No bake strawberry lemon cheesecakeOne of my favorite things is getting together with my big family on the weekends. We do this about once a month to celebrate holidays or birthdays. Last Sunday we gathered at my house to celebrate a bunch of birthdays; Erik’s, my younger brother Joel and my sister-in-law Nikki.

We made a big Mexican meal including:

Shredded chicken tacos (in the crockpot, so easy)
Beef tacos (for both the chicken and beef we use this homemade taco seasoning)
Homemade spanish rice (from my mom)
Homemade corn cake (Nikki makes this and it’s delicious)
Chips/salsa/queso
Fruit

And for dessert Erik asked for cheesecake. It’s one of his favorite desserts (along with pistachio dessert) and when I saw this no bake recipe I thought it looked great.


No bake strawberry lemon cheesecakeThis cheesecake was really tasty. I will admit that making 12 individual cheesecakes was a bit of a pain, and a bit time-consuming. Though it was still much easier than making regular cheesecake in the oven. If that would have been the case I would have been stressing out about cracks in the cake and whether or not the spring form pan was leaking. And no one wants to experience me stress out in the kitchen. Especially me. No bake strawberry lemon cheesecakeI bought these pretty individual glass bowls from Target a few years ago for an ice cream sundae bar I put together at a party. So I literally have a bunch of them, which is usually a waste of space, but came in handy on Sunday. No bake strawberry lemon cheesecakeDespite the fact that I complained on Instagram about these cheesecakes being a pain to make, I’m glad I made them. They turned out great and everyone enjoyed them.

Looking back I have a good reason why the cheesecake took longer and more effort than it should have. Juliet was napping so I had to take the food processor into our laundry room to make the crust (it’s far away from her room so she wouldn’t here the noise). And then I had to whip the filling with the blender in there as well. Making dessert in your laundry room is really not ideal!

No bake strawberry-lemon cheesecake  (recipe slightly adapted via My Baking Addiction)

Makes 12 individual cheesecakes

Ingredients

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

2/3 cup sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
1 (8 oz package) of cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (8 oz) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 package frozen strawberries, thawed
Optional: fresh strawberries for topping

Preparation

In a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter until well-combined. Divide evenly into the individual serving bowls and press down to form a crust.

In a large bowl mix together the lemon zest and sugar until combined. Add the cream cheese and mix with electric mixer until smooth. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Fold in the whipped topping using a rubber spatula.

Mash the strawberries with a fork and partially drain any liquid. Then fold in the strawberries to the cream cheese mixture carefully.

Spoon in filling to each bowl and smooth out with the back of the spoon. Top with fresh (strawberries if using).

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Note, these are fairly small portions of cheesecake but they were perfect for my family. We tend to overeat when we’re together (um, hello, we went through 2 bags of tortilla chips) so by dessert we are usually too full to eat much. If you want a larger dessert than double the filling recipe (no need to double the crust recipe).