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No-Bake Cheesecake

Recipe photo courtesy of James Baigrie

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.

Source: Martha Stewart Kids, July/August 2004
Total Time Prep Yield




Skip the crust: use cheesecake filling in a parfait and invent a whole new "layer cake." Mix the filling, then put some in a glass. Top with broken-up cookies (such as chocolate or vanilla wafers) or graham crackers, and add fresh fruit (such as raspberries or blueberries). Alternate layers. Refrigerate parfait for 30 minutes, and serve.

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How would you rate this recipe?
  • margomays90
    19 OCT, 2019
    I will make these pies Awesome
  • tanieshawendlan
    16 OCT, 2019
    I froze the crust overnight. Mixed the lemon juice( I only had 1 lemon, got 3 tbsp out of it) with the sweetened condensed milk first before adding it to my room temp slightly beaten cream cheese. I used a skull shaped cake pan that is non stick and I greased it first. Had to run a butter knife around all the edges! I cannot believe it turned out as good as it did. Wish I could post a picture.
  • chefeduardorg
    30 SEP, 2019
    Hi there. Not only am I a huge Martha fan but I am a pretty succesful chef and a home cook. I had no problems with this recipe except for the fact that this cheesecake needs 24 hours to set and be ready for serving. I have made this cake as a lemon cheese cake with lemon zset and just a little morew lemon juice and I have also made it as a lime and coconut cheesecake. For the lime coconut cheesecake I just add lime juice instead of lemon juice, lime zest and I add my dried coconut to my condensed milk and let it sit for a but to soften the coconut shreds. The crust was easy to make and this cheesecake has been made in my home with my 11 year old niece as my assistant. So other than having to be patient to eat the cake the enxt day, I had no issues with the reciupe. And since summers here in MA can be quite hot and humid, this no bake recipe is quite welcome in our kitchen.
  • MS10684506
    23 SEP, 2019
    We used a store bought large graham crust- just right size. We followed the recipe w lemon juice at the end w vanilla. taste is ok but too sweet for us and nothing to compare w "real"cheesecake. Edible but no repeat.
  • dianaevorganics
    24 DEC, 2018
    First of all, the folks in this comment section are dishing out some of the most impressive smack talk I’ve ever witnessed in my life. Sick burn, Carol. Second of all, my mom made this and it didn’t set up. She reduced the lemon juice but only by one tablespoon. She was adding to taste. I was super interested to see that some people are saying the lemon and the sweetened condensed milk react to create a firm texture. I would literally love an example of this reaction in another recipe. It’s super interesting concept, I just want to understand it better without taking another chance on this cake, which was unfortunately, a flop.
      17 AUG, 2019
      Acid in the lemon juice denatures protein in the milk; casein (an amino acid) molecules relax & then come together in loose clumps. This process thickens the milk. Yogurt, kefir and cultured buttermilk are made in much the same way, except that, in that process, acid results from bacterial activity, rather than being introduced on its own. Several of the makers of sweetened milk (Borden's, Eagle, etc.) developed recipes for lemon cream icebox pies that use this same method. Several are available online. I've found that it sometimes works best to add the milk to the lemon juice, a couple of tablespoons at a time, & then add the cream cheese and other stuff to that (&, as someone else said, don't over beat the cheese).
    • deadeye1234
      29 JUL, 2019
      I doubled the recipe but as I was mixing in the condensed milk I noticed it was starting to get watery and didn't use the full amount. I used about 21 ounces instead of 28. I didn't have a spring form pan. I just used a foil pan that you would use to make lasagna. Didn't spray it and it came off nicely.
    • dgotti1964
      23 JAN, 2019
      I can not find a spring form pan at my local shopping store..any alternatives I can use..need to have ready for Church tonight.. please help..
  • stephpz7200
    16 JUN, 2019
    Very easy and simple cheesecake I've made. Super delicious! I personally had no issues with the crust sticking to the pan. The only two issues I see is time and loose crust. You definitely need more than 2-3 hours to have it harden all the way, so maybe leave the cheesecake over night in the fridge. Second, the crust is very crumbly (but delicious) so I think I would experiment with adding honey to it so hopefully it stays together much better. Overall I totally recommend making this!
  • MS12066291
    27 MAY, 2019
    Great flavor and easy to make. The consistency was too loose and thin even after 6 hours of refrigeration. Graham cracker crust stuck to springform pan and broke when trying to serve. I would suggest using the filing more as a pudding or in a trifle type dessert.
  • fafa4575430
    26 MAR, 2019
    I really enjoyed this cake. To try to cut the number of calories, I opted to make the Filling only and used it as a pudding topped with fresh strawberries. Yum!
  • MS11029406
    21 MAR, 2019
    I have made this cheesecake several times and my family loves it
  • rashar27
    24 FEB, 2019
    More than one recipe I tried but the strength of the cheesecake is not coherent 100%

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