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Creamy Cheesecake

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1 (0.25 ounce) package unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons water
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust

Creamy Cheesecake

This rich and smooth, creamy no bake cheesecake is the perfect dessert for a summer dinner.

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

Most people love cheesecake, and for good reason. This classic dessert recipe for Creamy Cheesecake is, well, creamy, rich, smooth, velvety, and full of flavor.

But there’s just one problem with traditional cheesecake – it can take hours to make! You have to make a crust and make the filling, which is usually quite complicated. Classic cheesecakes must be baked for a long time, then completely cooled and chilled before you can dig in. (The only recipe for cheesecake I know of that’s easier is Easiest Fruit Tartlets.)

Not this recipe. It uses just five ingredients, takes about 30 minutes to put together, and only an hour in the fridge to chill!

This Creamy Cheesecake recipe is super quick and easy, and you can eat it in a little over an hour. That’s because the filling is made from gelatin, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk (secret ingredient number one) and lemon juice (secret ingredient number two).

This creamy cheesecake is super smooth because the sugar used is already dissolved in the sweetened condensed milk. And the reaction between the milk and the acid in the lemon juice helps the filling set quickly.

Do not use evaporated milk in place of the sweetened condensed milk in this recipe or it will not work. Sweetened condensed milk is very thick and very sweet. Make sure you use unflavored gelatin – that white stuff in a little package, not Jello. And use real lemon juice too, squeezed from real lemons, not that fake stuff in the bright yellow plastic lemon.

I love to serve this cheesecake with fresh raspberries when they are in season. When they are not, drizzle a slice with some fudge sauce.

Tips for the best Creamy Cheesecake:

  • Honestly, really read the label of the sweetened condensed milk. I have received complaints that the recipe doesn’t work. When I ask the person what they used, they did not understand the difference between evaporated and condensed milk. They are as different as night and day.
  • Sweetened condensed milk is a thick mixture made by cooking milk and sugar. Evaporated milk is just milk that is slightly thicker. It has no sweetener at all.
  • Make sure the cream cheese is completely softened so it blends perfectly with the sweetened condensed milk.

Why this recipe works:

  • The acid in the lemon juice thickens the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk so the cheesecake holds its shape.
  • It’s critical that you use FULL FAT sweetened condensed milk AND FULL FAT cream cheese or the recipe won’t work.
  • Do NOT skimp on the lemon juice.
  • If your cheesecake doesn’t set for whatever reason, freeze it.

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Put the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let stand for 5 minutes so the gelatin can absorb the water and swell up. This is called "blooming."


Then microwave the gelatin mixture on 50% power for 30 seconds. If the gelatin has not dissolved, repeat. Make sure that you only microwave the gelatin mixture until it is hot and the grains have dissolved; don't let the mixture boil or the gelatin will lose its gelling properties. Let cool for 15 minutes.


Now beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it's light and fluffy. Then beat in half of the sweetened condensed milk.


Add the lemon juice and beat well. Then add the dissolved gelatin and beat again.


Finally, beat in the remaining sweetened condensed milk.


Spoon the mixture into the pie crust and chill until set. This should take about an hour. Then eat!


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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