Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait
This No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait recipe has layers of buttery graham cracker crumbs, fresh macerated strawberries, and a creamy cheesecake filling. It’s a great travel-friendly, make-ahead dessert for sharing with friends, especially in the summer or during strawberry season!
While many desserts require baking in the oven, this is strawberry parfait recipe requires no heat at all, making it a perfect recipe to make on a hot summer day.
It’s also a great summer dessert to make for someone you care about, or for taking to a potluck or on a picnic.
When I’m making a meal for a new mom or someone who could use a meal in times of need, I’ll bring over a big dish to cover dinner, like lasagna or tex-mex chicken casserole, but I also like to bring along a dessert too. It can be nice to have a sweet treat when times are busy.
This no bake parfait is not to be confused with a plain yogurt parfait. This instead has layers of buttery graham cracker crumbs, cheesecake filling, and freshly macerated strawberries, and it can be assembled in whatever container you like.
You can use short drinking glasses, stemless large wine glasses, or dedicated parfait glasses or cups.
Regardless of the container, these parfaits keep very well in the fridge and stay pretty as they travel from one house to another.
Step by Step Overview:
To get started, wash a pound of fresh strawberries and remove the stems.
Cut the fresh berries into small chunks, then place them in a medium bowl with sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Granulated white cane sugar is preferred, though brown sugar will work in a pinch.
Let the strawberries sit for 15 minutes, until they have softened and the fresh fruit has released a sweet red liquid.
Next we’ll make the buttery graham cracker crumbs layer, which only needs two ingredients: butter and graham crackers.
It’s basically the same method as a classic Graham Cracker Crust, but instead of compacting the graham cracker crumbs into a pan, we layer it into the glasses.
Place a sleeve of graham crackers in a food processor, and grind them up until you get fine crumbs.
Place the crumbs in a small bowl and add melted butter:
Stir together with a spatula until the graham cracker crumbs are moistened and buttery.
To make the last component, the cheesecake filling, combine two blocks of softened cream cheese, one can of sweetened condensed milk, and a teaspoon of vanilla paste in a large bowl.
In place of the vanilla paste, you can swap an equal amount of vanilla extract, but I love having the little specks from the vanilla bean in there too.
Whip with a hand mixer for about a minute, until combined and smooth.
Layer the three components into glasses or your desired container, starting with a layer of the cheesecake filling, then the buttery graham cracker crumbs, and finally the strawberries. Repeat these layers once more.
Chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving, and enjoy!
One of the best things about this delicious strawberry parfait is that there are many different ways you can make it. I recommend making it as written below at least once, but here are some other ways to play around with it while still keeping it as an easy dessert.
Yogurt – Make this more of a strawberry yogurt parfait by adding 1 cup of the creamy yogurt of your choice (greek yogurt or another full fat yogurt is best). This will make it more tangy and cut down on the sweetness, if you like a more light dessert.
Cookie crumbles – Instead of the graham cracker crumbs, feel free to use ground up cookies like Oreos, vanilla wafers, or even gingersnap cookies.
Berries – Feel free to use raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries instead for layering. If using these berries, I do not recommend the macerating process.
Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
- 1 lb fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 sleeve graham crackers or 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- two 8-ounce blocks cream cheese softened
- 14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- Remove and discard the stems from the strawberries, then cut the strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl with the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine, then let this sit for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, place the graham crackers into a food processor, and pulse until ground into fine crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can crush the graham crackers with a rolling pin instead.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl, and stir until the crumbs are moistened. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whip together the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla paste with a hand mixer, for about a minute on medium high speed, until the mixture is smooth and combined.
- To assemble the cheesecake parfaits, place a few spoonfuls of the cheesecake mixture into the bottom of a glass. Next add a layer of the buttery graham cracker crumbs. Top that with a layer of the macerated strawberries (leave the excess liquid behind and discard), then repeat with one more of each layer. Chill the parfaits for about an hour in the refrigerator before serving, and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
21 Comments on “Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait”
I made these for my daughters baby shower. They were a HUGE hit with everyone. They were so easy to make and didn’t have to heat the oven. They taste as good as a bakery would make. I will make them again soon.