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!
Easy Easter Cheesecakes
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!
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
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!
🧾 What You’ll Need
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.
- 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:
- Make a quick crust from crushed shortbread cookies and melted butter, and press it into the silicone muffin pan
- Combine unflavored gelatin and cold water, and mix them together. Let it sit for a few minutes so the gelatin absorbs the water.
- Mix the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, flavorings, and cream until nice and smoooooth.
- Warm up the gelatin until it is liquid, then mix it into the cream cheese mixture.
- Divide the cream cheese into 4 parts, and color each one a different color.
- Layer the colors on top of each other on the crust.
- Freeze the cheesecakes until very firm.
- 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).
💡 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!
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.
Frosted Easter Brownies
New York Style Cheesecake
Easter No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes
- 6 oz shortbread cookies approx. 12 round cookies
- ½ oz unsalted butter 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
- Gel food coloring 4 colors recommended, I use Americolor brand
- ½ cup whipped cream to decorate
- Candy eggs to decorate
- Sprinkles to decorate
- 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.
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?