In a few short weeks, we’ll be leaving home for the summer to escape the Florida heat, humidity, and hurricane season, so I was taking inventory of perishables in the refrigerator and pantry to use up before we leave. The refrigerator cheese drawer held a pound and a half of cream cheese that provided the perfect excuse to make cheesecake, but in the Tampa/St Pete area we’ve already been having record-shattering temps in the high 90s, therefore I had no desire to turn on the oven. I decided that making rich and easy no-bake chocolate cheesecake also gave me the chance to use up a portion of the pecans I have stashed in the freezer and the remains of a large bag of chocolate chips. The fact that I adore chocolate cheesecake had nothing whatsoever to do with it–I was being frugal.
The only significant difference between a regular cheesecake and a no-bake cheesecake is the presence or absence of eggs. If the recipe includes eggs, the cheesecake has to be baked for about an hour, then refrigerated for at least eight hours. So, if you have a favorite traditional cheesecake recipe that you’d like to turn into a no-bake refrigerated cheesecake, chances are all you have to do is eliminate the eggs and you’re good to go.
My recipe for rich and easy no-bake chocolate cheesecake takes about 20 minutes to put together and only four hours to refrigerate, and then you get to serve up this creamy, smooth, crunchy, and rich treat to raves from your adoring fans.
Start by using your microwave to melt the butter for the crust, and then the chocolate chips for the filling, and set them both aside to cool. If you prepare a springform pan by spraying it with nonstick spray and lining it with parchment, you’ll find it’s easier to serve the cheesecake.
After you buzz cookies and pecans in the food processor to make small crumbs, mix them with the melted butter and press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan to make the crust. Many recipes tell you to also press the crumbs up the side of the pan, but I find that totally frustrating (the darn things keep falling back to the bottom of the pan!) and completely unnecessary.
Set the prepared crust in the freezer while you make the filling.
Use a hand or stand mixer to make the very thick filling of cream cheese, powdered sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and melted chocolate chips, then spoon it all into the crust and refrigerate it for 4 hours.
I kept out a little of the crust mixture to sprinkle on top for some added crunch.
Whipped cream is always a good idea on top of any dessert! I always use a little powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract when I make whipped cream. In this case, however, I used pecan liqueur (leftover from another post) instead of the almond extract and it added the perfect note to the overall effect of wonderfulness.
Take the cheesecake out of the frig about half an hour before you’re going to serve it and remove the outer ring (it’ll come right off because you lightly sprayed the pan with nonstick spray). Slide the cheesecake off the pan bottom onto a serving plate (that’s why you lined it with parchment), whip some heavy cream, start the coffee, and get out the dessert plates and forks.
Oh man, this rich and easy no-bake chocolate cheesecake is sooooooo good. Try the recipe soon and see if you don’t agree.
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Thanks, and bon appetit!
- 9 oz (255 grams) package Nabisco Famous chocolate wafers
- 2 oz pecans
- 8 tablespoons (4 oz, 112 grams) salted butter
- 1-1/2 cups (9 oz, 255 grams) chocolate chips (I always buy Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips)
- 3 packages (24 oz, 680 grams) regular cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (4 oz, 112 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (2 fluid oz) sour cream
- sweetened whipped cream (with a teaspoon each of vanilla extract and pecan liqueur if you have it)
- Maraschino cherries
- Microwave the chocolate chips until melted, following package directions and set aside to cool while you make the crust.
- Microwave the butter for the crust and set it aside to cool a bit.
- Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan with non-stick spray, then line the bottom of the pan with parchment cut to fit, and spray the parchment.
- Break up the cookies with your hands as you put them into a food processor; add the pecans and pulse until the cookies and nuts are finely chopped.
- Open the food processor and evenly pour the melted butter over the cookie mixture, then put the cover back on and pulse until all the crumbs are moistened; reserve 1/4 cup of the crumbs for the top of the cheesecake, if desired.
- Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and firmly press onto the bottom of the pan; put into the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium speed until light and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
- Add the vanilla, sour cream, and melted chocolate to the bowl and mix on low speed until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined; mixture will be very thick.
- Spoon onto the crust and smooth the top, distribute reserved crumbs on top; chill until set, about 4 hours.
- Thirty minutes before serving, release and remove the ring from the outside of the pan, then slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the pan and onto a serving plate.
- Garnish slices with whipped cream and maraschino cherries.
- Cover and refrigerate leftovers.
If you prefer a sweeter crust, include 2 tablespoons of granulated or brown sugar with the cookie crumbs before adding the melted butter.
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