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These no-bake cheesecake jars are EVERYTHING good about cheesecake but made with better-for-you ingredients for a healthy, fuss-free take on the old classic!
Cream cheese? Check! Fresh, juicy berries? Check! Honey? Check! Yep, all of the good things make an appearance in this simple, no-bake cheesecake recipe! Truly, we can’t get enough of these little jars – they’re absolutely perfect for summertime parties or to keep stocked in the freezer for any I-just-need-a-dessert evening. If you’re a cheesecake lover, these perfectly portioned little beauties are for you!
What is no-bake cheesecake?
Just as it sounds, this easy no-bake cheesecake is a spin on traditional cheesecake that is served cold and requires no baking! While traditional cheesecake combines cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and a few other ingredients baked together in a springform pan until the cake is fully “set,” this no-bake version combines many of those same ingredients (with a few modifications and better-for-you swaps), but calls for no baking at all! Essentially, this version is an easier, healthier, and (dare I say) even more delicious take on classic cheesecake!
Ingredients for No-Bake Cheesecake
To make these individually-portioned beauties, you’ll need to pick up ingredients for the homemade jam, 2-ingredient buttery graham cracker crust, and the cheesecake filling itself. Though it may seem like a lengthy list, all of the ingredients are widely available at any grocery store, and you may have many of them on hand already! Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Blueberries, Raspberries, & Strawberries – you’ll need a pint each of blueberries and raspberries, and 1 pound of strawberries. Be sure to wash all of your fruit, and remove the tops from the strawberries. If you’d like to swap any of these out for blackberries, that totally works too! Mixed berry means any mix of berries that you love most!
- Lemon Juice – you’ll need 2 tablespoons (the juice from one lemon) of lemon juice to add some brightness (and a bit of tartness) to your jam. We always prefer going fresh when it comes to lemon juice!
- Honey – we LOVE sweetening our better-for-you desserts with honey. Honey comes with a host of health benefits, and it adds the perfect subtle sweetness to any dessert!
Graham Cracker Crust
- Gluten-Free Graham Crackers – you’ll use 2 boxes (about 16 ounces) of graham crackers for your crust (we LOVE this brand!) If you aren’t gluten-free, feel free to use any graham crackers you love.
- Butter – butter makes everything better, right?! This crust is no exception! Grab 1½ sticks of grass-fed butter for this recipe (12 tablespoons), let it soften, and then cut into ½-inch chunks.
Cream Cheese Filling
- Condensed Milk – you’ll need one cup of condensed milk for this recipe! We are partial to this dairy-free condensed milk which is slightly less sweet than traditional condensed milk, but regular condensed milk will work, too.
- Cream Cheese – for this recipe, you’ll need two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese. If you’re dairy-free, feel free to use an equal amount of Kite Hill dairy-free cream cheese. Either way, let the cream cheese soften before getting started!
- Lemon Juice – we’ll use another 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice for the filling. So, for the jam and filling together, you’ll need 2 lemons!
- Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract gives the perfect hint of vanilla and makes the cheesecake filling totally craveable.
Can you use frozen berries for the jam?
You sure can! Frozen or fresh fruit both work great here. Frozen fruit is actually picked and frozen at its peak, so frozen berries taste good all year round…score!
How to Make No-Bake Mason Jar Cheesecakes
You’ll start by making your jam, then move on to the crust, and finally the cheesecake filling. Once you’re done with all three components, you’ll assemble, and VOILA!, triple berry cheesecake jars!
- Make the Jam – add the blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, lemon juice, and honey to a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Then, cook for 7-10 minutes, until the berries have started to break down. Once the berries are broken down and mushy, remove them from the heat and mash them (in the pot) with a potato masher. Once mashed, return the pot to the heat to allow the mixture to thicken to a jam-like consistency (2-3) minutes. Once thickened, remove the pot from the heat and let the jam cool to room temperature.
- Make the Homemade Graham Cracker Crust – place the two boxes-worth of graham crackers into a food processor and pulverize until you have fine crumbs. Next, add 4 tablespoons-worth of softened butter pieces at a time, pulsing the food processor with each butter addition. Continue this for the rest of the butter, until the graham cracker crust comes together in a flaky, slightly-crumbly dough.
- Make the Cheesecake Filling – add the condensed milk, cream cheese, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to a large bowl. Then, beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer for 2-3 minutes, until the cheesecake filling is smooth and fluffy.
- Assemble – to assemble, divide the crust evenly among the mason jars and pat down to make a ½-inch thick crust in each one, reserving a little bit of crust to crumble over top. Next, pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust, dividing evenly among the jars, then pour the jam over top, and sprinkle with more graham cracker crumbs!
- Refrigerate – refrigerate for at least 4 hours, then serve and enjoy!
No-Bake Cheesecake Variations
While these cheesecake jars are DIVINE as written, there are a few variations you can make that’ll still yield a completely delicious sweet treat. Here’s what we know works:
- Instead of making the triple berry jam used in this recipe, opt for homemade chia jam for a seedier textured jam with a boost of antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids thanks to the chia seeds!
- When you’re ready to enjoy, top with your favorite granola, crushed pretzels, chocolate chips, or cookies for a little added crunch!
- Top with homemade honey-sweetened whipped cream (a combination of honey + heavy whipping cream used in THIS recipe) for an especially decadent dessert.
- If you’d rather enjoy no-bake cheesecake in bar form, these bars are an absolutely delicious option!
Can you freeze no-bake cheesecake?
YES! And let me just tell you, frozen cheesecake is a THING and a good one at that! Make a batch of these individually portioned cheesecake jars to have on hand in the freezer for when your sweet-tooth hits! To enjoy from frozen, let your jar sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften just enough so you can get in there with a spoon. Skeptical? Try it…we promise it’ll become a new favorite!
We hope you LOVE these no-bake mason jar cheesecakes!
Just for You
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For the Jam:
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1 pound strawberries tops removed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons honey
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 2 boxes about 16 ounces graham crackers (we use these for gluten-free)
- 12 tablespoons 1 1/2 sticks grass-fed butter, softened and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- For the Jam: Add the blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, lemon juice, and honey to a pot over medium heat and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the berries have started to break down. Mash the berries with a potato masher and return to heat for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the mixture has thickened into a jam-like consistency.
- For the Graham Cracker Crust: Place the two boxes-worth of graham crackers into a food processor and pulverize until you have fine crumbs. 2. Adding 4 tablespoons-worth of softened butter pieces at a time, pulse the food processor with the butter. Continue for the rest of the butter, until the graham cracker crust comes together in a flaky, slightly-crumbly dough.
- Divide the crust evenly among the mason jars and pat down to make a 1/2 inch thick crust in each one.
- For the Cheesecake Filling: Add the condensed milk, cream cheese, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to a large bowl, then beat with an electric mixer or stand mixer for 2-3 minutes, until mixture is smooth and fluffy.
- Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust, dividing evenly among the jars, then pour the chia jam over top.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, then serve!