No Bake Peppermint Cheesecake

This surprisingly light and creamy no bake peppermint cheesecake is the perfect dessert after those heavy holiday meals. The cookie crust adds the perfect amount of chocolate to contrast with the sharp minty filling.

a peppermint cheesecake on a platter topped with fluffy whipped cream and garnished with peppermint bark

What is in a “No Bake” Peppermint Cheesecake?

Start off with a buttery chocolate cookie crust in a spring-form pan. Easy.

Add in a cheesecake layer of sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, créme fraîche and a touch of peppermint extract, fold in crushed candy cane pieces. Top with a velvety whipped cream and garnish with white chocolate peppermint bark. Freeze overnight and serve after a heavy meal at the holidays.

I color it a pale pink by adding pomegranate juice the filling. So sweet. Serve after the Nutcracker ballet, for tea time or as a showstopper dessert at the holidays.

ingredients for a no bake cheesecake on a cutting board

Ingredients in this frozen Oreo crust peppermint cheesecake:

  • chocolate wafers or Oreo cookies- see notes at the end of this post on where to buy
  • butter
  • cream cheese
  • heavy whipping cream
  • créme fraîche
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • peppermint extract
  • vanilla extract
  • red food gel (optional)
  • pomegranate juice (optional)
  • peppermint candy canes
  • sugar
  • white chocolate peppermint bark for garnish
a spin form pan, a bowl of chocolate cookie crumbs and a bowl of melted butter

Equipment and utensils needed for this frozen peppermint cheesecake:

  • 9-inch spring form pan
  • off-set spatula
  • stand mixer or beaters
  • rolling pin
  • plastic bag
  • measuring cups and spoons
a measuring cup pressing down a chocolate cookie crust in a spring form pan

How to build this frozen cheesecake:

Make the crust by mixing cookies crumbs and butter into the bottom of a spring-form pan. Bake until just set. Set aside.

For the filling- whip room temperature cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk together. Add in pomegranate juice for coloring (or red food gel) and a dash of peppermint extract, crushed candy canes and then fold in whipped cream. Pour into spring-form pan and freeze 8 hours or overnight. .

a cookie crust in a spring form pan and a pond grande sliced in half

How to con’t.

For the topping, whip Créme Fraîche, a dash of sugar and use it as a crumb coat for the top of the cheesecake. Then whip heavy cream, fold in more crushed peppermint candy and a scant amount of sugar. Garnish the frozen peppermint cheesecake with chocolate bark snowflakes from the Metropolitan Market in Seattle. You can order similar bark here. Sprinkle a dusting of crushed peppermint on the whipped cream. It’s like a little surprise tucked inside a frothy blanket of whipped cream.

Freeze the base at least 8 hours or overnight for best results. This frozen cheesecake will last perfectly even after three days in the freezer so it is something you can make ahead. It is a fantastic dessert to serve after a heavy holiday meal. It is lighter than most cheesecakes: airy, sweet, creamy and very satisfying. If you like peppermint ice cream or cheesecake, you are going to love this dessert. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

a spring form pan with pillowy pink cheesecake inside

Pro-Tips for the perfect No Bake Creamy Peppermint Cheesecake:

  1. Use room temperature cream cheese and Créme Fraîche for best results.
  2. Bottled pomegranate juice works fine for coloring the cheesecake and it is all natural.
  3. Press the cookie crumb crust into place using the bottom of a measuring cup- see photo for a reference.
  4. Remove cheesecake from the freezer 30 minutes before slicing.
  5. A serrated knife is the best way to slice this cheesecake.
  6. If using Oreos for the crust- remove the white cream so the crust is not soggy or too sweet.
  7. Test the filling with just. a scant amount of peppermint extract. A little goes a long way.
a frozen cheesecake waiting for a crumb coat to be applied

Other delicious holidays desserts to try:

a no bake peppermint cheesecake with snowflake candies as a garnish on a holly leaf cake plate

My top 5 favorite Holiday/Winter/Christmas movies to watch while enjoying this creamy dreamy cheesecake:

  • Sound of Music
  • Little Women- 1994 version
  • The Holdovers
  • Elf
  • A Christmas Story
  • Trading Places
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Metropolitan (1989)
  • Happy Feet
  • Football- let’s face it- you want to watch the big game
a peppermint cheesecake with a slice missing exposing the pink center and the chocolate crust

A few more notes about this recipe:

I took this basic recipe for a no bake peppermint cheesecake floating around the internet and made it my own by not using an Oreo cookie crust, but rather Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer cookies. Now that Famous is no longer making their wafer cookies, I substitute Dewey’s chocolate wafers. They make fine crumbs and only need melted butter as a binder. No extra sugar.

whipped peppermint cheesecake filling in a stainless steel bowl

Then on to the filing: most recipes had cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, peppermint extract, red food coloring and whipped cream. Being resourceful and out of red food coloring, I cracked open a pomegranate, squeezed a quarter of a cup of the juice into a bowl and added it to the filling. It was light pink, all natural and full of anti-oxidants to help combat the tons of fat in the recipe. Plus, I had pomegranate seeds to add to my champagne cocktail later that evening. Win. Win.

Feel free to add a drop or two of red food gel. Be careful-a little goes a long way.

No Bake Peppermint Cheesecake

Recipe by Meggen Wilson Course: Florida Kitchen, Holiday Baking, Sweet Tooth
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

45

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes
Calories

520

kcal

Discover a delightful make-ahead, no-bake peppermint cheesecake recipe. Perfect for the holidays, with a creamy filling, pillowy whipped cream topping and a crunchy chocolate cookie crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 package or 2 cups of crushed chocolate wafer cookies

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • 1 package cream cheese, softened

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 tsp peppermint extract

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • red food gel or coloring (optional)

  • 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate juice, optional

  • 8 oz. Creme Fraiche, whipped

  • 10-12 peppermint candy canes

  • 1 TBSP sugar, plus 1 tsp divided

  • 2 pints heavy whipping cream, divided

  • white chocolate peppermint bark for a garnish

Directions

  • For the Crust:
  • Pre heat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  • In a food processor, pulverize the cookies into crumbs- about 5-7 pulses. You can also use a plastic bag and crush cookies with a rolling pin. Add melted butter. Press crumbs into prepared pan using the back of a measuring cup to have an even crust.
  • Bake for 10 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Let cool completely. Pop into freezer while preparing filling.
  • Filling:
  • In a plastic bag with a rolling pin, crush candy canes into fine crumbs. It is okay to have a few larger pieces. Set candy crumbs aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Add in sweetened condensed milk, 1 tsp peppermint extract, 2/3’s of the crushed candy cane crumbs and EITHER red food coloring OR 1/4 pomegranate juice. Set aside in another bowl. Save the remaining candy for the topping.
  • Whip 1 pint of heavy cream until fluffy and stiff peaks appear. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture gently so as not to deflate. Fill the spring-form pan with the cream cheese mixture. Cover well with plastic wrap and freeze at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • For the Topping:
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip Créme Fraîche, vanilla extract and 1 TBSP sugar until smooth and lightened. Remove cheese cake from freezer and uncover. Spread whipped Créme Fraîche over frozen cheesecake. Pop back into freezer.
  • Whip remaining 1 pint heavy cream and 1 tsp sugar.
  • Top cheesecake with whipped cream, sprinkle with remaining candy cane dust and top with chocolate bark snowflakes or other holiday candy bark.

Notes

  • Best if served right away, but you can freeze, covered , up to 3 days.
festive snowflake shaped peppermint bark with holiday themed measuring spoons on a Christmas stemmed platter

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