Rare "No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe

Black cherry cheesecake
Steve Brown Photography / Getty Images
  • 3 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 1 cheesecake (Serves 8)
Ratings (17)

"No-bake" cheesecakes are called rare cheese cakes in Japan. This is a soft type of cheesecake and usually gelatin is used to harden the filling. Rare cheesecakes are chilled and served with fresh fruits or fruit sauces.

It's easy to make this Japanese version of one of the world's favorite desserts at home with this recipe. The main difference between this and other no-bake cheesecakes is the use of yogurt instead of heavy cream; a variation that makes this cheesecake more nutritious than other cheesecakes as well as giving it an extra level of acidity that will appeal to more adventurous palates. This recipe yields a texture more closely resembling a super-creamy panna cotta rather than a traditional cheesecake.

The cream cheese and yogurt are mixed with gelatin or lemon juice, then poured over the biscuit crust and cooled to set inside the refrigerator. Eggs are not used in this recipe. This version is often served with berries or other types of fruits (mango is a favorite), fruit sauce or jam.


  • Plan ahead - this no-bake cheesecake requires 3 hours refrigeration time (or overnight).

  • Tofu can be substituted for some of the cream cheese creating a wonderfully light and creamy texture.

  • Instead of an 8 inch cake pan, try a 6 inch cake pan for a taller, more imposing presentation.

  • You can also add matcha powder for a unique light dessert.

  • Feel free to substitute yuzu juice for the lemon juice if available for a more unique Japanese treat.
  • The best way to cut a cheesecake is to use a knife that has been warmed in hot water. Dip the knife in hot water, wipe and cut. Repeat this each time you cut.

What You'll Need

  • 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup and 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp gelatin powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

How to Make It

  1. Mix the gelatin powder and water in a small cup and set aside.
  2. Combine crushed graham crackers, melted butter and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a round 8 inch cake pan.
  4. Stir the cream cheese in a bowl until soften.
  5. Heat the water and gelatin mixture in the microwave until it becomes liquid.
  6. Add yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, and gelatin into softened cream cheese and mix well.
  7. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly.
  1. Refrigerate the cake for 3 hours, or until set.
  2. Serve with your favorite fruits, fruit sauce, or jam.