Gingersnap NO-BAKE Cheesecake
Are you looking for a simple and VERY delicious dessert for your upcoming holiday festivities? I think you should look no further. With just a handful of ingredients and the whirr of your mixer – you will have a special, decadent dessert that will leave your diners begging for the recipe. It all starts with a special ingredient that is only available during the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season. Once you find it, be sure to stock up ((it freezes well)) – because just like icicles on a sunny day – it will be gone before you know it!
I love recipes that don’t require 1,000 steps when I am tired and hurried. The night I made this, I was both – it was a homeschool day, the kids are in “crazy ((close to Christmas break)) mode” & my house is still mid-demo ((long story, but basically the entire kitchen floor & workroom floor need busted up and replaced — insert ongoing HUGE mess)). I had visions of baking something and filling my messy home with the glorious scents of the season – but I just didn’t have it in me.
Then I began imagining and planning for a NO-Bake cheesecake. Simple, very little clean-up and the best part… DELICIOUS!! I called David early in the day. “Could you please pick up a few things I need for this dessert I want to make??”. He was headed to the store anyway during lunch and happily complied.
About 3:30 ((well after he had left the store)) I called him again “Hey, could you swing by the grocery store on the way home, I forgot I need Cool Whip too??”. Again, he was not bothered by the extra stop – and added it to his drive home.
He walked in the door 30 minutes later than normal. Dinner was ready and waiting, he handed me the missing ingredient and we sat down to eat.
Well, not before I went on a mad tear through my storage room and pantry looking for sweetened condensed milk ((SCM)). It was no where to be found. I quickly called my MIL, who happens to live 1.5 minutes away if I am walking slowly. “Oh, yes – I have a can right here…evaporated milk. Sure no problem – you can have it.” I paused “evaporated milk? I need sweetened condensed..??” I asked to clarify, hoping she had misspoke and was indeed holding the can I needed. “Oh, sorry – it is evaporated milk, I don’t have anything else.”
I thanked her for trying and called my SIL, who lives 1.9 minutes from my house, if walking slowly. Again, no sweetened condensed milk. “Um, David…??” I asked with a tone strangely mixed between desperate and hesitant, “Could you go back to the store…?? I thought I had SCM…” Before I could finish he jumped ahead and said “Let me guess, you don’t.”
He went to the store THREE times for me – isn’t that so nice?? To thank him, I made an extra dish just for him.
Now on to the serious business at hand — No-Bake cheesecake! There are a few keys I want to share with you before getting to the recipe:
- I think full fat cream cheese in preferred. If you have to use light, I am sure it will still be good, I just prefer the extra thick, creaminess of the real stuff.
- As a rule, only add half of the amount of milk called for on the pudding box. You can always add more to reach your desired consistency, but you can’t take away if it is too runny.
- Real Cool Whip – no light, and certainly no fat free. If I were a betting gal, I would imagine freshly whipped sweetened cream would be an excellent substitute. Just something to consider.
- Pumpkin Spice ((instant heaven)) Jello pudding – grab it while you can! It is only available a few months out of the year.
- Gingersnaps – they are magical in this dessert, trust me.
- Sweetened condensed milk – fat free, light or whole. I really can’t tell the difference.
- Sour Cream – it isn’t even pictured. I thought I could get away without adding it. I was wrong. I added ½ cup and it made all of the difference.
- Milk – I used skim. Whole would be grand I am sure, but I don’t keep whole on hand. I did compensate by adding a few splashes of whipping cream. Hey, it is called “CHEESECAKE”. Fat and calories come with the territory.
I served this at my BSF leader’s luncheon. It was a hit I am relieved to say! So check one thing off of your long list of to-do’s and make this simple dessert that is sure to please! Let me know how it goes!
- 2 boxes of pumpkin spice flavored instant Jello pudding
- 1 1/2 c milk ((I used skim))
- 2 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk ((I used whole))
- 1/2 c sour cream ((I used light))
- 1/4 c whipping cream ((optional))
- 1- 1 lb bag of gingersnaps
- 1 8 oz container of Cool Whip
- In a mixing bowl that attaches to a stand mixer ((or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer)), combine pudding boxes and 1 cup of milk. Mix to combine. Add cream cheese blocks and mis on medium low, increasing speed until combined ((about 1 minute)).
- Stop and scrap down the sides. Add sweetened condensed milk, sour cream and whipping cream. Mix on medium speed to combine. Add remaining, milk if necessary, to reach desired thickness.
- In an approximate 9"x13" or 11"x7" baking dish, line gingersnaps in a single layer on the bottom of the dish. Spread 1/3 of the cheesecake filling on top of the gingersnaps. Place another single layer of gingersnaps over the cheesecake filling. Repeat until there are three layers, ending with pudding. Sprinkle gingersnap crumbs on the top layer for decoration.
- Refrigerate 2 hours or over night. Lasts 5 days ((keep refrigerated)).
- Serves 16-20