Creamy and easy to make No Bake Lemon Cheesecake layered with graham cracker crumbs, sweet and tangy lemon curd and topped with soft whipped cream.
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No Bake Lemon Cheesecake individually portioned desserts are always a hit at any party. The creamy texture, the gorgeous flavor of lemon from the fresh squeezed lemon juice and grated lemon zest make this dessert irresistible. Served layered in glasses, the No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits are very easy to serve and also will look stunning on any dessert spread table.
No Bake Lemon Cheesecake is so easy to make, it’s done in 30 minutes or less, after that you should have the patience for it to chill, or if you are anything like me, just dive straight into that creamy goodness. To keep the recipe No Bake and very hassle free I used store bought lemon pie filling, sometimes shortcuts are the best and we should totally take them!
- Use full fat cream cheese – if you are making and intend to eat cheesecake, don’t substitute the regular cream cheese for the fat free version, you are loosing on creaminess. I mean, a cheesecake shouldn’t be the dessert where you try to cut some calories. To save money on the cream cheese, look for in house labels, I know that Whole Foods and Shoprite have their own cream cheese that usually is on sale and very reasonably priced.
- Use full fat/whole milk greek yogurt – yogurt by itself already has less calories, so always use whole milk greek yogurt, if you want your cheesecake to taste rich and creamy
- Make your own whipped cream – to top the No Bake Lemon Cheesecake parfaits I used homemade whipped cream, obviously full fat, the texture is so much better than the one from a tube!
- Don’t skip the lemon zest – lemon zest will add extra flavor and freshness to this rich dessert
- Plain Graham Cracker crumbs – I like the lemon flavor to shine, so using plain graham cracker crumbs is key
- Glasses – regular, wide wine glasses, serve dual purpose, for drinks and for pretty desserts
- Lemon Pie Filling – for when you are too lazy to make your own, or just want to skip an extra step and speed up your recipe making process
- Gelatin – I like using a little in this recipe to ensure the cheesecake is firm, it’s especially important if you want to make the cheesecake in a pie dish, where you would have to cut it into slices.
- Graham cracker crumbs – these are graham crackers that have been made into crumbs for you, so you can skip dirtying your food processor, I find these crumbs super convenient and a time saver
- Cheesecake Filling:
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 package / 7 grams unflavored gelatin
- 2 packages / 16 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 cups whipped cream or Cool Whip*
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 21oz cans lemon pie filling (lemon curd)*
- Whipped Cream Topping:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Add lemon juice to a small, microwave safe bowl and sprinkle evenly with gelatin. Let it stand for 1 minute, then whisk to combine. Microwave on high for 15 seconds, whisk and microwave again for 10-20 seconds, whisk until dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Add the Greek yogurt and beat until combined. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat to fully combine.
- Add the gelatin mixture, lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy and fully combined.
- Fold in the whipped cream and beat on low until combined. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy and thickened.
- Layer the dessert into glasses in the following order: 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs, cheesecake filling, lemon curd, cheesecake filling, 1 tablespoon graham crackers crumbs and again cheesecake filling.
- To make the layering easier and mess free add the cheesecake filling to a piping bag and cut the tip; same for the lemon curd.
- Whipped Cream Topping:
- Add heavy whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and beat starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high speed. Beat until soft peaks form and the cream is stiff.
- Add the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake parfaits.
- Garnish with graham cracker crumbs.
- Refrigerate until set, at least 4-6 hours.
Whipped cream is the result of whisking heavy whipping cream, you need about 1.5-2 cups of heavy whipping cream to get 3 cups of whipped cream. Whisk 2 cups of COLD heavy whipping cream with 3-4 tablespoons of sugar on high speed until soft peaks form. Make sure you don't overheat, the cream should be fluffy and hold it's shape.
*You can use homemade lemon curd or any store bought brand of lemon pie filling/lemon curd.