It is tooo hot to turn on the oven! BUT that doesn't mean that there won't be dessert! This No Bake Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake will make sure that your sweet tooth is satisfied, even in the summer heat!
This No Bake Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake is layers of strawberry and vanilla bean cheesecake in a graham cracker crust, topped with strawberry crunch topping! Completely no bake and delicious, you'll want this beauty on repeat in your kitchen!
Just looking at this list of ingredients makes me hungry! Strawberries and vanilla cookies? Yes, please! Bonus: there will be cookies leftover. Maybe use them to distract your family and keep the cheesecake for yourself! 😉
Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
- Graham Cracker Crumbs - For flavor and structure for the crust. You need two cups of crumbs. If you're crushing whole graham crackers, you will need about 15 of them.
- Sugar - For sweetness, and to help hold the crust together.
- Unsalted Butter, melted - To bind the graham cracker crumbs together. Also imparts buttery flavor to the crust.
No-Bake Cheesecake Ingredients:
- Cream Cheese - For the dominant flavor and texture of the cheesecake! I use full-fat cream cheese. You want it to be at room temperature before you get started.
- Sour Cream - Softens the texture of the cheesecake and adds moisture. I use full-fat sour cream. You want this to be at room temperature, too.
- Lemon Juice - To improve the texture of the cheesecake. Also helps the cheesecake to retain its shape.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - For amazing flavor! I also love the little black flecks that it leaves in the cheesecake. If you'd rather substitute, you can use an equal measure of vanilla extract.
- Freeze-Dried Strawbrerries - For flavor and beautiful color! Make sure to use *freeze-dried* strawberries, as they are free of moisture and will process into a powder. You'll use ¼ cup of the strawberries in the strawberry crunch (details on that below), and you can use the rest of the bag here in the strawberry cheesecake layer.
- Heavy Cream - Once whipped, the cream lightens the texture of the cheesecake.
- Powdered Sugar - To sweeten the cream. I prefer powdered sugar for this as it dissolves completely.
Strawberry Crunch Ingredients:
- Vanilla Sandwich Cookies - For flavor and the "crunch" of the strawberry crunch. Like golden Oreos, but any brand will do. I used Whole Foods vanilla sandwich cookies.
- Freeze-Dried Strawberries - For flavor and a gorgeous color for the topping. The strawberry crunch uses ¼ cup of the strawberries, then you can use the rest of the bag in the strawberry cheesecake layer.
- Salted Butter, melted - To help bind the crumbs together. I used salted butter just to help balance and enhance the flavors.
Whipped Cream Ingredients:
- Heavy Cream - Can't make whipped cream without it! 😀
- Powdered Sugar - For sweetness. I prefer using powdered sugar because it dissolves so well, and because the small amount of cornstarch in powdered sugar helps the whipped cream to hold its shape for longer.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - For flavor.
There are several parts to this recipe, but I swear it's a cinch if you follow these steps! Also, there are several steps requiring a food processor. Check out the hint at the end of this section for my suggestion on how to order your tasks so that you don't have to clean the bowl between tasks!
Making the Strawberry Crunch
Combine freeze-dried strawberries and vanilla sandwich cookies in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarse crumbs
Drizzle in melted butter and continue to pulse the mixture to the desired consistency.
Making the Graham Cracker Crust
Combine graham crackers and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.
Process until finely ground.
Add melted butter and pulse to incorporate.
Press the mixture into the bottom and 1-2 inches up the sides of the pan.
Making the No-Bake Cheesecake
Combine cream cheese and sugar, mixing until smooth and creamy.
Add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla bean paste.
Pour half the filling into a separate bowl and set aside. Add freeze-dried strawberry powder to one bowl and mix to incorporate
In a separate bowl, whip cream and powdered sugar until it holds peaks. Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the vanilla cheesecake filling.
Gently fold the remaining half of the whipped cream into the strawberry cheesecake filling.
Scrape the strawberry filling into the prepared crust, smoothing the top.
Repeat with the vanilla filling, spreading it on top of the strawberry filling. Cover and chill at least 6 hours.
After chilling, top the cheesecake with the strawberry crunch mixture. Garnish with more whipped cream and strawberries, if desired.
Hint: A food processor is needed for several steps in this recipe. If you only have one bowl, I suggest accomplishing the tasks in this order, then you can avoid having to wash the bowl in-between:
- First, grind the ¾ cup freeze-dried strawberries into a powder. You want a completely dry bowl for this!
- Second, process the ingredients for the strawberry crunch. Scrape out the bowl as well as you can.
- Lastly, process the ingredients for the graham cracker crust.
The order of the last two tasks are interchangeable as far as not having to wash the bowl out, I'd just personally rather risk having a little extra strawberry flavor from the strawberry crunch in the crust than have pieces of the graham cracker crust in the topping!
Here are a few items that will make preparing this recipe quicker/easier:
- Offset Spatula - Not an absolute necessity, but an offset spatula makes smoothing out the top of your cheesecake layers SO much easier!
- Springform Pan - You could just make this recipe in a regular 9" round cake pan, but it's much more difficult to slice and serve that way, so a springform pan really is the best for this recipe! If you decide to use a cake pan, I suggest one with 3" tall sides so you have room for your cheesecake layers!
- Food Processor - I hate to say it, but it's pretty necessary to have one to pulverize the freeze-dried strawberries into powder. You can do your best smashing them in a bag with a rolling pin or using a mortar and pestle, but the food processor really is your best bet to grind them up finely. This link here will take you to the one that I use in my kitchen (and love!), but of course there are much smaller/cheaper options for a job of this size. This mini food processor might be more your speed for a small job like this.
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The strawberry crunch topping can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
For long-term storage, wrap the plain cheesecake (with no strawberry crunch/whipped cream/berries) well and store in the freezer for up to three months!
Once complete and garnished, the covered cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for about five days (if it lasts that long).
Nope! Dried strawberries still contain some moisture and will not process into a powder. You definitely want to get *freeze-dried* strawberries for this recipe!
Yes! Check the "storage" section above for all the deets!
Other Recipes You May Like
Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake
- ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries, ground into powder (see note)
- 9 vanilla sandwich cookies (like golden oreos)
- 2 tablespoon salted butter, melted
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 15 whole crackers)
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 10 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (I used full fat)
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature (I used full fat)
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (see note)
- ¾ cup freeze-dried strawberries (or whatever is left in the bag; see note)
- 1¼ cups heavy (whipping) cream, cold
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
For Strawberry Crunch:
- Combine freeze-dried strawberries (see note) and vanilla sandwich cookies in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarse crumbs.
- Drizzle in melted butter and continue to pulse the mixture to the desired consistency. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until needed.
- Grease a 9" springform pan (see note) and set aside.
- Combine graham crackers and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely ground.
- Add melted butter and pulse to incorporate, making sure the mixture is completely coated in butter. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1-2 inches up the sides of the prepared pan. Chill as you prepare the filling.
- Combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed at first, then increase to medium until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla bean paste (see note). Mix to incorporate.
- Pour half the filling into a separate bowl and set aside. This will be the vanilla bean layer of the cheesecake.
- Add the freeze-dried strawberry powder to the mixer bowl and mix to incorporate.
- In a separate bowl, whip the cream with the powdered sugar until it thickens and holds peaks.
- Scrape half of the whipped cream into the bowl of vanilla cheesecake filling, and the other half into the bowl of strawberry cheesecake filling. Gently fold the whipped cream into each mixture, taking care not to deflate the whipped cream.
- Take the prepared crust out of the refrigerator. Scrape the strawberry filling into the crust, and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Repeat with the vanilla filling, spreading it on top of the strawberry filling.
- Cover the cheesecake and place in the refrigerator to set for 6-8 hours (12+ hours is even better).
For Whipped Cream:
- Place cold heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start the mixer on low speed, and gradually increase the speed to high. Whip until the cream thickens and forms peaks. Add vanilla bean paste (see note), and mix to incorporate.
- Remove the chilled cheesecake from the refrigerator and top with the strawberry crunch topping. Pipe or dollop the whipped cream on top, and garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.Enjoy!