November 22, 2022| By

Philadelphia No Bake Cheesecake

Prep Time: 30 mins
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If you're looking for a delicious dessert, look no further than this Philadelphia No Bake Cheesecake recipe! It's has a delightfully fluffy and light cheesecake filling that's encased in a homemade graham cracker crust. I took it up a notch and added a delicious graham cracker layer in the middle that really elevates this easy cheesecake recipe!

For more cheesecake recipes, try this apple pie stuffed cheesecake and snickerdoodle cheesecake!

a slice of philadelphia no bake cheesecake on a plate.
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This philadelphia no-bake cheesecake was a staple in my house during the holidays. Being that I was born and raised in Philly, it makes sense that this would be a staple during the holiday season. I'd always make it with my mom while prepping our holiday spread. I remember it being such an easy recipe that literally came together in under 30 minutes.

Best part, the filling is literally a five ingredient no bake no bake cheesecake and the crust only adds 3 more ingredients.

As always, I have to put my own spin on things. I made the classic creamy cheesecake but I added a graham cracker crumb filling in the middle of the cheesecake. My favorite part of any pie or cheesecake is always the crust - so I added it in the middle so that every single bite has a bit of crunch and graham cracker crust deliciousness.

philadelphia no bake cheesecake in a springform pan.

This decadent dessert is versatile and can be enjoyed all year long. It's the perfect cheesecake for the holiday season but also doubles as the perfect summer dessert. Although it's not your traditional cheesecake (believe it or not, you don't even need heavy cream), it's creamy filling goes with a ton of toppings but is also incredible on its own.

Of note, you'll need a 9-inch springform pan for this recipe. I recommend using Calphalon's springform pan as it's sturdy and has an incredible nonstick release so you don't have to worry about the cheesecake sticking to the pan. Prep this cheesecake in under 30 minutes, pop it in the fridge and let it set.

Ingredients Notes

ingredients to make philadelphia no bake cheesecake - cream cheese, cool whip, sour cream, butter, vanilla extract, graham crackers, butter, powdered sugar, and sugar.

For this no bake philadelphia cheesecake, a few simple ingredients go a long!

  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese - you can't beat the classic taste of philadelphia cream cheese. It's what makes this such a decadent cheesecake and has the best quality.
  • Sour Cream - the natural flavor of sour cream has a nice tang to it. It really is what makes this such a good cheesecake.
  • Powdered Sugar - I prefer using powdered sugar here because it thickens the filling and prevent it from being runny.
  • Cool Whip - this ingredient is key to getting that light and fluffy flavor. It elevates
  • Vanilla Extract - for just a hint of smooth vanilla flavor, pure vanilla extract really delivers!
  • Graham Crackers - I used normal honey graham crackers for best results. They make for a delicious crumbly graham cracker crust.
  • Sugar - the sugar adds a little sweetness to the crust. The philadelphia no bake cheesecake filling is not super sweet so having a slightly sweet crust makes this homemade cheesecake even better!
  • Butter - as always, I use salted butter but feel free to swap for unsalted butter.

Tips

cheesecake on a table with a cake server.
  • Use room temperature ingredients - this means your sour cream, Philadelphia cream cheese, and cool whip all need to be at room temperature. A quick way to achieve this is to simply let these ingredients sit on the counter for 30 minutes prior to mixing together to make the cheesecake.
  • Because this is not your regular cheesecake, I don't recommend using a store bought crust. This recipe requires use of a 9-inch springform pan due to the size of the cheesecake and the graham cracker crumbs filling. I used Calphalon's springform pan as it allows for a clean release and the buckle is tight so you don't have to worry about any spillage!
  • The nonstick coating is impeccable, however just to be sure - spray your springform pan with oil - any nonstick cooking oil will do - like Pam.
  • When your cheesecake is finished setting in the fridge, use a butter knife to separate the crust from the springform pan prior to removing the side of the pan. Simply press a butter knife between the pan and the crust.

Substitutions

  • If you don't have any cool whip, you can use heavy whipping cream instead. Whip about 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form and fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  • For dairy free/vegan option, use the vegan alternatives in the same quantities listed in the recipe card - i.e. vegan cream cheese, vegan sour cream, vegan butter, vegan cool whip.
  • Gluten-Free: the cheesecake filling is naturally gluten free, however, use gluten free graham crackers for the crust and graham cracker crumb filling.

Variations

Try these different options to zhush up this no bake vanilla cheesecake.

  • Add chocolate chips into the Philadelphia cheesecake filling for a little chocolate flavor in your cheesecake. You can also sprinkle them on top for a crunchy topping.
  • Use your favorite toppings! Garnish the cheesecake with fresh fruit - especially fresh berries, apple pie filling, blueberry pie filling, or my favorite, cherry pie filling for the ultimate dessert. It's the perfect way to add a fruity spin!

How to make Philadelphia No Bake Cheesecake

philadelphia no bake cheesecake on a cake stand.
  • Start by making the graham cracker crust. Add 18 graham crackers and sugar to a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. With the processor still going, pour in 10 tablespoons of melted butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Place graham cracker crumbs in a 9-inch springform pan and press against the sides and bottom of the pan with a glass, ensuring that the crust coats the entire pan. Place in the refrigerator on a flat surface to set.
graham cracker crust in a springform pan.
  • Blend the remaining graham crackers in the food processor with sugar and pour in the melted butter and pulse until butter is fully blended. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and powdered sugar. Use an electric hand mixer and mix together until smooth and fluffy, at least 3-5 minutes. Then add vanilla extract and cool whip. Continue to mix until everything is fully incorporated.
cheesecake filling in a mixing bowl.
  • Remove the crust from the refrigerator and add half of the cheesecake filling into the prepared crust. Then sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs in the pan, covering the filling completely. Add the remaining cheesecake filling, ensuring the whole cake is covered and no graham cracker crumbs are showing.
  • Place the whole cheesecake into the refrigerator to set for 3-4 hours, optimally overnight.
no bake cheesecake in a pan.

Storing

Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or resealable tub. Store in the refrigerator for 5 days. You can also store this cheesecake in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat it again, let it thaw in the refrigerator.

Recipe FAQs

Can you bake Philadelphia no bake cheesecake filling?

Absolutely not! It will melt into a watery creamy mess. I do not recommend this at all.

Can you freeze Philadelphia no bake cheesecake filling?

Yes, it freezes exceptionally well! Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge when you're ready to eat it again.

Is Philadelphia no bake cheesecake filling gluten free?

The filling is gluten free, however, the crust is not. Be sure to use gluten free graham crackers if you're looking to make a gluten free version.

More Cheesecake Recipes

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

a slice of philadelphia no bake cheesecake on a plate.

Philadelphia No Bake Cheesecake

This Philadelphia No Bake Cheesecake recipe is delightfully fluffy and light inside of a homemade graham cracker crust.
Serving: 10
Prep Time: 30 mins
Setting Time 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Calories: 651kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 18 Graham Cracker Sheets
  • 3 tbsps Sugar
  • 10 tbsps Salted Butter (melted)

Graham Cracker Crumble Filling

  • 9 Graham Cracker Sheets
  • 4 tbsps Sugar
  • 6 tbsps Salted Butter (melted)

Cheesecake Filling

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 8 oz Cool Whip

Directions

  • Start by making the graham cracker crust. Add 18 graham crackers and sugar to a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. With the processor still going, pour in 10 tablespoons of melted butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Spray the pan with oil - any nonstick spray will do. Place graham cracker crumbs in a 9-inch springform pan and press against the sides and bottom of the pan with a glass or mug, ensuring that the crust coats the entire pan. Place in the refrigerator on a flat surface to set.
  • Blend the remaining graham crackers in the food processor with sugar and pour in the melted butter and pulse until butter is fully blended. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and powdered sugar. Use an electric hand mixer and mix together until smooth and fluffy, at least 3-5 minutes. Then add vanilla extract and cool whip. Continue to mix until everything is fully incorporated and fluffy.
  • Remove the crust from the refrigerator and add half of the cheesecake filling into the prepared crust. Then sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs on top, covering the filling completely. Add the remaining cheesecake filling, ensuring the whole cake is covered and no graham cracker crumbs are showing.
  • Place the whole cheesecake into the refrigerator to set for 3-4 hours, optimally overnight.
  • When your cheesecake is finished setting in the fridge, use a butter knife to separate the crust from the springform pan prior to removing the side of the pan. Simply stick a butter knife between the pan and the crust.
  • Garnish with fresh fruit.

Notes

Tips
  • Use room temperature ingredients - this means your sour cream, Philadelphia cream cheese, and cool whip all need to be at room temperature. A quick way to achieve this is to simply let these ingredients sit on the counter for 30 minutes prior to mixing together to make the cheesecake.
  • Because this is not your regular cheesecake, I don't recommend using a store bought crust. This recipe requires use of a 9-inch springform pan due to the size of the cheesecake and the graham cracker crumbs filling. I used Calphalon's springform pan as it allows for a clean release and the buckle is tight so you don't have to worry about any spillage!
  • The nonstick coating is impeccable, however just to be sure - spray your springform pan with oil - any nonstick cooking oil will do - like Pam.
  • When your cheesecake is finished setting in the fridge, use a butter knife to separate the crust from the springform pan prior to removing the side of the pan. Simply press a butter knife between the pan and the crust.
  •  
Substitutions
  • If you don't have any cool whip, you can use heavy whipping cream instead. Whip about 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form and fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  • For dairy free/vegan option, use the vegan alternatives in the same quantities listed in the recipe card - i.e. vegan cream cheese, vegan sour cream, vegan butter, vegan cool whip.
  • Gluten-Free: the cheesecake filling is naturally gluten free, however, use gluten free graham crackers for the crust and graham cracker crumb filling.
Variations
Try these different options to zhush up this no bake vanilla cheesecake.
  • Add chocolate chips into the Philadelphia cheesecake filling for a little chocolate flavor in your cheesecake. You can also sprinkle them on top for a crunchy topping.
  • Use your favorite toppings! Garnish the cheesecake with fresh fruit - especially fresh berries, blueberry pie filling, or my favorite, cherry pie filling for the ultimate dessert. It's the perfect way to add a fruity spin!

Nutrition

Calories: 651kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 542mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 1352IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course: Christmas, Dessert, Holidays, Thanksgiving
Cuisine: American

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