“No-bake cherry cheesecake bars! No need to turn on the oven for these creamy cheesecake bars! Perfect for a crowd and they never last long!”
Visual learner? Watch me make this no-bake cherry cheesecake bars from start to finish!
How to make no-bake cherry cheesecake bars
With Memorial Day right around the corner, I’m craving my family more than ever. I miss my Grandma Barb, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles so much. This quarantine has reminded me to appreciate the people in my inner circle even more. I’m blessed to have such a loving, close-knit family.
Usually, around this time, we are sending out the cookout menu sign-up list through Facebook messenger. The menu always gets lost in between off subject chatter, emojis, and funny memes. Since we can’t get together this year, I’ve decided to make my family’s favorite cookout recipes myself and celebrate with my hubby and sons!
It wouldn’t be a cookout if Uncle BB’s famous no-bake cherry cheesecake bars weren’t on the dessert table. He brings these cheesecake bars to every gathering, along with a ton of other desserts. I know as soon as I see him coming in the door with two huge, disposable aluminum pans that they are full of that luscious, fluffy cheesecake. One topped with cherry pie filling and the other topped with fresh strawberries.
Chances are, you’ve had this popular dessert as well. It’s a classic no-bake dish that is easy to double, triple, or quadruple as needed, making it perfect for big family gatherings.
What Does No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars Taste Like?
If you’re expecting a dense, baked cheesecake taste and texture, get that out of your mind. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s not that type of flavor or texture. It’s close but no cigar. It’s firm but has a whipped, creamy texture kind of like a cream pie. The taste is sweet and lightly tangy with hints of vanilla (thanks to a secret ingredient). The sweet and tart cherry topping takes it over the top and pairs so well. It’s delicious and addictive, and there are NEVER any leftovers. Yeah, it’s “one of those” type desserts.
The secret ingredient: Vanilla Baking Chips!
I love to add 1/2 cup of melted vanilla baking chips to the batter. It helps these bars firm up to the best texture. It also lends a perfectly light vanilla flavor that makes this classic dessert tastes even better IMO!
How do you make no-bake cherry cheesecake bars?
The beauty of this recipe is that it is so dadgum easy! It is great for when you have no idea what to make for dessert but really aren’t in the mood to bake.
To make the graham cracker crust:
- First, you’ll pulse some graham crackers into crumbs and toss in some sugar.
- Mix in butter until the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom of a parchment-lined glass dish as tightly as you can. Freeze until ready to use.
To make the cheesecake filling:
- For the filling, add heavy whipping cream to a large bowl and beat it until it has stiff peaks. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and melted vanilla baking chips until combined.
- Fold in the whipped cream.
- Spoon mixture onto prepare crust and spread into an even layer.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (for best results) or for at least 3 hours or until firm.
- When you’re ready to serve, top with chilled cherry pie filling.
- Cut into bars or spoon out with a spoon (which is what we do when we make this in a big ol pan).
Can I use other fruit toppings on these cheesecake bars?
Absolutely! Use any pie filling on top of these cheesecake bars like blackberry, blueberry, or peach. Even fresh fruit tastes great. Although I’m not really a fan of cherries, I love the way they taste on these cheesecake bars so I always use them. If using canned pie filling, be sure to use a good quality one that is as natural as possible. The organic cherry pie filling I used has pure cherries, water, cane sugar, cornstarch, flavoring, and lemon juice. The simple ingredients resulted in an authentic cherry flavor that was so good and tasted like the cherries my grandmother use to can.
Can I use other cookies for the crust on these no-bake cherry cheesecake bars?
You sure can! Graham crackers makes a great crust for cheesecakes, but Nilla Wafers are tasty too!
I hope you guys have a fabulous Memorial Day!
No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham cracker sheets)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream cold
- 16 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white vanilla baking chips melted
- 21 oz Natural Cherry Pie Filling chilled
Make The Crust
- Line a 8x8 glass pan with parchment paper and set aside. (see note)
- In a bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
- Add melted butter and stir until mixture resembles wet sand.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared and spread into an even layer.
- Press the crumbs down as tight as you can can using the bottom of a measuring cup or a fondant smoother.
- Freeze the crust until ready to use.
Make The Cheesecake Filling
- In a large bowl, add heavy whipping cream.
- Mix on medium-high until the cream becomes fluffy and can hold stiff peaks. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar.
- Mix in lemon juice and melted vanilla baking chips.
- Fold in the whipped creams using a rubber spatula until well combined.
- Spoon the mixture onto the prepared crust and spread into an even layer.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hour or until firm.
- When ready to serve, top with chilled cherries.
- Remove from pan, cut into bars and serve. (see note)