These No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes are the perfect no-sweat, no-effort Easter dessert. They’re cute and easy pastel striped cheesecakes, with no baking required!

Easter no-bake cheesecake topped with frosting, sprinkles, and candy eggs.
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Easy Easter Cheesecakes

When it comes to popular Easter desserts, you probably usually think of things like carrot cake, fresh fruit tarts, and fun candies like peanut butter eggs and truffles.

Cheesecake probably isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind…until now. Once you make these adorable, easy Easter No-Bake Cheesecakes, you’ll want to make them an Easter tradition for your family year after year.

Since this recipe was first published in 2017, it has been liked, shared, and pinned hundreds of thousands of times, and gotten more rave reviews than any other Easter recipe on SugarHero. Readers love how beautiful and easy the cheesecakes are, and I’ve heard from many people that they have become a yearly spring staple at their family celebrations!

If you want more gorgeous spring desserts, don’t miss our Pastel Rainbow Gelatin Cups, Hydrangea CakesEasy Chocolate Flower Cupcakes, or Cherry Blossom Petit Fours!

Easter No-Bake Mini Cheesecake with a spoonful set to the side.

Why You’ll Love These Easter Cheesecakes

There are so many reasons you’ll fall in love with these beautiful pastel-striped cheesecakes! Here are just a few of their charms:

  • They’re easy – no baking required! (more on this below)
  • They can be made in advance and kept in the freezer for over a week
  • They’re a crowd pleaser – who doesn’t love cheesecake?
  • They’re mini sized, so no need to mess around with slicing a whole cheesecake
  • The pastel colors makes them perfect for Easter
  • The light and fresh texture goes well with berries, whipped cream, etc
Easter no-bake mini cheesecakes topped with frosting, sprinkles, and candy eggs on colorful doilies.

What’s a No-Bake Cheesecake?

Another reason to love this recipe? They are not your traditional cheesecakes! These no-bake babies have a soft and fluffy texture, closer to a cream cheese mousse than to the ultra-dense New York Style Cheesecake.

A traditional cheesecake can feel indulgent, yes, but also very heavy. These are a gateway cheesecake, perfect for convincing cheesecake skeptics and for delighting long-time cheesecake lovers alike.

No-bake cheesecakes contain a lot of cream cheese, which gives them that signature tangy cheesecake flavor. But instead of adding eggs and baking the cheesecake, this recipe uses gelatin to provide stability and body, and whips heavy cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten the texture. If cheesecakes typically feel too dense or heavy for you, a no-bake cheesecake might be the perfect recipe for you!

Easter no-bake mini cheesecake with a spoonful on a metal spoon in front of the cheesecake.

🧾 What You’ll Need

Ingredients

Here’s a summary of what you’ll need to make these mini cheesecakes. You can find more detailed information in the recipe card down below. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Shortbread cookies: the crust is made from buttery shortbread cookies. You can also use graham crackers or another type of cookie, but you may need to adjust the amount of melted butter in the crust to account for different crumb textures.
  • Unflavored gelatin: Gelatin gives the cheesecakes stability and helps them keep their shape at room temperature. If you don’t want to use gelatin, you can assemble and serve the cheesecakes in glasses or parfait cups. See the FAQ below for more information and alternatives.
  • Cream cheese: Use full-fat bricks of cream cheese–do not use “lite” or fat-free cream cheese, and don’t use the whipped variety in tubs. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before beginning.
  • Granulated sugar: The granulated sugar adds just enough sweetness to balance out the tangy cream cheese. And no worries about grittiness–it dissolves perfectly so there’s no grainy texture.
  • Heavy cream: You can use either heavy cream or whipping cream in this recipe. The recipe also lists “whipped cream,” which is optional and used for decorating.
  • Vanilla bean paste: I love vanilla bean paste for its bold vanilla flavor, but you can substitute vanilla extract, or another flavored extract like lemon, orange, almond, or coconut.
Easter no-bake mini cheesecake topped with frosting, sprinkles, and a candy egg. There is a a spoonful missing and set beside the cheesecake.

Equipment

  • Silicone muffin pan: The #1 piece of equipment you’ll want is this silicone jumbo muffin pan. A silicone pan is a must for easily unmolding the cheesecakes, and this pan makes perfect individually sized desserts. It also has straight sides, which look really nice, and the soft silicone is easy to work with.
  • Tart tamper: If you often make cheesecakes, tarts, or graham crusts, you’ll also want to pick up a tart tamper. They’re cheap and will give you perfectly even crusts, every time!

📋 How to Make Easter No-Bake Cheesecakes

The keyword with this recipe is SIMPLE. It’s made with just 1 batch of cheesecake tinted 4 different colors, layered on top of each other, one after the other, no chilling required in between. Score! Here’s a quick summary of how everything comes together:

Process collage showing topping mini cheesecakes with frosting and sprinkles.

Procedure

  1. Make a quick crust from crushed shortbread cookies and melted butter, and  press it into the silicone muffin pan
  2. Combine unflavored gelatin and cold water, and mix them together. Let it sit for a few minutes so the gelatin absorbs the water.
  3. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, flavorings, and cream until nice and smoooooth. 
  4. Warm up the gelatin until it is liquid, then mix it into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Divide the cream cheese into 4 parts, and color each one a different color.
  6. Layer the colors on top of each other on the crust.
  7. Freeze the cheesecakes until very firm.
  8. Pop them out of the pan, and decorate! The final touch is a swirl of whipped cream, a pinch of Easter sprinkles, and a candy egg or two (or three). 
Process collage showing how to decorate Easter no-bake cheesecakes with candy eggs.

💡 FAQs and Troubleshooting

Here are the most common questions we get about this recipe. If you have questions or are having trouble with the cheesecakes, take a look and see if this answers your question. If not, you’re welcome to leave a comment below so we can help troubleshoot!

Is the gelatin necessary? Can I leave it out?

Yes and no. The gelatin helps stabilize the cheesecakes so they hold their shape at room temperature. If you want them to look like the picture, unmolded and holding their layers on a plate, then yes, you should use the gelatin. If you want to make the cheesecakes in small jars or glasses, so you don’t have to unmold them, then you can omit the gelatin (and water) and you should be good to go!

Can I substitute agar-agar for the gelatin?

I have not tried this recipe with agar-agar and can’t promise that it will work the same. If you have successfully made it with a gelatin substitute, I would love it if you would leave a comment so other readers will know.

Can I make these without the silicone pan?

Of course! I love this pan because it produces really beautiful smooth, straight sides on the cheesecakes, but it’s by no means a necessity in making this recipe. You could use:
• a different silicone pan
• a traditional mini cheesecake pan
• a traditional jumbo muffin pan
• a traditional regular muffin pan
If you do not use a silicone pan, you will want to line the sides with something to make sure you can easily remove the cheesecakes later, because the cheesecakes will stick to the sides of the pan. This can be strips of acetate sheets, parchment or waxed paper strips, or even cupcake liners. Your choices might produce a textured result on the sides of your cheesecakes, but the taste will still be the same!

Can I use this recipe to make a larger no-bake cheesecake?

Absolutely! An 8″ or 9″ springform pan works great. Make the recipe as directed (no need to double the ingredients), and layer everything into the larger pan instead of dividing them between small cups.

To set a larger no-bake cheesecake, simply chill it in the fridge for 4+ hours (overnight for best results) and enjoy! It’s not necessary to freeze it the way you would with the smaller cups.

The cheesecake is too thick (or thin) to layer

Texture problems are often temperature problems. To make sure the cheesecake batter isn’t too thin when layering, make sure that the gelatin is warm and fluid, but not hot, when mixing it into the cheesecake. The cheesecake mixture should be smooth but still have body when you mix it together. If it does seem really liquidy, wait a few moments for it to thicken before you start layering. You can also refrigerate it briefly between layers if you think you’re going to have problems with the colors mixing during layering.

To prevent the cheesecake from being too thick to layer nicely, just make sure that the gelatin is nicely warmed before you add it to the cheesecake, and that the cheesecake mixture is at room temperature so it won’t start to set too quickly. 

Can I use flavored gelatin instead of unflavored?

Do not replace unflavored gelatin with flavored gelatin. The flavored variety contains less gelatin than a packet of unflavored and will effect the stability of the dessert. Furthermore, flavored gelatin has a lot of sugar in it which will change the texture of the no-bake cheesecakes.

Make-Ahead Information

If you’d like, you can make the mini cheesecakes in advance and freeze them until your ready to use them. After the 2-hour setting period in the freezer, you can either:

1. Keep the cheesecakes in their mold, wrap the outside of the mold really well with plastic wrap, and then place them back into the freezer to fully harden.
2. Or, unmold the cheesecakes after the 2-hour setting time, wrap them well with plastic wrap, and place them in the freezer again.

I’d recommend removing them from the freezer the night before you need them, and thawing them overnight in the refrigerator to be sure they are completely thawed by the next day. Finish decorating the tops just before serving.

Easter no-bake mini cheesecake topped with frosting, sprinkles and a candy egg.

These Easter No-Bake Cheesecakes are such a beautiful spring dessert, and are sure to be the hit of your Easter table. If you like these, you’ll also love some of our other Easter desserts, like these adorable Spring Chick and Easter Basket cupcakes, delicious Peanut Butter Easter Eggs, and fun Bunny Cake.

Two photo collage of Frosted Easter Brownies with text overlay for Pinterest.

Frosted Easter Brownies

These Frosted Easter Candy Brownies are ultra-fudgy brownies, packed with malted Easter egg candies and topped with chocolate frosting and LOTS of fun sprinkles and candies! They're perfect for Easter, showers, and birthday parties.
View Recipe
Slice of New York Style Cheesecake on a white plate with strawberry sauce on top.

New York Style Cheesecake

This rich and creamy New York Style Cheesecake recipe is what classic cheesecake should be! With a buttery graham cracker crust and a lightly sweetened cream cheese filling, it’s perfect on its own, or topped with your favorite dessert sauce.
View Recipe

Leave a Review!

If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below, and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!

Easter no-bake mini cheesecake topped with frosting, sprinkles, and a candy egg. There is a a spoonful missing and set beside the cheesecake.

Easter No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes

4.64 from 55 votes
Looking for an easy Easter dessert? These Easter No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes are perfect! They’re cute pastel striped cheesecakes that are simple to make, no baking required!
Prep1 hour
Chilling Time2 hours
Total3 hours
Yields6 cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • 6 oz shortbread cookies, approx. 12 round cookies
  • .5 oz unsalted butter, (1 TBSP), melted
  • 1 packet unflavored powdered gelatin, 1/4 oz, or 2.5 tsp, see Note below
  • 2 TBSP cold water
  • 1 lb cream cheese, full-fat, at room temperature
  • 3.5 oz granulated sugar, ½ cup
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, can substitute vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • Assorted gel food coloring, 4 colors recommended, I use Americolor brand
  • ½ cup whipped cream, to decorate
  • Candy eggs, to decorate
  • Sprinkles, to decorate
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Instructions 

  • Place a jumbo silicone muffin pan on a baking sheet. Blitz the shortbread cookies in a food processor until they’re fine crumbs, or crush them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin until they’re finely crumbled. Mix them in a bowl with the melted butter.
  • Divide the shortbread crumbs between the 6 cavities in the muffin pan, and press them firmly into the bottom of the pan to form your cheesecake crust.
  • Place the cold water in a small bowl, and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Whisk them together, then let the bowl sit for 5 minutes so the gelatin can hydrate and absorb the water. Once it feels very firm, microwave it for 10-15 seconds, until fully melted and liquid.
  • Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat it until it is smooth, creamy, and free of lumps. (A hand mixer can also be used.) Add the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean paste, and salt, and mix well, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally.
  • With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the heavy cream, mixing until everything is smooth and well-combined. Finally, add the liquid gelatin and mix it in. Finish mixing by hand, scraping the sides and bottom well.
  • Divide the cheesecake into 4 portions (each should be about 7 oz, if you want to measure them out.) Stir a drop of gel food coloring into each one and mixing until the color is smooth and uniform.
  • Take your first color and divide it between the 6 cavities—I found it was fastest and easiest to use a cookie scoop, but you could use a regular spoon, or even pipe the cheesecake in if you want to be really precise. Spread it into a smooth layer with the back of a spoon, then add a second color on top of the first.
  • Continue to layer the cheesecake colors until all 4 of them have been added to the pan. It's important to work fairly quickly during this step, so the cheesecake colors don't start to set too much and become difficult to spread.
  • Smooth the tops of the cheesecakes, then place them in the freezer for at least 2 hours to firm up. (The exact time will depend on the temperature of your freezer.) They should feel very solid to the touch before you try to unmold them.
  • To unmold, press from the bottom of one of the cavities and turn it upside-down, pushing the cheesecake out into your hand. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to defrost before serving. They can also be refrigerated for several days after being unmolded, if you want to make them in advance.
  • To decorate, top each cheesecake with a swirl of whipped cream, a pinch of sprinkles, and a few candy eggs.
  • Store the cheesecakes, well-wrapped, for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Serve chilled but not frozen.

Video

Recipe Notes

This recipe has been updated from when it was originally published. You can find the original version of the recipe here
Do not replace unflavored gelatin with flavored gelatin. The flavored variety contains less gelatin than a packet of unflavored and will effect the stability of the dessert. Furthermore, flavored gelatin has a lot of sugar in it which will change the texture of the no-bake cheesecakes. 

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?

Nutrition

Calories: 579kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 416mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 1425IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.
Pinterest collage of Easter Mini Cheesecake with text overlay that reads "Easter No-Bake Cheesecakes".

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Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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304 Comments

  1. If you want to use vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean paste, how much would you recommend? I’ve never seen vanilla bean paste in my grocery store so I’m not sure if I have access to this ingredient!

    1. I would probably use 1.5 tsp–the paste has a stronger flavor so I’d add a bit more extract to compensate. I think it would also be good with a fruity/citrus extract!

  2. How well does this sit out? Like, could I leave these out on the dessert table for a while, or would I have to keep them chilled until just before serving?

    1. I personally wouldn’t leave them out for more than an hour or so. While photographing them they were out for several hours at room temperature and while they kept their shape, I found that they texture was softer than I prefer–it was even mousse-ier and less like a cheesecake. So it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it also wouldn’t be optimal, IMO.

  3. Is the creamer absolutely necessary? I dont live in the US so we dont have that (not even sure what it is), can it be replaced or removed from the recipe?

    1. Hi Pam! You can substitute an equal amount of milk and it should work just fine. 🙂 The creamer does add additional sweetness, so if you’re worried about it not being sweet enough, you can consider omitting the lemon juice or adding a bit of extra sugar. But in general you shouldn’t need to make any other adjustments!

    1. Yes, that should be fine. Mine were frozen for 2 hours and needed about 20-30 minutes to defrost at room temperature, with an overnight freeze you might want to allow more time for defrosting.

  4. I just love pretty individual desserts! They look so nice on the table and everyone feels extra special getting their very own cake. I think I’m definitely going to have to try this one. Thanks for the idea!

  5. How far in advance can these be made before serving? Will they hold up 24 hours (refrigerated of course)?

    1. Hi Debbie, they should be fine refrigerated for 24 hours! I’d cover them with plastic wrap so they tops don’t dry out, and if you’re hoping to keep them for longer than that, I would recommend baking the crusts first, before you add the cheesecake on top. Baking them for 12-15 minutes at 350 will crisp them up nicely and give them more staying power for longer-term storage.

    1. Yes, definitely Darlene! After they’re unmolded, keep them in the refrigerator and cover them with plastic wrap so they tops don’t dry out. If you’re hoping to make them more than a day ahead of time, I would recommend baking the crusts first, before you add the cheesecake on top. Baking them for 12-15 minutes at 350 will crisp them up nicely and give them more staying power for longer-term storage.