So if you asked me to name something that I eat every single day, you might be surprised at one of my answers. Would you know that one of my answers would be cream cheese?? The full fat kind. I LOVE IT. Every morning, I layer it on top of grainy warm toast and have it along with my morning smoothie. It's just kinda my thing. But I honestly love cream cheese on lots of things, especially on warm banana bread, muffins, and cornbread. And of course I love cheesecake...
But I'm quite picky when it comes to cheesecakes. Of course the crust has to be crunchy/crispy and slightly sweet. I like the filling to be creamy instead of fudgy or spongy. You know what I mean?? This no-bake (two of my favorite words in the summer) cheesecake meets all of my requirements and it could not be any easier to make. The crust is sweet and buttery and the filling is creamy with light hints of lemon and vanilla. It's a refreshing, really good and cool-to-the-taste cheesecake that can be made in a cool kitchen for a last minute summer party. It really doesn't get any better than that... :)
Here is what you need and what to do:
20 sheets graham crackers (about 2 packages)
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
2 8oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Add the graham crackers to a large plastic resealable bag. Take a rolling pin or meat mallet, think of a current frustration, and beat the living daylights out of those graham crackers! Ha. Crush them until they turn into fine crumbs. :)
2. Add the crumbs to a medium bowl. Stir in the sugar and stir. Pour in the melted butter and stir until the mixture is well combined.
3. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Spread it about 1 1/2 inches up the side. Use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to press the mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan. Chill the crust in the freezer for 10 minutes.
4. To make the filling, add the cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until the cream cheese is smooth. Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk. Stop the mixture a few times as you add the milk and scrape down the sides. Add the lemon juice and the vanilla. Beat until everything is well-combined and the mixture is smooth.
5. Pour the filling into the crust. Smooth the top of the cake with an offset or rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm - about 3 hours.
Just a note: The longer the cake sits in the fridge, the greater the chance for the crust to stick to the pan. So I don't really recommend making this and storing it overnight. It's best when it's made on the same day you plan to eat it...
Images by me