This no-bake cheesecake with condensed milk will become your go-to no-bake cheesecake. An easy, one-bowl recipe made with just 5 ingredients, including cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Beautifully creamy, sweet, and a bit tangy with that delicious cookie crust.
What is no-bake condensed milk cheesecake?
The recipe is exactly what it sounds like: a no-bake cheese with sweetened condensed milk. The crumb crust and filling are chilled in the fridge to firm up without baking. It’s a great make-ahead dessert when you need something quick and tasty.
Whit spring and summer inching up, it makes only sense to share one of my favorite desserts ever: no-bake condensed milk cheesecake. I’ve always adored classic cheesecake but also love condensed milk. And what do you do when you love both? Bring them together, of course!
A buttery crust made from vanilla wafers encases a velvety, soft cream cheese filling that is the right amount of sweet and tangy. This no-bake cheesecake recipe is a true delight, and I’m so happy to share it with you!
♥ Reasons to love no-bake cheesecake without heavy creamy
- Delicious taste + texture: The cream cheese filling has an ultra-creamy, luxurious texture that contrasts beautifully with buttery crumb crust – without gelatin or heavy cream.
- No-Bake + make-ahead: The recipe doesn’t require baking and is a great dessert to prepare a day or two before you need it.
- Simple to make: Creating this no-bake dessert is easier than it looks. Made in one bowl with just 5 ingredients, this is as simple as you could get when making no-bake cheesecake.
- So versatile: You can easily make the cheesecake your own by customizing the filling and crust.
Ingredients & tools
One of the main components of this no-bake condensed milk cheesecake is the base. I created a 2-ingredient crust that requires crushed cookies or crackers and melted butter. But if you’d prefer a pre-made pie crust, go for it. I’m all for what makes life easier.
- Crumbs: I used vanilla wafers to make the base. You could also prepare the crust with Graham crackers, digestive biscuits, shortbread cookies, or Oreos. If you opt for Graham crackers or digestive biscuits, add 3 tablespoons granulated sugar for sweetness.
- Butter: I used salted butter. Of course, unsalted butter + a pinch of salt does the trick, too.
It’s such a simple filling. My tip is to ensure the cream cheese is at room temp before mixing. The addition of condensed milk adds to the smooth velvety creaminess and introduces a lovely sweetness.
- Cream cheese makes up the bulk of the filling. You needcream cheese blocks, not whipped/spreadable cream cheese from tubs. Put the cream cheese on the counter to soften for 30 minutes to an hour before getting started.
- Sweetened condensed milk provides sweetness and creates an incredibly silky and smooth texture. You’ll love the subtle milk toffee note this ingredient lends to the cheesecake.
- Lemon juice is essential for the filling to set properly. It reacts with the condensed milk and thickens the cream cheese mixture. For the best results, use fresh lemon juice.
As for supplies, you’ll want to gather the following equipment:
- Large mixing bowl: You’ll only need 1 bowl to prepare the crust and filling for ultimate ease.
- Mixer: I whipped the cream cheese and condensed milk with a hand-held mixer but if you prefer to use a stand mixer, go for it.
- Rubber spatula allows you to scrape the sides of the bowl, making sure the cream cheese and condensed milk combine well.
- Spring pan (loose bottom pan): This is the ideal pan to prepare the 5-ingredient no-bake cheesecake recipe because it makes removing the cake easy.
How to make no-bake cheesecake with condensed milk
This no-bake cheesecake without heavy cream comes together surprisingly easy. Let’s take you step-by-step in how to make no-bake cheesecake with sweetened condensed milk:
1: Crush cookies
- Place the vanilla wafers (or Graham crackers/digestive biscuits) in a large, resealable plastic bag. Place the bag on a folded kitchen towel and pound with a rolling pin until crushed.
- You can do this step also in a food processor or blender.
2: Melt butter
- Place the butter into a large mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap (cling film).
- Melt in the microwave at medium power in 20-second bursts until melted. Stir after each heating.
3: Make the crust
- Add the crumbs from step 1 and mix well to combine completely.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-in / 23 cm springform pan. I like to use a measuring up to compact the crumb mixture. Put in the refrigerator to chill.
4: Mix cheesecake filling
- Wipe the bowl with a paper towel and add the cream cheese. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth.
- Gradually mix in the condensed milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
- Next, beat in the lemon juice. At this point, the mixture will start to thicken.
5: Assemble cheesecake
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
- Optionally, smooth the top with an offset spatula (palette knife).
- Cover the springform pan (tin) with plastic wrap (cling film) and chill until firm, about 5 to 6 hours or overnight.
7: Decorate (optional)
- Once the cheesecake has firmed up, garnish with your desired toppings such as a chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, swirls of whipped cream, and fresh fruit or berries.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Then unclasp the springform ring and cut it into slices. Enjoy!
Tips for success
After making this no-bake cheesecake for years, I’ve learned helpful tricks along the way. Here are my top tips for making the best condensed milk cheesecake!
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice can sometimes taste a bit off. So be sure to prepare the no-bake cheesecake with lemon juice from fresh lemons, so it tastes tangy and refreshing.
- Soften the cream cheese. You want the cream cheese at room temperatures to help your cheesecake get the silkiest texture. Cold cream cheese is almost impossible to mix smoothly and results in a lumpy consistency.
- Use full-fat cream cheese. And speaking of cream cheese, you need a high-fat content to achieve a creamy, thick texture. Avoid any low-fat cream cheese.
- Chill until firm. As tempting as cheating on the chill time is, you need to chill the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 5 to 6 hours, overnight is best. The cheesecake mixture needs time to set and get to the right consistency.
My no-bake cheesecake without gelatin is a great base recipe, ready to be customized to your liking. I can think of a few variations that would make delicious flavored Philadelphia cheesecake. Try one of the following suggestions:
- Vanilla: Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to the cream cheese condensed milk mixture. I usually use vanilla bean paste because we love the tiny specks of vanilla seeds.
- Chocolate Chip: Carefully fold 1 to 1.5 cups chocolate chips into the mixture. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on the chilled cake.
- Chocolate: Stir 1/2 cup melted, cooled semi-sweet, plain, or dark chocolate into the cheesecake mixture. To highlight the chocolate aroma, make the crust with Oreo cookies. The chocolate flavor with the creamy texture is heavenly.
- Espresso: Dissolve 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder in 2 teaspoons hot water. Add this to the cream cheese mixture and follow the rest of the recipe.
- Funfetti: Gently fold 1 cup sprinkles into the cream cheese mixture before adding it to the crust. Use golden birthday Oreos to make the crust colorful as well.
- Pumpkin Spice: Prepare the filling as outlined but replace 1/3 cup cream cheese with 1/3 cup pumpkin puree and 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
- Cinnamon Spice: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the crumb base and stir 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon into the mixture. This version tastes delicious with a crust made of Biscoff cookies.
✱ Serving suggestions
Serve this no-bake cheesecake with condensed milk with whipped cream and fresh fruit or compote. It’s also delicious with a dollop of lemon curd, caramel sauce, or a chocolate drizzle. To make it a full dessert, enjoy your slice topped with ice cream, cherry pie filling, or blueberry sauce.
How to store sweetened condensed milk cheesecake
For the best flavor, enjoy leftover cheesecake within 5 days. I recommend storing it well-covered in the refrigerator, so the crust doesn’t dry out. Then just cut a slice whenever you want.
Can you freeze condensed milk cheesecake?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze this easy no-bake cheesecake. Chill in the refrigerator first. Overnight is best to ensure the filling is set properly. The double-warp in plastic wrap (cling film) and aluminum foil to avoid freezer burn.
Freeze for up to 2 months. You can freeze the whole cake or individual slices. Place in the fridge to thaw overnight before serving.
How many servings does the recipe yield?
The recipe makes 12 to 16 servings. Of course, the exact number of servings depends on how big or small you cut the slices.
Why isn’t my cheesecake setting?
This usually happens for one of three reasons:
- The wrong type of cream cheese was used. You need dense block-style cream cheese, not the spreadable or whipped cream cheese sold in tubs. Cream cheese blocks can be hard to come by outside North America (e.g., Ireland or the UK). In that case, buy full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese. Check out this article on Fine Cooking to learn more about the difference between brick vs tub cream cheese.
- The ratios of cream cheese to condensed milk to lemon juice are off. Not enough cream cheese or too much lemon juice, and the mixture won’t set but remain semi-liquid. Make sure to measure the cream cheese required correctly.
- The chilling time was too short. As mentioned before, chilling for 5 to 6 hours is imperative for the cheesecake setting, and overnight is even better.
What can I use if I don’t have a spring pan?
If you don’t have a springform pan, make this cheesecake with condensed milk and cream cheese in an 8-in or 9-in / 20 cm or 23 cm pie form. I also had great success with baking pans (tins) with a removable bottom.
Can I use a store-bought crust?
Of course! A store-bought Graham cracker crust is a great way to save time and make this no-bake cheesecake with condensed milk even faster. All that is left to do is whip up the filling and wait until the cheesecake has firmed up.
Can I use evaporated milk?
No, you can’t make this cheesecake with evaporated milk. Condensed milk and evaporated milk are 2 different ingredients and can’t substitute for one another.
More condensed milk recipes
If you love sweetened condensed milk as much as we do, you might enjoy some of our favorite recipes using this ingredient!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Give it a 5-star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a comment! Appreciate it so much, thank you!
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- 2 1/4 cups / 300 g / 10.6 oz vanilla wafers crumbs (see notes below)
- 10 tbsp / 140 g / 4.9 oz salted butter, melted (or unsalted butter + 1/4 tsp salt)
- 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
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Crush cookies. Place the vanilla wafers (or Graham crackers/digestive biscuits) in a large, resealable plastic bag. Place the bag on a folded kitchen towel and pound with a rolling pin until crushed. You can do this step also in a food processor or blender.
- Melt butter. Place the butter into a large mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap (cling film). Melt in the microwave at medium power in 20-second bursts until melted. Stir after each heating.
- Make the crust. Add the crumbs from step 1 and mix well to combine completely. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-in / 23 cm springform pan. I like to use a measuring up to compact the crumb mixture. Put in the refrigerator to chill.
- Mix cheesecake filling. Wipe the bowl with a paper towel and add the cream cheese. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in the condensed milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Next, beat in the lemon juice. At this point, the mixture will start to thicken.
- Assemble cheesecake. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Optionally, smooth the top with an offset spatula (palette knife).
Refrigerate. Cover the springform pan (tin) with plastic wrap (cling film) and chill until firm, about 5 to 6 hours or overnight.
- Decorate (optional). Once the cheesecake has up, garnish with your desired toppings such as a chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, swirls of whipped cream, and fresh fruit or berries.
- Serve. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Then unclasp the springform ring and cut it into slices. Enjoy!
I used vanilla wafers to make the base. You could also prepare the crust with Graham crackers, digestive biscuits, shortbread cookies, or Oreos.
If you opt for Graham crackers or digestive biscuits, add 3 tablespoons granulated (white) sugar for sweetness.
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.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 298mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 4g