An easy strawberry crunch cheesecake recipe with golden Oreo base! This light and creamy vanilla and strawberry no bake cheesecake with a strawberry and vanilla Oreo crunch topping is the ultimate summertime dessert. Plus my strawberry crunch is all natural flavour and colour - no Jell-O or food colourings!
Why you'll love this cheesecake
- Easy no bake recipe - dreamy creamy no bake cheesecake recipe, requiring no oven time. This simple no bake strawberry and vanilla cheesecake recipe is set by a quick homemade whipped cream, which means you don't need to mess around with gelatine and the finished product will be super creamy!
- All natural strawberry flavour and colour - this recipe uses no Jell-O and no food colourings. All of the vibrant pink and strawberry flavour is 100% natural from freeze-dried strawberry powder, which you can find in grocery stores or online.
- Fun strawberry cheesecake centre - this strawberry crunch cheesecake is a vanilla bean cheesecake with a core of strawberry cheesecake! This means each slice will have a little surprise with the light pink strawberry layer being revealed only when the cheesecake is cut.
- Crisp, colourful and flavorful crunch topping - the best strawberry crunch crumble made using golden Oreo and strawberry powder! gives a gorgeously vibrant pink top to this cheesecake and is packed full of crunch and flavour.
The ingredients for strawberry crunch cheesecake can be divided into three groups:
- Golden Oreo cheesecake base
- Creamy vanilla bean and strawberry filling
- Strawberry crunch crumble topping without Jell-O
Golden Oreo Base
This cheesecake uses a quick two ingredient vanilla Oreo base - the detailed guide to making this crust is available here.
You will need:
- Golden Oreos - or other vanilla sandwich cookie, crushed to a fine crumb. This is best done by blitzing in a food processor.
- Butter - unsalted butter, melted. You can use salted butter here, but you may find that it leaves a light salty flavour in the finished product.
Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Filling
- Cream cheese - I use spreadable cream cheese in all of my recipes due to ingredient availability in the UK. If you want to read more about this, I discuss the ingredient more in my spreadable cream cheese frosting recipe. This is best left out of the fridge to come to room temperature before using, but unlike block cream cheese, if you forget to let it warm up it won't be a problem!
- Mascarpone cream - the mascarpone provides a bit of a bite to the cheesecake, like sour cream in traditional New York style cheesecakes. You can also use crème fraîche here or replace with sour cream. The sour cream is a thinner consistency which may impact the final set of the cake. I have not tested this recipe with sour cream.
- Sugar - either superfine granulated or caster sugar will work well in this recipe.
- Vanilla bean paste - I highly recommend using vanilla bean paste in this recipe, both for the stronger flavour and the aesthetic of vanilla bean flecks in the cream. You can, however, substitute with vanilla extract if needed.
- Strawberry powder - use a freeze dried strawberry powder made of pure berries, such as this one.
Strawberry Crunch Crumble Topping
My strawberry crunch topping is made without Jell-O and instead uses strawberry powder to add natural colour and flavouring. To make this topping, you'll need:
- Golden Oreos - or similar vanilla sandwich cookies. These should be crushed into pieces, not as finely crumbed as for a cookie base. It is best to do this by hand using a sealed plastic bag and a rolling pin.
- Strawberry powder - freeze dried strawberry powder. In many recipes for strawberry crunch topping, you will find strawberry Jell-O powder being used. This can be used as a substitute, but the freeze dried strawberry powder is a more natural alternative and will provide flavour without additives.
- Butter - unsalted butter, melted. You can use salted butter instead, but this will leave a slightly salty taste.
How to Make a Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake
Start off by making the cheesecake base. This is a quick two-ingredient golden Oreo crust. For a detailed guide to making this, see my dedicated recipe for Golden Oreo Crust.
You'll simply need to mix the crushed biscuits together with the melted butter and press into a lined springform pan.
Chill this base while you prepare the filling - this will help it to firm up and will make spreading the cheesecake filling easier when the time comes.
Now it's time to get started on the filling.
To make the cheesecake filling for this recipe, follow these steps:
STEP 1: Begin by whisking the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix until smooth.
STEP 2: In a separate mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment), add the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Beat this on a medium to high setting until you reach stiff peaks. Try to not over-beat as this will cause the cream to separate and will make it unpleasantly stiff.
STEP 3: Once the cream is whipped, add this to the cream cheese mixture and fold together using a spatula. Avoid beating or stirring as you do not want to remove all of the air from the cream.
STEP 4: Now, to make the strawberry layer in this cheesecake, spoon out about half a cup of your filling mixture and place it in a smaller mixing bowl (image 1 below). Add freeze dried strawberry powder to this half a cup of cheesecake filling. Gently fold to incorporate. Again, you don't want to beat the air out of this and overwork it, but you want to ensure the strawberry powder is well distributed. This cream should turn light pink, though colours may vary based on the type of powder used (image 2 below).
STEP 5: Add half of the vanilla filling to your golden Oreo cheesecake crust and spread in an even layer (image 3 below). Then add the strawberry filling and spread in an even layer, leaving about an inch around the edge (images 4 and 5 below). Finally, spoon the remaining vanilla filling over top and smooth into an even surface (image 6 below).
STEP 6: Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator while you make the crumble topping.
Making a Natural Strawberry Crunch Crumble Topping
So, strawberry crunch is pretty much what it says on the tin - a crunchy topping with a strawberry flavour.
You will find many people use strawberry Jell-O powder in their strawberry crunch topping to add a strawberry flavour to crushed biscuits. Powdered, flavoured gelatine is not the easiest to come by in the UK and I also wanted to find a bit more natural alternative. For this recipe, I use freeze dried strawberry powder. This powder is made from strawberries and only strawberries!
To make your all natural strawberry crunch crumble:
STEP 1: You'll want to roughly crumble the cookies for the topping - these don't need to be a fine ground like for the base and in fact have some irregular sized bits makes the crunch topping better.
STEP 2: In mixing bowl, sprinkle the strawberry powder over top and then add the melted butter, stirring to coat (images 7 and 8 below).
STEP 3: Sprinkle the strawberry cookie crumble over the cheesecake and return to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until set. It is best to leave overnight.
Once well chilled and set, carefully unmould the cheesecake from the springform pan and remove the parchment paper.
Before serving, top with a few dollops of stabilized whipped cream. For my guide to making your own whipped cream, see my detailed Vanilla Stabilized Whipped Cream recipe. Add a few fresh strawberries for a decorative finish.
Expert Tips and Tricks
My top tips for this recipe fall into a couple of general categories.
Tips on Whipped Cream for Cheesecake
No bake cheesecakes are an easy creamy dessert, where the whipped cream is vital. The consistency of the whipped cream will essentially dictate how firmly your cheesecake sets. If you under-whisk the cream, you run the risk that the cheesecake will not be firm enough to slice. Likewise, if you over-beat, you will most likely have a very solid cheesecake that is not as creamy as you would expect.
If in doubt, the test for beating cream is the same as meringue, you should be able to turn the bowl over and the cream hold without moving. If you notice, as you turn the bowl on its side, that the cream starts to slip, return to beating it for another 30 seconds and check again until ready. You may also want to reduce the speed of your electric whisk so you have more control at this stage.
Tips for the Crunch Topping
This recipe uses freeze dried fruit powder for the flavor and colour. You can add this to taste and colour preference. If you try adding as directed but feel like it's too pale or a quick sample isn't giving you a strong enough flavour, feel free to add a bit more.
Different colours and flavours are possible dependent on the brand of powder you use. Be sure that you're using a pure berry powder, and not a fruit flavoured protein powder!
Variations and Substitutions
Some of my top recommendations for alternatives or substitutions here are:
- Try different berry and fruit powders - this recipe is for Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake, which means using strawberry powder. Freeze dried fruit powders come in a variety of flavours, meaning that you can try some of these out in this recipe for different flavoured cheesecakes. The same processes will work for a Blueberry Crunch Cheesecake or a Raspberry Crunch Cheesecake.
- Different crusts - while the Golden Oreos work well here and compliment the crunch topping, you can also use a graham cracker crust or try my Biscoff Cookie Crust. It will add a different dimension and stronger flavour, but will still taste great!
- Dairy free - I have not personally tested this recipe with dairy free ingredients. You will need to substitute the butter, cream cheese and whipping cream, making it a bit difficult to judge how well it will hold up. If you have a tried and tested cream cheese or heavy whipping cream substitute, these should work here.
Just like any other cheesecake, this cake needs to be kept refrigerated. As a no bake cheesecake, stabilized with whipped cream, it won't keep well left out in heat for long periods of time. This is because it is a soft and super creamy cheesecake, so when overly warm it is prone to becoming a bit runny.
For best results, keep this cake in the fridge until about 10-15 minutes before serving and keep leftovers chilled.
It is best practice to cover cheesecakes to protect them from any other aromas that might be circulating in your fridge (meats, onions, etc.), which could impact the flavour. But, be careful about wrapping this cheesecake with plastic wrap, as it may stick to the topping or sides.
This easy no bake strawberry crunch cheesecake keeps well in the refrigerator for about 3 days. You can also freeze the cheesecake for up to three months.
If intending to freeze, I recommend not adding the crumble topping until you defrost to preserve the best crunch. Follow the instructions for making the cheesecake filling, then allow to set in the refrigerator overnight before unmoulding from the springform pan. Place the cheesecake on a lined pan and flash freeze for a couple of hours until solid. Wrap this in plastic wrap and store in a freezer safe container or sealable bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, allow to defrost before adding the crunch topping and serving.
This recipe includes a guide to making a small amount of strawberry crunch crumble (also known as strawberry shortcake crumble) for the topping. Many recipes will use strawberry Jell-O powder to achieve the strawberry flavouring. Instead, this recipe is a more natural strawberry crumble alternative using pure strawberry powder, made from finely ground freeze-dried berries.
Strawberry crunch refers to an ice cream, also known as a strawberry shortcake. This ice cream bar has a strawberry centre, vanilla ice cream and crunch coating, mixing crisp vanilla and strawberry bits in an outer layer.
This strawberry crunch cheesecake recipe takes inspiration from the ice cream classic!
Need more easy no-bake dessert ideas? Try one of these:
- No Bake Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- Biscoff Cookie Butter Cheesecake
- Coconut Panna Cotta
- Pink Jello Pie
- Two Ingredient Chocolate Mousse
- Edible Sugar Cookie Dough
Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake
- 8" springform baking pan
- Parchment paper
- 2 large mixing bowl
- hand held electric beater
- small mixing bowl
- offset spatula
Ingredients for Golden Oreo Crust
- 28 Golden Oreos crushed into fine crumb
- 7 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
Ingredients for Vanilla and Strawberry No Bake Cheesecake Filling
- 12 oz cream cheese spreadable cream cheese at room temperature
- 5 oz mascarpone cheese at room temperature
- ¼ cup superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream or double cream
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar or icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon freeze dried strawberry powder
Ingredients for Strawberry Crunch Crumble Topping
- 14 Golden Oreos crushed to a rough crumb
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 3 teaspoon freeze dried strawberry powder
Ingredients for Optional Decoration
- ½ cup heavy cream or double cream
- ½ tablespoon powdered sugar or icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- fresh strawberries or freeze dried strawberry pieces
Instructions for Golden Oreo Cheesecake Crust
- Begin by lining an 8" or 9" round springform cake pan with parchment paper.
- Place the finely crushed Golden Oreos in a large mixing bowl and pour in the melted butter. Stir to create a moist crumb and then press into the base and about 1" up the sides of the lined cake pan. For more detail, see my recipe for Golden Oreo Cookie Crust. Set in the refrigerator to chill while making the filling.
Instructions for Cheesecake Filling
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar. Add the vanilla bean paste and beat until smooth.
- Meanwhile, place the heavy cream and powdered sugar in a separate large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form (see note).
- Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold to combine.
- Reserve about ½ cup of the filling mixture and place in a small bowl. Add the strawberry powder to this and fold to incorporate. This will create a light pink strawberry flavoured cheesecake mixture.
- Spoon about half of your plain vanilla cheesecake filling on top of the prepared golden Oreo base and spread evenly. Next add the strawberry cheesecake mixture and spread in an even layer (see note). Finish with the remaining vanilla cheesecake filling, spread evenly and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Place in the refrigerator while you make the crumble topping.
Instructions for the Strawberry Crunch Crumble
- Place the roughly crushed Oreo pieces in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the strawberry powder over top and then pour the melted butter into the mix. Stir to coat the Oreo crumble in an uneven light pink.
- Sprinkle the crumble over top the cheesecake and return to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours (better overnight) until set.
- Prior to serving, add any optional toppings, such as a few dollops of quick stabilized vanilla whipped cream (see detailed recipe here) and strawberries.