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Cherry Yum Yum with Sweetened Condensed Milk

Cherry yum yum with sweetened condensed milk is a summertime favorite and delicious make-ahead holiday dessert. The recipe consists of a creamy no-bake cheesecake-like layer over a graham cracker crust and topped with cherry pie filling. It’s fruity and refreshing – you won’t resist a second slice!

old fashioned cherry yum yum

What is cherry yum yum?

Cherry yum yum is an easy layered dessert made up of a crunchy graham cracker crust, a no-bake cheesecake filling, a cherry layer, and sometimes topped with a whipped topping. You may also know this treat by its other names: cherry lush, cherry delight, or cherry bliss.

The dessert is something of a hybrid between pie and cheesecake, except a bit fluffier and usually made in a rectangular baking dish. It’s a great make-ahead dessert and will feed a crowd.

If you have never had cherry yum yum before, this creamy, fruity dessert is so yummy it literally has the word “yum” in its name. It’s light, creamy, fruity, and delicious!

You might even recognize some of the components of this cherry yum yum with sweetened condensed milk from my no-bake cheesecake recipe. This cheesecake has a graham cracker crust and condensed milk cream cheese filling, too.

I love cherry season and all the delicious things you can make with it. Some of our other cherry recipes are this old-fashioned cherry pie, cherry cheesecake, cherry crumble, and cherry strudel.

cherry yum yum ingredients

Ingredients

This old-fashioned cherry yum yum recipe looks impressive but takes only 7 ingredients! Once you have cherry pie filling in hand, then I’m sure you’ll find everything else needed for this in your kitchen too. Check out the recipe card at the end for exact quantities.

Crust

  • Graham cracker: Graham cracker crumbs make up the base of this recipe for cherry yum yum.
  • Butter: Melted butter holds the crackers together. You can use salted or unsalted butter.

Cream cheese filling

  • Cream cheese: This recipe requires 2 bricks of full-fat cream cheese. Be sure to bring the cream cheese to room temperature, so it mixes well and creates a perfectly smooth texture.
  • Sweetened condensed milk adds richness and sweetness to the filling.
  • Lemon juice gives the filling a subtle lemon flavor and helps thicken the condensed milk. Freshly squeezed is the way to go here!
  • Vanilla extract adds warmth + flavor depth and contrasts with the brightness of the lemon.

Cherry topping

The last layer is our fruit cherry topping! While I love this easy cherry dessert recipe with homemade cherry pie filling, I have nothing against taking a few shortcuts when it comes to simple desserts. The choice is yours!

I’ve tested this recipe also with Duncan Hines Comstock More Fruit Cherry Pie Filling. I found that some other brands have a lot more liquid than actual cherries, so please keep that in mind when purchasing ingredients.

cherry yum yum recipe

How to make cherry yum yum with sweetened condensed milk

Even if you’re new to cherry yum yum, it’s a super easy recipe, and your family and friends will love it. You simply can’t go wrong with a crunchy crust, creamy cheesecake filling, and sweet cherries!

Step 1: Preheat oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.

step 2 make graham cracker crust

Step 2: Make the crust

Process the graham cracker crumb and melted butter in a blender or food processor until they are combined and resemble fine crumbs. Press the crumb mixture into 9 in x 13 in / 23 cm x 33 cm baking dish.

Step 3: Bake crust

Bake the crust for 10 minutes for a firmer, crunchier texture. Cool completely before filling. Baking the crust is optional. You can skip this step and freeze the crust instead to help it set up.

step 4 combine condensed milk and lemon juice

Step 4: Combine condensed milk and lemon juice

Pour the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until fully combined. The mixture will thicken and look glossy.

step 5 mix cream cheese filling

Step 5: Mix cream cheese filling

Add the softened cream cheese and vanilla extract to the condensed milk mixture. Mix until combined.

step 6 assemble cherry yum yum

Step 6: Assemble dessert

Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the cooled crust, making sure to go all the way to the edges of the dish. Then spoon the cherry pie filling over the cheesecake and spread it into an even layer. Be careful not to disturb the layer underneath.

Step 7: Refrigerate

Cover the dish with plastic wrap (cling film) and chill in the refrigerator for 6+ hours, preferably overnight, to set up. Then serve or refrigerate until it’s time for serving.

Tips for success

These are a few extra tips to perfect this cherry yum yum with sweetened condensed milk. You’re going to love how your cherry dessert turns out!

  • Cool the crust completely: If the graham cracker crust is hot when you add the cheesecake layer, it will become melty and runny.
  • Use fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice tastes so much better than the bottled variety.
  • Mix the condensed milk and lemon juice well. At first, it’ll look like the condensed milk is splitting, and that’s perfectly fine. Simply continue whisking until the mixture thickens and looks glossy.
  • Chill for a minimum of 6 hours: Be sure to chill this cherry dessert in the fridge for at least 6 hours, so it sets up properly. Overnight is even better!

Variations

If you’d like, you can customize your cherry yum yum with sweetened condensed milk. With all these options, you’ll be making this quick cherry yum yum recipe again and again!

  • Swap the cookies: Instead of graham crackers, prepare the crust with Biscoff cookies, nilla wafers, pecan sandies, Oreos, digestive biscuits, or other cookies.
  • Add nuts: For extra crunch, add 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts to the crust.
  • Pre-made pie shell: To save time, pour the cream cheese filling into a store-bought graham cracker pie shell.
  • Fruit filling: And when it comes to the topping, you don’t have to limit yourself to just cherries. Any pie filling will work here, such as blueberry, peach, strawberry, blackberry, or apple.
  • Pudding:  Another idea is to top the cream cheese layer with pudding. Try instant pudding mix such as lemon, chocolate, coconut, butterscotch, banana, or pistachio.
  • Whipped topping: I stopped at the cherry layer, but you can finish your condensed milk cherry yum yum with a whipped topping. Either garnish it with Cool Whip or real whipped cream.

Storage instructions

How to store cherry yum yum with condensed milk

Store leftover cherry yum yum covered with plastic wrap (cling film) or foil in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Can you freeze condensed milk cherry yum yum?

While yum yum pie is best enjoyed fresh within a few days, you can try to freeze it. Just remember that freezing will affect the texture of the cream cheese and cherry topping layer.

Make cherry yum yum with sweetened condensed milk ahead of time

The cherry dessert lasts 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator, so it’s a fantastic dessert to make ahead of time.

old fashioned cherry yum yum recipe

Cherry Yum Yum Recipe

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes

Cherry yum yum with sweetened condensed milk is a summertime favorite and delicious make-ahead holiday dessert. The recipe consists of a creamy no-bake cheesecake-like layer over a graham cracker crust and topped with cherry pie filling. It’s fruity and refreshing – you won’t resist a second slice!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cup / 180 g / 6.3 oz graham crackers (10 to 12 crackers crushed)
  • 6 tbsp / 85 g / 3 oz butter, melted

Filling

  • 16 oz / 450 g full-fat cream cheese, softened (2 x 8-oz packs, see Notes below)
  • 1 can (14 oz / 400 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml / 2 fl oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping

  • 21-oz can (600 g) cherry pie filling (or another pie filling)

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
    2. Make the crust. Process the graham cracker crumb and melted butter in a blender or food processor until they are combined and resemble fine crumbs. Press the crumb mixture into 9 in x 13 in / 23 cm x 33 cm baking dish.
    3. Bake crust. Bake the crust for 10 minutes for a firmer, crunchier texture. Cool completely before filling. Baking the crust is optional. You can skip this step and freeze the crust instead to help it set up.
    4. Combine condensed milk and lemon juice. Pour the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until fully combined. The mixture will thicken and look glossy.
    5. Mix cream cheese filling. Add the softened cream cheese and vanilla extract to the condensed milk mixture. Mix until combined.
    6. Assemble dessert. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the cooled crust, making sure to go all the way to the edges of the dish. Then spoon the cherry pie filling over the cheesecake and spread it into an even layer. Be careful not to disturb the layer underneath.
    7. Refrigerate. Cover the dish with plastic wrap (cling film) and chill in the refrigerator for 6+ hours, preferably overnight, to set up. Then serve or refrigerate until it’s time for serving.
    8. Serve. Cut into bars and serve chilled.
    9. Store. Store leftovers covered with plastic wrap (cling film) or foil in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Notes

Graham crackers

Feel free to replace graham crackers with vanilla wafers or digestive biscuits.

Baking vs. freezing the crust

You can either bake or freeze the crust to help set it up before filling. To make this a truly no-bake dessert and save you the trouble of heating up the oven, freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Baking the crust creates a crispier texture and slightly toasted flavor, but it’s scrumptious either way.

Cream Cheese

You need dense block-style cream cheese, NOT the spreadable or whipped cream cheese sold in tubs. Spreadable cream cheese is too soft and will not firm up properly because it contains more liquid.

Cream cheese blocks are hard to find outside North America. If you live outside of the US or Canada, you can still make the recipe work by following these tips.

  • Buy 600 g full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese.  
  • Place the cream cheese into the center of a clean cheesecloth or kitchen towel, and squeeze out the liquid until you have 450 g of cream cheese left.        
  • You’ll notice that the texture is much firmer now, and you can go ahead with the recipe.

Cherry Pie Filling

While I love this recipe with homemade cherry pie filling, I have also tested it with
Duncan Hines Comstock More Fruit Cherry Pie Filling. I found that some other brands have a lot more liquid than actual cherries, so please keep that in mind when purchasing ingredients.

Whipped Topping

I stopped at the cherry layer, but you can finish your condensed milk cherry yum yum with a whipped topping. Either garnish it with Cool Whip or real whipped cream.

To make a topping with whipped cream, beat 1 1/2 cups / 350 ml / 12 fl oz heavy cream with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Dollop over the cherry layer. Hold off on the whipped cream until shortly before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 337mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 5g

♥ Reasons to love cherry yum yum with sweetened condensed milk

  • Perfect blend of textures: You get everything in this cherry dessert recipe, crunchiness from the graham cracker crust, luscious creaminess from the cheesecake layer, and juicy fruitiness from the cherry topping. It’s unbelievably good!
  • Quick + easy: Although it requires a couple of hours in the fridge to set up, cherry yum yum pie is quick and easy to whip up with a handful of simple ingredients.
  • Great to make ahead: I think easy cherry yum yum is even better the next day, which is why it’s a great dessert to make ahead for cookouts and social functions.

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