No-bake cheesecake is one of those crazy-easy desserts with just a handful of ingredients, but as is often true with things that are easy, small mistakes can ruin the cheesecake entirely. Here are three of the most common no-bake cheesecake mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Baking the crust.
No-bake truly means you do not have to bake the dessert. Trying to bake a crumb crust for a no-bake cheesecake will make for a soggy crust, as no-bake crusts have more fat. Trying to use a baked crust (even one with less butter) means your filling will ooze into the crust and make it soggy.
Try this instead: Most importantly, you should make sure to chill the crumb crust at least 10 minutes before filling it, but even longer is better. If you're quite familiar with crumb crusts you'll notice that no-bake versions have a higher ratio of butter to graham cracker crumbs. This makes for a sturdy crust when refrigerated.
2. Mixing the filling for longer than the recipe says.
I once tried mixing my filling in the food processor after chilling the crust — because, hey, I had it out to make the crust anyway, so I thought it would make mixing even easier. To my regret, I found a super-soft cheesecake waiting the next day as a result.
Try this: Make sure you use room-temperature cream cheese (more on that below) and use a hand mixer or mix by hand to avoid breaking the emulsion created by the cream cheese.
3. Using cold cream cheese.
Your cream cheese needs to be room temperature before mixing. Trying to whip cold cream cheese into the filling will result in little lumps.
Try this: Pull the cream cheese out of the fridge at least an hour before mixing. Unwrap the cream cheese and cut it into cubes if you're in a hurry to get the cake in the fridge.
4. Rushing the chill.
The filling needs proper chilling, a minimum of four hours but preferably overnight, to set into sliceable sections. Freezing the cheesecake results in a too-hard-to-enjoy crust and filling.
Try this: The cheesecake should be shiny and firm to the touch when set. You can move the cheesecake to the fridge for 30 minutes before slicing, but freezing any longer will make for a frozen cheesecake without the same delightfully creamy texture as the just-refrigerated version.