

    This was a very easy recipe with wonderful results in the end.

  • jester547 11 Feb, 2013

    love this recipe,its easy to make and it taste so good.i must admit i skipped making my own crust.Ive made this recipe twice,first time i couldnt get the filling to harden.so i figured its probaley becaue the filling was too much for just one pie crust.so the second time i bought two pic crust and after leaving the pie in the refrigerater for a few hours it actually stayed in place.

  • Cien Olid 10 Feb, 2013

    Perhaps adding a bit of unflavored gelatin will make the cheesecake firmer. Followed the recipe and added a bit of lemon rind to the mix...i tasted the batter and it's great can't wait for it to set.

  • Latisha Ling-Arnett 31 Dec, 2012

    Recipe so easy to do love it! Just finished making it and Im sure it will be a hit!

  • Brigette Brylle 21 Dec, 2012

    cheesecake nonbake

  • cheesie 27 Sep, 2012

    i cant wait to try this recipe,its so simple to make but its looks yummy....

  • Nicole Hagan Jones 15 Sep, 2012

    Has no one ever made or eaten a no bake cheesecake before? They don't set like a normal cheesecake, more like an extremely thick pudding in consistency than cheesecake.

  • Sarah-SC 5 Aug, 2012

    the cake set perfectly - impatient, i decided to fast-freeze it in the freezer first for about 15 mins and then left it to chill in the fridge. add more lemon juice if you prefer your cheesecake to be more tangy in flavor. easy and delicious dessert to prepare.

  • garden mom 25 Jul, 2012

    I made this exactly per the recipe (actually I doubled it) and it turned quite well. A few notes: 1. As a no-bake cheesecake it is less cake like and more creamy...still tastes great though. 2. You MUST use freshly squeezed lemon juice. The kind in a bottle has added water and is not strong enough to thicken the filling.

  • ljwaldron 16 Jul, 2012

    I agree with the 'did not set up' comments. It took days of refrigeration before it became easy to slice and maintain a shape. I like the idea of making it in ramekins, that would be a nice individual desert and not be embarrassed about it's shape.

  • foodie1119 6 Jun, 2012

    Turned out great! Very easy and it tasted really yummy. My husband said it was the best no-bake cheese cake he had ever eaten. The only deviation from the recipe was that I did not use all of the condensed milk, I added it to taste since I tend to like my deserts less sweet. I probably used about 12 ounces of the milk. It set up really nicely so I am not sure what problems the other reviewers had.

  • Debrac55 28 May, 2012

    Not worth the time or money. Although tasty, it never set up despite having been chilled for 8 hours. It was like melted ice cream. Does anybody test these recipes? This is not the first time I've made one of Ms. Stuart's recipes that turned out like crap.

  • geniegen 8 Mar, 2011

    The cheesecake did not set completely as a cheesecake would be expected to. It's pretty good tasting, but it would've been better in ramekins - I could then serve the cheesecake without having to cut it/spoon it out. We'll eat this one, but I won't make it again.

  • mommyRN 11 Sep, 2008

    I tried this reciepe but it wouldn't solidify in the middle. I had added a chocolate marble swirl but i don't think that should matter. Any ideas why it stayed so soft? I even had it in the freezer for 1 hour before I served it but that didn't help. It still tasted great and everyone loved it, but it was served in a cup with a spoon!

  • laughingelf 22 Aug, 2008

    There is just no comparison between freshly made , buttery, tender, sweet graham cracker crust and the premade crust. It's worth the extra few minutes.

  • Sybilsue 21 Aug, 2008

    to save time,why not use premade graham cracker crust ? Maybe I am just lazy,expecially in warm weather.

  • nanacakes 13 Aug, 2008

    Philadelphia Cream Cheese has a low fat version that's really good. It's called Neufchatel and has a 1/3 less fat. They also have a non-fat version but I haven't tried it and I'm not sure it would work in this recipe. Sometimes it's better to follow the original recipe and just eat less of it.

  • Ruyi 22 Jun, 2008

    Hello there! Is there any cheese brand that anyone can recommend? Low fat cheese would be best :)

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