It's summer. It's hot, like what I imagine hell to be hot. Do you really wanna be turning on your oven? Probably not. I know I do not. I would prefer to be sitting poolside with a frosty cocktail (this one to be exact), eating no bake cheesecake bars. Specifically these no bake lemon cheesecake bars with raspberry puree swirl.
How do you make no bake cheesecake bars?
These are pretty easy, in my opinion, even though there seems to be a lot of steps (they are more explanatory than anything). And after trying several different no bake cheesecake recipes, I came up with my own rendition, no bake lemon cheesecake bars that I think has the ideal texture and creaminess...without being too soft.
You will start with a simple graham crust - per usual. Simple enough right? Make it, set it, pour your filling in and chill it. Boom. Done.
The filling is the usual suspects for a no bake cheesecake bars recipe
- Cream cheese
- Lemon juice
- A little salt
- Sour cream
- Heavy cream
That's right - gelatin. The gelatin turns regular old whipped cream into stabilized whipped cream. And this is where is gets interesting. I have found that making stabilized whipped cream is what makes the difference for me and really makes this the best no bake cheesecake bars recipe around.
What is stabilized whipped cream?
Stabilized whipped cream is firm whipped cream that will hold a shape much better than regular whipped cream and when you fold in stabilized whipped cream with the cream cheese mixture, you get super creamy light no cheesecake bars that will hold their shape after cutting.
Last thing. About that raspberry puree swirl in these no bake lemon cheesecake bars...
Ahh yes that gorgeous deep red swirl. Sit down because this is so easy you might fall down when you read it.
- Raspberries. Fresh or frozen
- Sugar. Not a lot, just a little because you really want the flavor of the berries to shine through.
- Water. again, just a little.
All of this together in a saucepan, cook down until the berries are basically mush. Give them a quick blitz in a food processor or a blender and push through a sieve. That's it. A quick swirl into the cheesecake filling you have perfect treat.
Other great summer dessert options you can try:
- The best lemon bars
- No bake peanut butter bars
- Healthy(ish) low carb chocolate chip cookie bars
- Dulce de leche cheesecake bars
No bake cheesecake bars
For The Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
For The Cheesecake Filling
- two 8oz packages of FULL FAT cream cheese at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Zest of a whole lemon
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 ½ tablespoon cold water
- 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar
For the raspberry swirl
- one cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of water
For the crust
- In a small bowl, stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until combined. Press into an 8 or 9-inch square metal or glass baking plate and refrigerate for an hour or so.
- For the raspberry puree
- Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook for about 8-12 minutes until the raspberries break down thicken - basically until it looks like mush. Put the raspberry mush into your food processor or blender and puree. You can either use as is now, or run through a strainer to remove seeds - all personal choice. Cool the puree completely.
For the cheesecake
- First make the stabilized whipped cream. Sprinkle your gelatin over the water and let sit for 5 minutes until it blooms. Melt gelatin for 8 seconds in the microwave. You can tell gelatin is melted when you cannot see any granules of gelatin anymore. So if after 8 seconds you can still see granules, continue to microwave for 3 seconds at a time until it is all melted. When it is all dissolved, add one extra teaspoon of heavy cream to the gelatin and stir it in.
- In a cold mixing bowl, whip your heavy for 15 seconds on medium speed until it starts to foam up. Add in your tiny amount of powdered sugar and keep mixing on medium speed until the whipped cream is just starting to have some peaks. Now with your mixer on low, drizzle in your gelatin. Turn the mixer back up to medium speed until your peaks are firm and holding their shape. Now this is important - don't overmix! I promise you that if you do because you think you are making it stiffer, you will end up with butter. Whipped cream can turn into whipped butter in a heartbeat and once it does, you can never go back.
- In a separate bowl the rest of the filling ingredients together for about 8-10 minutes until super light and fluffy. You want to to beat a lot of air in there. Fold the stabilized whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until incorporated.
- Pour half the cheesecake filling into the prepared crust. Using a spoon, drop and drizzle half the raspberry puree, and using a knife, skewer or toothpick swirl the puree around a little - gently. Pour the remaining filling in and do the exact same thing with the remaining raspberry puree. Chill for at least three hours and cut into bars.