There’s nothing better than a fresh, fruity, and chilled dessert on a hot summer day.
What I love about this recipe is how bold the strawberry flavor is. I find with a lot of baked goods, the strawberries kind of dull in flavor from the heating process (unless you’re roasting strawberries!).
In this recipe we use strawberries in two forms for a double pack of both flavor and color. Freeze dried strawberries that are blended into a fine powder as well as fresh strawberries that are blended into the filling mixture.
These bars also taste amazing with a chocolate ganache topping! Just melt together 1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
with 1/4 cup heavy cream and spread on top after freezing the bars.
So while you do need both a blender or food processor and an electric mixer (or very strong arm) to make this recipe, there’s no oven involved. There’s also no Cool Whip. Totally homemade from scratch!
No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bar Tips & Tricks
I can’t find graham crackers. What else can I use?
Whatever your heart desires! You can use vanilla wafers, chocolate wafers, pretzels, digestive biscuits. You can even put the filling on top of a pan of brownies!
Where do I find freeze dried strawberries? What if I can’t find them?
The freeze dried strawberries offer a ton of strawberry flavor and vibrant color without adding too much extra liquid to the filling. Fresh strawberries contain a lot of water which makes it difficult to make a sturdy enough no bake cheesecake that holds its shape. Or one that doesn’t get icy and hard if you freeze it.
You can find freeze-dried strawberries near the other dried fruits like raisins at the grocery store. I’ve seen them consistently stocked at Target, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and Walmart. Reader Francesca also mentioned you can often find freeze dried fruit next to the baby food at the store!
If you can’t find, simply omit. The strawberry color and flavor will be less intense.
By the way, I also love to use freeze dried strawberries in icing recipes like with my Baked Strawberry Lemon Doughnuts! When you grind them up they also make a great garnish on chocolate cake or brownies.
Can I use frozen strawberries?
The second strawberry ingredient is simply fresh strawberries that have been hulled and chopped.
Yes, you can use frozen strawberries. Just make sure to thaw them then drain any excess liquid completely. Too much water will prevent this cheesecake from setting.
Chilling & Serving No Bake Cheesecake
This cheesecake needs to hang out in the freezer for at least 4 hours to ensure it fully sets and holds its shape. I usually just make it the day before I plan to serve it.
Before serving, allow it to soften slightly in the fridge for 30 minutes.
For clean slices, use a big sharp knife and run it under hot water and wipe if off in between slices.
Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or freezer for up to 2 weeks. The texture will be looser when stored in the fridge.
More No Bake Recipes
For the crust:
sleeve (9 crackers, 140 grams) graham crackers
(71 grams) unsalted butter,
For the cheesecake:
(150 grams) granulated sugar
(47 grams) freeze-dried sliced strawberries*
fine sea salt
(454 grams) cream cheese,
at room temperature
hulled and sliced
(180 grams) heavy cream,
For the crust:
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.
Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very finely ground. The more finely ground, the better the crust will stay together and not crumble. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened.
Very firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan using your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup. Refrigerate.
For the cheesecake:
In the bowl of blender, combine the sugar, freeze dried strawberries, and salt. Blend until the strawberries are powdery with no visible chunks remaining. Add the cream cheese, lemon juice, and fresh strawberries. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom as needed. A blender tamper can help bring the mixture together quicker.
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment to whip the cream until medium peaks form. Add the strawberry mixture to the whipped cream and gently fold until combined. Spread over prepared crust, smoothing the top.
Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Let sit in the fridge 30 minutes before serving. Run a large sharp knife under hot water, wipe if off, then slice into 9 bars.
Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or freezer for up to 2 weeks. If freezing, remove from freezer and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.
*Find freeze-dried strawberries near the other dried fruits. Consistently stocked at Target, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and Walmart. If you can’t find, simply omit. The strawberry color and flavor will be less intense.
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.
June Baking Challenge
This recipe was the pick for our June 2020 baking challenge! Check out the entries submitted below. Click here to discover the current month’s challenge.