A layered no bake cheesecake made with cashew butter in the style of oreo icebox cake: layers of creamy, tangy & salty nutty filling interspersed with chocolate sandwich cookies. Covered in chocolate ganache, but of course!
No Bake Cheesecake meets Icebox Oreo Cake
I discovered the magic of cashew butter & cream cheese via this mason jar ice cream recipe that I came up with last year. I had used cashew instead of peanut to make one for my husband who doesn’t like pb (I know, what?!) and then it was ME who couldn’t stop eating it and I quickly decided he could have the chocolate instead!
No-bake cheesecakes are all made the same way and with just three main ingredients: cream cheese, sugar and heavy whipping cream. When I make this plain, I’ll add labneh or sour cream. Once these are mixed together, whipped heavy cream is added. This is what makes it creamy but also helps it firm up in the fridge. And, that’s it!
But let’s make it a little more interesting by layering it with some more dark chocolate cookies, icebox style, and then spreading a thick layer of smooth dark chocolate ganache on top. If you like, add some flaked sea salt on top, I would!
Tips for making the perfect no bake cheesecake:
- Cream cheese should be at room temperature or you’ll have a lot of trouble with lumps.
- Keep the heavy cream very cold. I like to pour it into a glass bowl then set the bowl in the freezer until I’m ready to whip. This helps you beat it quickly and efficiently.
- Careful with the ganache: warm the cream until it bubbles and feels hot to touch then pour it over very finely chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. The smaller the chocolate the quicker it will melt into a smooth ganache.
Key Ingredients for no bake cashew cheesecake
Cookies for layering: I used oreo thins here because, well, they are thin and layer nicely in a dish like this. You can skip these if you want but they add texture and vary up the filling in a lovely way. You can also use a different cookie like a digestive or chocolate wafers.
Cashew butter: I think cashew butter is exceptional here; it’s light and salty and really wonderful. That said, if you have allergies you can use peanut butter or sun butter instead.
Cream cheese: Use the bricks, not the soft spreadable kind. Philadelphia brand makes the firmest cream cheese. If you need to make the dish without dairy, use a dairy free cream cheese brand.
Heavy Cream: If you need to make this dairy free, try coconut milk. The can needs to chill in the fridge for a few hours before it can be whipped.
Troubleshooting No Bake Cashew Cheesecake
There’s lumps in my cream cheese mixture.
The cream cheese was too cold when it was whipped. Leave the bowl to sit at room temperature for a while and try beating it again after. Avoid overbeating it though!
The whipped cream ‘broke’.
The whipped cream was whipped too long. You want to go to just soft peaks. Try adding some whipped cream and stirring it in to see if you can bring it back to ‘soft’.
The whipped cream didn’t thicken or hold peaks.
This happens when the cream is warm when it’s whipped. For best results stick the cream & bowl in the freezer until you begin whipping.
The ganache separated.
You’ll see this if the ganache gets an ‘oily’ look, it happens when heavy cream was too hot when it was added to the chocolate. You can try adding a bit of very cold heavy cream to the ganache to see if it will
The cheesecake didn’t firm up.
Either the mixture was under or over whipped. Both the heavy cream and the cream cheese need to be beaten until just right. You can try freezing it and serving it icebox style.
Recipe for No Bake Cashew Cheesecake
No Bake Cashew Cheesecake
- 8 or 9" cake pan or springform pan
- 1 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 packages cream cheese 8 oz, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar 3.5 oz
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup cashew butter stirred if separated
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream 8.2 oz, very cold
- Chocolate sandwich cookies for layering preferably Oreo Thins
- 3 oz dark chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
- 3 oz heavy cream
- Line an 8” springform pan with plastic wrap. You’ll likely need to use 2-3 sheets and layer them on top of each other to cover all the sides.
- Mix the cookie crumbs with the butter and press them into the bottom of the pan. Set the pan in the freezer so the crust can harden.
- In a bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla and cashew butter until it’s smooth and creamy and no lumps remain.
- In a separate bowl, beat or whip the heavy cream to soft peaks; the cream will barely hold shape and will flop over.
- Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until it’s fully combined.
- Add ⅓ of the filling to the pan then lay the cookies on top, covering it entirely. If you use oreo thins you should be able to fit about 12 of them. Layer another ⅓ of the filling and place another layer of cookies on top. Spread the remaining filling on top and smooth it out into an even layer.
- Place the cheesecake in the fridge to set for a few hours, or in the freezer if you are in a rush.
- Once it’s firm, make the ganache by warming the heavy cream in a small pot until it bubbles on the sides and is hot to touch. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until you have a smooth ganache. Pour the ganache over the cheesecake and smooth it.
- Store in the fridge for a creamier texture, in the freezer for a firmer, 'ice cream sandwich' like texture.