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No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Dessert

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Enjoy a delicious No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Dessert with layers of graham crackers, creamy filling, and homemade cherry topping. Easy, refreshing, and perfect year-round!

A scoop of cherry cheesecake dessert on a square plate.

No Oven, No Fuss: The Perfect Dessert for Every Season

A cherry yum yum and an icebox cake walk into bar…

There’s no actual punch line for that, but if you’re craving something sweet, cool, and oh-so-easy to make, this is it: No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Dessert! It features layers graham crackers, a creamy cheesecake filling, and a luscious homemade cherry filling. It’s not quite a yum yum and doesn’t have all the layers of an icebox cake, but it’s so good in its own right!

Assembled in a casserole dish and served straight from the fridge, it’s the perfect chilled treat for hot summer days. No oven required! Whether you’re heading to a potluck, planning a picnic, or just looking for a simple, delicious dessert, this no-bake wonder is a crowd-pleaser. Think classic cherry cheesecake vibes, but way easier to whip up.

Don’t just save this dessert for summer—it’s actually perfect any time of the year, and here’s why. This no-bake version is super easy to make, saving you valuable oven space during busy holiday baking sessions. Plus, you can use frozen cherries, which are available year-round and frozen at the peak of ripeness, ensuring your flavors are always on point.

Whether it’s the height of summer or a cozy winter evening, this no bake treat fits the bill. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a dessert that can be prepped ahead and just pulled out of the fridge when needed? It’s the ultimate convenience without sacrificing any of the deliciousness of classic cherry cheesecake. Enjoy it at potlucks, family gatherings, or any occasion that calls for a sweet treat.

Raw ingredients for no bake cherry cheesecake arranged on a table.

Gather Your Ingredients

  • Frozen cherries – These come pitted and ready to use. We’re talking 7 cups of cherries, so for sanity’s sake, I definitely recommend using frozen. But, I get it…when cherries are in season, you might want to use fresh. Build in time for pitting all those cherries. 
  • Granulated sugar – Even when using sweet cherries, I still like to add some sugar when cooking them down. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your palate.
  • Lemon juice – A little lemon juice enhances the cherry flavor and helps balance all the sweet things going on in this dessert.
  • Cornstarch – Combined with water, the cornstarch slurry helps to thicken the cherry juice.
  • Cream cheese – Two 8-ounce blocks are required and you can use regular or 1/3 less fat (or a combo). 
  • Heavy whipping cream – When whipped with the other ingredients, it’ll add volume and lift to the cheesecake filling.
  • Powdered sugar – This sweetens the cheesecake filling. Because of its fine texture, it won’t make the cheesecake mixture grainy.
  • Vanilla extract – A classic flavor addition for cheesecake.
  • Graham crackers – Every icebox-style cakes needs a cracker, biscuit or sponge to give it some tooth, and graham crackers are the perfect pairing for cheesecake…only we don’t have to make a pie base!
A dish filled with just washed cherries.

Let’s Get No-Baking!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you on your way.

  1. Prepare the cherry filling – Combine cherries, granulated sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until the cherries release their juice and soften. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water until smooth; add it to the cherries, stirring constantly. When the juices have thickened, remove from the heat and cool the mixture to room temperature.
  2. Prepare the cheesecake filling – Beat together the cream cheese, heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. (Use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a large bowl and handheld electric mixer.)
  3. Assemble the dessert – Arrange a single layer of graham crackers across the bottom of your casserole, breaking into smaller pieces if needed. Add one-third of the cheesecake filling in an even layer across the crackers. Add half the cherry filing over that. Repeat once more. Add a final layer of graham crackers, then finish with the remaining cheesecake filling.
  4. Pop it in the icebox – Refrigerate the dessert overnight (or at least 8 hours) to firm up and allow the graham crackers to soften into a cake-like texture.
A collage of four photos showing how to assemble cherry cheesecake dessert.

Helpful Recipe Tips

Use cherries frozen or thawed – The recipe timing is with frozen cherries. If you thaw the cherries, they won’t take quite as long to soften in the saucepan.

Quick cool the cherries – If you don’t want to wait for the cherries to cool naturally, transfer to a shallow dish and pop it in the freezer to cool down quickly. Do not assemble the dessert until the cherries have at least cooled to room temperature.

Lots of cherry juice – If the cherries are really juicy, there may be a lot of syrup after cooking them down. You can choose to use all of it when you assemble the dessert, or reserve the excess for decorating the top.

Softened cream cheese – This is key for a smooth, lump-free mixture. Leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or microwave it for few seconds (use your microwave’s presets for softening such things, if it has that feature).

Cold whipping cream – Keep your heavy cream refrigerated until it’s time to use it. Cold cream will result in better texture and volume.

Even dessert layers – Use an offset spatula to spread each filling layer evenly all the way to the edges of your dish. I like to use a piping bag (or zip top bag with the corner cut off) to pipe the cheesecake filling on in even rows. 

Use a 10-cup serving dish – I makes no difference if your serving dish is rectangular, round or square as long as it has the right volume. The following sizes should work: 9×2-inch square, 9×2.5-inch round, or a 11x7x 2-inch rectangle. If your dish is an odd size (like mine!), you can do some math or use a measuring cup to fill it with water…be sure to count the cups as you go!

Decorating the dessert – Not gonna lie, this dessert looks a bit of a mess, but don’t let that fool you! It’s definitely unfussy, but absolutely delish. To ‘decorate’ the way I did in the photos, hold back a few cherries and some of the syrup. Drizzle the syrup on top; you can swirl it in with the tip of a knife or skewer. Arrange a pile of cherries in the center. You can top it with few fresh cherries, too. There are no rules, so have fun creating a yummy mess!

A casserole of cherry cheesecake dessert next to plates and drinks.

Storing Leftovers

Keep any leftovers covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Any longer and the graham crackers become mushy beyond recognition.

Check Out These No Bake Treats!

A scoop of cherry cheesecake dessert on a square plate.

No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Dessert

Linda Feller
Enjoy a delicious No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Dessert with layers of graham crackers, creamy filling, and homemade cherry topping. Easy, refreshing, and perfect year-round!
Prep time.20 minutes
Cook time.9 minutes
Custom time.8 hours
Total time.8 hours 29 minutes
Course.Dessert
Cuisine.American
Number of servings.8
Calories per serving.531 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

For the Cherry Filling

  • 7 cups frozen cherries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

For the Cheesecake Filling

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (see notes) (regular, light or a combo)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cups heavy whipping cream, cold (see notes)
  • 10-12 graham crackers, or more, depending on the shape/size of your serving dish

Instructions

  • Prepare the cherry filling (see notes): In a small saucepan, combine the cherries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cherries release their juices and start to soften, about 5-7 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the cherry mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let the topping cool to room temperature. (Make sure the cherries are completely cooled before assembling the dessert; transfer to a shallow dish and quick cool in the fridge or freezer, if needed.)
  • Prepare the cheesecake filling: In the bowl of stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), beat the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract on medium-high until smooth. Add the heavy whipping cream and beat again until stiff peaks form. (This entire step should take about 3 to 4 minutes.)
  • Assemble the dessert: Arrange a single layer of graham crackers across the bottom of a 10-cup baking/serving dish (see notes). Spread one-half of the cheesecake filling across the graham crackers all the way to the edges (use an offset spatula or piping bag), then top with the cherry filling. Add one more layer of graham crackers then finish with a layer of cheesecake filling.
  • Refrigerate the dessert overnight (or at least 8 hours). Serve directly from the dish.

Notes

  • To soften cream cheese, leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or microwave it for few seconds (use your microwave’s presets for softening such things, if it has that feature). Softened cream cheese = smooth, no lumpy, filling.
  • Leave the heavy cream in the fridge until it’s time to use for best results.
  • If the cherries are really juicy, there may be a lot of syrup after cooking them down. You can choose to use all of it when you assemble the dessert, or reserve the excess for decorating the top.
  • For the serving dish, the following sizes should work: 9×2-inch square, 9×2.5-inch round, or a 11x7x 2-inch rectangle. For odd sizes, you can do some math or use a measuring cup to fill it with water…be sure to count the cups as you go!

Nutrition

Calories: 531kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 527mg | Potassium: 505mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 764IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 259mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords.make ahead
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