Cheesecake is a classic dessert that never fails to impress, and adding a sweet cherry pie topping takes it to the next level. This light and airy No Bake Cherry Cheesecake is quick and easy to whip together, but looks and tastes like you spent hours on it!
Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and set it aside. Prepare the graham cracker crust and transfer the mixture to the springform pan and press it firmly up the sides. Chill for 2 hours or freeze for 10-15 minutes in freezer.
Beat the heavy whipping cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice until creamy and smooth.
Gently fold the prepared whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture.
Spread the cheesecake mixture over the crust, smoothing the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 more hours, or overnight.
When ready to serve, you can gently add the cherry pie filling in the center of the cheesecake layer using a spoon then slice and serve. Or you can add the cherry pie filling on top of each individual slice as you serve them!
Mini Cheesecakes: You can use the same recipe and make mini cherry cheesecakes, using a muffin pan!
Cool Whip: If you would prefer to use Cool Whip instead of whipped cream, that’s fine! You will need 2 and ½ cups of cool whip.
Cream Cheese: Bringing the cream cheese to room temperature before making the recipe is also important, to ensure that it blends well with the other ingredients without any lumps.
Stiff Peaks: Whipping the heavy cream to stiff peaks is crucial for adding air and lightness to the cheesecake layer. Stiff peaks means that you can lift the beater out of the whipped cream, and the “peaks” of whipped cream that are stuck to the beater are stiff and firm. If the peaks sink back down or drip off, keep beating the cream.
Over-Whipping the Cream: Be careful not to overbeat the whipped cream, or it will turn grainy - those grains are actually butter, and can’t be turned back into whipped cream.
Chilling: Refrigerating the cheesecake layer before adding the cherry pie filling is an important step because it helps to set the cheesecake layer and prevent the cherry pie filling from sinking in.
Storing and Freezing: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze without the cherry topping for up to 3 months.